What can I say…I'm still caught up in the naming scheme Patriot used for the Pyro SE. Hello, PRO would have been a more descriptive choice than SE. What the heck does SE stand for anyhow? Second Edition, Special Edition, maybe Special Equipment. My bet is on the last one, but just to be sure, I decided to ask Google what SE stood for and it returned a page that gave a list of around 150 possible answers. If you have 10 minutes to spare while sipping your coffee this morning, head over to have a few short bursts of laughter.
On the list was one that stood out in my mind and that was Standard Edition. The original Pyro was one of the early asynchronous flash drives that we determined to not be much better than the SF-1200 drives when filled to around half full. The Wildfire on the other hand was a magnificent achievement with all of the bells and whistles a power user could ask for. The Pyro SE is right in the middle, but leaning closer to Wildfire when it comes to performance. The accessory package on the other hand leans closer to the original Pyro, no desktop adapter bracket thus no real accessory package once you look past the sticker. This is a very competitive market and every little bit counts when looking for reasons to purchase one product over another. The Pyro SE falls a little flat in a few places and that isn't what we've come to expect from Patriot.
Aside from the add-on goodies, the price is also deserving of the Standard Edition title. The SE ranks third in 120GB SF-2281/synchronous flash drives at Newegg when it comes to pricing, but the two other models, Vertex 3 and Force GT include desktop adapter brackets and after all of the mail-in rebates are calculated end up saving you around 20 Dollars. Third is a pretty good place to be in if buyers were buying all of the top 5 drives, but we know that doesn't happen. The Pyro SE is the newest product of the three listed and Newegg tends to keep prices high on newer products. Prices also change every few days, so we expect the Pyro SE to be more competitive on the price soon.
It may seem like we are coming down hard on the Pyro SE, but that is the job after all. What isn't standard for everyone out there that doesn't have over 100 SSDs sitting on a desk is 560MB/s read speed paired with 520MB/s write speed. These are peak numbers, but they are impressive as is the real world performance of the Pyro SE 120GB. Anyone coming from a platter drive or even an SSD released last year will be amazed at the performance offered by the Pyro SE. The drive has great performance and offers it at steady levels instead of bursts like many of the more traditional SSDs on the market with DRAM buffers. The SandForce SF-2281 controller is a beast when paired with synchronous flash and you get a lot more for your money with this combination than you would when pairing the controller with asynchronous flash.
The Pyro SE is also the real starting point for users working heavily with compressed files like audio or video. We used to have A/V rated HDDs for these tasks and the 2281/synchronous combination is the new A/V rated standard.