Patriot Torqx 128GB SSD


Product: Patriot Torqx 128GB SSD
Provided By: Patriot Memory
Price: Find Lowest Price Online



Solid-State Drives are starting to appeal to more mainstream users as capacities increase and prices continue to fall.  That being said, NAND flash memory is a very volatile market and prices have been known to rise and fall without warning.  When we reviewed the Crucial M225 128GB SSD a few months ago, the price was down to a respectable $329 for a 128GB drive - today the price is pushing $399 - so it's not always that prices fall.  Overall, prices are indeed dropping and while it may be a while before SSDs replace traditional hard drives for mainstream consumers, those looking for great performance and durability should consider picking up a Solid State Drive of some sort.

Today we are looking at the 128GB version of the Patriot Memory Torqx line of MLC drives.  This drive promises up to 260MB/sec read and 135MB/sec write speeds over a SATA 3Gb/s connection.  These drives are getting faster and cheaper as the new SATA 6.0Gb/sec drives have launched recently.  Until they become mainstream, we'll see what the Patriot Memory Torqx can do.

Patriot Memory - Torqx
Patriot Memory - Torqx 


After meeting with Patriot Memory at CES, our lovely host Mary asked us if we'd be interested in taking a look at the Torqx as well as other upcoming products.  Naturally, we were delighted and a couple of weeks later, the Torqx showed up on the doorstep.  We look forward to seeing where Patriot Memory is going with their SSDs.


First Look:

When you order a hard drive there usually isn't much of a "bundle".  The same is true of SSDs typically but Patriot has sweetened the deal by including a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter that allows you to mount the drive in many standard systems that don't include support or mounting hardware for 2.5" devices.  This is a nice little touch that adds a few dollars of extra value to the drive.  Unfortunately, the included adapter isn't compatible with the standard 3.5" HDD format and won't allow you to use the drive in traditional hot-swap racks.

Torqx - Bundle
Torqx - Bundle


SSDs aren't typically that exciting to look at and explore like a new motherboard.  They are generally pretty bland and Patriot Memory has tried to spice things up with a nice finish and an iridescent decal.  In the end, the appearance is nothing to get too excited about - it's what's inside that counts.

 Torqx - Bottom
Torqx - Bottom


On the next page well take a look at the features and specs, then pull the drive apart and take a peak inside. 

Drive Information:

The information and features below have been taken from the Patriot website and posted here for your convenience.  As you can see, there really isn't a lot of detailed information regarding these drives from Patriot.

Patriot Torqx Solid State (SSD) drives are the latest in storage technology based on flash memory. Using state-of-the-art NAND flash chips and an ultra-fast controller, Torqx SSDs offer a fast, quiet and ultra-reliable solution for your data storage needs. Torqx SSD is designed with built in DRAM cache which allows faster real-time transfers that leads to faster drive performance.

Patriot Torqx SSDs provide the ultimate in storage technology for desktops, laptops, workstations, servers and Apple computers.



  • Available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities
  • Interface: SATA I/II
  • Raid Support: 0, 1, 0+1
  • 256GB and 128GB: Sequential Read: up to 260MB/s Sequential Write: up to 180MB/s
  • 64GB: Sequential Read: up to 220MB/s Sequential Write: up to 135MB/s
  • Shock Resistant: 1500G/0.5ms
  • Vibration Resistant: 20G/10~2000Hz with 3 Axis
  • Operating Consumption & Power: DC 5V <550mA 2.75W
  • Operating Temperature: 0°~70°
  • Storage Temperature: -40°~ 85°
  • MTBF: >2,500,000 Hours
  • Data Retention: 5 years at 25°
  • Data Reliability: Built in BCH 8, 12 and 16-bit ECC
  • O/S Support: Windows®: XP and Vista®: Linux, and Mac OS X®
  • Dimensions: 99.88 x 69.63x 9.3 mm
  • Weight: 91g
  • Certification: FCC/CE/RoHS
  • 10 Year Warranty



Inside the Patriot Torqx:

I certainly don't advocate voiding warranty on a $400 drive but we wanted to see what was inside.  After a quick slice of the knife through the "Warranty Void If Removed" stickers, we opened up the drive to reveal that it is a typical Indilinx Barefoot-based unit.

Drive Open
Drive Open


As you can see above, the controller is clearly labeled and Samsung NAND is present in this SSD.  Even though Patriot is a memory company, Samsung is the provider NAND flash for many SSDs.  There are no "Patriot" parts in this drive and it is pretty much a standard Barefoot SSD.


