Patriot has a new high-speed SSD line, the Viper VP4300 (opens in new tab), and like other recent PCIe 4.0 additions to the marketplace, it dangles read and write speeds in the neighborhood of 7GB/s in front of gamers and power users. It's being offered in 1TB and 2TB capacities, the latter of which is actually rated to write data faster than the controller chip hardware was seemingly built to handle.
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This is not another SSD series built around Phison's popular and able-bodied E18 controller chip. Instead, Patriot opted for Innogrit's flagship Rainier IG5236 controller, featuring eight NAND channels and support for capacities up to 8TB. According to Innogrit, the IG5236 is capable of delivering up to 7,400MB/s of sequential read performance and up to 6.4GB/s of sequential write performance.
Patriot claims its 2TB Viper VP4300 hits that max read mark in both ATTO and CrystalDiskMark, two popular storage benchmarking utilities, but says the sequential write speed in both tests hits 6,800MB/s. That's a not insignificant 400MB/s difference in claimed write performance versus what Innogrit says its controller is capable of handling.
It may seem like small potatoes at first glance, but squeezing out an additional 400MB/s of performance is impressive, if Patriot has actually done so (we have not tested the Viper VP4300 to see how actual performance compares with advertised speeds). To put it into perspective, the fastest SATA SSDs typically top out at around 550-580MB/s.
This is likely due to continued improvements in the firmware. Our friends at Anandtech (opens in new tab) highlighted the IG5236 controller at CES last year, which at the time was rated to deliver up to 7,000MB/s and 6,100MB/s of sequential read and write performance, respectively.
In any event, this is another extremely fast PCIe 4.0 SSD. Here's how it stacks up (on paper) to the competition:
- PNY XLR8 CS3140 (opens in new tab)—7,500MB/s reads, 6,850MB/s writes
- Patriot Viper VP4300—7,400MB/s reads, 6,800MB/s writes
- Adata XPG Gammix S70 (opens in new tab)—7,400MB/s reads, 6,400MB/s writes
- Mushkin Gamma (opens in new tab)—7,175MB/s reads, 6,800MB/s writes
- Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus (opens in new tab)—7,100MB/s reads, 6,000MB/s writes
- Teamgroup T-Force Cardea A440 (opens in new tab)—7,000MB/s reads, 6,900MB/s writes
- Samsung 980 Pro (opens in new tab)—7,000MB/s reads, 5,000MB/s writes
On the sequential write side of things, the 1TB Viper VP4300 is not quite as fast as the 2TB drive, with a rated speed of a still-speedy 5,500MB/s. However, the rated read speed is the same between the two capacities.
Patriot equipped these SSDs with DRAM cache as well, which can both help speed up certain operations (another possible reason why the 2TB model's write speed is so high), and increase endurance. In regards to the latter, Patriot rates the endurance of its 1TB model at 1,000 TBW (terabytes written) and the 2TB model at 2,000 TBW. It also backs both drives with a five-year warranty.
The drives come with two low-profile heatsinks, one made of aluminum and the other made of graphene. For best results, Patriot recommends (PDF) (opens in new tab) installing them both, if you have room, with the graphene heat shield on the bottom and the aluminum one on top.
Both drives are available now, priced at $440 for the 2TB (opens in new tab) version and $230 for the 1TB (opens in new tab) model. The out-of-the-gate pricing is a little higher than some of the competition—$30 higher compared to the PNY XLR8 CS3140 without a heatsink, or $15 higher compared to the version that comes with a chunky heatsink.