Patriot Memory Torqx 2 128GB Solid State Drive (SATA II SSD) Review
By: Michael Phrakaysone


Patriot Memory SSD

The progression of the solid state drive continues to evolve in front of our eyes.

While the first generation solid state drives (SSD) introduced us to this evolutionary change (SATA 1 -1.5 Gbits/s) from the conventional spinning mechanical hard drive, some were plagued with issues that prevented SSD's from being something that could be trusted in terms of reliability due to lack of wear leveling algorithm and stuttering issues.  Drive capacity was also limited and expensive at the same time.  However this gave us a glimpse of what could be with more research and development into SSD technology.

Once the second generation SSD's began to hit the market in SATA 2 form (3.0 Gbits/s), there were more players getting into the SSD arena and this meant the troubles that were associated with first generation products were addressed and improved upon in terms of performance, reliability and capacity.  Now there is more long-term data available to SSD companies to learn and improve upon for future generations.  Currently the majority of computers on the market are still SATA 2, but we have just begun to switch to SATA 3 (6.0 Gbits/s) that will basically max out the SATA interface.  There already are SATA 3 SSD's on the market that meet speeds never seen before.  However, in most cases, one would not be able to feel the difference between the two interface revisions unless you frequent in large file transfers. was given the opportunity back in June 2010 to review an SSD from Patriot Memory dubbed the 'Torqx'.  At the time, the Torqx  was a black brushed aluminum 2.5" solid state drive that was powered by an INDILINX Barefoot SSD controller, offered high performance, came bundled with a 2.5 to 3.5" mounting bracket, and offered an amazingly long 10-year warranty. Needless to say, it was the best SSD reviewed on this website and continues to power our aging but trusty Q6600 review PC without any issues.

Recently Patriot Memory announced the successor to the Torqx, fittingly named the Torqx 2. Reading the press release, Patriot Memory is targeting the perfect balance of price and performance with the Torqx 2.  One interesting thing I took from the press release is where they say "We recognize there are a lot of users with desktops and notebooks that want the SSD performance experience but lack SATA III 6.0 Gb/s compatibility to fully take advantage of our higher-end drives."  I found this a little ironic because SATA 3 is backward compatible with SATA 2, and at the time of review Patriot Memory has no SATA 3 based SSD released on the market so far.

Our good friends at Patriot Memory sent us the 128GB version of the Torqx 2 SSD to review today and I'd like to share with you about the results and whether the Torqx 2 is in fact a step forward, a step backward or hasn't really changed all that much compared to the original Torqx SSD.  Introducing the Patriot Memory  Torqx 2 128GB SSD SATAII review.

About Patriot Memory

'Established in 1985, Patriot Memory builds a full range of memory module and flash memory products, offering a perfect blend of quality and value. Patriot products include Extreme Performance (EP), Signature Lines (SL) and Flash Memory solutions (FM).'

'Patriot's development and manufacturing facility are located in Fremont, California USA and Taipei, Taiwan.  Our manufacturing segment is composed of a highly skilled production staff and multiple production lines optimized for modules, giving Patriot the ability and resources necessary to provide a full line of memory module solutions.'

'Patriot's goal is to be your memory solutions provider with high quality products and services that are value priced. With our courteous and knowledgeable sales and technical support staff, industry leading warranty terms, and customizable logistic services; we feel there is no requirement we can not satisfy.'

Patriot Memory Torqx 2 Product Overview

'Boost your system performance with the Patriot Torqx 2 SSDs and maximize your computing experience. The Patriot Torqx 2 SSDs breathes new life into your system by supercharging all your computing tasks - including mundane day-to-day productivity and web browsing tasks as well as PC gaming - for virtually instant system response with each mouse click.

A cutting-edge new SSD controller architecture enables the Patriot Torqx 2 to achieve read speeds up to 270MB/s and completely take advantage of the SATA 3.0 Gb/s interface. Write speeds up to 230MB/s ensure quick software installations and creation of large files with the Patriot Torqx 2 for an unmatched computing experience.

Available in capacities of 32GB/64GB/128GB and 256GB and a 3-year warranty, Patriot Torqx 2 lets you choose the right capacity to satisfy your storage and wallet requirements. Regardless of the size you choose, the Patriot Torqx 2 series deliver maximize performance in all capacities.'

