The Bottom Line
- + Visually appealing
- + Unique RGB display
- + Cooled PMIC
- + All XMP profiles programmed
- + Overclockability
- - Slightly larger than other sticks
- - Look may not be for everyone
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
When we got into reviewing memory, it was in the late days of DDR3 and the very early stages of DDR4. With only previous life experiences to use as a stepping-off point, we always had our favorites in our rigs. That being said, very few made that list. We were always down for some early release RAM from Corsair, we always loved what G.Skill was able to do, but we also used quite a few kits from the likes of Patriot, Crucial, and some more obscure kits over the years as well. Some of those companies decided to charge much more for their products, leaving the market to wander, and with the advent of Samsung B-die, only one stands out as the go-to in DDR4, no questions asked.
If you didn't figure out where we were leading you, it is because while Patriot may have never been on your parts radar, they are one to look out for. Over the years, they kept us plenty busy with tons of options in DDR5, and with the move to DDR5, Patriot made sure to put the right foot forward and do some things we have yet to see from other manufacturers of DDR5. Some things are not that big of a deal to many, but some will find it handy for testing, while others make you question why the rest of the market seems to overlook it. Let's just say that if the looks and specifications don't grab you from the jump, it still may be worth the time to hang around and see what sort of magic Patriot has up its sleeves this time.
Moving away from names like Steel, Blackout, and Elite, these new kits from Patriot are part of a new series. Sticking with the snake theme of the company logo, Venom seems very fitting for their DDR5, and it can be had with or without RGB. We got both of those options but are bringing forth the RGB variant first. What we have in store for you today is a stunning set of Viper Venom RGB DDR5-6200 sticks with plenty of flexibility, along with a few things hidden under the hood you may not have expected.
Our Patriot Viper Venom RGB comes with the part number PVVR532G620C40K, and it is fairly easy to figure out how that part number comes about. Our Viper Venom RGB comes with black and silver aluminum heat spreaders with red paint used for contrast. These are single-sided sticks with 16GB of density per module, each set to a speed of 6200 MT/s. The timings of the XMP profile are nothing amazing, but the 40-40-40-76 2T is a standard industry-wide pretty much. We also see that these kits require 1.35 VDIMM for operation. Dimensionally the sticks are a touch longer than most at 137.7mm and are not exactly what we'd consider short at 43.5mm, but the 7mm thickness matters little to most. Each module weighs in at 51.3grams, but weight has never been an issue. Lastly, there is a limited lifetime warranty in this instance.
Under the hood, we find things like SK Hynix ICs used and a Richtek PMIC, nothing too out of the ordinary there, but after testing, we open kits up to see things, and low and behold, Patriot is the first we have seen to use a thermal pad between the spreader and the PMIC. While some claim PMIC cooling, like the passive arrangement TEAM came up with, Patriot is giving you the best chance of a cooler PMIC than any other at the moment. Patriot has also been the first to offer three different XMP options, allowing users to pick their performance while also having built-in options to flesh out stability problems. Not only that, but Patriot also came up with a new RGB illumination mode, which is refreshing and cool to see.
While on the surface, it may seem like any other kit out there, what you will find if you buy the Patriot Viper Venom RGB as we have, you are getting a product with a terrific eye on the attention to detail. Something we do not see much these days. On top of all the benefits, we are speaking of, and what Patriot delivers, we see them listed currently at $289.99 on Amazon. Checking against other options at this speed and density, we do find that Patriot priced themselves at the lower-end, cost-wise. The Viper Venom RGB you will see is the most affordable DDR5 solution with RGB right now. While some may say that the Vengeance has better timings, Patriot has that covered, too, with a bit of love for the overclockers.
Packaging and Patriot Viper Venom RGB
Opting for matte black and what appears to be smoke as the backdrop, the look at the Patriot Viper Venom RGB in the center of the front panel pops as much as the chromed letters used to spell out its name. At the top, we have the Viper name and logo; the sticker with the density and speed is to the right.
The reverse of the box offers up the name in chrome letters again, and at the right of it are notations of RGB, DDR5, and compatibility. At the same time, the fine print says this is XMP 3.0 ready performance memory with a limited lifetime warranty. A code takes you to the product page, but to the right are windows to view the right half of the sticks and the sticker that matches the one between the windows.
We found the RAM in clear plastic inner packaging that snugly holds these modules in place, keeping the scratches and dusty bits at bay while offering anti-static properties. Floating free inside the box is the Viper Gaming logo sticker, which will be going on our mirrored door to the closet in the office.
Even though bold is not our go-to when it comes to RAM choice, the contrast of the red against the black and silver bits of the heat spreaders is a slick look. We also dig the angled bits in the middle that goes along with the cuts next to the diffuser bar and how the silver is segmented from the black; it all plays well together. Patriot pulls off a win stylistically.
