Patriot Hellfire M.2 480GB NVMe SSD Review


Final Thoughts & Conclusions

Patriot Hellfire M.2 480GB PCIe SSD

The first wave of reviews on the Patriot Hellfire M.2 series drives came out a good month ago and the Hellfire looked great with the newest version 2.1 firmware. It was able to compete with the Samsung SSD 950 PRO on many levels and it cost less, so we were really excited to get it in to play around with. Much has changed in the past month as now the Samsung SSD 960 EVO and Samsung SSD 960 PRO series were released. The performance bar and expectations for all M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs is now higher than ever and the Patriot Hellfire M.2 series isn’t as impressive now as it was 1-2 months ago. That is a shame as Patriot has been talking about this drive for over 11 months now and they only just recently started shipping it. If they could have released it 6 months sooner it would have really taken the desktop M.2 drive market by storm.

Overall performance of the Patriot Hellfire M.2 series is pretty solid, but the Phison E7 controller runs hot and the power consumption on this drive is not that fine tuned. Patriot also doesn’t have a special NVMe driver for the Hellfire M2 series, which leaves it a bit less refined than other models. Patriot acknowledges that it runs hot and that it isn’t designed for notebook use, which really limits who can use this drive. Our testing showed that the Hellfire M.2 480GB drive was getting close to 80C when installed flat into a motherboard M.2 slot with a fan blowing across it during heavy periods of sustained writes. Phison said the controller is good up to 125C, but that is extremely hot and while the controller might be rated for that, but what about the other components? We never got over 80C with a fan blowing on it, but Technic3D over in Europe was able to get this drive up to 100C and noticed thermal throttling. Time to slap a water cooler on your SSD!

Patriot Hellfire M.2 Street Pricing:

When it comes to pricing on the Patriot Hellfire M.2 480GB drive that we looked at today is priced at $229.99 shipped, which is $0.48 per GB. Yesterday the drive was $279.99, so the price was slashed by $50 overnight and that is a huge price drop. At $280 our conclusion was fairly negative as it comes without disk cloning software or accessories, so you get the bare drive and nothing more. Arguably the best M.2 drive on the market at this capacity would be the Samsung SSD 960 PRO 512GB drive that is priced at $332.69 shipped ($0.65 per GB) and qualifies for a free game code for Watch Dogs 2 (currently $59.99 on Amazon). The Samsung SSD 960 EVO also qualifies for a free copy of Watch Dogs 2 and is priced at $249.99 shipped ($0.50 per GB) for the 500GB capacity drive. The Patriot Hellfire M.2 480GB drive priced $230 is well below both those models and is appealing. Unfortunately, we don’t have the comparable capacity for either drive to directly compare against.

The Patriot Hellfire M.2 has blazing fast sequential speeds of 3 GB/s read and 2.4 GB/s write, but comes up short in the overall big picture. That said, it will make for one heck of an upgrade for an older SATA HDD or SSD, but is priced below the Samsung SSD 960 EVO series and that might make it appealing to some. The Samsung SSD 960 EVO series might cost $20 more, but it has superb NVMe drivers, better power management and thermal protections that won’t leave you worried about the Hellfire getting hot as hell.

Legit Bottom Line: The Patriot Hellfire M.2 drive offers solid performance and a good price point, but should only be used in desktop PCs with excellent airflow.