Model: Patriot P300 512GB M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive
Manufacturer: Patriot Memory
Provided By: Patriot Memory
Among computer enthusiasts the name Patriot is synonymous with quality and value. Founded in 1985, this California-based company has established itself as a leader in the industry by delivering high quality memory solutions powered by the latest technology. Along with a full range of memory modules for desktops, laptops and servers, Patriot offers an assortment of flash-based data storage products including memory cards, solid state drives (SSDs) and USB flash drives.
Earlier this year, Patriot launched its latest PCIe SSD, the P300. Designed to deliver significant, all-around performance for desktop and laptop users, the US version of this mid-tier, M.2 form factor drive is powered by Phison's PS5013-E13T controller and offers features like advanced wear-leveling, end-to-end data path protection, thermal throttling, SmartECC technology and a low-density parity-check (LDPC) ECC algorithm to ensure data integrity and avoid data corruption. The P300 is also equipped with up to 1TB of KIOXIA's (Toshiba) 96-layer BiCS4 3D NAND flash as well as an ultra-fast PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe 1.2 interface to deliver up to 2,100 MB/s read and 1,650 MB/s write speeds.
The P300 is available in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities. For this review, Patriot sent us the 512GB version of the drive which is capable of delivering up to 1,700 MB/s sequential read and 1,100 MB/s sequential write speeds as well as up to 290,000 random read and 260,000 random write IOPS.
|Patriot P300 512GB M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive|
Dimensions and Weight
Needless to say, this is only a taste of what the P300 has to offer. To give you an idea of what to expect, we'll take a closer look at Patriot's new PCIe SSD and then see how well it performs. Does the P300 have what it takes? Can it deliver the performance that we've come to expect from Patriot? Keep reading as we find out.
Instead of a box, the P300 comes packaged in a cardboard blister pack. The packaging advertises some of the drive's key features including its capacity, PCIe Gen3x4 interface and maximum read speed.
The P300 uses the 2280 form factor for M.2 (NGFF) SSDs. It measures 22 x 80 x 3.8 mm and tips the scales at a mere 9g. The drive also has an "M key" edge connector which provides PCIe SSDs with up to 4x lanes of bandwidth.
In addition to having a blue PCB, the US version of the P300 uses Phison's PS5013-E13T controller chip. Designed to provide an enhanced user experience at a competitive cost, this DRAM-less, PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD controller offers support for 3D TLC/QLC NAND flash and features end-to-end data path protection, thermal throttling, SmartECC technology and a low-density parity-check (LDPC) ECC algorithm for improved drive reliability. The PS5013-E13T also supports APST, ASPM, and L1.2 power saving modes to maximize notebook battery life along with the Secure Erase command to sanitize all user data and restore factory settings.
For the US version of the 512GB P300, Patriot used KIOXIA's 96-layer BiCS 4 3D NAND flash. Looking at the pictures above, you can see that there are four 128GB NAND flash packages on the top of the PCB. Also take note that there is no DRAM cache chip. The P300's PS5013-E13T controller takes full advantage of NVMe's Host Memory Buffer feature by using a small portion of the computer's memory to cache the mapping tables.
The test system used in this review is equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700K CPU, GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-UD3 motherboard, 32GB (16GB x 2) of Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 memory, Samsung 960 PRO 512GB SSD and a GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 WINDFORCE OC 6G graphics card. For the operating system, I installed a fresh copy of Windows 10 Enterprise.
To test the performance of Patriot's P300 SSD, I ran a series of benchmarks using CrystalDiskMark, HD Tach RW, ATTO Disk Benchmark, AS SSD, HD Tune Pro, Anvil's Storage Utilities, Iometer and PCMark 8. For comparison, I've also included test results from the Plextor M9PG Plus, Plextor M9PY Plus, ADATA XPG SX6000 Pro, Western Digital WD Black SN750, Samsung 970 EVO Plus, ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro, Crucial P1, ADATA XPG SX8200, Western Digital WD Black NVMe, Samsung 970 EVO, Samsung 970 PRO, Plextor M9Pe, Plextor M8Se, Patriot Hellfire, ADATA XPG SX8000, Samsung 960 PRO, Toshiba OCZ RD400, Samsung 950 PRO, Samsung 860 QVO, Samsung 860 PRO, Crucial MX500, Plextor M8V, Samsung T5, Crucial BX300, ADATA Ultimate SU900, Plextor S3C, Toshiba OCZ VX500 and ADATA Ultimate SU800.
