Several companies are in a shootout to have the lowest priced SSD on e-tail sites like Amazon and Newegg. To get there, we've seen a few different approaches. A couple of companies use a mix of components that are the lowest price at the time of manufacturing. Companies with guaranteed access to flash, like the fabs, rely on slightly higher prices, but also brand recognition. Then we have what Patriot pulled off with the Torch series.
To my knowledge, this is the first SSD to omit a retail package, like the entire freaking package, to reduce the price. For the most part, the Amazon only Torch is the same drive as the Patriot Blaze, minus the retail box, and one small change to the BOM (the lower voltage DDR3 DRAM buffer). I doubt the lower voltage DRAM is a planned changed, but it is the one thing we found that was actually different on our sample drives. Most likely, the VL DDR3 buffer was available at the time, or cost less than standard voltage DDR3 when the drives were made.
Using Amazon prices at the time of writing, we looked to see how good of a deal the Torch 240GB is in comparison to other products. This is a highly competitive capacity, and there are several products in the $90 to $110 range. The best performing of the group is the OCZ ARC 100 at $94.99. Right after the ARC100 comes the MX100, and the Patriot Blaze that we tested today, and these are all hovering very close to the $100 mark.
Given the technology involved, the large performance increase over traditional mechanical drives, and the increased reliability, it's difficult to imagine 256GB class SSDs in this price range. Patriot did what was needed to get a product in this ultra-low range. The Torch isn't the very best low-cost SSD, but given the workloads of most people shopping for a product in this range, it doesn't have to be.
PRICING: You can find the Patriot Torch 240GB SSD for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Patriot Torch 240GB retails for $105.99 at Amazon.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||91%|
|Bundle and Packaging||N/A|
|Value for Money||88%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||88%|
The Bottom Line: Patriot's Torch 240GB SSD offers better than HDD performance and reliability at a very low price. There are better options available though if you watch the prices closely.
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