This past year we saw the introduction of many USB 3.1 solid state drives. These became extremely popular and are great for portable game drives, video and photo editing drives, and more because of their size and speed. This year we are going to see the introduction of many Thunderbolt 3 portable solid state drives. This gives you the ability to take advantage of the 40Gbps speed of Thunderbolt 3, which is three times faster than USB 3.1 (10Gbps). Patriot was one of the first to announce a Thunderbolt 3 portable solid state drive in their EVLVR. Today we are checking out the 1TB version of the drive, which boasts speeds of 1600 MB/s read and 1000 MB/s write. Let’s take a look at this drive and see if it sets a new standard for portable solid state drives.
• Up to 1600MB/s read and 1000MB/s write
• Thunderbolt™ 3 with Type-C connector
• PCIe gen 3x
• 40 Gb/s
The Patriot EVLR comes in a retail package that just says “Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD” on it. It is pretty interesting that there is no Patriot branding on the packaging at all.
The back of the package looks much the front, but we do have a small list of features.
Getting everything out of the box all we have is the EVLVR Thunderbolt 3 Portable Solid State Drive and a Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) cable.
Patriot EVLR Overview
The Patriot EVLR is designed as a pretty plain drive. It has an all metal chassis and actually feels good in the hand. The drive has official dimensions of 102 x 48 x 14.4 mm (LxWxH) so it is definitely pocketable. On the top of the drive it says EVLVR and nothing else.
Flipping over to the back we do find a Patriot logo and it lets us know we have the 1TB version of the drive. Patriot is offering the EVLVR in 500GB and 1TB versions. There are also two small rubber feet on the drive that will keep it in place when you are using it.
There is a single connection on this drive, which is a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connection. Now don’t get this confused with a normal USB Type-C connection. While the Type-C connector is the same the EVLVR will only work on the Thunderbolt 3 connection. There is also a small indication LED next to the connection.
If you were to open the EVLVR (which voids your warranty) you would find a small PCB with a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid state drive. This drive makes use of the Phison PS5008-E8 controller and Toshiba TLC NAND.
Testing & Performance
We tested this drive on our Lenovo Yoga 920, which does have a Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) connection. Remember you will need a PC or laptop that has a Thunderbolt 3 (Not USB Type-C) for this drive to work.
To test the drive we will first be running CrystalDiskMark, this will give us a good idea of read and write speeds of the drive.
With read speeds of 1603.5 MB/s and write speeds of 1015 MB/s write this is definitely the fastest portable solid state drive we’ve tested. To give you an idea of pertformance compared to other portable solid state drives we compared the Patriot EVOLVR to the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, WD My PassPort SSD, ADATA SE730H, Samsung SSD T5, and Samsung SSD T3. All of these are USB 3.0 / 3.1 drives.
Now we move on to DiskBench. Here we copy 2038 files which are a mix of RAW and JPG images totaling 22.2 GB. DiskBench lets us know the transfer rate after the transfer has been completed.
Using DiskBench and transferring multiple files we can see that this drive performs the best out of our test group of drives.
We’ve added the AJA System test to our testing arsenal for portable drives. It tests different types of video formats and gives you throughput results for the drive. Our configuration was 4K RED HD footage, 1 GB test file size, and the 8bit YUV codec.
Again, we have great results, here is how the drive stacked up against the others.
As I mentioned earlier in this review we are going to see a lot more of these Thunderbolt 3 portable solid state drives as the year goes on and as Thunderbolt 3 becomes more available on laptops and notebooks.
Patriot has a great drive in their EVLVR. In our testing we were able to achieve read speeds of 1603.5 MB/s and write speeds of 1015 MB/s with our Lenovo Yoga 920. With those speeds it is the fastest portable solid state drive that we’ve ever tested! That makes it perfect for a portable game drive, a video editing drive to be used with Adobe Premiere, or just a super-fast drive to unload and transfer files.
Patriot is currently offering the drive in 512GB and 1TB version. The 1TB version, which we reviewed today is selling for $439.99, which puts it at $0.42 per GB.
If fast portable storage is something you need and you have a Thunderbolt 3 connection then the Patriot EVLVR should be a no-brainer as it is going to be faster than even the fastest USB 3.1 drives out there. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Patriot EVLVR Thunderbolt 3 Portable Solid State Drive a 9 out of 10 score.
– Fastest portable SSD we’ve tested
– Small and pocketable
– No external power needed
– No software