Editors Thought: The first time I read the product overview, the first thing that caught my eye was the 'cutting-edge new SSD controller' part.  It's interesting that Patriot Memory declines to specifically state what controller is inside the Torqx 2.  If you remember back with the original Torqx SSD, it utilized an INDILINX Barefoot SSD controller, which is a pretty good controller to begin with.

The major SSD controllers on the consumer market now come from the likes of Samsung, Intel, INDILINX (now OCZ), JMicron, Marvell, and Sandforce.  It'll be interesting to see what SSD controller is inside the Torqx 2 compared to the original.

Patriot Memory Torqx 2 Product Specifications

  • Sequential Read: up to 270MB/s* (Based on internal ATTO Disk Benchmark testing)
  • Sequential Write: up to 230MB/s* (Based on internal ATTO Disk Benchmark testing)
  • Interface: SATA I/II
  • TRIM Support (O/S dependent)
  • RAID Support: Yes
  • 128MB DRAM Cache
  • Power Consumption: DC 5V, Standby 0.5W, Operating 5.3W
  • MTBF: > 1,500,000 Hours
  • Data Retention: >5 years at 25° C
  • Data Reliability: Built in BCH 9, 24-bit ECC
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C~70°C
  • Storage Temperature: 40°C~85°C
  • Operating Shock: 1,500G (@ 0.5msec half sine wave)
  • Vibration Resistance: 20G/80~2000Hz w 3 axis
  • Humidity: 0°C to 55°C / 95% RH, 10 cycles
  • O/S Support: Win XP / Vista / 7

Editors Thought: After reading over the specifications, there is one piece of information that is apparently missing, one that is usually provided in most cases; IOPS performance.  I wonder why that is?  I guess we’ll find out sooner or later.

Just to note, the tested firmware is S5FAM005.

First Impressions

Patriot Memory Torqx 2 SSD

Patriot Memory selected a very bright and engaging orange color scheme with the packaging of the Torqx 2 SSD and I must say they did a fantastic job.  The whole box is covered with black, orange and a hint of red font.  The package size is similar to the one provided with the original Torqx with the SSD being displayed at the front and general specifications provided on the rear. Gone are the days of the 10-year warranty seen with the original Torqx and replaced by a 3-year warranty with the Torqx 2.

Inside, the SSD is placed within a plastic holder and the orange background is a foldout piece of information.  Unlike the original Torqx SSD that was bundled with a free 2.5” to 3.5” SSD mounting bracket, the Torqx 2 forgoes all of that and provides nothing else in the package making it strictly barebones.

Back with the original Torqx SSD, there was a jumper as part of the bundle.  The jumper was provided as you needed it when upgrading the firmware of the SSD to a newer revision when changes were improved upon.  The Torqx 2 doesn’t have this jumper feature because it’s not needed.  You are still able to upgrade the firmware of this SSD when and if changes are made in the future.

Visual Overview

The 128GB Patriot Memory Torqx 2 SSD takes a subdued approach compared to the original Torqx SSD in terms of looks, which was more fancier and eye-popping due to the visible brushed aluminum exterior and drive sticker that changed color depending on how light reflected off it.  The Torqx 2 is more laid backed in this approach as the black aluminum is still brushed but it doesn't stand out as much. Regardless, it still looks nice to look it..  

Turning the Torqx 2 over reveals the standardized SATA power and data connector.  At opposite ends of the SSD are two warranty stickers that you must not attempt remove unless you want to void the warranty of the drive.  In this case, the warranty stickers were broken to get access to the innards on your behalf.  Opening the Torqx 2 is a little different from usual because there are no screws closing the unit, so it’s not as simple as removing four screws and lifting off the cover, but rather Patriot Memory has implemented an embedded clip system on the ends of the aluminum covers.  A thin knife inserted into the clip areas of the SSD and some lifting will easily pop open the cover.  

Opening the 128GB Patriot Memory Torqx 2 SSD reveals that they have elected to utilize a PHISON based SSD controller, namely the PHISON PS3105-S5-I.

Patriot Memory

Honestly I have never heard of PHISON Electronics Corporation before but from research this Taiwanese company was founded back in 2000 and are basically a NAND Flash producing company, primarily producing controllers of many different types, with SSD being one of those areas.  Apparently PHISON was the founder of the ONFI Group (Open NAND Flash Interface Working Group) working towards developing standards for NAND Flash memory and is a member of the NVMHCI (Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface) group which basically created the specifications for the SSD to be accessed on the PCI Express bus interface.

