The best SSD for gaming is not necessarily a speedy NVMe drive, because SATA-based SSDs work just fine and cost less. However, we are starting to see more affordable NVMe options emerge. One of them is Patriot's new Viper Gaming VPN100 series, which look to give Western Digital's SN750 and Samsung's 970 Evo Plus a run for their money.
Don't be fooled by the model number—the VPN100 has nothing to do with a Virtual Private Network (VPN), nor are these drives aimed at servers or professionals in general. They come from Patriot's Viper Gaming division, and gamers are the target demographic.
It starts with the raw speed ratings. Offered in capacities ranging from 256GB to 2TB, these drives are rated to deliver up to 3,450MB/s of sequential read performance and 3,000MB/s of sequential write performance, depending on the specific model.
Those metrics apply to the 1TB drive specifically, and align fairly well with the competition—the 1TB WD SN750 is rated to deliver sequential read and write performance of up to 3,470MB/s and 3,000MB/s, respectively, while the entire 970 Evo Plus is rated to hit 3,300MB/s and 3,500MB/s in those categories.
Patriot's solution is basically on par with WD's SN750, while offering slightly faster reads and slower writes than Samsung's 970 Evo Plus. They're all fairly comparable though, at least on paper (we have not tested the VPN100 line yet).
Street pricing is where Patriot's new drives shine at the moment. Here's what we're looking at:
- Patriot Viper Gaming VPN100 2TB—$499,99, Patriot Store
- Patriot Viper Gaming VPN100 1TB—$199.99, Newegg
- Patriot Viper Gaming VPN100 512GB— $94.99, Amazon
- Patriot Viper Gaming VPN100 256GB—$59.99, Amazon
- WN SN750 2TB—$499.99, B&H Photo
- WD SN750 1TB—$219.99, Amazon
- WD SN750 500GB—$109.99, Amazon
- WD SN750 250GB—$74.99, Amazon
- Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB—$249.99, Amazon
- Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB—$127.99, Amazon
- Samsung 970 Evo Plus 250GB—$87.97, Amazon
Patriot has both drive series beat at every price point save for 2TB, and that could change once it shows up on places like Amazon and Newegg (I could only find it on Patriot's own web store at the moment).
It's also worth noting that Patriot's VPN100 drives come standard with a chunky aluminum heatsink. Western Digital also offers a heatsink on its SN750 models, but those cost extra (the 1TB model costs $279.99, though if you preorder through WD, you'll get a free 1TB Black hard drive).
We'll have to wait and see how performance actually shakes out, but if Patriot can deliver on the rated specs, this could be the high performance SSD line to beat.