Typically the back side of DDR5 is left with a lesser appeal, but the Patriot Viper Venom RGB DDR5 offers the same design and trim on both sides of these kits. The only change on this side is the product sticker centered on the heat spreader. We are given the part number for the kit, RAM type, density, speed, CAS latency, and voltage.
Even though this angle is standard for us to take, you can see why in this image. From the side view, the dimensions of the heat spreader design get lost. From this angle, you can tell how thick the raised bits are and how deep the indented portions are, and also get a better look at how the spreaders meet the diffuser bar and just how dimensional this design is.
We love that you can see the diffuser bar in full across the top, but we also dig that it wraps around the ends of the sticks and can also be seen from the sides. While it can get tough to make out with the RGB going at full blast, the Viper name is painted in the middle of the diffuser so that others know who supplied the kit in your system.
The thermal tape Patriot uses to secure the ICs to the aluminum heat spreader uses a stronger adhesive than most, pulling much of the lettering off the chips. We can still make out the SK Hynix, and by looking at multiple ICs, we made out that these are H5CG48MEB0 chips on those black PCBs.
Richtek makes the PMIC that Patriot opted to fit, and even though it is harder to make out than the RAM ICs, we believe it says 0D-9B. However, the thermal pad seems to have removed the paint normally seen here.
That is correct; you read thermal pad. Patriot, unlike any other manufacturer who has sent us DDR5 thus far, opted to cool the PMIC with more than an air channel; that might work. Inside the aluminum heat spreader is a white thermal pad like you find on a GPU. While we have not seen issues personally, we do not push the PMIC like XOC users.
Now that the Viper Venom RGB is installed in the system and powered, we are even more impressed than we were when we saw them fresh out of the box. The use of red and silver to contrast the black is a brilliant move to make the RAM stand out against the all-black backdrop, but the bright illumination of RGB in a bullseye pattern is what we dig the most. Of course, this is controllable with various motherboard sync software options, but rarely get a simple without a rainbow running down the sticks as the default, and we want to give Patriot thanks for stepping outside the box.
Test System Details
To obtain the Intel CPU-Z screenshots, you will see directly following this image, and this is the system we used to do it, as well as in attaining the results seen in the following pages. Thanks go out to be quiet, ASUS, and NVIDIA, for supporting this venture. Detailed specifications of the system can be found below.
After properly setting the RAM to its initial XMP setting, we find that the Patriot Viper Venom RGB gets into Windows at the advertised specifications. Our kit is running at 6200 MHz with 40-40-40-76 2T timings, while the voltages were 1.35VDD/VDDQ, the System Agent is set to 1.233V, and the Memory Controller is 1.35V.
We already know that one of the features of DDR5 is multiple XMP 3.0 slots, which can be programmed, but it seems nobody does except Patriot. If the image above is XMP, let's call it XMP 1, this then is XMP 2, where the RAM is now set to 6000 MHz, using the same timings as XMP 1, but the VDD/VDDQ is now 1.25V, as is the Memory Controller, but the System Agent is still at 1.233V.
Since the slot is ready for a profile, Patriot also offers up XMP 3, which is now running the RAM at 5600 MHz with 36-36-36-68 2T timings. Additionally, we are only using 1.25V for the VDD/VDDQ and the Memory Controller.
By setting the VDD/VDDQ and Tx to 1.45V, pushing the System Agent to 1.30V, and using 1.35V for the Memory Controller, we did our thing and reduced the timings. While we did see CAS 28 in Windows, it was not stable, nor was any attempt to lower the secondaries past 35. With full stability, we landed with our Viper Venom RGB running at 6200 MHz with the timings set to 30-35-35-76 2T.
Using the same voltages we used to lower the timings, we reset the field and tried for the fastest the kit offered. While we are fully stable at 6800 MHz with 40-40-40-76 2T timings, we have to point out that this is the first set of Hynix to make it to 7000 MHz in Windows, even if unstable. With a bit more voltage, we feel this kit would react well and has more room to stretch if you've got the stones big enough.
Chad's AMD DDR5 Dual-Channel Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus Z690 APEX - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i9 12900K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: be quiet! PURE LOOP 360mm - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition - Buy from Amazon
- Storage: Phison B47R Fortis 1600 2TB M.2
- Case: Thermaltake Core P3 TG - Buy from Amazon
- Power Supply: be quiet! DARK POWER PRO 12 1200W - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Home - Buy from Amazon
Looking at CPUZ for what we might expect from Patriot, we have to say things are not starting well. XMP 1 is at the bottom of the chart, which is odd, but we can see the 6800 C40 run didn't improve things much. XMP 2 looks better, and XMP 3 is what we expected from XMP 1. However, there is some light, as we find that 6200 C30 improves things. Even compared to the XPrism, this metric does not favor what Patriot offers.
