Most people searching for a gun-shaped SSD probably plan to use it in a themed system build, so performance will likely be a secondary factor. The PT290's gold color doesn't do much to match the color of most motherboards or other components. Apacer sells Commando memory that shares a similar theme, but it only comes in black modules. At one time, Gigabyte sold motherboards that also fit the gun theme. Unfortunately, those reached end-of-life status several product generations ago. That leaves Apacer with a flashy SSD that doesn't match many other components. Some may not care; the Commando NVMe SSD can be a focal point.
Moving past the most dominant feature, the PT920 uses Phison's 2.1 firmware, which is one of the fastest we've tested. The Corsair Neutron NX500 came to market with firmware 4.3 on the 400GB and 4.5 on the 800GB, so there is newer firmware available. But we're not sure why most users would want it. The 2.1 release is still one of the fastest even though it doesn't like four-drive RAID 0 arrays. We found that out recently during a special test using a custom add-in card designed for Skylake-X's vROC RAID.
The Commando offers great performance. The drive outperformed several competitors in our four-corner testing, but that didn't carry over entirely during our real-world tests with plenty of free space on the drive. The extra performance shone through when we tested the PT920 with a lot of data packed on the flash cells. The drive delivered superior performance in our service time test, but most of us will never feel the difference between one NVMe SSD and the next. These products are so fast it requires a very heavy workload to see or feel the difference. It's nearly impossible to put enough stress on the storage device to get the most out of it, but that's not a bad thing. It allows you to shop by price and, in this case, the aesthetics of the product.
We don't have pricing details for the PT920 Commando SSDs. The drives are available in Europe and Asia, but not in the US. At least not yet. Apacer says this series will fire its way to America soon enough.
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