One of the best improvements one can make on their computer to get amazing speeds is to replace their C drive, or OS drive with an SSD, the difference is literally night and day. With a mechanical drive, it can take minutes to boot into the OS or to load a game, with an SSD a few seconds, want to upgrade, well read here first and lets see what you think.. You don’t know how painfully slow a mechanical hard drive really is till you move away from it, or even worse, for some reason have to come back to it.

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This review is about the Ignite 480GB SSD from our friends at Patriot, model name PI480GS25SSDR. Of course I will give you all of the information on this drive plus I will help you learn how to install an SSD into your computer either as the main drive or a secondary drive then later on I will show you how to install Windows 8 on it. First let’s get to some of the specs.

• Capacity: 480GB
• SATA III Interface, but will also work with SATA II
• Phison S10 Controller
• Max Sequential Read: Up to 560MB’s
• Max Sequential Writes: Up to 545MB’s
• 4KB Random Read: Up to 80,000 IOPS
• 4KB Random Write: Up to 75,000 IOPS
• MTBF: 2,000,000 hours

Take a look at my unboxing

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Very simple packaging, I do not like the fact that they don’t include a tray or screws, seems like it would help a lot of people, though not 100% needed. A great thing comparatively speaking about SSD’s compared to their mechanical counter parts is the fact that SSD’s don’t need to be screwed down or place in certain angles to make sure the heads and platters are not stressed, the can be put anywhere.

You can tape it to the side of you case, under your case or to a wall, it literally does not matter, though I would recommend installing it somewhere protected against ESD, as it could get fried, like all computer components can, though it is a bit harder for a none exposes SSD, like this one.

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Talking about installing it anywhere, this is a slim SSD, only 7mm’s tall so it makes it a lot easier to place inside of a netbook, notebook, mITX PC or anything you can get some tape on even, some are a little tight on space so a standard SSD may not fit the bill.

SSD’s can turn a amazingly slow notebook or desktop into a very fast and peppy machine, mind you RAM helps as well but an SSD is what makes the arguable difference. The main difference you will notice right when you first start a PC with an SSD is the boot time is greater lower than that of a mechanical drive, while I don’t have an OS installed into a mechanical drive to show you the speeds, if you do, you can compare. I have 3 drives I have comparisons for.

For testing, I used a program called BootRacer, from Greatis.com and can be found here http://www.greatis.com/bootracer/. This is a very useful program and can help you to determine some issues on your PC, if it takes too long to boot, something’s wrong. These tests are all run with a real PC for real people. What I mean by that is there are programs installed on this PC, like your PC that start up with Windows so they will affect start time, not everyone knows how to disable those programs and for them, I made my testing this way, testing for the real world.
For example, when my POC starts up I have the following programs loading.

• AVG User Interface (AVG is my Anti-Virus software Suite)
• IAStoreIcon (Part of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology used to manage the Intel SSD’s I have, this software is also set to delayed, so it takes a little longer to load)
• Logitech Gaming Framework (Software/Drivers for my Logitech G402 mouse)
• NVIDIA Backend (background process for NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience, I have an EVGA GTX970 SC)
• NVIDIA Capture Server Proxy (Part of NVIDIA’s Shadow Play software, I have an EVGA GTX970 SC)
• Realtek HD Audio Manager (Realtek onboard Audio software/Drivers)
• ZoneAlarm (Firewall software)

I could remove a few things, and this is probably less than many of you reading this have, but again I want to keep this as close to real world as possible.

So let’s jump into a little comparison.

For my first test, and just to get you a little familiar with this program, I will describe how booting was with my Intel 520 Series 120GB SSD. “Windows Boot” is the time that it takes the system to power on and get into Windows, “Password Timeout” is the time it takes you to enter your password, if you have one and press enter and finally “Desktop”. Desktop is the time that it takes once in windows for all of your programs to load and for you computer to become 100% ready for you to use it. In the test below, it took me 13 seconds from the time I first turned on my computer to get into windows and 27 seconds after that to be able to fully use my computer. It took a totally of 40.8 seconds for me to be able to use my computer.

If you have a mechanical drive, it may sound like I am kidding, but SSD’s are that fast.

Intel 520 Series 120GB

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Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD

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Patriot Ignite 480GB SSD PI480GS25SSDR

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It took the Patriot drive 2 seconds longer to boot into Windows, but 4 seconds less to boot into a fully usable state, or desktop in Windows. 4 seconds less time is a pretty nice improvement. So the HyperX took 2 seconds longer to boot and the Intel took 10 seconds longer to boot. The Patriot takes the crown on boot times, but let’s do a little more testing.

Our next test will be using CrystalDiskMark, a very popular tool for testing IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second), basically, how fast your drive is.

