The Bottom Line
Introduction & Drive Details
We searched for the cheapest full 1TB (1024GB) PCIe SSD we could find, and Patriot's value centric P300 is what we found. Patriot's P300 1TB has been on the market since the beginning of the year, and we've yet to take a close look at it. The drive is intriguing for a few reasons. First and foremost, it is priced right (10.7 cents per RAW GB). Additionally, Patriot's 1TB P300 is a single-sided, full 1024GB M.2 NVMe SSD, with a premium BiCS4 TLC flash array.
At the heart of Patriot's P300, we find a 4-channel Phison E13T DRAMless controller. This helps explain why the P300 is so cost-effective. 4-channel controllers are cheaper than 8-channel. Additionally, on PCB DRAM is one of the more expensive components typically utilized on SSDs. Instead of on PCB DRAM, the P300 employs HMB (Host Memory Buffer) technology that is baked into the latest versions of Windows 10.
HMB allocates a small amount of system memory (32MB-64MB) for usage by the SSD to speed things along. The feature is automatically activated for users with newer versions of Microsoft Windows 10, so there is nothing needed to be done by the end-user.
We already know that the P300 isn't meant to, nor will it be ultra-speedy compared to the fastest NVMe SSDs out there. But, considering its low price and premium flash array, it may be just the value proposition you are looking for. Now, let's take it for a quick spin on our test bench and get some actual numbers.
Advertised sequential performance is about what we expect for a 4-channel controlled DRAMless Gen3 SSD.
Patriot's P300 is a single-sided design, which is great to see. The 1TB model we are testing is rated for 320 terabytes written, which should be plenty for most consumers.
Jon's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair Hero VIII Wi-Fi (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: ADATA XPG Z1 DDR4 3800MHz 16GB (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1000 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Patriot PCIe Toolbox
Patriot provides a free SSD Toolbox for their PCIe SSDs that gives the user the ability to update firmware, secure erase, and monitor SSD health. This link takes you to the Patriot Viper SSD toolbox (bottom of page), but not to worry, it works with the P300.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM & Anvils
Sequential speeds are significantly higher than advertised. Random read at QD1 is a bit better than we expected, as are random writes at QD1.
Anvil's Storage Utilities
Write scoring and total score look pretty good and are higher than some well-known competitors.
We can exceed factory specs when writing random data, but we cannot reach factory specs when reading it.
Synthetic Benchmarks: AS SSD & ATTO
Write performance is excellent but read is lower than we would like to see.
The P300 does give us a consistent pattern, however, its performance here is the lowest we've recorded to date for a Gen3 NVMe SSD. Keep in mind that sequential numbers have little to do with real-world performance, so this may not be a bad omen.
Real-World Testing: Transfer Rates & Gaming
Massive transfer is not easy to handle, especially for a DRAMLess SSD like the P300.
This is where we want to see performance, and this is where the P300 is beating most of the DRAMless SSDs on our chart. Nice.
Game Level Loading
Game level loading is well within what we consider an acceptable range. Although not charted here, it's actually better than we see from many 2TB QLC SSDs.
Real-World Testing: PCMark 10 Storage Tests
PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.
The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with user experience. Of the two tests, we feel that the Quick System Drive Test most accurately replicates a typical user experience.
PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark
If you are working with heavy workloads, then the P300 is not the SSD for you. Let's see how it does with more typical consumer workloads, as represented by our next test.
PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark
Although it is down at about the same place on our charts as with the full test, this is different because the P300 is within striking range of much more expensive SSDs like the 970 EVO Plus and the WD Black. Not bad at all.
As expected, and as advertised, Patriot's P300 is not a speedster, but it's not slow either. It does what it was designed to do, and that is offer 2x to 4x times better performance than you can get from SATA for about the same price. This is where we find the value in an SSD like the P300.
We find additional value in the high-quality BiCS4 TLC flash array that powers the P300, especially as we see a dramatic move to QLC flash. We like the single-sided design for laptop upgrades, and also, it makes for a great laptop upgrade because it is a power-efficient 4-channel DRAMless SSD.
As we see it, price, quality, and capacity are what the P300 is all about. At a mere 10.7 cents per RAW gigabyte the P300, is priced like a SATA SSD, but gives you much more. We were looking for a full 1024GB, and the P300 gives us that, which by the way, is very rare these days. We feel it may be one of the best choices for those on a tight budget, which is why Patriot's P300 1TB NVMe SSD is deserving of our value award.
- Single Sided
- 3-Year Warranty
- Heavy Workloads
The Bottom Line
While not the fastest SSD out there, Patriot's P300 presents a value proposition that deserves a close look.
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