By continuing to read PHISON’s profile on their website, it’s clear where their focus is based on; value.  Now it’s perfectly clear where Patriot Memory is positioning the Torqx 2 on the SSD marketplace.  This is a departure from the original Torqx which utilized a high-performance Indilinx Barefoot based SSD controller.  This controller still manages to be competitive to this day, so it will be interesting to see how the PHISON controller stacks up against an older Barefoot SSD controller.  

As mentioned, the Patriot Memory Torqx 2 SSD utilizes a SATA2 based 90nm CMOS processed PHISON PS3105-S5-I SSD controller.  This controller supports 20, 30, and 40+nm process MLC or SLC Large-Block NAND flash memory modules (4K or 8K page) and can support up to a 32-chip limit capacity.  It also has its own built-in static and dynamic wear-leveling algorithm (ie. TRIM), built-in hardware ECC circuit, and PHISON rates that their own SSD controller being able to achieve read and write speeds around the vicinity of 250/220MB/s.  This is very interesting because when compared to Patriot Memory’ own specifications, they claim read and write speeds of 270MB/s and 230MB/s respectively, but Patriot Memory bases these numbers from in-house ATTO Disk Benchmark testing.  Regardless of which numbers you want to believe, we'll see what the Torqx 2 can do during testing.  

Continuing on with the internal package are eight pieces of Toshiba TH58NVG7D2FLA89 MLC NAND flash memory.  These are 16GB each chip and are the same ones in the Apple iPad 2 totaling 128GB.  Rounding off the package we find beside the SSD controller, it's cache in the form of a single mobile 6.0ns 128MB DDR333 SDRAM (HYNIX H5MS1G22AFR-J3M) module to ensure consistent speed and no stuttering like previous generation cache-less offerings.

Formatted Capacity

Once formatted, the Torqx 2 SSD will offer you 119GB of free space.


How does it perform?  Performance and Results

Today's review of the Patriot Memory Torqx 2 SSD will be tested on the following benchmark programs...Some of tests will compare the Torqx 2 with the original Torqx SSD and we'll round off with some unscientific stopwatch tests.

All tests (non RAID) were completed on our trusty old Intel LGA775 Q6600 platform and ASUS P5KE-Wifi/AP motherboard.  The SSD's are run in AHCI mode for all tests to ensure the SSD's maximum potential is met.

The RAID 0 results were run on an Intel Sandy Bridge platform and through an Intel motherboard.  More details on this system to arrive in the coming days!

  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1
  • AS SSD Benchmark 1.6.4067.34354
  • ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46
  • HD Tune Pro 4.60
  • CrystalDiskInfo 3.10.0 (Not a benchmark program)

CrystalDiskMark reveals that the sequential read and write speeds are about 250MB/s read and 227MB/s write which is a little off the rated Patriot Memory speeds but impressive nonetheless.  When looking at the 4K and 4K QD32 performance, these are important numbers to take into account because the operating system accesses information in 4K sectors.  The Torqx 2 posts some good 4K performance numbers.

Running the AS SSD Benchmark reveals that the Torqx 2 indeed scores overall better numbers than the original Torqx.  Although one negative is that the Torqx 2 does score a little worse when it comes to read access time and it'll be interesting to see how this affects drive performance when opening programs.

ATTO Disk Benchmark is one of the more consistent and trusted benchmarks and on the Patriot Memory Torqx 2 SSD it reveals that that the SSD is capable of besting speeds of 273MB/s read and 234MB/s write, which validates the numbers given by Patriot Memory.

HD Tune is a program I like to use because it puts everything on a graph making it more visual and it explains SSD versus a normal conventional spinning hard drive much better.  On a normal HD (provided benchmark), HD Tune will show you basically that during file transfers, it starts out with a burst of speed but gradually start to decline in performance.  Now look carefully at the Torqx 2 graph and see the major difference.  The difference is that an SSD will remain consistent all throughout regardless of duration.  Factor that in with near instantaneous read and write access time ( vs  around 16ms for a normal HD) and you'll start to realize why programs start like lightning. 

There was one area of concern with the Torqx 2 though when compared to the original Torqx and that is IOPS performance.  It was never mentioned in the specifications.  In the HD Tune File Benchmark read tests, it is revealed that the original Torqx simply outclasses the newer Torqx 2 in terms of IOPS performance.  In this regard, the Torqx 2 takes a step backward.  Let me put the numbers in a table to compare the two...