CrystalDsikMark performs the following tests:

• Seq : Sequential Read/Write Test (Block Size = 1024KB)
o Sequential write/read is a disk access pattern where large contiguous blocks of data are written or written to or from adjacent locations on the disk
• 512K : Random Read/Write Test (Block Size = 512KB)
o 512K Random Read/Write are disk access patterns where large blocks (512K) of data are read or written from random locations on the drive.
• 4K : Random Read/Write Test (Block Size = 4KB)
o 4K Random Read/Write are disk access patterns where small blocks (4K) of data are read or written from random locations on the drive.
• 4K QD32 : Random Read/Write Test (Block Size = 4KB, Queue Depth = 32) for NCQ&AHCI
o 4K QD32 Random Read/Write is a disk access pattern where small blocks (4K) of data are read or written from random locations on the drive with increased data written to through the controller.

With that said, here are the results of CrystalDiskMark, and since for this one there is no OS needed, I will also include testing of a mechanical hard drive, this will give a better understanding of the speed differences between SSD’s and Mechanical hard drives.

Intel 520 Series 120GB SSD

• Capacity: 120GB
• SATA III Interface, but will also work with SATA II
• Sandforce Controller
• Max Sequential Read: Up to 550MB’s
• Max Sequential Writes: Up to 500MB’s
• 4KB Random Read: Up to 80,000 IOPS (Sustained Random 4K 80,000 IOPS)
• 4KB Random Write: Up to 40,000 IOPS (Sustained Random 4L 40,000 IOPS)
• MTBF: 1,200,000 hours

This is an older drive, but it was great for its time, you can see the specs listed don’t quite match up to the specs on the benchmark. The sequential reads only came up to 482MB’s and writes 147MB’s. Remember, these are max speeds they posted, the speeds listed on the benchmark are average speeds, and average speeds are always a better indication for performance.

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Kingston 3K HyperX 240GB SSD

• Capacity: 240GB
• SATA III Interface, but will also work with SATA II
• Sandforce Controller
• Max Sequential Read: Up to 555MB’s
• Max Sequential Writes: Up to 510MB’s
• 4KB Random Read: Up to 86,000 IOPS (Sustained Random 4K 40,000 IOPS)
• 4KB Random Write: Up to 60,000 IOPS (Sustained Random 4L 57,000 IOPS)
• MTBF: 1,000,000 hours

The Read is advertised as 555MBps but only reached 517, which is still faster than the Intel 520. The write again fell short of the advertised 500MBps, reaching only 300.6 MBps but still more than double of the Intel 520.

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Patriot Ignite 480GB PI480GS25SSDR

• Capacity: 480GB
• SATA III Interface, but will also work with SATA II
• Phison S10 Controller
• Max Sequential Read: Up to 560MB’s
• Max Sequential Writes: Up to 545MB’s
• 4KB Random Read: Up to 80,000 IOPS
• 4KB Random Write: Up to 75,000 IOPS
• MTBF: 2,000,000 hours

The Patriot Ignite tries its hardest to keep its speed as closed to the advertised speeds as possible it seems. It reached 525MBs Read and 529MBs Write, the highest out of the group. Every single test actually was highest on the Patriot drive, except for the 4K Read, it dipped a little too low, even lower than the older Intel drive, I am sure it was a random thing, but I will not gimp the scores, what I got was what I got.

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As a bit of comedic relief, but a sobering reality of where we came from and how good it is where we are today, I will show you a mechanical drive. I have been working on computers since 1991 and we have come a very long way. I still remember my very first computer, my IBM XT, it didn’t have a hard drive, but 2 floppy drives, not the 3.5 ones, the 5.25 ones.

This is a SATA 3.0 drive, not SATA 6.0 compliant but still will work on a SATA6 controller. It is also a 7200RPM drive with 32MB of Cache. Mind you this is a very fast mechanical hard drive, before that, 80PIN IDE, then 40PIN IDE speeds well below 7200RPM as well.

You can see that nowhere in this benchmark is there anything close to what an SSD can provide with performance. The testing was tortuously long, the only benefit a mechanical drive has over an SSD is the fact that a large mechanical drive is great for storage, and much cheaper than an SSD.

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Here are all of the drives in a spreadsheet for better comparison.

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Another great benchmark for testing SSD’s is PCMark, this shows you how long it takes to access and load programs and files.

Intel 520 Series 120GB SSD

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Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB

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Patriot Ignite 480GB

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Hitachi 1TB

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Unlike CrystalDiskMark, where the Patriot pretty much won out on the all of the scores, PCMark tells a slightly different story, but it’s ever so slight.

On this benchmark, the lower times are of course better. It seems that a few of the scores on the Kingston are lower (better), but literally but a second, as high as 6 seconds on the Adobe Photoshop light.

The Ignite and HyperX fought a good fight, but in the end the Patriot Ignite won, the Ignite 480GB won out by 1 minute 10 seconds, lower is better.

Kingston HyperX 3L 240GB
• Benchmark duration 1hour 6 minutes 14 seconds

Patriot Ignite 480GB
• Benchmark duration 1hour 5 minutes 4 seconds

I will say that if you look closely at the scores, between the 3, they were almost identical. Doesn’t matter how much you do in between, whoever finishes first wins the race, and this race was won by Patriot and the Ignite, but again, the scores were so close, milliseconds is rough to argue with.

