Patriot Memory 120GB Wildfire Solid State Drive (SSD) Review @
By: Michael Phrakaysone

Previous SSD (Solid State Drive) reviews on ModSynergy have shown the promise and improvement that an SSD can make to one’s computing experience.  The noticeable leap in performance can easily be seen and fully realized the first time you start your machine.  Although we have reviewed a few of them so far, those have been from the lower to mid-range offerings based on the older SATA 1.5Gb/s, and SATA 3Gb/s interfaces.  Time has flown by, and advancements to technologies related to SSD controllers and flash memory have matured, and now we are in the midst of numerous SSD offerings that look to saturate and max out the latest SATA 6Gb/s interface.   

Today we look to an old friend for some vision of what high-performance SSD’s bring to the table, with the brand new Patriot Memory Wildfire series of SSD’s.  In this case I present to you the review of the 120GB version of Patriot’s Wildfire SSD.  Based on the SandForce SF-2200 SSD controller that is highly regarded and paired with MLC based NAND Flash memory, we will see what maximum performance and maximum IOPS performance feels like.  Will the improvement in speed ever end?

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.'

About SandForce

‘SandForce Flash Storage and SSD Processors are designed to provide innovative and differentiated solutions for standard NAND flash memory to reliably operate in enterprise storage environments. SandForce Flash Storage and SSD Processors with DuraClass technology provide SSDs with best-in-class reliability, performance, and power efficiency.’
‘SandForce® Flash Storage and SSD Processors use DuraClass™ technology with RAISE™ and patented and patent pending DuraWrite™ to drive ubiquitous deployment of volume flash memory into primary and I/O intensive data storage applications. SandForce Driven™ SSDs dramatically optimize mission-critical application reliability, IT infrastructure ROI, green power preservation, and everyday computing user experiences.’

Patriot Memory 120GB Wildfire SSD Product Overview

‘Experience enterprise-class performance in your personal PC with the Patriot Wildfire series SSD powered by the latest SandForce SF-2200 processor. The Patriot Wildfire series shatters performance expectations with insanely-fast 500MB/s plus read and write speeds for ultra-quick responsiveness and instantaneous access to all your files and data. A SATA III 6.0 Gb/s connection interface enables the Patriot Wildfire series to achieve maximum performance without any bottlenecks while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing SATA II 3.0 Gb/s and SATA I 1.5 Gb/s interfaces. The versatile 2.5-inch form factor enables the Patriot Wildfire series to easily upgrade any desktop or notebook systems. An included 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch mounting bracket ensures desktop users can quickly slip a Patriot Wildfire series into your system for added installation flexibility. The Patriot Wildfire series are available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities to let you select the right amount of storage for your computing needs.’

Patriot Memory 120GB Wildfire SSD Product Specifications

  • SandForce SF-2200 series SSD processor paired with qualified MLC NAND flash for best performance, value and reliability
  • SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s
  • TRIM support (O/S dependent)
  • DuraClass™ technology
  • DuraWrite™ extends the endurance of SSDs
  • Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling
  • Intelligent Read Disturb Management
  • Intelligent "Recycling" for advance free space management (Garbage Collection)
  • RAISE™ (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements)
  • Intelligent Data Retention optimization
  • Best-in-class ECC protection for longest data retention and driv life.
  • Power/Performance Balancing
  • Thermal Threshold Management
  • Native Command Queuing (NCQ) - Up to 32 commands
  • ECC Recovery: Up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector (BCH)
  • Sequential Read & Write Transfer: 480GB - 540MB/S Read | 450MB/S Write*
  • Max Random Write IOPS: Up to 85,000 (4K aligned) 480GB Max 4K Random IOPS: 40K*
  • O/S Support: Windows® XP / Vista / 7 / Mac® OS / Linux
  • Includes 3.5" bracket

First Impressions

Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD

Patriot Memory SSD products that I’ve seen in the past come in an environmentally conscious packaging that is designed without many materials and simple in design.  In the case of the Wildfire, Patriot Memory decided to up the ante on the design front this time around, this being their flagship product. They selected an engaging black with silver accented colored theme.  The whole box is smooth to the touch, and not like the typical cheap cardboard feel.  The package size is similar to the one provided with past Patriot Memory SSD’s reviewed here, but with a new twist; a flap.  Open the flap and the customer is presented with an overview of information such as product dimensions, specifications and features. The product also mentions a 3-year warranty for the Wildfire, a departure of the 10-year warranty seen on the original Torqx SSD reviewed here in the past.

