This is part 7 of our PC Building series.
As we noted in our look at Patriot’s Viper RGB Series DDR4 RAM, there are typically two PC components that you should focus on if you’re looking for the cheapest and most effective way to rescue an aging rig or turn it into proper gaming computer: RAM and an SSD (solid state drive).
Those two components share many qualities, but they’re typically separated by familiarity. RAM has been one of the backbone components of high-performance PCs for decades now. SSD technology has existed since the ’90s, but it was only commercialized relatively recently, and has since been refined to the point that it’s actually become a viable storage alternative to hard disk drives.
Due to how recently SSDs started appearing in gaming PCs, there are probably quite a few people out there who don’t really know what an SSD is and what it can do for them. If you’re one of those people, don’t feel bad. In fact, you should get excited as we discuss why an SSD is arguably the most important part of the modern high-performance PC and why the Patriot Viper VPN100 512GB SSD is the best choice for you.
To understand what this SSD from Patriot can do for you, though, you first have to understand what an SSD is. Essentially, it’s a storage device that is conceptually similar to the classic PC hard drive. Where the two differ is that classic HDDs rely on moving parts to essentially write data as you need it. SSDs replace those physical components with electrical charges and flash memory technology. What that means is that SSDs are more reliable and durable (due to a lack of moving parts), are much more mobile, and they tend to last significantly longer. Most importantly (at least for you and I), SSDs are significantly faster than HDDs.
How fast? Imagine your computer going from off to fully-operational in seconds, not minutes. Imagine your favorite games almost instantly booting the moment that you click “Play.” Remember those dark days of loading screens, then laugh as SSDs virtually make them irrelevant. An SSD offers that front-facing speed boost that nearly every PC builder looks for when they’re upgrading their rig.
Speed is certainly what you get from the Patriot Viper VPN100. The 3,300 MB/s read speed offered by the model’s 512 GB option not only leaves your HDD in the dust but is generally faster than many other comparable SSDs that you’ll find on the market. With speeds like that, this is an SSD that will truly unlock the potential of your PC and amplify the benefits of the other components in your tower. This is one of those new generation SSD options designed not just to replace what came before but to further explore the potential power of this new technology.
As anyone who has ever taken a chance on a cheap sports car can tell you, speed only matters so much. At a certain point, the fastest car in the world’s potential top speed doesn’t really matter much if it’s broken down on the side of the highway.
Thankfully, this SSD from Patriot capitalizes on that other notable selling point of SSD technology: reliability. With its aluminum heat shield casing, the VPN100 offers a functional (and, thankfully, stylish) way to house its six thermal fins and external thermal sensors. At a time when even the most advanced components can crank up the heat, it’s nice to see a core component such as this that is so effectively designed to help cool down your computer without relying on external fans and coolant systems.
More importantly, this model’s heat management capabilities mean that you’ll almost never have to worry about drops in performance. It’s nice enough to know that you’re buying a component that is going to immediately improve your PC in a noticeable way. The fact that you can rely on that same component to continue to operate at its highest capacity for years to come is a benefit that you rarely get to enjoy when talking about nearly any piece of modern technology.
In fact, Patriot even offers a three-year warranty with this model just in case you need some additional peace of mind. To be honest, though, we can’t imagine that you’ll ever need to consider utilizing that offer outside of some potentially extreme circumstances. Of course, it’s nice to know that the warranty is there should those circumstances arise.
With storage models ranging from 256GB to 2TB, users even have the option of turning to the Patriot Viper VPN100 as their sole storage device. If that’s not an option, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of smaller storage models of this SSD by loading your OS and other important applications on it.
There’s no shortage of great SSD options on the modern market, of course. For instance, we’d also recommend the XPG GAMMIX S11 Pro from ADATA. It too offers excellent heat protection, lightning-fast speeds, and a sleek look that won’t compromise the design of your battle station.
Even a baseline SSD represents a significant improvement over the best HDD in terms of pure performance potential. An SSD should be at the top of your component wishlist regardless of how much of a performance upgrade you’re looking for.
For our Den of Geek gaming PC, we opted for the Patriot Viper VPN100 512GB SSD and its combination of style, performance, and reliability. Like anyone who has upgraded to a high-performance SSD, we’ve had no time for regrets (or loading screens) ever since.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.