It's been quite a while since I tested a 128GB class SSD, but after seeing the Patriot Torch 120GB drive selling for less than $60, I knew I had to take a look. For most of our readers, the new ultra-low SSD prices mean 128GB class drives are off the table for OS use. The small capacity means users really have to be meticulous about the amount and kind of data kept on the drive, and some find that 128GB just isn't enough to offer a solid user experience.
Patriot's Torch series is an interesting experiment in its own right. Patriot doesn't even list Torch on the company's website, but the drives are available through Amazon. To keep the costs low, the company ships the drives in a plastic clamshell with a single paper document that covers the warranty and essentials.
You would expect to see this type of packaging and documentation in an OEM 'white box' product. Given the insanely low price, it appears that Patriot is on to something; most users could care less about a fancy box or accessories they probably won't use. With Torch, you are paying a very low price for a SSD and nothing more.
Specifications, Pricing, and Availability
Torch is available in two capacities, the 240GB model we reviewed earlier in the week, and the 120GB model we're testing now. In our review of the 240GB Torch product, we found that the Torch 240GB was nearly identical to the Patriot Blaze SSD in construction. The Blaze products (which we're publishing reviews for soon) ship in a full retail box, and are sold at brick and mortar shops like Fry's Electronics. The 240GB Torch and 240GB Blaze use nearly identical components, but the Torch uses low voltage DDR3, and the Blaze uses standard voltage DDR3 for the DRAM buffer.
Nothing about either the 240GB Torch or Blaze drives relate to the Torch 120GB, other than the lack of a retail box. The Torch 120GB we're testing today uses a Phison S9 four-channel controller that was originally designed for cache situations, paired with a HDD. The S9 controller is a very low cost part that doesn't use a DRAM buffer at all, which is a nice way to keep the overall price of the drive low.
Even without a DRAM buffer, Patriot specs the S9 controlled Torch 120GB at 545 MB/s sequential read performance, and 430 MB/s sequential write performance. Since the Torch series isn't listed on Patriot's website at this time, the data above came from the Amazon listing.
For just $58.99 at the time of writing, you get the Torch SSD that is covered by a three-year warranty, and a paper document that covers the warranty terms.
PRICING: You can find the Patriot Torch 120GB 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 120GB SSD retails for $65.99 at Amazon.
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- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability]
- Page 2 [Patriot Torch 120GB SSD]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and Initial Performance]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - Sequential Performance]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads]
- Page 7 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test]
- Page 8 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]