As I mentioned earlier, the US version of the P300 is based on Phison's PS5013-E13T controller chip. Looking at the screenshot above, you can see that there is a considerable performance difference when writing incompressible (0%) and compressible (100%) data.
First, I ran a few quick tests using CrystalDiskMark. This benchmark tool measures the performance of a storage device by testing its sequential read and write speeds as well as its random read and write speeds using blocks 512K and 4K in size.
According to Patriot, the 512GB version of the P300 is capable of reading at 1,700 MB/s and writing at 1,100 MB/s when tested with CrystalDiskMark. Looking at the screenshot above, you can see that the drive had no problems reaching these speeds in the sequential read and write tests.
The P300 performed equally well when using highly compressible 0x00 (0 Fill) data. This time around, the drive was able to read at 1,735 MB/s and write at 1552 MB/s.
HD Tach RW 220.127.116.11:
Next, I used HD Tach to test the Patriot P300's read, write and burst speeds as well as its seek times and CPU usage.
Looking at the screenshot above, you can see that the P300 had average read and write speeds of 1631.1 MB/s and 549.5 MB/s respectively, as well as a burst speed of 470.0 MB/s. The screenshot also shows that it uses some sort of SLC caching. The drive starts writing at about 1,400 MB/s and then drops to about 500 MB/s when the write operation exceeds the size of the cache.
ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46:
I also used ATTO Disk Benchmark to test the Patriot P300's sequential read and write speeds. The tests are run using blocks ranging in size from 0.5KB to 8192KB and the total length set to 256MB.
When tested with ATTO, the P300's read speeds topped out at about 1,740 MB/s and its write speeds at 1,556 MB/s.
AS SSD is a relatively new benchmark designed specifically for solid state drives. The application contains five synthetic tests used to determine the sequential and random read and write performance of a drive.
AS SSD also includes a copy benchmark. This test copies an ISO (two large files), program (many small files) and game (small and large files), returning the speed and duration of each.
HD Tune Pro 5.00:
Next, I ran a series of tests using HD Tune Pro. This hard disk utility measures a drive's performance by testing its sequential read and write speeds as well as its access time, burst rate and CPU usage. For this review, I'm also going to use it to benchmark the Patriot P300's random read and write speeds, random access times and the number of operations per second.
The P300 performed relatively well when benchmarked with HD Tune. The drive had average read and write speeds of 2449.0 MB/s and 593.3 MB/s, respectively.
When reading 4KB blocks, the P300 reached 38,856 IOPS and had an average speed of 151.782 MB/s. The drive was even faster when writing, reaching 45,682 IOPS with an average speed of 178.449 MB/s.
Anvil's Storage Utilities:
Anvil's Storage Utilities is another benchmark designed with SSDs in mind. The standard storage benchmark measures a drive's performance by testing its transfer speeds, access times and IOPS.
Lastly, I ran a series of tests using Iometer. This tool can be configured to benchmark a number of things. In this case, I used it to measure the P300's read and write speeds and the number of operations per second. The tests were run using random bytes and a queue depth of 3.
The P300's performance was very similar to what we saw in our other tests. The drive was able to read at 1642.82 MB/s and write at 1468.39 MB/s.
The P300's random read and write performance was hit and miss when tested with Iometer. While the drive was able to write at an impressive 621.01 MB/s, its read speed averaged out at only 174.73 MB/s.
According to Patriot, the 512GB P300 is capable of 290,000 IOPS when reading and 260,000 IOPS when writing 4K blocks. In our tests, the drive reached 44,731 random read IOPS and 158,978 random write IOPS. As with most drives, the P300 performed better at higher queue depths. With four threads and the queue depth set to 32, it reached 129,566 random read IOPS and 218,952 random write IOPS.
PCMark 8 - Storage Test:
PCMark 8 is a complete benchmark for Windows. It includes five benchmark tests, each designed around a specific scenario. The storage benchmark measures drive performance using real-world traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games.