Moving the AIDA64, things perk up for Patriot in the read performance. Right behind the XPrism are the XMP1 results, which are close to what we'd expect. Reducing the timings gets us around 800 MB/s more performance, but the difference is more than ten-fold as we get an 8743 MB/s boost, increasing the Venom RGB to 6800 MHz.
The write performance in AIDA64 is similar to what we just saw, but this time the Viper Venom RGB XMP 1 profile passes the XPrism kit by a fair margin. We see a seven hundred and change increase with the reduction of timings, but again, at 6800 MHz, this kit opens up, delivering 9517 MB/s more than XMP 1 gave us.
Copy performance is like the others, mixing it up with the XPrism kit and passing it by again. Looking at the overclocked results, we see lowering the timings gets us 1937 MB/s more, but at 6800 MHz, that gap widens to 9357 MB/s over XMP 1 results.
Latency is not horrible for the Viper Venom RGB either, just slightly more than the XPrism, but it is still ahead of the faster Delta set. 63ns is fair for the XMP 1 settings, but we did not expect to see 56.7 with our overclocking ventures.
We cannot complain about these Super Pi results, but we did expect the XMP 2 option not to fall on its face. Even so, we are running tight to the XPrism kit, and as we can see, overclocking did reduce the run times, but only slightly.
Fire Strike physics loves the Viper Venom XMP 1 settings, as it takes third place. None of the other options were worth their salt in this test, as results got worse the more we changed things.
Man, we thought the 3DMark results were decent, then we saw this PCMark 10 chart and were shocked. Not only did the XMP 1 results top the chart against all other takers, but all three XMP options took top honors. We can see extra speed killed our attempt to gain points, but we eeked a few more out of this kit with a reduction in timings.
In our day-to-day, file compression is something we do quite often, and while the XMP 1 option holds its own in this chart, it is beat by the XPrism this time. It took us raising the speed to 6800 MHz for the Venom RGB to get a faster result than what V-color gave us, albeit at a much higher price point.
No matter what we tried, when running Cinebench R23 with the three XMP options, Patriot beat the V-Color XPrism, but we had hoped for more performance. The shining star is the 6200 C30 result, up in second place.
Transcoding video is something many will need to do regularly, and with the large 4K file size these days, you can waste a lot of time with the wrong set of RAM. The results seemed off, but a retest proved XMP 2 to be better than XMP 1. Looking to improve upon the XMP results, we dropped another five seconds, but both overclocked runs gave us very similar results.
Looking back through the images, pondering in our mind, and thinking through all of the finer points, we can get behind what Patriot has done. You get some seriously attractive RAM, and the appeal starts when the inner packaging slides out of the cardboard box. Aesthetically, Patriot not only delivered a sleek black and silver look, opting for bright red as the pop of color to draw the eye to the branding, all smart choices.
What set us back is just how three-dimensional the heat spreader design is. All of the thicker bits, the cutouts in some areas, the varying height of the portions of the heat spreader, even the way they wrap into the diffuser bar, all of Patriots ducks are in a row visually, that is for certain.
The appeal and attention to detail on the outside is one thing, but carrying that through to all aspects is another, and this is where Patriot truly shines the brightest. Thinking about this aspect brings us to things like better thermal tape used on the ICs, thermal pad on the PMIC, ICs that can get to Windows at 7000 MHz where others cannot, full programming of the XMP 3.0 slots, and even came up with a new way of presenting RGB illumination in RAM.
While we are sure we are forgetting or glossing over other things like tertiary timings changes in the profiles that can make more difference than you would think, it all goes to show you what kind of company you are buying from. They aren't just getting by with the bare minimum.
We fully expected a close battle between the V-Color XPrism and the Venom RGB, as they have similar specs. The results in our charts show it is a blow-for-blow battle where Patriot is in the lead at one minute, and the next they are on the ropes, but on average, the XMP 1 profile delivered the performance one should expect from a kit with these specifications.
For those like us who cannot leave well enough alone, you have a ton of flexibility to tinker with. We dropped the timings quite a bit with minimal effort, and adding more speed was just as easy to accomplish, driving performance up considerably in most metrics. While it was not a decisive knockout for Patriot to be the leader of 6200 MHz CAS 40 DDR5, we feel they did a good job across the board and offer a fair bit of bang for the buck in the Viper Venom RGB.
The last thing to consider is money; it always comes down to this. Many of you tend to look for the least expensive option of whatever your checklist has on it. In this instance, you get stellar aesthetics, acceptable performance, RGB illumination, and a much higher level of attention to the finer points. It just so happens that Patriot is the most affordable option that meets that criteria. At $289.99, the only thing close is Corsair Vengeance, when we much prefer to look at these Viper Venom RGB than the plainer-looking Corsair solution.
The Bottom Line
Patriot comes out swinging with the Viper Venom RGB DDR5. An all new appeal, a new way to display RGB, considerations made that others don't bother with, all add up to a superior product. We just wished for slightly better performance.