First, a little house keeping.
The Patriot Inferno 100GB is a standard 2.5-inch SSD. That means it's suitable not only for desktops, but also most laptop PCs.
Regards desktops, depending on the innards of your PC, you may need to buy a 3.5-inch adapter kit. For portable systems, it's a straight swap – and a monumental performance upgrade if you're currently running a traditional spinning hard drive.
As for the specifics of the Inferno's specs, along with the aforementioned Sandforce SF-1200 chip you get 16 Intel MLC Flash memory chips for a grand total of 100GB of storage. Once formatted, however, you actually have 93GB to play with.
As you'd hope, the Inferno has full support for the all-important Windows 7 TRIM command, an essential feature for maintaining long term SSD performance.
Significantly, the Inferno makes do with a SATA 3Gbps interface rather than the latest 6Gbps clobber. It's therefore likely that peak sequential read and write performance is at least partly limited by the interface rather than the drive itself.
Still, 280MB/s and 240MB/s respectively is very quick, even if it's a few clicks off the performance of the Sandforce-powered competition.
What's more, like other Sandforce drives, one of the Inferno's key strengths is random access.
Here the inferno edges the OCZ and Corsair drives with a hefty random write result of 43.2MB/s. It also gets its nose well in front in our file decompression benchmark. However, with the OCZ and Corsair tested on a different platform, CPU power is a factor in our application tests.
In truth, there's not an awful lot to choose between Patriot's take on the popular Sandforce 100GB SSD recipe. We doubt you'd feel the difference between the Inferno 100GB and the competition in real world usage.
But the good news is that Patriot gives you that identical end user experience with a five rather than three year warranty.
Like every SSD, the Inferno 100GB is poor value for money in £/GB terms.
With that in mind, a high performance conventional drive such as Western Digital's Velociraptor 600GB could make more sense for those who need a better balance of price, performance and capacity.
With a beefy warranty and scorching performance thanks to the latest controller tech, this is a damn desirable SSD. If only it were bigger and cheaper.