Hands-on Review – PNY XLR8 Epic-X RGB Gaming RAM

Thanks to the recent, and possibly ongoing, rounds of Lockdown in NZ, gaming at home has become a booming market. As such, many enthusiasts are boosting their PCs to handle the next generation of games, which are pushing back the boundaries of what PCs can handle in terms of refresh rate and the sheer volume of data they need to process – higher polygon counts and more refined textures mean a lot more number-crunching needs to be done.

As anyone who knows PCs is aware, memory speeds are a critical factor in how well games play. Even a slight drop in processing can make the difference between your gaming character wiping out the enemy or becoming swiss cheese. Add to that the ongoing desire to make the gaming gear glow in the dark, and this RAM is right on form for the target demographic.

Built on the same mission behind PNY’s graphics cards, this RAM is plug-n-play and highly configurable. With solid backwards-compatible specs and low power needs, it’s a great way to take a good PC and give it a taste of greatness, so even if your PC doesn’t support the 3200MHz speed, as long as it can do 2133MHz or better, this RAM will work seamlessly to give you the extra edge in your gaming. The big caveat is that it is suited for systems running Windows 10 or above.

Utilising a high-quality aluminium chassis and some clever surface coatings, as well as an advanced built-in heat spreader, it is able to dump heat better than regular bare-chips RAM, but of course, this comes at a cost – in this case, it means the RAM is slightly bulkier than some of its peers. Still, you definitely get what you pay for, and its performance is unarguably as brilliant as the onboard LED light bar that runs along the spine in a stylish, geometrically-facetted shallow V. While it appears that there are only 5 LEDs per stick, it is designed to be compatible with most of the leading colour-control software so each LED can be configured individually to give you almost any colour you desire. With a bit of playing, you’ll be able to colour-match them to your rig in short order. The lights draw their power directly from the RAM bus, so you won’t even need to buy any extra kit, such as power/controller headers.

With solid XMP 2.0 support, overclocking the XLR8 RAM means you can ramp it up as far as your system can handle and get superior performance under even the most intense loads. Perfect for the games available now, and likely it will still hold its own in the next generation too. Because they have been engineered specifically to cater to high-use scenarios, under normal non-gaming usage it will perform flawlessly and provide excellent reliability. Of course, overclocking is, by definition, pushing it past the normal-usage boundary, which will reduce the lifespan somewhat, however these are tough little chips and you won’t find them falling apart after a few hours.

This RAM is dual-channel and uses the DDR4 specifications, and with extra durability built into the design from the earliest stages, it will give you superior bandwidth through-put and ultra-low latencies, meaning snappy performance. I’m not a huge gamer myself, but I do thrash Photoshop with big files and video editing, and there was a noticeable increase in performance there too. Without going into the nitty-gritty of how photoshop utilises memory, it suffices to say that being able to push a lot of data, and do it fast, meant my workflow improved considerably. Big files took less time to load, process and save and the usual lags I used to just have to deal with shrank to the point where I’m looking at buying the 32GB kit and replacing the 16GB of slightly older RAM sitting beside these brilliant beasties. However, if you want some extra oomph but don’t want to spend big, there is also an 8GB (2x 4GB) kit available.

Overall, there isn’t really a lot to be said for RAM – it either does what it should, or not. The 16GB kit that I received certainly did everything it promised and went the extra mile. Even for non-gamers, it is a worthwhile upgrade and if paired with some of their other recent offerings, such as the PNY CS2140 1TB NVMe M.2 Gen4 x4 SSD the performance boost will leave you gasping. I have given this RAM a good workout and found no issues with it. It is priced on-par with similar RAM but I personally found it to be much more aesthetically pleasing as it matched the angular style of my system’s case a lot better than bare sticks or ones with bright metallic heat spreaders. I’m still not a huge fan of making PC compete with the Christmas tree, but I’m starting to see the appeal.


Reposted in partnership with: KIWIreviews.nz

Disclosure Statement: This unit was supplied by PNY expressly for the purposes of review. No fee was offered or accepted for this impartial review.

The overclocked modules provide ultra-high performance and a superior computing experience thanks to the aggressive overclocking, heat spreader and XMP 2.01 support, delivering PNY’s fastest speeds, highest bandwidth and lowest latencies These in turn maximise PC stability and responsiveness during memory-intensive gaming and application use.

XLR8 Gaming RGB is compatible with major motherboards and is ready-to-sync with Asus AURA SYNCTM, Gigabyte RGB FUSION 2.0, MSi Mystic Light Sync and ASRock Polychrome SYNC1 for an ultra-high quality RGB experience.

You can read the full press release here.

%d bloggers like this: