Patriot, a company better known for their high-end memory products are branching out into the gaming world. Today, we have the all new Viper V360 7.1 Virtual Surround Headset in the eTeknix office and given that it’s the first headset from Patriot, we’re certainly eager to see what it can do. Patriot hasn’t gone too crazy with this one, keeping to a budget-friendly end of the market that it’s sure to be easier for them to compete in, giving how fierce some of the more established brands dominate the premium end of the market; it makes sense to walk before you can run.
The Patriot V360 7.1 virtual surround sound gaming headset is designed to provide an enhanced PC gaming experience. Engineered with a closed back and ergonomic ear cups, the V360 blocks out environmental noise and fits comfortably over the ears to keep you relaxed and focused on your game longer. Experience Patriot’s revolutionary Ultra Bass Response (UBR) system; simply flip a switch to enable two powerful subwoofers and achieve even the lowest sound frequencies. Backed by Patriot’s award winning customer service and a two-year warranty the V360 is compatible with nearly every Windows operating system, including Windows 10 and Mac OS X, or higher.” – Patriot
Equipped with powerful 40mm Neodymium magnet drivers, as well as 30mm sub-drivers, a good quality omnidirectional microphone, and a 2.2 meter long braided USB cable, it’s certainly ticking all the right boxes for a good gaming headset. Let’s take a quick look at the Patriot product preview video and then we’ll move on and take a closer look.
A nicely designed box, with a clear image, the specifications and a side window for a sneaker look at the overall design.
While around the back, you’ll find a quick rundown of the main features, such as the UBR switch and LED lighting.
In the box, you’ll find a nice protective pouch for the headset, as well as a small envelope.
In the envelope, there’s a product guide, quick start guide, and a few cool stickers; nothing too crazy, but it’s always nice to have a few small extras.
DDR4 memory kits are steadily superseding DDR3 DIMMs due to competitive pricing and the advent of Intel’s LGA1151 chipset which supports speeds in excess of 3200MHz. Furthermore, DDR4 modules require less voltage to remain stable despite the typical increase in memory bandwidth. Recently, professional overclocker Shamino set an astounding world record and overclocked the G.Skill Ripjaws 4 to 4255MHz using a mere 1.3 volts. Clearly, this is an extreme case and the majority of DDR4 kits available to consumers range between 2400MHz and 4000MHz. Plus, the performance difference in gaming tasks primarily revolves around your system’s graphics card, and CPU. Nevertheless, it’s still important to select high-quality DIMMs to keep your PC perfectly stable and compliment the other components.
The Patriot Viper series is synonymous for offering excellent memory speeds at an affordable price point. Here’s a brief description of the product directly from the manufacturer:
“Patriot Memory’s Viper 4 Series memory modules are designed with true performance in mind. Built for the latest Intel® Skylake processor utilizing the 100 series platform, the Viper 4 series provides the best performance and stability for the most demanding computer environments.
The Viper 4 series utilizes a custom designed high performance heat shield for superior heat dissipation to ensure rock solid performance even when using the most taxing applications. Built from the highest quality Build of Materials, Patriot Memory’s Viper 4 Series memory modules are hand tested and validated for system compatibility.
Available in dual kits, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB kits, Patriot Memory’s Viper 4 Series will be offered at speeds from 2400MHz up to 3600MHz and XMP 2.0 ready. Hand tested for quality assurance the Viper 4 series is backed by a lifetime warranty.”
As you can see, the latest version of the Viper range comes in a variety of capacities and memory speeds to suit a wide range of user requirements. Given the impressive 3200MHz speed, 16-16-16 timings and respectable voltage, I expect to see some superb numbers which legitimately rival the best dual channel kits we’ve tested!
Packaging and Accessories
Patriot have adopted a clean, bold design to the memory’s packaging which makes it easy to read the key specifications while admiring the DIMM’s colour scheme. Here we can see a visual run down of the memory’s speed, capacity, XMP version and other essential statistics. Many kits on the market utilize pretty plain blister packs which don’t enthuse a luxury feel. In this case, the packaging draws you in and leaves a very positive initial impression.
On the rear section, there’s information about Patriot’s lifetime warranty, a brief synopsis of the product, and links to the company’s presence across various social media platforms.
A Closer Look
From an aesthetics standpoint, the DIMMs have a rather understated look and targets the mainstream gaming audience. Any red and black heatspreader combination is going to become a popular choice, and the different shades combine quite nicely. Another striking touch is the contrast between the textured black finish and matte section towards the PCB. I’m also quite fond of the sophisticated Viper logo and small gap between the main heatspreader which creates an impressive visual effect. Sadly, the green PCB is difficult to overlook and detracts from the attractive design. If a black PCB was used instead, the memory would be the perfect choice for a high-end build. Despite these qualms, once the RAM is installed, you’re not going to notice the PCB colour in an enclosed chassis.
CES 2016: Patriot unveiled a huge array of new storage products during CES this year which really caught my attention. Firstly, the Gauntlet 4 SSD enclosure is constructed from an aluminium unibody case, and lightweight ABS tray. This makes it feel incredibly solid while being light enough to carry around in a backpack. Furthermore, the device supports USB 3.1 Type-C technology to deliver speeds 16% faster in read times and 22% enhanced write times compared to its predecessor. Obviously, this depends on the storage device used, but it’s a great indication of the advancements in performance. The Gauntlet 4 will be available towards the end of Q1 this year with a retail price of $39.99.
The Supersonic Mega USB employs a robust, zinc alloy casing to protect your data even if the most extreme circumstances. Additionally, the high-end Magnum provides read speeds up to 380MB/s and 70MB/s writes while coming in at an affordable price. As expected, the drives are USB 3.1 Gen 1 compliant and include a 5 year warranty. You can choose from a 128GB model which retails for $49.99, 256GB SKU costing $89.99 and finally, a 512GB capacity with a retail price of $229.99.