 Samsung NAND
Samsung NAND
Elpedia RAM
Elpedia RAM


The Samsung NAND chips are the K9HCG08U1D-PCB0 and the 64MB RAM comes in the flavor of Elpida S51321DBH-6DTS-F which is found in SuperTalent, OCZ, Patriot and G.Skill drives to name a few.  These are both popular parts that are found in many other SSDs and they don't really separate the Patriot drive from the rest.  The Indilinx controller is the IDX110M00-LC that is found in many drives as well.  It's nice to see mainstream components inside that should receive support for many years as well as offer great performance.



Indilinx Barefoot Info:

While the flash memory inside a drive plays a role in performance of the SSD, the controller plays a larger role.  Crucial has opted for the Barefoot controller is the first product from Indilinx and uses an ARM7 processor and works on both MLC and SLC NAND chips.  It can provide read speeds of 250MB/sec read and up to 180MB/sec write.  The original specializations were a little lower on the performance scale but recent firmware updates have improved performance.

Barefoot Controller


Keep in mind that if you have to update a firmware on one of these SSDs, you'll probably lose all of your data.  At this point, Indilinx hasn't managed to keep data through a firmware update.  With that in mind don't be in a hurry to slap on a new firmware - especially if this is your boot drive.


SSD Performance Deterioration:

If you've been following the SSD evolution, you'll know that SSDs perform the best when they are new - or when they've been wiped clean with a program like Sanitary Erase or Wiper.  These programs temporarily put the drive in an "untouched" state and data can be written to and read from the drive very quickly.  In SSDs, memory cells are grouped on pages and it takes quite a few pages to make a block.  Typical page size is 4KB and a block is 512KB.  While it is possible to read and write Flash NAND page by page (eg, 4KB by 4KB), you must delete a block (512KB) at a time.  Other factor to consider is that the SSD doesn't know the state of the data on a page or a block until it tries to read it.

The resulting scenario can often occur in Solid State Drives: If you try to write a 4KB file onto a page (4KB section) that has already been used, the SSD has to read the entire 512KB block, delete it and then rewrite all the pages (4KB) in the block.  That means that when you try to save a 4KB file it is possible that your computer will have to read as much as 512KB of data, delete it and write 512KB of data on another block.  This is why SSDs can suffer performance loss when they have been used for a while.  There are more reasons why SSDs can suffer performance loss as they get older.  Anandtech has a good writeup here.



TRIM and Garbage Collection:

The TRIM command basically allows the Operating System to tell the SSD controller which data block are no longer in use.  This will help maintain the speed of the SSD no matter how many times the blocks have been used.  This principle gives the SSD some "ESP" and it allows the SSD to do less work when it needs to write data.  The TRIM command doesn't just keep wiping the cells that don't contain valid data - it keeps a better inventory of the valid and invalid data however.  If it simply organized data and deleted the invalid pages and blocks it would cause a lot more wear on the SSD and this would greatly shorten it's life span.  Both Windows 7 and the Linux kernel 2.6.28 have integrated the TRIM command.  The latest two firmware updates from Patriot support TRIM, but if your OS doesn't support it - they offer a Performance Restore Utility that should restore original performance of the drive if it starts to slow down.



SSD Testing Disclaimer:

Because of the wear-leveling algorithms used in SSDs, performance is actually pretty hard to nail down.  It is for this reason also that drive performance can vary so much from one review to the next.  Some sites go to extreme measures to show the maximum performance possible after they use utilities to restore the drive to pristine performance levels, but that isn't accurate in the real world.  We've tried to get a balance of the pristine and the dirty drive here at BCCHardware and have used this drive extensively in our test system with both Windows Vista 32-bit and Windows 7 RTM 32-bit.  We feel that our results are as reproducible as possible, and while no software can accurately measure SSD performance in a perfectly fair fashion, we've done our best to keep the results accurate as possible.  We've used synthetic benchmark tools such as HDTach, Everest, CrystalDisk Mark and others that are indicators of real-world performance.  We'll discuss real-world experience with the drive later in the review.


Test System:

Intel Core i7
ASRock X58 Supercomputer
2x Radeon HD 4870 512MB
Hard Drives

Crucial 32GB  SSD
Crucial M225128GB SSD
- firmware 1571 (no TRIM)
Patriot Torqx 128GB SSD - firmware 1819

Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
ATI Drivers
10.1 Catalyst


Performance - ATTO:

ATTO is not an indicator of real-world performance, but it shows how fast the drive can read and write data using different sized files.  We've included results from the 32GB SSD from Crucial we looked at a long time ago as well as the Crucial M225 SSD - which happens to use the same controller, same NAND and same Elpida RAM.  The results should be fairly close.

