Patriot Viper VPN100 NVMe SSD Review: A Tactical Upgrade

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We were surprised to see the slight mating issue with the Viper's heatsink. With the NAND packages being slightly thicker than the controller package, there was a slight gap left between the controller and the heatsink on our 1TB sample. While not a deal breaker, it isn't optimal because heat still radiates out from the NAND. It also isn't the attention to detail we like to see.

The design actually keeps the NAND cooler than the controller, which is the opposite of what you want to happen: NAND prefers higher temperatures during operation. If anything, the controller should have a thermal pad between it and the heatsink, as this is the most critical component to cool.

Furthermore, unlike the Gigabyte Aorus RGB, the Viper VPN100’s PCB is blue rather than black, and the heatsink isn’t easily removed. Patriot bonded the heatsink to the PCB via a very strong adhesive, so removing it may leave you with a broken SSD. In contrast, the Aorus RGB SSD allows you to swap the heatsink to either side of the PCB by removing and replacing two small screws. That allows the drive to work in M.2 slots on both the left and the right side of the motherboard.

Who wants to buy an item for looks if it is going to sit upside down in the M.2 socket? These are small details, but they are vital to creating a more attractive and user-friendly device.

While the heatsink still looks great on its own, we’re a bit disappointed with the lack of RGB. There was a missed opportunity here to match the Viper RGB RAM and to make the Viper VPN100 an even cooler buy. Sure, many of the anti-RGB union will be delighted with this revelation, but there are many out there who enjoy the accent of a well-made RGB product. An aura of illumination throughout the slits of the heatsink, in my eyes, would have been the cherry on top.

On a more positive note, Patriot’s Viper VPN100 is still a really good value. As an NVMe SSD, it’s classed with many competitors that are priced significantly higher than SATA drives, but the VPN100 is closer to SATA pricing than most of its competition. It isn’t a chart-topper, but it is pretty efficient and can keep up with some of the best NVMe SSDs at times. The Viper certainly has what it takes to put both hard drives and SATA SSDs to shame.

Speaking of best, the Viper VPN100 does feature one of the best endurance ratings for a consumer SSD. With a rating of just over 1.6PB of endurance, our 1TB sample is bound to outlast even some of the most demanding consumer and workstation workloads. Whether you have a content-driven workflow where you are constantly working with large media files or you game at a competitive level, or even if you just sit around and watch cats of the internet all day, the VPN100 will keep on chugging. It really is a good value option.


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Sean Webster
Storage Reviewer

Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.