So a lot of people might not know it but the new M.2 SSDs are actually very versatile. You can run them as a direct PCIe drive with a x2 or x4 connection or you can even run a standard SATA drive on M.2. It wasn’t long ago that I took a look at the Patriot Ignite SSD, well it just so happens Patriot send over another Ignite SSD. This time they sent over their brand new Ignite M2. The Ignite M2 is a SATA based M.2 drive. In other words with this being a SATA drive we still work under the limitations of the SATA interface but with that we keep costs down. Where this comes in handy is in builds where not having to run a 2.5 inch drive is best. So we know this is up my alley, not having to pack in a 2.5 inch drive would save a lot of trouble in some of our LANrigs! So let’s see what the Ignite M2 is all about and then run it through our standard benchmark suite.
Product Name: Patriot Ignite M2 480 GB
Review Sample Provided by: Patriot
Written by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Amazon link: HERE
|Capacities||240GB and 480GB|
|DRAM Cache||240GB = 256MB | 480GB = 512MB|
|Controller||Phison S10 Series|
|Native Command Queuing||Up to 32 commands|
|Operating Temperature||0° ~ 70°C|
|ECC Recovery||Up to 115bits/2KB|
|O/S Support||Windows® / Vista / 7 / 8 / Linux|
• End-To-End Data Path Protection (ETEP)
• Advanced Wear-Leveling
• Advanced Garbage Collection
• Smart ECC
• Smart Refresh
Well, I wish I could say there was a lot to talk about here but the Ignite M2 comes in a tiny little package, similar to what you would find a flash drive in. It was so small that I nearly missed it in the box even! On the cover Patriot stuck with their standard blue, I was actually a little surprised they didn’t use the same red theme here as they did with the original Ignite SSD. The Drive itself is completely visible in a bubble packaging. Up top you have the Patriot logo along with the Ignite M2 logo. To the right of that we have the details, this is a 480GB drive that is running on SATA 3 but connects via the M.2 connection.
On the back we have a little more information. For starters they have listed a small feature and specification listing. Here we see exactly what form factor the M.2 drive is (a 2280 M.2) and we also see notes about the End to End Data Path Protection. This is a clue that this drive uses the same S10 controller that the normal Ignite uses. Those same features and specifications are repeated multiple times in different languages. Obviously there wasn’t anything to detailed because this packaging can work with the different capacities of the drive and those specifications change. Down at the bottom are links to Patriots Facebook and Twitter and they even included addresses for their different locations, email addresses for sales, and phone numbers. They did also slip the 3 Year Warranty logo down here as well.
Photos and Breakdown
Much like the packaging for the Ignite M2, with this being such a small drive I don’t have any casing or features to look into. I can however talk a little about the various M.2 sizes and connections so before you consider picking up this drive you know if it will work for your motherboard. Basically there are three things to consider with an M.2 drive. For starters (and we already talked about this) you can get an M.2 SSD in both a SATA drive or a PCIe drive, the Ignite M2 is the latter. Some devices will only support M.2 SATA for example.
Next we have to consider the keying, this is the connection where it plugs in. There are three types you can run into. A B key, M key, or a B & M Key. Basically a B key gives you a x2 PCIe connection, the M Key gives you a x4 PCIe. In this case the Ignite has a B & M Key. There are a whole list of other Key options depending on how the slot is used, but those are the two/three that apply to SSDs. THEN there are different lengths. If you look at your motherboard you will see different screw holes at different lengths. Our MSI board has three the 2280, 2260, and 2242, the Patriot drive is a 2280 so we are all set.
So now that we know a little about the M.2 connection and we know our Ignite M2 is a 2280 length SATA 3 drive we can take a look at the drive itself. To get all of the required information onto the drive Patriot had to stick a white sticker right on the drive across the top. This is all of the standard stuff that you would find on the bottom of an SSD but packed in a smaller space. We have the required government logos as well as the capacity, model number, and branding. I didn’t see a serial number to track the drives though unless I missed something.
When we carefully pull the sticker off that voids the warranty on the Ignite M2 we can see right away that the drive does have a Phison PS3110-S10 controller, the same controller that the other Ignite has as well. Along side of it are two NAND dies. Sadly after spending a bunch of time trying to figure out what they were specifically I couldn’t find anything. The dies have IP8AG5SAPH K1510 9604117.007 on them. We do know that Patriot is calling them MLC NAND and that they have a capacity of 128 GB each for a total of 512 on the drive. From there the Ignite M2 is overprovisioned from 512 back down to 480. Over provisioning leaves room on the drive to replace any NAND flash cells that erode over time. In other words this buffer will extend the potential life of the drive.
On the back of the Ignite M2 we have a small Nanya DDR3 chip with a capacity of 256MB as a cache. The chip number is NT5CC256M15CP-01. From what I can tell this is a standard 1333 MHz part. Also on the back are two more NAND dies bringing us up to a total of four.