ATTO Read Comparison  


 ATTO Write Comparison


Even though both drives are based off the same technology, the firmware is a different and this may have the greatest impact on performance between the two units.  Many users of the Patriot Torqx SSDs have noticed a performance decrease when using the 1819 firmware, but this firmware keeps the drives performance static on a TRIM-enabled OS - even after prolonged use.  The original firmware on both of these drives was the 1571, and while faster originally, it gets slower as the drives get "dirty".  The new firmware and Windows 7 help keep the drive "clean" but at a cost of a few MB/sec performance.  In reality, you'll never notice the difference, but it is measurable in ATTO and it shows the Crucial M225 has an edge.


Performance - Crystal DiskMark 2.2:

As we get warmed up with the benchmarks we stop by and give Crystal DiskMark a run through the paces.  This is a very basic read and write test that is used to either confirm or deny the manufacturers rated speeds.  DiskMark uses sequential tests as well as 4KB and 512KB random tests to gauge how the drive will perform when reading and writing various file sizes.  The results were not too surprising based on what we saw with the ATTO test on the previous page - smaller file sizes = lower performance, but the updated firmware on the Patriot Torqx actually shows some gains in the 4K read speeds.

Crystal Read Comparison


Crystal Write Comparison

While the Crucial M225 takes the cake on sequential and 512k random read speeds, the Patriot puts the rubber to the road on the write tests and raises the bar with the newer firmware.  It pulls off better than 135MB/s write speeds and outpaces the Crucial drive by as much as 27MB/s.


Performance - HDTach:

While HDTach was great for testing out traditional hard drives, it lack the precision required to test SSDs properly.  We still included the results as they read speed is quite interesting, but as you can see below the burst speed is not at all accurate.  In this test we again included the original 32GB SSD from Crucial.

HDTach Comparison


Patriot again outruns the Crucial M225 - but only by a small margin.


Performance - HDTune:

HD Tune Pro is a relatively new benchmark for us here at BCCHardware as we don't typically do a lot of storage reviews.  This benchmark now allows random read and write tests to be performed, and the results are displayed on a very handy chart.  HD Tune tests 512 byte, 4KB, 64KB, 1MB and Random sizes of data over the disk.  The results displayed below show total operations per second as well as average access time and average speed.  This is quite informative as it shows how the drive responds to different sizes of data - not only in transfer rate, but also in operations/sec, access time and more.

HDTune Random Read
HDTune Random Read
HDTune Random Write
HDTune Random Write


HDTune looks pretty good and very close to the Crucial M225 SSD we reviewed a couple of months back.  That is not a surprise as they are pretty much the same drive - but with different firmware.


Performance - IOMeter:

Our last benchmark today for the Patriot Torqx is IOMeter and this benchmark goes a long way to test out the Input/Output subsystem.  This benchmark is used to measure the performance of the drive under a very controlled set of circumstances.  The output is in total I/O per sec, average I/O response, maximum I/O response and MB/sec output.

  IOMeter Comparison

The Patriot Torqx seems to edge out the Crucial M225 drive in these tests, but it's not so much the drive performance as the firmware.  Either way the Patriot Torqx shows very well for itself.



Final Thoughts:

The Patriot Torqx is not really a new design, but relies on a very popular controller and flash combo that has done quite well.  The updated firmware includes TRIM support for Windows 7 and Linux so performance degradation shouldn't be an issue.  If you do run this drive on an unsupported version of Windows, there are tools available to keep your performance top-notch.  While it certainly isn't ground-breaking, the drive performs very well and includes a bracket so that you can install it in cases that don't support 2.5" drives.  While it may not be the fastest drive on the planet anymore, it still holds its own and is worth considering if you have the cash to drop on an SSD.



  • Very fast 232 MB/sec read speed & 143 MB/sec write in ATTO
  • 64MB Cache keeps things smooth
  • Insanely low latency - 0.09ms
  • Durable
  • Incredible 10 year warranty



  • Still Expensive


SSD prices seem to fluctuate a lot and this drive is currently listed for around $400.  It certainly isn't cheap, but the speed it offers is incredible.  If you have a fast system that you want to boot faster and load programs at lightning speeds, this drive is a contender.  It will soon be replaced by SATA 6Gb/sec drives, but until those become popular, the Barefoot approach by Indilinx is a good choice.


 BCCHardware Gold




If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop us a line in the forum at the "Comments" link below.