PCMark 8 also includes a consistency test which measures the performance consistency and degradation tendency of a storage system. The test reports the performance level at the start, the degraded steady-state and the recovered state as well as the number of iterations required to reach the degraded state and the recovered state. For this test, we are focusing on the Adobe Photoshop (Heavy) trace and will look at both the bandwidth and latency of the drive
The P300 didn't do as well as some of the other drives in this test. Its bandwidth dropped below 60 MB/s during the degradation and steady state phases, pushing its latency above the 600ms mark. The P300's performance increased somewhat during the recovery phase. However, it lagged well behind the drives from Samsung and Western Digital, topping out at only 266 MB/s.
While SSD's offer many benefits, there are some downsides to using flash memory. One of the biggest issues people run into is performance degradation. Over time, an SSD will run out of fresh blocks and will have to write over data the file system has marked as deleted. This procedure is very complicated and can slow an SSD's write speeds considerably.
To fix this problem, most manufacturers have added TRIM support to their SSDs. The TRIM command allows an operating system, such as Windows 10, to tell an SSD which data blocks are no longer in use. Using this information, the drive pro-actively erases these blocks and adds them to the free block pool.
To test the P300's TRIM and garbage collection functions, I first put the drive in a "dirty" state. I used Iometer to fill 80% of the drive and then ran a random write test for 30 minutes. Looking at the screenshot below, you can see that the P300's average read and write speeds dropped to 1553.31 MB/s and 369.97 MB/s, respectively.
Patriot P300 - Dirty
To see how well the P300 could recover, I let the computer sit for about 30 minutes and then reran the test. The drive wasn't able to reach the factory fresh performance shown in our earlier tests. However, its sequential write speed jumped up to 1291.51 MB/s.
Patriot P300 - After TRIM
Lastly, I used Parted Magic to perform a secure erase on the P300. With the drive wiped clean, it had average read and write speeds of 1568.32 MB/s and 1347.77 MB/s, respectively.
Patriot P300 - Secure Erased
Patriot's P300 SSD is a great choice for the cost-conscious consumer looking to boost the performance and storage capacity of their desktop or notebook computer. This compact, M.2 form factor SSD is powered by Phison's PS5013-E13T controller and is available with up to 1TB of KIOXIA's (Toshiba) 96-layer BiCS4 3D NAND. Combine this with a PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe 1.3 interface and you have a drive capable of delivering 25% higher transfer speeds and IOPs than PCIe Gen3 x2 solutions. In our sequential read and write tests, the 512GB version of the P300 was able to read at speeds as high as 1,740 MB/s and write at speeds in excess of 1,549 MB/s. It also did reasonably well in our random write tests, producing nearly 159,000 IOPS, but lagged behind many of the other PCIe SSDs when doing random reads at low queue depths.
Of course, fast read and write speeds aren't the only things the P300 has to offer. Like most TLC-based SSDs, the drive uses an SLC caching algorithm to optimize performance during sustained writes. The P300 also employs features like advanced wear-leveling, end-to-end data path protection, thermal throttling, SmartECC technology and a low-density parity-check (LDPC) ECC algorithm to ensure data integrity and extend the life of the drive. To top it all off, the P300 is covered by a three year warranty.
I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Patriot is selling two versions of the P300. Here in the US, you'll get what you see in this review. Elsewhere in the world, the drive has a black PCB and is equipped with Silicon Motion's SM2263XT controller. Aside from the name, the only real similarity between the two is that they both use 3D TLC NAND from KIOXIA. At this time it's still up in the air as to whether or not one version is markedly better than the other.
- Available in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities
- PCIe 3.0 x4 interface with NVMe protocol
- Phison PS5013-E13T controller (US version)
- Equipped with KIOXIA 96-layer BiCS4 3D TLC NAND
- Good sequential read and write speeds under most conditions
- Good random write performance
- Small M.2 2280 form factor
- End to end data path protection
- SmartECC technology
- Thermal throttling technology
- Supports APST, ASPM, and L1.2 power saving modes
- Reasonably priced
- 3 year warranty
- Mediocre random read performance
- Write speed drops when SLC cache is full
- Does not support hardware based encryption