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For those of you that have mechanical hard drives and after reading these benchmarks are upgrading to an SSD, I give you an example on how to install an SSD onto a Corsair Graphite 780T, though it will be pretty much universal.

OK, so now you have installed the hard drive, but what next, well if you want to install the OS, I got you covered.

But maybe you don’t want to install it as the main OS drive, you can always install it as secondary drive, you could buy 2 of them, 1 for the OS and 1 for Games, Programs and the likes, your computer would fly. Well I have shown you how to install the OS, now let me show you how to install it as a secondary drive.

After installing the drive into the computer once in the OS, right click on “This PC” and click “Manage”

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When you click manage, Disk Management will appear but because this drive will need to initialized the “Initialize Disk” window will appear, just click OK.

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From this point you will click “Next” to start the Volume Wizard Process.

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Here select the size of the drive. I left it as the full 480G (Comes up as 457GB) and clicked Next. You could always choose a smaller size so that you can create another partition, but I won’t go over that in this review.

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Then Select your Drive letter.

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Choose your File System, Allocation Unit Size and Volume label. MAKE SURE YOU PLACE A CHECK IN “Perform a quick format”, if you don’t, creating the partition will take forever.

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Finally, click Finish.

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The formatting if you selected “Perform a quick format”, formatting will only take a few seconds,…. If you unchecked “Perform a quick format”, you might as well go for a weeklong vacation, and maybe by the time you get back you might be able 80% done.  That’s not Patriot’s fault, it takes forever on any drive.

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So that is pretty much it, we have gone through the unboxing, performance, physical installation and operating system installation, as well as installation as a secondary drive.

When SSD’s first came out, you needed to buy a smaller one to get a drive that performed well and we can see that this is not the case here. The Patriot Ignite 480GB is double the size and sometimes lower, identical and sometimes better performing that the HyperX. What makes the Patriot Ignite 480GB SSD better is the fact that it is double the capacity, as fast or faster and an only slightly more expensive than the HyperX, there is no contest to me.

I also wanted to mention something that came as a surprising plus for me. I always try to add things in my reviews to help you, I feel like I have already done that but I wanted to ask more and I asked Patriot was there anything they could recommend to improve performance on this drive. I would not mention whether it was doing better or worse than the competition, but this question I would think might bring fear to companies thinking maybe that their drive was under performing and I thought they would surely mention a ton of things to improve, their answer shocked me.

I asked

“I looked through your site and saw nothing on performance improvement techniques for this drive, are there any? Perhaps a firmware, driver or any sort of improvement that would be great to know.”

And they replied

“Not yet. it is still a fairly new line for us. Our number one concern will always be reliability. Of course we care about performance, but when you start playing with settings or FW to tweak the performance, there is always a concern about how it will impact the reliability of the drive.”

That is amazing to me, they are not concerned with the speed as of right now, I think they might know they have a winning drive, but they want to make sure that before they even bother with performance over what it already has, that reliability is there. I can say with all the tests I have done, running as a main OS, formatting and all the processing, I have little to no issues with it and the performance is amazing. This could also mean we can see a bump in performance in the near future. This is the kind of approach every company should take with their products, before performance comes reliability,… car manufactures should take note.

I would love to say that I had no complaints about this package and it would have been a 5 if it wasn’t for these issues. Most drives come with a tray, so that you can install this drive into a 3.5in drive bay, this didn’t bring that and there were no screws. If there were some screws I could have shown you how to install it into a 3.5in bay at least, since the Corsair Graphite 780T has the bays, but I didn’t have extra screws. It is bad to assume that everyone has screws laying around, I used to but I don’t know where they are now, and if I didn’t have additional bays I would have to find a place to put it, unless I didn’t mind taping it somewhere or just laying it on the bottom of the case for the time being, which you can.

Because of this small issue, I cannot give it a 5, so I will give it a 4.5, a great drive that combines capacity and speed, I recommend the Patriot Ignite 480GB PI480GS25SSDR to anyone, just make sure you have screws and a place to put it.

Iggy Castillo

Iggy Castillo

Senior Editor an Reviewer at Dragonblogger.com
I have spent many years in the PC boutique name space as Product Development Engineer for Alienware and later Dell through Alienware's acquisition and finally Velocity Micro. During these years I spent my time developing new configurations, products and technologies with companies such as AMD, Asus, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA and more. The Arts, Gaming, New & Old technologies drive my interests and passion. Now as my day job, I am an IT Manager but doing reviews on my time and my dime.
Iggy Castillo

@zangza

I love the arts and technology. IT Manager by day at Jewett Automation and Reviewer by night at https://t.co/eYqx0uJofz and my own at @ThisBytesForYou
@EdCrisler This should be marked as adult content, I have to go repent now lol - 1 week ago
Iggy Castillo