You can't believe the excitement I had when I saw that this memory came in a package other than a boring molded plastic container with nothing more than a cardboard insert for flair. This new package from Patriot certainly is a step up and despite the package influencing a memory purchase, it is still nice to see something different.

The small box that the Viper Extreme memory comes in is very tastefully done and really gives the memory a professional look to it. We can actually see one of the modules by way of a window strategically placed to show off the fancy new Viper Fin heat sinks. To be truthfully honest, I am just so happy to see something other than the standard molded clear plastic package that it could be a plain white box and still be exciting. Instead, Patriot really has done a solid job wrapping this memory in a stylish yet simple design. The Viper Fin heat sinks are clearly the focus of these new modules and rightfully they should be.

The rear of the package boasts a little bit about Patriot and their practices, particularly their manufacturing, testing, technical support, and their lifetime warranty. It is getting to be pretty common place to see a lifetime warranty on a memory package but it is good to see that Patriot also provides the backing that other big name memory manufacturers do. Let's now get into this package and have a look at these fancy heat sinks in the flesh. Upon opening the package the impressiveness continued finding two very secure plastic clam shell packages each safely containing a single memory module. I suppose it is only expected that a plastic container be used at some point and this package design utilizes it very well. Instead of being the exterior, the plastic container plays a secondary role in simply securing the memory. Combined with the cardboard outer shell of the package, this setup is certainly going to get the memory from A to B with no chance of damage.

The last piece of the package we saw in the previous photo, a small paper insert. Here it has been opened up and we can see that it provides basic installation and handling instructions as well as a quick breakdown of what the primary memory timings actually mean. This may prove helpful for some users and is a nice touch. Of course, for those who are going to be using this memory with an Intel XMP ready motherboard, this shouldn't be necessary; but more on that later.

Next time you see someone showing off the interior of their case with these modules in there, you will immediately recognize the model. Of course these heat sinks do take after the predecessors of memory heat sinks from Corsair and OCZ with the fence like peaks, but they have their own flair and unique design elements. The rib along each 'fence post' not only adds visual depth to the heat sink but also slightly increases surface area as does the gaps at the bottom of the module that tie the top and bottom together nicely. Not to mention really make these sticks look like a couple sections of shiny yard fence.

The raised Patriot logo on one side of the modules makes it easy enough to see just who made this memory for those not familiar with the design the first time they see it. It really can't be said enough, these modules look sharp and the design of the heat sink is near perfect. They are very thin and won't have any side-by-side installation issues but will obviously have some height problems in certain setups. This is minor these days as motherboard manufacturers have worked to keep memory far enough away from the CPU socket. Speaking of the heat sinks, let's move in for a closer look.

The first photo on the left pretty much says it all. This is the defining view of the aluminum copper composite material that these heat sinks are made of. It appears as if the copper only goes about half way through the heat sink with the aluminum being on the outside and the copper being toward the inside making contact with the surface of the ICs. Of course we can't be certain it is like this the whole way down the module because removal of these heat sinks will likely result in not getting them back on or damage to the ICs in removal. The reason for this daring removal is because the heat sinks are secured to the ICs through a very thin film barely seen in the photo just above to the right. This material looks very similar to the thermal adhesive used by Corsair and if it is similar, will be cured on through a baking process making the bond very strong and excellent for transferring heat. It of course could also be a thermal tape but the risk in damaging the modules isn't going to be worth finding out.

There is one point I would like to mention in regards to the heat sinks. As we can see above, the ICs aren't being completely covered by the heat sink. A good portion is actually exposed to the open air and not making contact with the heat sink at all. A positive result is that we can all but confirm a Micron IC based on the marking but the downside is that the maximum amount of heat isn't being transferred from the ICs to the heat sink. For such an elaborate and innovative cooling solution, I am surprised to see this small detail overlooked. Perhaps Patriot knows something about the heat producing patterns of Micron ICs that aren't obvious to the rest of us?

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