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Patriot Blaze 240GB SSD Review

Patriot Blaze 240GB SSD Review

Today Chris takes us on a tour of Patriot Memory's Blaze SSD with the 240GB capacity model. Should this be your next drive? Read on.

@ChrisRamseyer
Published Sun, Jan 18 2015 8:25 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:33 PM CDT
Rating: 88%Manufacturer: Patriot

Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

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VIEW GALLERY - 39 IMAGES

We recently looked at both capacities of the Amazon-only Patriot Torch. The Patriot Blaze shares similar components to the Torch series, but ships in more capacities, and is sold at more locations. Online, we found the Blaze series at the usual shops, and we have even seen them at brick and mortar stores like Fry's Electronics.

The Blaze 240GB model we're testing today uses a Phison S8 controller, Nanya DDR3 DRAM, and IMFT 16nm ONFi flash. The setup sounds identical to the Torch 240GB model we just tested, but there is one small difference between the two; the Blaze 240GB uses standard voltage DDR3 DRAM, while the Torch 240GB uses low voltage DDR3, also from Nanya.

Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

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The Patriot Blaze ships in four capacities. The 60GB and 120GB models both use Phison S9 controllers, a DRAM-less controller built for cache duty. Both the 480GB models and the 240GB we're testing today use Phison S8 controllers with a DRAM buffer.

Patriot claims 555 MB/s sequential read performance, and 535 MB/s sequential write speed for the Blaze 240GB we're testing today. Random performance isn't stated, but we'll find that out in our testing today.

Unlike the Torch products we recently reviewed, the Blaze series ships in a full retail friendly box. This does raise the overall cost slightly. We found the Blaze 240GB at Amazon for $126.45, and all capacities in the Blaze series include a three-year warranty.

PRICING: You can find the Patriot Blaze 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 Blaze 240GB retails for $145.38 at Amazon.

Canada: The Patriot Blaze 240GB retails for CDN$129.99 at Amazon Canada.

Patriot Blaze 240GB SSD

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Here we get our first look at the Blaze packaging. As mentioned, this product does have some brick and mortar availability; we've seen the Blaze products for sale at Fry's Electronics in the past month.

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A few of the product features are listed on the back of the package.

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Inside, we found the Blaze 240GB SSD, and a color manual that details the warranty terms.

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Patriot uses the same case for both the Blaze and the Torch products, but the label is different for each.

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The model and serial numbers are both listed on the back of the drive.

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The Blaze uses a 7mm case design, so it will fit in new notebooks and Ultrabooks that require the thin design.

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Inside, we found a very small PCB with four NAND flash packages, a controller, and a DRAM package.

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There isn't much to the design. Patriot used a Phison S8 controller, and paired it with third-party packaged 16nm ONFi flash, and a DDR3-1600 DRAM package.

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Two additional 16nm flash packages are on the backside of the PCB.

Test System Setup and Initial Performance

Desktop Test System

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Lenovo T440 - Notebook Power Testing with DEVSLP and Windows 8.1 Pro

Nearly all of the performance tests run on the desktop system, but we use a Lenovo T440 to run the power tests. The T440 is the latest addition to our client SSD test lab, and allows us to test the notebook battery life offered by a SSD with advanced features like DEVSLP enabled.

Initial Performance Evaluation - 4-Corner and then Some Tests

Sequential Read

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Sequential Write

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Sequential 80% Read 20% Write

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Random Read

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Random Write

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Random 80% Read 20% Write

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Initial performance is in line with Patriot's quoted performance ratings.

Benchmarks - Sequential Performance

HD Tune Pro - Sequential Performance

Version and / or Patch Used: 5.50

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We've tested several SSDs with Phison S8 controllers in the past, and found the controller's read performance to be very high, until stressed under heavy workloads. The Blaze is just as fast as the top SATA III performers on the market today while reading sequential data back from the drive.

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The Blaze 240GB turns in a solid sequential write performance that is in line with the product's price. Write performance and consistency are the traits you pay for on modern SSDs. It's easy for SSDs to read data back at high speed, but write performance is more difficult due to flash density increasing, which lowers parallelization, writing to several flash die at once. This increases performance, but when less die are used, the write speed suffers.

HD Tach - Sequential Write Performance after Random Writes

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0.4.0

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After writing to the Blaze 240GB with a reasonable number of sequential and random writes, we tested the drive with HD Tach to measure sequential performance, and to look for write speed deviation. The Blaze pulled through the test well. Since we first tested the controller two years ago, Phison has worked on the firmware for the S8 to deliver performance that is more consistent.

Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities

Anvil Storage Utilities

Version and / or Patch Used: RC6

So, what is Anvil Storage Utilities? Anvil Storage Utilities is a storage benchmark for SSDs and HDDs where you can check and monitor your performance. The Standard Storage Benchmark performs a series of tests; you can run a full test, or just the read or the write test, or you can run a single test, i.e. 4k QD16.

Anvil Storage Utilities is not officially available yet, but we've been playing with the beta for several months now. The author, Anvil, has been updating the software steadily on several international forums, and is adding new features every couple of months.

We can use Anvil several different ways to show different aspects for each drive. We've chosen to use this software to show the performance of a drive with two different data sets. The first is with compressible data, and the second data set is incompressible data. Several users have requested this data in our SSD reviews.

0-Fill Compressible Data

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Incompressible Data

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Phison's controllers work with compressible and incompressible data differently. With compressible data, the Patriot Blaze shows very high results, similar to many of the fastest SATA III SSDs on the market today. With incompressible data, performance drops for both reads and writes in many of the categories shown.

Low Queue Depth Read IOPS

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Low queue depth random read performance places the Blaze in the same class as SandForce SF-2281, Crucial MX100, and other low-cost SSDs in this capacity on the market.

High Queue Depth Read IOPS

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The high queue depth performance numbers show a different story though. Up top, the Blaze 240GB only musters 38K random read IOPS.

Low Queue Depth Write IOPS

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The Patriot Blaze 240GB scales random write IOPS well. At QD4, the drive manages to achieve over 60K.

High Queue Depth Write IOPS

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Peak IOPS performance comes at QD8, where the Blaze 240GB gets close to 70K random write IOPS. Increasing the load after QD8 increases latency, and the random write IOPS decline at that point.

Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads

Sequential Mixed Read / Write Workloads

In this series of tests, we measure mixed workload performance. We start with 100% read, and then add data writes to the mix in 10% increments until we get to 100% writes. We believe this will be the next major area SSD manufacturers will address, after performance consistency.

Sequential Mixed Workload Bandwidth

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Working with sequential data in steady state brings the Blaze SSD down to very low performance levels when mixing reads with writes.

Sequential 80% Read / 20% Write Bandwidth

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The 80% read with 20% write mix is closer to what consumers work under, although not always in a steady state. As you can see here, the Blaze 240GB performs well under the measurements we've taken on other leading SSDs on the market today.

Random Mixed Workload Response Time

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Mixing random reads and writes is also an issue with the Blaze 240GB. The performance is well under other products currently on the market.

PCMark 8 Consistency Test

Futuremark PCMark 8 Extended - Consistency Test

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.0.228

Heavy Usage Model:

Futuremark's PCMark 8 allows us to wear the test drive down to a reasonable consumer steady state, and then watch the drive recover on its own through garbage collection. To do that, the drive gets pushed down to steady state with random writes, and then idle time between a number of tests allows the drive to recover.

Precondition Phase:

1. Write to the drive sequentially through up to the reported capacity with random data.

2. Write the drive through a second time (to take care of overprovisioning).

Degradation Phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for ten minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat one and two, eight times, and on each pass, increase the duration of random writes by five minutes.

