RGB Gaming RAM From an Unlikely Source
You have read the title of this review correctly; Lexar is making desktop gaming memory of the DDR4 variety. And it has heat spreaders and RGB lighting. It is called “Hades”, as marketing to gamers seems to require an aggressive name (“Fury” and “Vengeance” come to mind).
In Greek mythology Hades was god of the underworld, so that does seem appropriately scary for your system’s RAM. Plus it was Halloween a week ago, and some people still have their decorations up. Also, RGB.
- Memory Type: DDR4
- Interface: 288 Pin
- Standard: XMP 2.0 / JEDEC
- Speed: 3600Mbps / 3200Mbps
- CAS Latency: CL18 / CL22
- Voltage: 1.35V / 1.2V
- Module Size: 137.8 x 45.6 x 6.2 mm (with heat spreader)
- Operating Temperature: -20° C to 85°C (Surface)
- Storage Temperature: -55°C to 100°C
- Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
The Lexar Hades RGB Kit
The dual-channel memory kit we received consists of two 16GB DIMMs for a total of 32GB, rated at “3600 MHz” (3600 MT/s) speeds with a CAS latency of 18 at 1.35 volts. We will dig further into the rated timings and XMP profile data next.
To find out what is inside these slick looking new DIMMs from Lexar I turned to Thaiphoon Burner for an answer, as it seems everyone does these days. Here is the obligatory screenshot:
Well, I had hoped for an answer, anyhow. Unless Lexar is indeed the manufacturer of the ICs.
The Hades RGB kit is nominally DDR4-3200 memory, and offers XMP 2.0 support to reach its stated speed and latency. There is one such profile available, with timings of 18-22-22-42-64 at 1.35V.
No RGB memory review would be complete without at least a cursory overview of said red, green, and blue lighting features, and there is support for all of the motherboard standards, with ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Light Sync, and ASRock Polychrome Sync listed. Lexar also offers their own software to customize the look of the Hades RGB:
Unfortunately, their Windows software did not work for me, and while at first I thought it was a conflict with other RGB software subsequent uninstalls/reinstallations and reboots did not fix the issue. I could set any parameters I wanted, but applying them did not affect the lighting on the DIMMs. Oh well, probably a software conflict somewhere.
Next we will test out this kit on an AMD system to see if Lexar’s first overclocked gaming memory poses any issues on the popular X570 platform.
Lexar Hades RGB Performance
I installed these two 16GB DIMMs in our ASUS Crosshair VIII HERO Wi-Fi motherboard, enabling the XMP equivalent (D.O.C.P. aka Direct Over Clock Profile with this ASUS board) in the system setup. The CPU was an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, running with the appropriate 1800 MHz FCLK with this 3600 MT/s memory.
|PC Perspective Test Platform|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (1800MHz FCLK)|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO (Wi-Fi)
AGESA V2 PI 220.127.116.11 Patch C
|Storage||Samsung 980 PRO 2TB NVMe SSD
Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD
|Power Supply||CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit (21H1, 19043.928)|
|Drivers||GeForce Game Ready Driver 472.12|
We could run dozens of gaming tests at various resolutions to achieve little to nothing in the way of useful data, or rely on synthetic benchmarks designed to measure such things. Well, one such benchmark, anyway.
Using the latest version of AIDA64 the results are pretty close, though the victory does of course go to the much lower latency G.SKILL Trident Z Neo kit (reviewed here). It would seem like even a jump from CL14 to CL18 isn’t that major, but it can make a significant difference in file compression, as evidenced by the result using the 7-Zip benchmark:
I’ll stop here, as no attempts to further overclock this memory were made. Memory overclocking beyond 3600 MT/s does not make much sense to me unless I can match up the FCLK, and while that is certainly possible the gains with a Ryzen system above the magic 1800/3600 aren’t especially great (feel free to correct this in the comments below).
Pricing and Conclusion
I think the key to this memory kit is going to be value, as these were never destined to be a sought-after overclocking option, given the mystery ICs and fairly loose timings out of the box. Currently this kit (as of 11/08/21) is $139.99 on Amazon, and really that is the biggest issue, in my opinion. Sure they worked at the advertised speed on an X570 motherboard without any extra work, and they look nice, but the pricing does seem off.
After checking current prices on Newegg this morning (as DDR4 pricing continues to fall), dual-channel 32GB kits with a rated speed of 3600 MT/s start at $99.99, and RGB-infused kits start at $113.99. As a new player on the market, Lexar commanding a premium with this Hades RGB RAM is confusing to me.
If the timings were more aggressive these could be a more compelling option, as CL16 DDR4-3600 kits in this capacity with RGB are $139.99 (and up) currently, and CL18 memory at this speed is more of a value option. The market will decide on these, but it feels to me like the price should be closer to the entry-level options for Lexar to make inroads in the enthusiast memory space.
This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.
How Product Was Obtained
The product is on loan from Lexar for the purpose of this review.
What Happens To Product After Review
The product remains the property of Lexar but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.
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