If you require more performance, the Supersonic Magnum 2 is a better solution due to the up to 400MB/s read speed and 300MB/s write. This makes it one of the fastest flash drives on the market and a suitable choice for performance users.The Viper range offers large capacities with USB 3.1 connectivity at highly competitive prices. More specifically, the 64GB model will only cost $34.99, while the 128GB drive retails for $54.99 and the 256GB size comes in at $94.99.
Patriot also announced the company’s first PCIe M.2 solid state drive based on the Phison 5007 with MLC NAND. The Hellfire SSD is capable of sequential read speeds up to 3000MB/s and astonishing write rates up to 2200MB/s. This range of NVMe 1.2 compliant drives is very exciting and bound to please users wanting the ultimate in performance. Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot said:
“We are very excited to get into the PCIe storage space,”
“With the launch of Intel’s latest Skylake Processor, we are seeing more motherboards available in the consumer market that support PCIe devices. Along with the launch of Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, which supports PCIe storage devices without the need for additional drivers, we feel this will be the future trend and will allow users to take full advantage of the PCIe storage speeds.“
The Hellfire will be available in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities to suit a wide range of storage demands. Please note, pricing has not yet been revealed, but the product line is scheluled for a Q1 launch.
A Japanese craftsman, known only as uhu02, has produced some of the most beautiful handcrafted models of science fiction vehicles ever seen, in such exquisite detail that they can compete with the best die-cast resin models on the market. What makes the feat doubly impressive is that uhu02 works exclusively in paper.
A few months ago I took a look at a Limited Edition kit from Patriot which was built specifically for the Intel Extreme Masters championships, andall in all, I was very impressed with what the kit had to offer, both in terms of styling, but more so on the performance side, with its bandwidth the opened right up with only the slightest of overclocks. The Viper kit that I’m looking at today is pretty much the same as the IEM kit that I saw previously, the only difference being its capacity and colour. Hopefully the increase in capacity, still allows for a large a mount of bandwidth to be opened up with only a slight overclock like previously seen.
The Viper kit comes in four colours, giving user the choice to match their systems colour scheme, namely Limited Edition blue, green, red and black as seen below. The styling of the kits is the same throughout the range, with a simple heat spreader design and a glossy surface to the Viper branding.
Asus Maximus V Formula
Intel Core i7 3770k
AMD Radeon HD 7970
Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD
Lian Li T60
Clocked at 2133MHz at stock through X.M.P. configuration, the Viper 16GB has near identical timings to the 8GB kits with a slightly slower cycle time of 30 with the remainder of the timings staying at 11-11-11 and a 3T command rate.
After CPU-Z had confirmed our settings had been applied, we fired up AIDA64 to check the stock performance of the memory on our Z77 motherboard.
One small detail that I will point out from within CPU-Z is the unusual use of a 3T command rate – typically kits with X.M.P are seen with a command rate of 1 or 2T.
In a similar fashion to the IEM kits, the 16GB Viper kit has a pretty good stock bandwidth with 19793MB/s read, 18519MB/s write and 22083MB/s copy with a latency of 39.2ns
Seeing how far the kit can stretch its legs out, the first step is to push the clocks as far as they go with the timings left at stock – 11-11-11-30. When pushing the kit further, the CPU is also overclocked to open up the memory controller and in turn give scope for higher clocks. Working on the dividers to start, the Viper kit easily jumps up to the 2200MHz divider although anything above this resulted in a no boot scenario. Moving over to the BCLK, we know these kits don’t have much extra leeway in them and consequently a final clock at stock timings of 2222MHz was achieved.
In a similar fashion to the IEM kits, the pure Viper kits see a good gain in bandwidth with a fixed timing overclock with the gains best seen on the write bandwidth, with a gain of 2129MB/s, whilst read and copy speeds saw a gain of 1847MB/s and 2071MB/s respectively.
Allowing the timings to run free a little, there is a bit more headroom for pushing this kit a little further, although we do know from past experience that this is only by a small amount and massive overclocks should not be expected.
Trying the next divider up from 2200MHz resulted in a no boot scenario, so overclocking on the BCLK is all that remains. Edging the BCLK forward bit by bit, it didn’t take long before the kit topped out and a no post situation was seen. Leaving the BCLK at 101.7MHz resulted in an overall memory speed of 2238MHz, an overclock of 105MHz.
Whilst the gains over the fixed timing overclock are not massive, the timings remain fairly close to stock, meaning that any gains that are had are still going to be a good improvement to overall system performance.
Having seen the Viper kit in the form of the Intel Extreme Master Limited Edition 8GB kit not too long ago, I did have an idea of what was in stock, but the crucial difference between the two kits is the capacity.
Whilst 8GB kits are pretty much the standard and just about perfect for most everyday tasks, the growing number of 16GB dual channel kits on the market are showing a slight shift in trends. SFF builds are becoming more an more popular amongst enthusiasts and whilst this is great news and the sales of mini-ITX boards for example are going up, until recently, there have been not-so-many kits to choose from to maximise the capacity of these boards two DIMM slots.
This is where kits like this one come in and more importantly to see that whilst the capacity has doubled, the performance is still just as good, even when given a slight overclock. Pricing at this region of the market is also very good with the 16GB near to 2x the price of the 8GB kit as we would expect at around £120.
eTeknix Says: These new 16GB dual channel kits are soon going to have more competition, but for the meantime, the ‘Black Mamba’ Viper kits have got the bite and venom to put the competition to rest, still making it one of my top choices.