Inside, the Wildfire is placed within a plastic holder and Patriot bundles a free 2.5” to 3.5” SSD mounting bracket, which looks exactly the same as the one provided with the original Torqx SSD back in the day.

With the original Torqx SSD, there was a jumper as part of the bundle.  The jumper was needed for future upgrades to the firmware.  With the Wildfire, that is a thing of the past.  Being powered by a SandForce controller that is constantly improving, updates are easily loaded in the firmware by visiting the Patriot Memory website, and downloading the latest SandForce firmware software for this device. Flashing of the firmware is also completed within the Windows environment making it very easy for the customer.

About SandForce SF-2200
‘Today’s award-winning SandForce Driven™ SSDs are well known for their performance and features. The SandForce® SF-2200/2100 - the second generation of SandForce SSD Processors - continue accelerating SSD deployment in enthusiast and mainstream client computing platforms. The SF-2200/2100 is an ideal solution for portable storage applications where power cosumption, boot-up time, application performance, responsiveness, and small form factor are important. The Client SSD Processors have integrated enhanced DuraClass™ Technology that is architected to leverage today’s densest SLC and MLC NAND flash memory. They deliver best-in-class performance, endurance, security, and power efficiency in a “DRAM-less”, single chip solution.’


  • Second generation SSD Processor with enterprise-class features for cost-sensitive client environments
  • 6Gb/s SATA III with NCQ support
  • Best-in-class, consistent read and write performance (500MB/s, 20K Random Writes IOPS) for client applications
  • Automatic double encryption (AES-256, 128), TCG OPAL and password at the drive level ensures secure data protection
  • Supports the latest 3xnm & 2xnm SLC & MLC flash memory with Asych/Toggle/ONFi2 interfaces
  • DuraClass™ technology provides best-in-class endurance, performance, and low power
  • Optimized, single-chip eliminates need for external memory saving cost, power and space
  • High integration supports up to 512GB on a 2.5” or 1.8” drive
  • Power balancing optimizes energy consumption (# active flash devices) vs. performance
  • Ultra low-power mode to maximize battery life
  • RAISE™ provides RAID-like protection for single SSD client systems
  • Highly intelligent block management & wear leveling optimizes SSD longevity
  • Complete solution provided through ASIC, FW, turnkey reference designs, tools, documentation and support

SF-2200/2100 Client SSD Processor Specification
DuraClass Technology:

  • DuraWrite™ extends the endurance of SSDs
  • Intelligent Block Management & Wear Leveling
  • Intelligent Read Management
  • Intelligent “Recycling” for advanced free space management (Garbage Collection)
  • RAISE™ (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements)
  • Intelligent Data Retention optimization
  • Best-in-Class ECC protection for longest data retention and drive life
  • Power/Performance Balancing
  • Thermal Threshold Management

Host Interface:

  • SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s support
  • Native Command Queuing (up to 32 commands)
  • SMART Command Transport

Max Capacity Supported:

  • 512GB* (using 32Gb or 64Gb/die components)


  • Sequential Read & Write Transfer: Up to 500MB/s (@128K blocks)
  • Random Read IOPS: Up to 60,000 (@4K blocks)
  • Random Write IOPS: Up to 60,000 burst/20,000 sustained (@4K blocks)
  • Random 70/30 Read/Write mix IOPS: Up to 60,000 burst/60,000 sustained (@4KB blocks)
  • Random 50/50 Read/Write mix IOPS: Up to 60,000 burst/40,000 sustained (@4KB blocks)
  • PCMark Vantage: 60,000 (HDD test suite score)

Flash Memory Support:

  • MLC from numerous top flash memory manufacturers
  • SLC up to 128GB* of total capacity
  • 3xnm, 2xnm (Asynch, Toggle, ONFi2; up to 166MT/s)


  • Data Encryption: AES-256 & 128
  • Optional disk password; TCG Opal (available option)


  • ECC Recovery: Up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector (BCH)
  • Unrecoverable Read Errors: Less than 1 sector per 1016 bits read
  • ECC on all internal memory; full End-to-End CRC protection; RAISE


  • 400-Pin TFBGA – 14x14mm, 0.65mm pitch, 16 byte lanes
  • 256-Pin TFBGA – 14x14mm, 0.80mm pitch, 8 byte lanes

Visual Overview

If you’re one that loves having beautiful items, then you will love the Patriot Memory Wildfire’s style.  The color looks to be gunmetal and the enclosure is made out of textured aluminium.  Being aluminum is not only for looks, but also functionality by being able to dissipate the heat being emitted by the Wildfire, which isn't much to begin with.  Under operation, the Wildfire is only lukewarm to the touch and the fact that SSD’s do not have any mechanical components inside of them mean that they are able withstand higher temperature’s without much ill effects compared to that of conventional spinning hard disk drives.  

