Patriot Inferno 100GB Solid State Drive Review

Author: AkG
Date: July 15, 2010
Product Name: Patriot Inferno 100GB Solid State Drive
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By now, there should be no doubt that SandForce’s SF-1222 is certainly on a roll as it seems every one of the major players is scrambling to release a solid state drive based on this powerful controller. Of course, they all have good reason to as the SandForce’s latest and greatest offers the perfect combination of price and performance. Indeed, it can be considered one of the best MLC NAND controllers out there. Today we are going to take a look Patriot version: namely the Inferno 100GB solid state drive.

It certainly has been awhile since we looked at a Patriot drive as they seemed to have spurned the mid-tier (usually Indilinx based) drive niche and have focused instead on the more enthusiast end of the spectrum. This certainly is a viable business strategy, as it is better to focus somewhat limited resources on one or two drives and make them the best you can rather than try and release a hundred different ones. When it comes to Patriot and the enthusiast community they really need no introduction as they have been providing enthusiast grade products at a more value orientated price for years now.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Sandforce-based drives as of late as their latest production firmware does cap performance in order to protect some of their customers. We won’t get into the politics of this at this point but some manufacturers like G.Skill have come up with innovative ways to circumvent this limitation while others like Corsair decided to stick with a modified version of the pre-production firmware. The Inferno on the other hand uses the standard mass production firmware so it will be interesting to see if they found a way to circumvent the blocks within the latest firmware revision.

On the warranty front, the last flagship model we looked at from Patriot, the Torqx 128GB came with an astonishing 10 year warranty, the Inferno (also a flagship drive) only comes with a 5 year warranty. This certainly is puzzling so we are going to be paying close attention to the components used in this drive to make sure that no corners were cut that would explain this.

When it comes to the Inferno, availability is limited but is available at select retailers and e-tailers throughout North America. Even though availability is less than that of some of the other SandForce based drives we have looked at, the Inferno actually comes in with a slightly more reasonable price point of about $385. This still does place it in the enthusiast end of the price spectrum but if it performs as well as the others, Patriot just may end up having the better value-orientated price.


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