PNY’s fastest offering of DDR4 yet, the XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 4600MHz RAM Desktop Memory does exactly as you would expect. Lightning fast, reliable, and with a customisable RGB panel on top which just looks great.
This memory features absolute extreme overclocked performance. It’s designed for gamers and those running applications with intense memory requirements such as Photoshop and video editing.
This won’t be a long review, because there’s only so much you can say about a rather passive, albeit critical, piece of computer hardware. But here we go. With thanks to PNY, I’m testing 16gb (in a 2x8gb formation) within a brand-new computer build. It’s been running a week now and not missed a beat.
What’s In The Box
PNY have stuck to the same format as the previous PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 3200MHz RAM Desktop Memory that I was fortunate enough to test when it comes to boxing. The box contains a plastic clam-shell case. Nestled in tight into that box is the two sticks of RAM.
The RAM is 145mm long x 46.5mm high x 6.2mm wide. Along the top edge is the plastic which contains the RGB lighting in a wedge shape. This RGB makes the RAM stand a little higher than some other RAM I’ve used in the past, so worth noting if you have a more traditional air cooler (as opposed to my AIO cooler), as the height may come into play.
Worth noting that I’m reviewing the black model with the RGB strip, but there is a rather nice soft pink available, too, if your case is set to that aesthetic.
Installing the XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 4600MHz RAM Desktop Memory
In my last review of PNY RAM back in August 2020, I spoke a little about installation.
As I said then, I’m pretty well versed at popping RAM in and out. But I did comment that a video guide would be handy. Well, PNY’s YouTube has delivered exactly that.
For me, once installed, I just enabled the XMP 2.0 profile, and the full 4600MHz speed was unleashed in the case.
The part that matters: The looks and the RGB
The heat spreaders of this ram are a matt black / dark grey aluminium. With the exception of the XLR8 and red arrow branding, the frosted white RGB wedge takes up about 1/5th of the module. Inside a case while operating, this RAM is rather gorgeous to look at.
Supported by Gigabyte RGB Fusion (that I’m rocking), ASUS Aura Sync, ASRock’s Polychrome Sync and MSI’s Mystic Light Sync, this RAM will shimmer and shine in your case with most motherboards.
For me, once installed and my computer turned on, I simply had to open up Gigabyte RGB Fusion software, and I was able to control the colour and patterns on the RAM. There’s plenty of options to choose from here.
My only MINOR disappointment here is not PNY’s fault at all. As you can see in the photos with this review, I’m using a Corsair AIO cooler and Corsair RGB fans in my gaming rig. Corsair uses their own proprietary software, iCUE, which, of course, isn’t compatible with the PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 4600MHz RAM Desktop Memory. But, then, I don’t believe anything other than Corsair RAM is. So, no harm. I just altered the colour via RGB Fusion to match the rest of my RGB, and away I go.
How the PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 4600MHz RAM Desktop Memory performs
I’ve just built a new gaming computer. While I’m still rocking my older MSI GTX 1070 graphics at this point, the build features a Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master motherboard with an AMD 5900X processor, a Corsair H150i Elite Capellix AIO CPU cooler, with a few additional Corsair LL120 super quiet fans. It’s also rocking a Western Digital WD_Black SN850 NVMe m.2 SSD and WD Blue SN550 NVMe m.2 SSD for the OS and storage. i.e. This computer is a bit of a beast (and perhaps a little overkill), and FAST.
The PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 4600MHz RAM Desktop Memory is the perfect accompaniment for my build. Ignoring that it suits the aesthetic perfectly, the case is running relatively cool and the RAM’s heat spreaders and thermal performance of the RAM seems to be living up to expectation.
With the XMP 2.0 profile in play and the memory performing at full 4600MHz speed, it is definitely noticeable. I actually updated my BIOS at one point, which turned off the profile. And returning to the slower default speed, you could definitely notice.
Photoshop and Lightroom and rendered videos all seem to be performing extremely well. And gaming is going great. DotA2, Battlefield 2042, and Overwatch are all running exceptionally well. And, as always, I normally have too much open (way too many tabs in Chrome, music, games, even Photoshop), and the computer hasn’t missed a beat.
The PC is quick, it is snappy, it is responsive as hell. Only time I notice any lag or drop in performance is when it is clearly graphics card related with the GTX 1070 starting to struggle a bit in its old age (things such as alt-tabbing from non-borderless windows of games).
Plus, you know, the pretty colours!
Look, if you want to see the performance in numbers, here are the benchmarks for a 2x8gb formation of the PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 4600MHz RAM Desktop Memory. If you went back and looked at the PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 3200MHz RAM Desktop Memory, you’ll see some noticeable improvements, and a bit of a puzzling step back.
Against MaxxMem2, the 4600MHz module annihilates the 3200MHz module in terms of read and copy, doubling the speeds of the previous memory. The benchmarks show that write speeds are only fractionally better and latency is actually worse. That said, latency levels are still within the ‘green’ when compared to other DDR4 memory.
In PerformanceTest scores, the 4600MHz scores slightly less than the 3200MHz module. But, again, this is solely due to memory latency. The 4600MHz outperforms and shines in every other aspect except latency.
Finally, with UserBenchmark.com’s tool, again, the 4600MHz outshines it is my older 3200MHz in almost every field. It has much better multicore read, write and mixed score, better single core read and mixed (although, is down compared to the single core write score), and, again, latency is performing slightly poorer (at 64.3ns compared to 52.6ns). I’m not a technical boffin, so the other scores may be compensating for the poorer latency, but it surprises me a lot that it’s not smashing it in comparison, too.
Final thoughts on the PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 4600MHz RAM Desktop Memory
Personally, I dig this RAM. It performs brilliantly in the new build. While looking at benchmarks, I’m a little surprised that latency appears to be a bit poorer than the earlier, lower speed modules, but I have zero complaints. I’ll be sure to update this review if anything changes, but to-date I am impressed with the performance it offers and the rock-solid reliability.
In fact, if anything, I would love to throw another 2x8gb modules into my build to really make this computer purr!
And for $247 for the pink modules and $259 for the black, the PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB DDR4 4600MHz RAM Desktop Memory is not only a high performer but a reasonably priced memory option for your computer build. (Purchasing via the links above helps DRN keep the lights on!)
Many thanks to PNY for allowing me a chance to add the RAM to my latest build.