Torqx IOPS Performance


Torqx 2 IOPS Performance


Random Seek

10931 IOPS

Random Seek

2950 IOPS

Random Seek 4KB

7222 IOPS

Random Seek 4KB

2883 IOPS

Butterfly Seek

11100 IOPS

Butterfly Seek

2908 IOPS

Random Seek/size 64KB

3982 IOPS

Random Seek/size 64KB

2304 IOPS

Random Seek/size 8MB


Random Seek/size 8MB


Sequential outer

3232 IOPS

Sequential outer

3421 IOPS

Sequential middle

2976 IOPS

Sequential middle

3515 IOPS

Sequential inner

3540 IOPS

Sequential inner

3534 IOPS

Burst rate

3607 IOPS

Burst rate

1488 IOPS

Unscientific Stopwatch Tests  (OS was cloned to Torqx 2 for exact replica)

Patriot Memory Torqx SSD

Patriot Memory Torqx 2 SSD

Windows 7 startup: 21.3 seconds

Windows 7 startup: 23.1 seconds

Windows 7 shutdown: 9.9 seconds

Windows 7 shutdown: 9.9 seconds

Photoshop CS5 Trial startup: 5.1 seconds

Photoshop CS5 Trial startup: 6.3 seconds

Dreamweaver CS3 startup: 2.0 seconds

Dreamweaver CS3 startup: 3.4 seconds

Firefox 3.6.17 startup: 2.0 seconds

Firefox 3.6.17 startup: 2.4 seconds

Office Outlook startup: 2.9 seconds

Office Outlook startup: 3.2

Unigine Heaven Benchmark startup: 24.1 seconds

Unigine Heaven Benchmark startup: 24.1 seconds

About the only thing I can attribute these numbers to are weak IOPS performance and a little slower read access times compared to the original Torqx.  The good news is that the times are close between both  SSD's and the Torqx 2 is only a second or two off the original Torqx numbers, hardly something you'll notice.

RAID 0 Quicky Results

Curious to see how the Patriot Memory Torqx 2 will scale in RAID 0 configuration, a 64K stripe was created and run on the AS SSD Benchmark. Here are the results side by side. You can see that a nice jump is seen when in RAID 0 configuration and you should expect to see about an increase of 1.5x to 2.0x sequentially and 4K-64 related, which will net you a nice jump in performance you can actually feel. Overall total score increased by 1.6x.

Edit: Added in ATTO Disk Benchmark in RAID 0 results. As you can see in this screenshot, ATTO Disk Benchmark reveals that it's possible to reach a maximum of 493MB/s read and 404MB/s write figures, which is pretty impressive.


The Patriot Memory Torqx 2 is a bit of a tricky one to judge.  Initially I was thinking the Torqx 2 was the successor to the original Torqx SSD, but I'm coming away from this review knowing they are different and shouldn't be compared. 

First of all the Torqx 2 has now a completely different target focus being aimed as a value performance offering, whereas the original Torqx at the time was purely a performance offering. 

There is no mounting bracket such as was given with the original Torqx, and the SSD controller is one that has value in mind, compared to the performance oriented INDILINX Barefoot SSD controller that was offered with the original Torqx.  This is evident in the weaker IOPS performance of the Torqx 2 despite having faster sequential read/write speeds than the original. 

However the good news is that the 4K performance was good and the write access times were low. Have two of these in RAID 0 configuration and they scale very well making it a very fast speed freak storage solution on a budget. In some cases it may end up costing less to RAID these drives together instead of purchasing a single SATA 3 solution. Although in RAID 0 you'll be sacrificing TRIM capability and increase the chance of data failure rate but for some of us speed freaks, the tradeoff is worth it. 

Don't get me wrong because at $239.99U.S (Newegg), the 128GB Patriot Memory Torqx 2 stands as one of the lowest priced SSD's but with higher sequential read and write speeds than the competition.  I think Patriot Memory have it priced well against the competition and with incentives such as rebates or for when it goes on sale, I think the Patriot Memory Torqx 2 would indeed be a good choice for a first SSD purchase and at the same time great for those who want a kick in the pants performance in their netbooks, Atom or ION platforms or HTPCs.  Or if you want a high-speed USB 3.0 portable storage solution, the Patriot Memory Torqx 2 should be perfect inside an enclosure.

For where it's priced and where its targeted, I think Patriot Memory has done a good job with the Torqx 2 SSD.

Now the only question is when will Patriot Memory release their SATA 3 SSD before they are too late on the market? I surely wouldn't mind test driving them out :-D



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