Opening up the 120GB Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD is a simple task. All that is required is to remove the four torqx screws on top of the SSD.  However if you choose to remove the top cover to see the innards of the SSD, you will break two warranty sticker seals that prevent the drive from being opened on opposite ends of the SSD.  Voiding the warranty is risky business so ModSynergy has taken care of that for you by doing it for this review.  

After popping off the cover of the Wildfire SSD, you are presented with the guts of the product in the form of a PCB filled with memory chips, an SSD controller and other components.  In our case, the 120GB Wildfire is composed of sixteen 8GB Toshiba TH58TAG6D2FBA49 synchronous toggle-mode NAND flash memory that is based on the 32nm manufacturing process. Near the SATA connector we see the brains of the SSD in the form of the SF-2200 controller.  

Initial Firmware Information and Issues

Our drive was shipped with an earlier firmware of version 3.19.  This initial firmware caused random occurrences of BSOD’s over a period of time. Patriot wasn’t the only manufacture affected by this since the SandForce controller is used by many.  However, since that time Patriot Memory is gone through two more firmware revisions making the latest version 3.32.  This firmware resolves the BSOD issue and adds optimization changes. I have had no issues since then.

Performance Benchmarks and Real-World Tests

ATTO Disk Benchmark is a trusted and established application that tests raw data in Compressible form within the drive being tested. It's demonstrated over the years to supply steady and consistent results, one of the reasons why ATTO Disk Benchmark is the preferred benchmark in order to give a baseline score of maximum throughput performance.  Most SSD manufacturers' maximum sequential read/write speed claims are done with ATTO Disk Benchmark for this very reason.

The numbers you see here are the best case scenario numbers you can expect from this SSD. The default transfer size of 0.5 to 8192KB was selected to be tested along with a length of 256MB.

All remaining benchmarks used here such as AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark are testing with (for the most part) Incompressible data, which some SSD drive controllers may or may not struggle with. That is why on occasion you see the disparity between numbers that are in ATTO Disk Benchmark compared to those of other benchmarks.  If the numbers are drastically different, you can draw the conclusion that the particular SSD drive controller suffers when reading/writing incompressible data.

For example, in AS SSD benchmark, the write numbers are much different than those of seen on ATTO Disk Benchmark, and the reason is because one is testing Compressible data, while the other Incompressible data.


The results reveal an easy conclusion.  It also reveals that the name Wildfire is duly justified.  If I were to make an analogy, it would be that the 120GB Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD is a Formula 1 race car.  The performance coming from this SSD is lightning quick and near instantaneous.  The Wildfire SSD breaks the 500MB/s barrier for sequential read and write operations and does it without breaking a sweat. ATTO Disk Benchmark reveals that our Wildfire sample achieved a top sequential read operation of 558MB/s and for the sequentual write achieved 515MB/s making it top the manufacture claimed 555MB/s sequential read and fall closely within the claimed 520MB/s sequential write transfer speed. Very impressive. Access times are near instant according to AS SSD software, with the Wildfire hovering around 0.230 and 0.253 for read and write operations.  Needless to say, the Wildfire is our highest scoring SSD reviewed thus far.

While the initial firmware did cause BSOD’s over a period of time on certain machines, I have to give credit to Patriot Memory for addressing the issue and getting the updates out to the public in a fairly quick turnaround.  The fact that flashing the firmware with the SandForce software is quite simple adds to the overall product.  Since the flashing to the latest firmware, I have had zero reliability issues and feel that this is the way the product should have been in the first place.  I’ve been running it for five months now.  

The 120GB Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD is as good as it gets in the high-performance SATA 3 segment. The read, write, IOPS and access time performance is nothing short of substantial.  If you’re still running conventional hard drives in your system, you owe it to yourself to give an SSD such as the Patriot Memory Wildfire a try because it will totally change your computing experience.  If you’re on the market for a high-performance SSD then look no further than the Patriot Memory Wildfire series of SSD’s.  It earns the Editors Choice Award! Go out and get one!

Editors Choice


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