Patriot's Wildfire

OCZ isn't the only company experimenting with SF-2281 drives and 32nm NAND. Patriot sent me the Wildfire, its first SF-2281 SSD. After a quick run through some performance tests I grew suspicious as it performed a lot like the Vertex 3 MAX IOPS I just tested. Cracking open the case I found the reason:

The Wildfire also uses 32nm Toshiba NAND. The 120GB drive Patriot sent has a 16 chip, 2 die per package configuration - compared to 8 chips with 4 die per package in the Vertex 3 MI. I don't see an advantage for one approach vs. the other. Patriot is targeting a $299 MSRP for the Wildfire, which would put it lower than the Vertex 3 MAX IOPS - although anything is possible once the drive goes on sale on the 28th of this month.

Patriot confirmed that the Wildfire would only use 32nm Toshiba NAND and that any NAND vendor changes would take place in other lines or subsets of the Wildfire brand.

Patriot uses a different PCB layout from OCZ. I don't know that there's an advantage to either layout, they are just different.

The unit I have here shipped with SF firmware revision 3.19, which is equivalent to OCZ's revision 2.08 firmware as far as I know. No word on when we'll see a 2.09 equivalent.

Performance of the Wildfire (as you'll see from the tests that follow) is identical to the Vertex 3 MAX IOPS. To keep the charts more manageable I've only included 6Gbps results from the Wildfire in most areas. Performance on a 3Gbps interface is identical to a 3Gbps Vertex 3 MAX IOPS as you'd expect.

The Test

CPU

Intel Core i7 965 running at 3.2GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)

Intel Core i7 2600K running at 3.4GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled) - for AT SB 2011, AS SSD & ATTO

Motherboard:

Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)

Intel H67 Motherboard

Chipset:

Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe

Intel H67
Chipset Drivers:

Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel IMSM 8.9

Intel 9.1.1.1015 + Intel RST 10.2

Memory: Qimonda DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64
Introduction A Note on Real World Performance
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  • PartEleven - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link

    Anand, I'm hoping this question reaches you but I was wondering if you can comment on the Vertex 3 oem version, the V3LT-25SAT3-240G.oem. Official specs rate it as slightly slower than the retail Vertex 3, but when people asked about it on the ocz forums the mods there say it's because of different NAND. Supposedly this drive uses the same Toshiba 32nm toggle nand used as these MAX IOPS drives. Why is it then that the oem drives are slower than the MAX IOPS drives? I thought at first they might be using higher density chips so you have less NAND dies running in parallel, but you mention here that Toshiba's NAND only gets 4GB per die. What do you think is the cause for the performance difference? OCZ seems pretty reluctant to give a detailed answer. Reply
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  • aritai - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - link

    Has been working well (no bluescreens, no crashes, no hangs, no issues w/ sleep-resume or use of bitlocker on the drive) with a Thinkpad W520/4270CT since first week of April (W7ultimate+SP1, current w/ MS, NVIDIA and Lenovo patches and drivers).

    However on a restart (but not on a shutdown to power off followed by power back on) there's some SATA3/Intel/IBM BIOS issue that seems to hang on the SSD read - it eventually times out (after perhaps as long as a minute) and continues booting. Rather than wait, an option is to simply force a power off (hold power button for 5 seconds) followed by re-powering on. A minor nit given Lenovo has yet to announce support for 6gbyte/s SSDs, and other than this the 4core/8thread 16gbyte dram sandybridge machine is a developer's dream (I run a handful of VMs on a 2nd SSD in the media bay, can't even tell they're VMs).

    And with the 2nd-battery (that attaches on the bottom like a mini-dock), I can work all the way to Hong Kong (14+ hours) on batteries (a good thing, since there's no travel adapter yet - and may never be given they want to support 2 hour recharge and require 170W supply that no seat power can deliver. Which is a pity because the W520 automagically switches to integrated graphics and Intel turns off cores (so power meter shows < 8 watt average use in extended battery life mode). So even a 60 watt travel adapter world work save for Lenovo's BIOS doesn't / has yet to permit it.
    Reply
  • danrichards - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    MTBF, Mean Time Between Failure. Frequently advertised at 2+million hours. What kind of claim is this?

