TweakTown

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review

Today Chris takes us on a tour of Patriot's low capacity Blaze SSD, the 120GB model. Is this low-cost SSD one for you to consider or not? Read on.

@ChrisRamseyer
Published Wed, Jan 21 2015 9:12 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:33 PM CDT
Rating: 79%Manufacturer: Patriot

Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 39 IMAGES

We've already published a trio of reviews covering Patriot's new low-cost SSDs from the Torch and Blaze product series. Today we're wrapping things up with a look at the Patriot Blaze 120GB SSD, a low-cost drive that uses a Phison S9 controller.

The Phison S9 was first launched over a year ago for use in cache SSD products. Patriot doesn't mention the cache aspect in the marketing material, and we've learned that several SSDs using the S9 ship in China, where low-cost SSDs outsell big name products daily.

Both the Torch and Blaze 240GB, and larger capacity models, use the Phison S8 controller designed for mainstream users. The S8 also uses a DRAM buffer to increase performance by caching table data, a map of sorts for the location of your data in relation to the flash cells. Because of this, the Torch and Blaze 240GB products perform significantly faster than the 120GB models.

Specifications, Pricing, and Availability

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 02 | TweakTown.com

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. The 480GB models and the 240GB we're testing today both use Phison S8 controllers with a DRAM buffer.

Patriot claims 545 MB/s sequential read performance for the Blaze 120GB we're testing today, and 430 MB/s sequential write speed. 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 package. This does raise the overall cost slightly. We found the Blaze 120GB online for $69.99, and all capacities in the Blaze series include a three-year warranty.

PRICING: You can find the Patriot Blaze 120GB 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 120GB retails for $83.05 at Amazon.

Canada: The Patriot Blaze 120GB retails for CDN$126.92 at Amazon Canada.

Patriot Torch 240GB SSD

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 06 | TweakTown.com

Patriot's retail friendly Blaze is available from some brick and mortar stores such as Fry's Electronics.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 07 | TweakTown.com

The package gives some information about the features and warranty, but lacks performance information that some users would like to see while shopping from store shelves.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Inside, we found the Blaze 120GB SSD, and a paper manual that covers the warranty terms and product installation.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 09 | TweakTown.com

This is the Patriot Blaze consumer SSD.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 10 | TweakTown.com

The model and serial number are printed on the back label, as is the capacity notation.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 11 | TweakTown.com

The Blaze product series uses a 7mm z-height case design, so it will fit in notebooks and Ultrabooks that require the thin form factor.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 12 | TweakTown.com
Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 13 | TweakTown.com

The Blaze 120GB drive uses a different PCB than the Torch 120GB model we tested not long ago; the components are nearly identical though. The same Phison S9 controller is featured in both drives, and neither drive uses DRAM for a buffer. The Blaze uses genuine Micron 16nm flash that was packaged by Micron, and the Torch uses 16nm Micron NAND, but a third party packaged it.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 14 | TweakTown.com

The Phison S9 controller first appeared as controller used in cache applications where you pair a low capacity SSD with a mechanical hard drive to increase performance.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 15 | TweakTown.com

Over the years, we've seen several third-party packaged flash, and the performance and reliability has been the same. We obviously don't get many bottom-of-the-barrel SSDs, so you shouldn't take that as a blanket statement. Still, when we get NAND packaged by Micron, we know it's the real deal, and don't even need to worry about the quality of the flash. The Blaze uses real Micron NAND.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 16 | TweakTown.com

The Blaze uses eight NAND packages, and the Torch uses four; both are still 120GB though.

Test System Setup and Initial Performance

Desktop Test System

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 20 | TweakTown.com

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

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 25 | TweakTown.com

Sequential Write

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 26 | TweakTown.com

Sequential 80% Read 20% Write

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 27 | TweakTown.com

Random Read

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 28 | TweakTown.com

Random Write

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 29 | TweakTown.com

Random 80% Read 20% Write

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 30 | TweakTown.com

Our new replacement for ATTO shows us 4-corner performance, and some mixed workload results as well. We run the test long enough, and in a particular order, to get a reasonable level of consumer preconditioning on the drive. In the tests, we show QD1 (green), QD4 (yellow), and QD10 (red).

Benchmarks - Sequential Performance

HD Tune Pro - Sequential Performance

Version and / or Patch Used: 5.50

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 52 | TweakTown.com

We left the Patriot Torch 120GB in the charts so potential buyers can see both low-cost offerings from Patriot in a side-by-side comparison. The Torch 120GB aside, we hadn't focused on 128GB capacity SSDs in 2014 since this capacity has fallen out of favor with a large portion of our audience.

The Blaze 120GB was unable to read sequential data at a consistent pace in our test. The Torch 120GB was the same way when we tested it. I think the lack of a DRAM buffer to cache the table data played a role in the wide separation between minimum and maximum performance.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 53 | TweakTown.com

The Blaze 120GB actually performed a bit better when writing sequential data than it did reading it.

