Patriot Admits to Swapping Parts on VPN100 SSD, Performance Unaffected

Viper VPN100
Viper VPN100 (Image credit: Patriot)

Although far from being one of the best SSDs, the Viper VPN100 is a solid SSD for the money. Unfortunately, the drive recently made the Reddit headlines because a consumer discovered that it arrived with different components than originally advertised. Patriot has provided an official statement to Tom's Hardware explaining the reason behind the component swap.

One Redditor recently purchased one of Patriot's Viper VPN100 2TB SSDs, and much to his surprise, the drive arrived with Phison's E12S SSD controller and 512MB of DRAM. This certainly raised the alarm since the SSD not only utilizes a different SSD controller but also came with 1/4 the DRAM. For comparison, the original Viper VPN100 2TB used the Phison E12 SSD controller and had 2GB of DRAM.

Like many vendors, including Adata and PNY, Patriot also fell victim to the global semiconductor shortage, so the company explored other options for its VPN100. Unfortunately, the majority of SSD manufacturers don't produce their own components and have to buy them elsewhere. The thing here is transparency, and if there is a substantial change to a product, then it's the vendor's responsibility to communicate the change to the consumer in a timely matter. That didn't happen in this situation, though. 

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Viper VPN100 SSD Configurations
SolutionController DieController PackageFlash PlacementDRAM TypeDRAM SizeSSD CapacityClient Performance
PS5012-E12PS501216x16 mmUp to 4 pcs of BGA132/BGA152 flashDDR4512MB for BiCS4 256GB/512GB 1024MB for BiCS4 1TB 2048MB for BiCS4 2TB (Minimum size of DDR4 is 512MB.)256GB - 2TBSame
PS5012-E12SPS501212x12 mmUp to 8 pcs of BGA132 flashDDR3L128MB for BiCS4 256GB 256MB for BiCS4 512GB/1TB 512MB for BiCS4 2TB 1024MB for BiCS4 4TB 2048MB for QLC 8TB256GB - 8TBSame

Despite the drastic difference in components, Patriot guarantees that both configurations offer the same performance in sequential and random workloads. The brand advertises the VPN100 with sequential read and write speeds up to 3,400 MBps and 3,200 MBps, respectively, depending on the capacity. Random performance is rated for 700,000 IOPS reads and writes.

In its statement, Patriot claims that the new E12S setup features the same endurance limits as the original E12 configuration "sans Chia mining." However, that doesn't seem to be the case. The original specification sheet had the VPN100 2TB at 3,115 TBW, while the new specification sheet reveals an endurance level of 900 TBW. We're following up for clarification. 

Although it's now public that there are two versions of the VPN100 on the market, consumers still have no way to really differentiate one from the other. Patriot seems to be using the same part number for both variations, turning the purchasing process into a lottery.

You can find Patriot's full statement below.

Patriot's statement:

We at Patriot would like to address the current situation surrounding our Viper VPN100 M.2 solid state drive. We have become aware that some customers have noted the reduction in cache on the VPN100 SSD. Over the past few days we have taken time to investigate this matter thoroughly internally and listen to the feedback generated online.

Due to the ongoing fab shortages affecting the global IC supply chain, in 2020 Patriot opted to utilize the Phison E12S controller in addition to the Phison E12 for the full VPN100 series (256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB). We confirm this is the only Viper SSD series affected. The E12S uses less cache but offers the same performance as the E12 controller because it is produced using the latest fab process and innovative firmware development. As an advanced version of the E12 controller, Patriot still guarantees that the VPN100 using the E12S will hit the same performance specs in sequential read/write, and random IOPS, and same endurance limits (sans Chia mining) as the VPN100 using the original E12 controller. Please see the comparison of performances below:

However, we do not deny that when doing so, we have failed to update our information sheets that are available online for public viewing and reference respectively, this should have been performed immediately. For this we apologize and take responsibility for any inconveniences caused to all partners and customers. Any consumer that has any questions or concerns regarding their VPN100 solution with E12S controller is free to get in touch with our Customer Service department at:

Going forward, we commit to our information sheets and website reflecting the actual available product specifications at all times.

We are excited to be introducing a new Viper Gen3 x4 m.2 SSD solution launching in Q4 2021 that will replace the VPN100 and hope it will continue to please hardware enthusiasts worldwide and meet their standards.

It has been a pleasure being a part of the IT hardware community for the past 35 years and we hope to continuously bring out ground-breaking products in a time where technology is ever-evolving.


Patriot Memory, Inc.

Zhiye Liu
News Editor and Memory Reviewer

Zhiye Liu is a news editor and memory reviewer at Tom’s Hardware. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • Giroro
    ""Performance" "Unaffected""*™

    *Performance Unaffected™ is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway Restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length
  • hotaru251
    tech industry needs to get a law made where if you change a part of soemthing you sell it HAS to be under a new name so ppl know what they are getting.
  • watzupken
    I think it may be worthwhile testing to confirm that there is no impact to performance. A lot of times, the benchmark is quite short, so the issue may not surface. There is a reason for the massive DRAM in the first place. By cutting it to 1/4 of it, it is definitely not the same product and should not be using the same model number. Whatever they say, I will not consider Patriot SSDs going forward due to their shady practice.
  • kal326
    A different controller, different memory, and a different quantity of memory, but it performs the same. Trust us. Just like we hope you’ll trust us that this was just an accident when we didn’t push updated specs. Also please ignore that huge reduction in rated endurance.

    Seriously, how hard is it to add a V2 or something to a product? It’s fairly obvious they were hoping this would fly under the radar versus being upfront about it. Samsung added the 970 Evo Plus, but to be fair they actually wanted to point out improvements to a product that warranted a new SKU. Versus this situation.