[Editor: This review was done by Peter Bower]
PNY, largely known for producing quality PC memory and graphics cards, has stepped up its PC memory game with the introduction of the XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB DDR4 3200MHz RAM desktop memory.
Featuring an extreme overclocked performance, this DDR4 memory is designed for gamers and those who want to give their PC major boost when running applications with intense memory requirements (you know, besides Chrome…).
And, ignoring the tech specs for a moment, this memory sports a nice chunk of RGB lighting to compliment your rainbow PC case. With customisable colour and lighting effects, supported by AUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light and ASRock Polychrome Sync software, this RAM will make your PC case shimmer.
With thanks to PNY Technologies, I have 16gb (in a 2x8gb formation) of the new RAM in my gaming rig and have been giving it a good work out the last fortnight.
Nope. No box opening video here. With that said, if there was one, it would be pretty boring. Opening the matt black box revealed the plastic clamshell casing. Inside, two sticks of RAM awaited. Measuring 5.71” (14.5cm) x 0.24” (0.6cm) x 1.83” (4.65cm), the ram is a smidgen higher than my former Corsair RAM. Most of this is taken up by the sizeable RGB panel.
Besides the clamshell and the RAM itself, there was nothing else in the box.
There was no documentation inside. Instead, simply links on the back of the box will take you to the install guide and warranty information.
I’m pretty well versed at popping RAM in and out. There are instructions on the PNY website I looked at for the purposes of this review. But they are pretty formal and not OVERLY helpful, featuring some safety precautions and DIMM installation instructions. To be honest, if you’ve not installed RAM before, ask a friend who has, or visit YouTube. A nice little addition to the PNY site would be a simple video tutorial.
Now, freely admitting my gaming rig is as few years old now. The MSI Z170A Gaming M5 motherboard is not exactly the latest on the market. In fact, it’s not had a BIOS update since 2018. As such, this RAM isn’t exactly recognised by my drive, showing up as ‘unknown’, but the XMP 2.0 profile was easily recognised and turned on for easy overclocking and to have the RAM running at top speed.
Shiny, Shimmery, Splendid!
What you want to know, I’m sure. How does it look?
The matt black/dark grey aluminium heat spreaders extend up to a long frosted white strip of RGB. It’s a beautiful look and look the part perfectly with any case.
Plugging in the RAM resulted in a beautiful rainbow bleeding through my case. In fact, unlike other RGB I have in my case (minimal, but still), the RGB reflects against the file cabinet in my office.
It’s noticeable, and rather pleasant. I’ve just the rather pleasant default changing rainbow rotating through my case as I write this. You know, if you’re into the pure aesthetics, the XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB DDR4 3200MHz RAM desktop memory looks great in my opinion.
Running in a 2x8gb formation, the 16gb 3200MHz (PC4-25600) CL16 1.35V memory saw a nice performance bump in my system.
Monitoring my internal case temperatures has seen no increase in temperature since installing the memory while running memory intensive applications. Perhaps even a SLIGHT decrease. During lengthy gaming sessions with first person shooters, the memory seems to run cool. The thermal performance of this memory lives up to expectation, and I can’t help but feel the higher, matt black shell has a lot to do with that.
Running at full speed with the XMP 2.0 profile turned on, the 3200MHz provides a nice snappy response. In the fortnight since running the memory, I’ve given it a solid work out in Photoshop and Lightroom, rendered video and processed audio. I’ve also had more than a few solid gaming sessions, with Rainbow Six Siege, APEX and DotA 2 all cranked to the max. And, I won’t lie, more than once I’ve been gaming while video having Photoshop open, way too many Chrome tabs, and listening to music through Spotify.
The PC feels snappier. Responses are quicker and I’m not noticing any lag when alt-tabbing between programs / games. Quality performance all round by me.
Worth noting that if your PC can’t run at the full 3200MHz, depending on your setup, the RAM is fully backward compatible with various speeds down to 2133MHz. You should see a nice performance from the cooling, low energy usage, and the oh-so-pretty colours.
A couple of benchmarks
I won’t write anything here. But, have a look at these pretty screengrabs that show the performance of the 2x8gb pairing of XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB DDR4 3200MHz RAM desktop memory.
The XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB DDR4 3200MHz RAM desktop memory is a nice piece of kit. It performs well, the shimmering colours are a great addition to my case, and it’s fast. At ~$120 for a 2x8gb kit from MWAVE, I feel it’s a worthy investment if you’re looking around for value for money RGB memory that will just WORK.
With thanks again to PNY Technologies for the review set. While the product has been provided, the views are my own.