HD Tach - Sequential Write Performance after Random Writes

Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0.4.0

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 54 | TweakTown.com

Here we see the Blaze in HD Tach, a test that uses 128KB block sizes to measure sequential performance. Here we see the sequential read and write performance in a graph. The read performance on this chart shows the wild reads that stay right around 150 MB/s, but peak at over 350 MB/s. The sequential write performance is much higher, but still very inconsistent.

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

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 55 | TweakTown.com

Incompressible Data

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 56 | TweakTown.com

The Phison S9 controller reads and writes at different rates when switching between compressible and incompressible data. Some areas, like sequential writes with 4MB blocks, show massive performance loss with incompressible data.

Low Queue Depth Read IOPS

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 57 | TweakTown.com

In these tests, we use a mix of compressible and incompressible data to measure random 4K IOPS performance. The Patriot Blaze 120GB delivers nearly 8K random read IOPS at a single queue depth. Doubling the queue depth only increases the IOPS performance slightly, but we see a large gain at QD4.

High Queue Depth Read IOPS

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 58 | TweakTown.com

The Blaze 120GB reaches maximum random read performance at QD16, but only reaches 32,000 IOPS.

Low Queue Depth Write IOPS

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 59 | TweakTown.com

Again, we only see a small performance increase moving from QD1 to QD2, this time in random writes. Moving to QD4, this time we saw a regression in performance.

High Queue Depth Write IOPS

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 60 | TweakTown.com

At high queue depths, the Blaze 120GB hits a brick wall, reaching peak random write performance at QD8, and then falling back as the load increases.

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

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 61 | TweakTown.com

We've only run two drives in our sequential mixed workload test with the drives in steady state, preconditioned with sequential data. Neither the Blaze nor the Torch do well here.

Sequential 80% Read / 20% Write Bandwidth

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 62 | TweakTown.com

The 80% read with 20% write mix is closer to what consumers work under, although not always in a steady state. The Torch is actually a little faster in this test.

Random Mixed Workload Response Time

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 63 | TweakTown.com

The Samsung 850 Pro is the undisputed fastest 128GB class consumer SSD on the market today, and we did have random mixed IO data (reads and writes at the same time) for it. You can see the large difference in performance between the Patriot low-cost 120GB SSDs, and the Samsung 850 Pro 128GB.

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

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 64 | TweakTown.com

Here we see both the Torch (Black) and Blaze (Red) in a chart with several other 128GB SSDs on the market.

Storage Bandwidth - Heavy Load

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 65 | TweakTown.com

With heavy preconditioning to simulate heavy workloads, neither Patriot drive performs well.

Storage Bandwidth - Typical Consumer Load

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 66 | TweakTown.com

The same level of performance carries over to the lighter preconditioning tests that show performance under light workloads, similar to what most users shopping for a low-cost SSD are likely to encounter.

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.

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 67 | TweakTown.com

Latency, more specifically, a lack of latency, is what makes your computer feel fast.

Total Access Time - Heavy Load

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 68 | TweakTown.com

Sadly, the Blaze has a lot of latency that could cause users to miss out on the whole SSD experience.

Total Access Time - Typical Consumer Load

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 69 | TweakTown.com

Even in typical consumer workloads, the Blaze 120GB is outperformed by nearly every other drive in our chart.

Final Thoughts

Patriot Blaze 120GB Low-Cost SSD Review 72 | TweakTown.com

We weren't able to run our Notebook Battery Life Test on the Blaze or Torch SSDs since the reported capacity is just under what our initial image drive used. That means we can't clone the image to these drives.

When it comes to value class SSDs, pricing is the name of the game. Some people just want to buy the lowest cost SSD they can, in many cases, just to get in the flash game. While still an SSD, the Patriot Blaze doesn't really deliver the same performance as many of the SSDs we've talked about for years. Looking in at generations of SATA and controllers, this is one of the slowest SATA III SSDs ever released, and in real-world conditions, some SATA II drives would actually perform better.

Price wise, you can find the Patriot Blaze 120GB for as low as $69.99, which is a very low dollar amount, but at some point, you have to ask if a SSD designed to "perform better than a HDD", is a worthy purchase. If you are only going to spend $60 on your data, then you might be better off just keeping the mechanical hard drive your PC shipped with from the factory.

PRICING: You can find the Patriot Blaze 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 Blaze 120GB retails for $83.05 at Amazon.

Canada: The Patriot Blaze 120GB retails for CDN$126.92 at Amazon Canada.

Performance61%
Quality including Design and Build87%
General Features72%
Bundle and Packaging88%
Value for Money85%
Overall79%

The Bottom Line: Patriot's Blaze 120GB is really only for those just dipping a toe in the SSD waters. The drive gives you a taste of the SSD experience, but with such a small size and low performance, it's just a small dose of what other products are capable of.

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.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles