It has both strengths and weaknesses. But some make up for it: it has a large heatsink to counterbalance the heat
The high-speed SSD is not a surprise to anyone, all the major manufacturers have made modern controllers, and those who are not rich in serious development departments have mastered universal solutions like Silicon Motion. But every now and then an interesting product appears, even if it is not the newest one. For example, Patriot’s Viper SSD.
- Model: Patriot Viper VPN100-512GM28H.
- Form factor: M.2 2280.
- Interface: PCI-E x4 3.0 (NVMe 1.4).
- Capacity: 512GB.
- Controller: Phison E12 (PS5012-E12).
- Memory type: TLC 3D.
- Sequential read/write speeds: Up to 3100/2200MB/s.
- TBW: 800 TB.
- Operating temperature: 0 to 70°C.
- Dimensions: 80 × 22 × 12 mm.
- Weight: 25 g.
- Warranty: 3 years.
SSD itself form factor 2280, but on top of the chip is already glued a large aluminum radiator with the logo of the series. In some cases, manufacturers make do with a small plate, believing that it will be enough to cool the drive. Here Patriot decided not to splurge on small things and installed a solid aluminum construction. The radiator stands out even after installation into the motherboard.
The label is glued on the back side (why not do that with all SSDs?), but under it you can clearly see the places for installation of additional memory and cache chips.
The advantage of the heatsink is obvious: heat removal and dissipation. But are there any downsides? Yes. The heatsink is originally fixed. Of course, it can be removed from microchips, if you have a proper skill, but not everyone has it. Incorrect handling with such radiators can lead to breakage (chip tearing from the board, for example).
The version in the test is not the largest, 512 GB. The maximum storage capacity is 2048 GB.
The controller in this model is Phison E12, an inexpensive and moderately “fast” solution for midrange drives. 28 nm process technology, two ARM cores, DDR4 and DDR3L buffer memory support, maximum sequential read and write speeds – 3400 and 3100 MB/s respectively. The maximum memory capacity is 8 TB, it can work with 3D TLC and 3D QLC NAND-memory, there is support of RAID ECC and AES-256 encryption. The interface of communication with the system is PCI Express 3.0 x4 (NVMe 1.3). There are three modifications of the controller, the most “smart” eight-channel version is installed on the VPN100, there are also a more budget version PS5012-E12C and PS5012-E12DC for corporate products.
In our case the controller is soldered with 512 MB of buffer memory and 512 GB of 3D TLC memory (there is 477 “real” GB available to the user).
The list of tests is opened by the simplest and most favorite test of all the manufacturers – CrystalDiskMark.
The sequential read/write figures are even slightly higher than the officially stated figures for the controller.
These are more “correct” values, achievable in practice. Not very impressive by the standards of 2021, but decent for a good mid-level solution. This is especially true for working with small blocks with significant queue depth.
AIDA showed a “shelf” in linear reading speed of 2200 MB/s. Linear writing is a bit worse, here the first 5% (about 23 GB) is pulled by pseudo-SLC mode, the speed is 2400 MB/s. Further up to almost half of the volume there is a series of drops to 400 MB/s and rises to 1300, which is explained by the periodic loading of the controller. Further the minimum value falls to 300 MB/s, and the maximum – to 950.
Random read and write graphs show a significant spread in speeds. Reading – from 210 to 1450 MB/s, writing – from 100 to 1000 MB/s with rare peaks up to 1450, and in the end it varies from 50 to 170 MB/s.
It is because of this small duration of “speed” sections and it is not possible to write the drive to the tops. Also not the least worth mentioning is the volume, which still affects the “duration” of the pseudo-SLC area.
True, there is another reason – heating. Without airing the controller heats up to the maximum possible 70° in less than 10 minutes of active work.
Further the controller electronics begins to drop the speed, skipping the cycles (and thereby reducing the amount of heat generated). Under intensive blowing the controller heats up to 58° during intensive operation. Routine tasks (e.g. working as a system drive) warm the controller up to 50°.
Monitor SSD health with Patriot ToolBox, a proprietary utility. A set of functions is classic: displaying data about the volume, “health” of the drive (S.M.A.R.T.), firmware version, data cleaning (with complete removal), firmware upgrade. Brief, concise.
The Patriot Viper VPN100 is a good drive for a medium to large home PC. It doesn’t have any stars from the sky, but when using it as a system drive, it pays for its price. It is good that the manufacturer took into account the “hot” temper of the controller and equipped it with a large heatsink. Install it next to the CPU cooler and you don’t have to worry about overheating (and hence life expectancy).
- High read/write speeds.
- Good durability.
- Large heatsink is installed.
Heats up when actively writing data.
Cannot be installed in a notebook computer.