    Does this mean I place the drive on the shelf for 200 years, put it in to an antique computer in 200 years and it should still work? Until otherwise proven, I think so...

    I bought 60GB Agility 2 for my laptop and a 120GB Vertex 3 for my desktop and both failed within two months. I'm in the process of returning one to Newegg and replacing another with OCZ (the Agility 2 for the 2nd time). The Vertex 3, I got a F4 BSOD at least twice daily (I didn't think it was possible to have 2 bad drives so I spent too many hours parting out my system and formatting it 3 times and trying different drivers to no success). Newegg was sympathetic and gave me a refund after the 30 refund period.

    By the way, when one of these drive fails, there is no getting out Stellar Phoenix and recovering your data, they just pop and your data is vaporized. Do not use a SSD unless you have a solid backup plan...and don't even think using an SSD will increase your productivity. If I added up the downtime from work, frustration time, and troubleshooting time I spend with my machines, I'll give that up for a fast HDD that lasts 3-5 years (and is recoverable) and takes 4-5 seconds longer to load my Outlook.

    I was extremely enthusiastic about SSDs and I'm disappointed to detail such a poor report.
    Reply
  • PR3ACH3R - Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - link

    I must agree with everything you said, its sad it is up to small builders & forum members to set the record straight about the SSD situation.

    If theres anything you got wrong is the MTBF abbrev ..
    regarding SSDs it actually means: Mad Total Bork Freakshow.
    Reply
  • jcompagner - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    I was one of the first here that had a 240GB V3. That had the initial firmware of 2.02, with that firmware installing on my Dell XPS17 (SandyBridge) notebook that was quite difficult to do.

    But after i find out about 2 things: 1 use the latest intel rapid store driver (else BSOD directly after install with the first boot) and after install make sure you disable the LPM settings (else you will get stutter) everything was pretty smooth i had no BSOD after that and it was quite solid.
    So the only problem with V3 was the install part on a laptop of Dell which is quite a high volume laptop out there. (and yes there are plenty other dell laptops that have the same problem because underneath they use pretty much the same stuff)

    What i don't get is why OCZ seems to test many things on desktop boards, i hear always Asus board X or Gigabyte board Y. But who is using that? SSD are the perfect things in laptops because there is where the most gain is, and i wonder who is using desktops anyway currently (i don't know them anymore)

    After that firmware 2.06 came out and then i made a mistake by upgrading to it (and let me say that the upgrade for a system drive what in a laptop almost always is the case....) is quite hard. But after that BSOD started happening.. 2.08 same stuff still BSOD, now with 2.09 BSOD stopped it is solid again, and i must say that my performance is still quite good. i don't notice in real life or with testing any real performance penalty.

    So now for me everything is quite good again. I never reinstalled or did a secure erase (that really cost a lot of time!) .

    But i wouldn't really recommend to none real technical users a OCZ drive at the moment. Installation, firmware updates are all quite hard and you really know what to do.
    Reply
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  • doodles - Sunday, July 10, 2011 - link

    You asked what I'd do if I won a Eee Pad Transformer or a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1...so many ideas came to mind that I felt my skull crack. I'd keep up with my husband's medicines, (lung cancer), set reminders, keep his appointment schedules, And it might even entertain me while I do that interminable waiting in the dr.'s office. Reply
  • AeroJoe - Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - link

    Exactly which version of Iometer are you using these days to run your benchmarks? The latest version at www.iometer.org is many years old - or am I looking in the wrong spot? Reply
  • Jphelps2630 - Monday, July 18, 2011 - link

    I'm one of the lucky owners of a Vertex 3 that has the BSOD problems. Just can't get it stable. Besides BSODs, it disappears from the BIOS and corrupts the file system so Windows and Office are trashed a couple of hours after loading. It's been upgraded to the latest 2.09 firmware which didn't help.

    Very disappointing product. Spent a lot of money and it just doesn't work. Waiting for help from OCZ. Will let you know what they say.

    I7 2600k on Asus p8z68 pro, 8gb Corsair RAM, Win7 64
    Reply

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