Steady state Phase:

1. Run writes of random size between 8*512 and 2048*512 bytes on random offsets for 50 minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat one and two, five times.

Recovery Phase:

1. Idle for five minutes.

2. Run performance test (one pass only).

3. Repeat one and two, five times.

PCMark 8's Consistency test provides a ton of data output that we use to judge a drive's performance. Here we see the three states of performance for the select SSDs, light use, consumer steady state, and worst case.

Storage Bandwidth - All Tests

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Storage Bandwidth - Heavy Load

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The Blaze 240GB performs in the lower-end group of products under heavy workload and preconditioning. This is where most of the value class drives fit in. Most of the drives in this group were not made to perform well under these conditions.

Storage Bandwidth - Typical Consumer Load

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In more appropriate tests, the consumer conditioning results show the Blaze's performance in the middle of the scale, but the Blaze is still outperformed by nearly every other 256GB class SSD on the market today.

PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued

Total Access Time - All Tests

The access time test measures the total latency across all 18 tests. This is one of, if not the most important of all tests we run at this time for consumer SSDs. When your latency is low, your computer feels fast - it's just that simple.

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The latency results show nearly the same information, except here the Blaze 240GB shows severe latency that is higher than the other products on the chart.

Total Access Time - Heavy Load

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The heavy condition section shows extremely high latency across all runs.

Total Access Time - Typical Consumer Load

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The latency settled down in the consumer tests, but the performance is still quite a bit off from some of the other drives currently shipping.

Benchmarks - Power Testing

Bapco MobileMark 2012 1.5

Version and / or Patch Used: 2012 1.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

Test Homepage: http://www.bapco.com

MobileMark 2012 1.5 is an application-based benchmark that reflects usage patterns of business users in the areas of office productivity, media creation, and media consumption. Unlike benchmarks that only measure battery life, MobileMark 2012 measures battery life and performance simultaneously, showing how well a system's design addresses the inherent tradeoffs between performance and power management.

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The Blaze 240GB turns in a solid performance in the notebook battery life test. With 625 minutes on our Lenovo T440, the Blaze outperforms several other drives on the market today.

Power Limited Performance

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The performance remained high as well when the CPU, PCIe, and SATA buses were turned down to reduce power consumption.

Final Thoughts

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The super performance SSDs are easy to review. People spending big money are looking for reliability, and the highest performance - winner takes all. The mainstream budget drives pull in a different crowd, where "bang for your buck" means more than just a performance crown. The Patriot Blaze 240GB is clearly in the second category, where shoppers still need reliability, but where performance takes a back seat to cost.

The mainstream value category is currently filled with products from several manufacturers. Patriot has a good name for support and reliability; the company has played in the SSD market for several years now. For the last couple of years, Patriot has been quiet, but continued to sell SF-2281 controlled products that hit the market with the initial burst of second-generation SandForce products.

Sadly, none of that means a lot for the Patriot Blaze 240GB. If this product was reviewed when Phison first released the S8 controller, the review would be different, but with products like the Samsung 840 / 850 EVO, SanDisk Ultra II, and a few SanDisk Extreme IIs still on the market in this capacity, the Blaze just settles in with other products, and doesn't stand out for any reason.

In nearly every category, we can call the Blaze "good," but not "great." The performance: good, but not great. The price: again, good, but not great. Packaging, accessories, and total value all considered, this product just fits into a crowd of products from big named fabs at the front of the line. Although it is deserving of attention, it remains overshadowed by bigger players.

PRICING: You can find the Patriot Blaze 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 Blaze 240GB retails for $145.38 at Amazon.

Canada: The Patriot Blaze 240GB retails for CDN$129.99 at Amazon Canada.

Performance86%
Quality including Design and Build91%
General Features86%
Bundle and Packaging88%
Value for Money89%
Overall88%

The Bottom Line: Patriot's Blaze 240GB SSD just fits in with a crowded field of products. Some are more deserving of your dollar.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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