RGB is everywhere in the PC component world, from CPU coolers to power cables. There are only a few RGB-enabled SATA and PCIe Card SSDs and, if you want an RGB-enabled M.2 SSD, your options are really limited. Enter Patriot's upcoming Viper VPR 100 SSD, a speedy new M.2 drive with over a dozen different LED lights built right onto its PCB, which is probably a first for the industry.
I say "probably," the first, because there are other manufacturers coming out with their own ways of giving you an RGB M.2 drive. Right now, ADATA sells an RGB heatspreader for M.2 SSDs called the XPG Storm. While you'll get some lighting effects this way, you only get them by covering the drive up, sort of like wearing a red wig so you can call yourself a ginger.
Klevv showed off its own RGB M.2 drive back at Computex 2018, but we haven't seen it for sale. And finally, there's a Taiwanese vendor named V-Color that lists a couple of 2017-era drives with an RGB letter V on their PCBs. We didn't see either the V-Color or Klevv drives for sale anywhere we looked (at least on U.S. websites).
Whether it's the first, second or third to market with an RGB M.2 SSD, Patriot's Viper might well be the best looking M.2 drive around. During a brief demo at Patriot's CES suite, I was impressed with the brightness and color quality of the 13 LEDs which line the top surface of the PCB, with the upper and lower edges and a column of three between some chips. The removable black heat spreader makes the lights seem more focused and the entire drive look more like a spaceship or a robot suit.
Patriot says that the VPR 100 will work with lighting control apps from major motherboard vendors such as Gigabyte or Asus, but it did not provide a complete list of partners. There will also be a standalone app from Patriot, in case your motherboard can't control it.
Of course, any SSD is only as good as its performance. The Viper VPR 100 is powered by a Phison e12 controller and promises over 3,000 MBps read and write speeds. It will come in capacities up to 1TB.
Patriot is also releasing a non-RGB version of the drive, which will be called the Viper VPN 100. Because it doesn't need to divert power from the M.2 slot or make space for the LED lights, it will be available in a 2TB capacity and will have slightly faster read and write rates.
The company didn't have pricing or an exact availability date for either SSD, but said that they should be available in the May / June time frame.