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


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


Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)

Intel H67 Motherboard


Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe

Intel H67
Chipset Drivers:

Intel + Intel IMSM 8.9

Intel + 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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  • L. - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Would you handle a website like this for free forever ?
    Besides, that's not the only huge bias there is on Anandtech, but then it's like that mostly everywhere on the interwebz -- just get used to reading through ;)

    The 1% may have easily been a true figure, it's statistics, matter of presentation :

    "In the first month, about 1% of the drives shipped (to resellers) have been returned for RMA (by buyers)"

    See.. that's one huge % that, taking into account customer laziness, various firmware tests and the stock @ resellers could mean about 30% of the drives fail (which of course cannot be the case or it would be a real riot and not just a few whiners on forums).

    It could also be (not here) :

    "In the past 10 years, about 1% of the drives shipped (to resellers) have been returned for RMA (by buyers)"
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I outlined where the 0.66% figure came from in the article. Take all complaints received on the forums + tech support channels and divide that number by the total number of drives sold through (not just sold to retailers).

    I've gotten six more OCZ SF-2281 drives in the past week alone - partially to see if this is something that's caused at the drive level. Given that I still haven't seen it yet, I'm beginning to think that this is an issue that really requires a combination of the right platform and one of these drives.

    Take care,
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    "I outlined where the 0.66% figure came from in the article. Take all complaints received on the forums + tech support channels and divide that number by the total number of drives sold through (not just sold to retailers)."

    But that is absurd. That is nothing but a lower limit on the percentage of people who have trouble.

    Doesn't OCZ have any clue about how many people use their computers? The people posting on the forums or contacting tech support are only a fraction of the people who use the products -- and usually the more savvy ones. A lot of people use their computer, and if it crashes, they have no idea what caused the crash. They just reboot it and keep going. Or if they contact tech support, it may be for a completely different product, since they do not know which one caused the crash.

    It would not be crazy to guess that only 10% of people who experienced the problem with OCZ SSDs actually identified the cause of the crash as the SSD, and followed through to contact OCZ about it by phone or forum.

    So the true scope of the problem could easily be 6%, or even higher. The 0.66% figure is just a useless lower limit spit out by OCZ's juggernaut propaganda machine.
  • Proph3T08 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I think you might be exaggerating the number of computers being used with OCZ SSDs.

    The last time I went to Best Buy I didn't see any of their display model computers shipping with a ssd.

    I think in general SSDs are still used mostly by tech savvy users. Arguging that Anand's 0.66% is useless where he actually gave a source of information is ridiculous when your argument is a random guess.

    Maybe find out how many OEMs actually ship with OCZ drives then maybe you could come up with a compelling argument.
  • jwilliams4200 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    You missed the point, Proph3T08. I did not claim to know the percentage, I just gave an example. The point is that OCZ's number is indisputably nothing but an extreme lower limit. To claim otherwise is absurd.
  • name99 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Of course MacBook Airs all ship with SSDs...
    I don't know the numbers for how many SSDs ship on non-Air macs, but I expect the number is pretty high.

    Note also that people are quick to complain that Apple never ships leading edge SSDs --- but it is worth noting that there have been no large scale outcries (even at the level of 1% complains) against the SSDs that Apple does ship.
    I think Apple believes (and most customers agree) that reliability is vastly more important than the ability to win a benchmark that, after all is said and done, does not really reflect the real-world experience.

    As for OCZ's claims, I'd agree that they are certainly at the lower limit. I've bought three SSDs in my time, one from OCZ, and I've been bitterly disappointed by all three of them, ALL of which hang the machine when fed a long sequence of writes. I've not complained in public forums or tried to get a replacement (which is apparently where OCZ get their data) because, what's the point? They won't give me my money back --- all they'll give me (after I spend $10 on mailing the disk to them) is a replacement crappy drive that behaves in exactly the same way.

    Much easier just to conclude that
    (a) this is a business populated by charlatans and scam artists
    (b) Anand, unfortunately, has been way too tolerant of this sort of crap (all devices bought on his recommendation)
    (c) the ONLY vendor of SSDs today that doesn't seem a complete a**hole is buying an SSD built into an Apple product. Sad but true.
  • sam. - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link


    I have to agree with you there. I never complained about my SSD when it failed, I just went straight to RMA and paid the $11 postage. Almost think they make you pay so much for an SSD because they know they will have to send you another one down the track.
  • jwilliams4200 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Also consider that there are probably a great many people who have the crashes, who then go to the forums, read the posts others made about the crashes, and think, okay, that is the problem I am having. No need to post, I'll just wait for a fix.
  • velis - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    It's OCZ who's pumping the SSD novelities the fastest out there. As fast as they go for OCZ reviews, they also go for C300, m4 and intel ones.
    Anand is just crazy for anything SSD.
    If you don't like it, don't read it...

    Dam, now I'm putting my hand into fire for Anand :P }:-)))
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Ha Ha. I agree on three points raised in this thread: 1) OCZ quickly gets their SSDs out to Anandtech for review, 2) OCZ gets products to market quickly, and 3) Anand is crazy for anything SSD.

    All of that said, this is one of the better tech sites on the web and I have a lot of respect for Anand and others. To Anand: Keep up the good work and don't take the crazies too much to heart. You have my props for explicitly addressing all of the major "concerns" that have popped up of late. That said, you'll never satisfy all of the people who have raised them. Rational people will continue coming back to the site to read about the latest tech.

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