Patriot has taken the lid off its first pair of NVMe equipped PCIe-based SSD drives, this year at CES 2016; the Hellfire M.2, and the Hellfire PCIe AIC. SATA-based SSDs hit a bit of a wall almost as soon as they were released, capable of maxing out the bandwidth over the interface. Companies continued to push for more speed with PCIe-based SSDs, which eventually led to two key technologies: NVMe protocol and the M.2 interface.
The Hellfire M.2 is NVMe capable and offers full PCIe 3.0 x4 capability (the maximum M.2 slots can be rated for) with speeds up to 2.5GB/s reads and 600MB/s writes. Thanks in part to NVMe support, the Hellfire M.2 can promise lower latency and system overhead during read and write operations. The M.2 2280 variant is powered by a Phison 5007 controller and will launch in 240, 480, and 960GB models, though pricing is not yet known.
If brute strength is more your style, the Hellfire AIC (add in card) is a discrete PCIe card packing quite the punch. Thanks in part to its PCIe 3.0 x4 interface and NVMe support the Hellfire AIC is rated to deliver performance up to 3,000MB/s sequential reads and a blistering 2,200MB/s writes. Special drivers will not be required for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users, though Windows 8 users will need to upgrade to 8.1 to play with Hellfire. We do recommend a pair of thick, anti-static gloves just to cover all the bases.
The Hellfire AIC will debut in 240, 480, and 960GB capacities, with top performance naturally varying towards the middle and upper capacity models. Pricing and warranty coverage are presently unknown, and both models of the Hellfire are not due to become available until sometime around March.