Test Procedures and Test Bench
|Intel LGA2011 V3 Test System|
|CPU||Intel i7-5960X CPU||Live Pricing|
|Motherboard||MSI X99A MPower||Live Pricing|
Noctua NH-U12S for cooling
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LPX 2666MHz DDR4 4x4GB||Live Pricing|
|Storage||Kingston HyperX 240GB||Live Pricing|
|Video Card||Nvidia GTX 780||Live Pricing|
|Power Supply||Thermaltake Grand 850W PSU||Live Pricing|
|Case||Dimastech Test Bench||Live Pricing|
|OS||Windows 7 Pro 64-bit||Live Pricing|
|CrystalDiskMark||Sequential read and write speed testing|
|AS SSD||File Copy benchmark using ISO, Program, and Game settings|
|Passmark 8||Advanced Disk Benchmark using the four default tests Database, File Server, Web Server, and Workstation|
|PCMark 8||Default storage benchmark but we use the bandwidth result not the score|
|Anvile’s Storage Utilities||We run the whole SSD benchmark but only use the 4K QD16 IOPS|
|Queue Depth Testing||This uses Anvil’s as well but we run individual tests set to 4k file size at a queue depth from 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and for read speeds 128|
After taking a peak at what makes the Ignite M2 tick I installed it in our testbench and got started right away running it through our benchmark suite. To start things off I wanted to check out the raw sequential performance, to do this I ran it through CrystalDiskMark on both the read and write speeds. There were no suprises at all on the read speeds, the SATA based Ignite M2 performed right in line with the other S10 based drives including the original Ignite with a read speed of 5449.4. In fact it was faster than the original Ignite slightly, right up next to the Savage. For write speeds I wish I could say it did that as well but the Ignite M2 fell on its face in write testing pulling numbers down below most of the modern SSDS. This is where it is expected though, Patriot has similar numbers listed on their website as well.
Next I ran the Ignite M2 through the three copy benchmarks on AS SSD. Here once again the numbers are actually slightly better than the original Ignite putting it up near the top as one of the fastest SATA based drives.
In Passmark I used the advanced disk benchmark and ran through the four default benchmarks. Here the performance was slightly lower than the original Ignite in all but the Web Server benchmark. That said the results were still good but not in the same league as the OCZ drives, just like the other S10 drives.
Next the Ignite M2 was run through the full storage benchmark in PCMark 8. Rather than use the scores provided that hardly show any difference between drives we use the overall average bandwidth seen through all of the benchmarks. Here the Ignite M2 was right with the other S10 drives but slightly lower than the Force Series LX.
In Anvil’s Storage Utilities I run through the entire benchmark but we only use the read and write IOPS results for 4K QD16. Here we can see that the Ignite M2 performed well but not as well as the other S10 drives. That said I was surprised our write IOPS were as high as they were given how bad the sequential results were earlier.
Next while still in Anvil’s I manually ran through and graphed the read and write performance of a 4k file benchmark run at different queue depths to see how the drive ramps up in performance with queue depth. I was actually surprised to see that the Ignite M2 performed a lot more like the Savage with its A19 NAND than the Ignite and other S10 based drives. For read testing the Ignite M2 fell off over qd32 but performed well having the highest peak read speed of any SATA based drive. For write speed the Ignite M2 wasn’t as fast as its brother but was surpassingly close actually.
Overall and Final Verdict
So what is the Patriot Ignite all about? Well testing the Ignite M2 was a bit of a roller coaster. Every read benchmark I ran impressed me in some way shape or form. In some benchmarks it actually out performed all of the other SATA drives then others it performed well but slightly below its normal Ignite brother. Then for write speeds I was extremely disappointed with the sequential write speeds but then later it performed closer to the completion (while admittedly still not amazing).
You may have noticed that I didn’t compare the Ignite M2 to the PCIe based drives in our testing. Well for one this drive has a completely different focus, this is for people who need a SATA based M.2 drive. But on top of that this drive is in a completely different price bracket. It’s not really fair to compare it to drives that are 2 and 5 times as expensive, especially when they use different interfaces.
So while the performance on the Ignite M2 was a little hit and miss, where I can see it being of great use is in small form factor builds where every inch of space is needed. In those builds we can get good performance in a package that basically hides right up against your motherboard under everything else. That space could mean additional cooling room or an even smaller case.
As for the 3 year warranty, I have to mention it because I would much prefer to see a 5 year. I still think the Ignite M2 is a good buy. With the 480GB drive at just over $200 you are getting an M.2 based drive for around 43 cents a gig. The 2.5 inch Ignite is still a better value if you have the room for it but if not the Ignite M2 might be the drive for you.
Amazon link: HERE