PNY XLR8 Gaming REV DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory Review

Manufacturer: PNY PNY XLR8 Gaming REV DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory Review

PNY sent over a memory kit that, at first glance, appears to be nothing special. Indeed, DDR4 memory in general has become a commodity item, with prices falling to historic lows (an un-researched claim that feels right).

Right now a 16 GB dual-channel kit of the 3600 MT/s (often referred to as 3600 MHz) memory to help make your AMD Ryzen processor sing can be had for around $60, and if you want RGB lighting effects you can add about $10 to this starting price.

Now, we are talking about slightly more mainstream DDR4-3600 here, with CAS latency of 18 vs. the more expensive CL16 and CL14 RAM available. But for gamers, slight differences in system memory latency at a given speed are just not that important.

It is just such a mainstream example, a DDR4-3600 CL18 kit, that PNY sent over for our inspection. I guess mainstream is the wrong term here, as overclocked RAM is still an enthusiast product category. I’ll call this entry-level enthusiast, instead.

PNY XLR8 Gaming REV Box
Product Specifications
  • PC Type/Memory Type: Desktop DDR4
  • Capacity: 16GB (2x8GB)
  • Channel Type: Dual Channel Kit
  • Frequency Speed (JEDEC): 3600MHz (PC4-28800)
  • CAS Latency: CL18
  • Voltage: 1.35V
  • XMP Support: Yes
  • Speed Compatibility: 3600MHz, 3200MHz, 3000MHz, 2800MHz, 2666MHz, 2400MHz, 2133MHz
  • OS Compatibility: Windows 11 and older

$84.99 USD list

Manufacturer Description

“A PNY XLR8 Gaming REV RGB Memory Upgrade offers brilliant RGB design combined with select ICs, delivering extreme overclocked performance. The premium chips deliver incredible overclocked performance with incredible speed, low memory latencies, and reliability ideal for even the most demanding enthusiast.”

The Gaming REV Modules

We are looking at the XLR8 Gaming REV, which I think is an aesthetic improvement over PNY’s XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB memory (a subjective take, obviously).

PNY XLR8 Gaming REV Modules Top

The heat spreaders are compact, and have an interesting look to them – a sort of geometric angled 3D pattern that I don’t know how to define without using this many words. Naturally, there are integrated LED lights for that ARGB goodness a modern society just can’t live without. In this case the lighting is branded EPIC-X RGB, which PNY says will allow you to “synchronize with mainstream motherboards and control your color experience”.

PNY XLR8 Gaming REV Modules Label

The modules make use of Hynix ICs, and offer 3600 MT/s with 18-20-20-40 timings at 1.35 volts. Thaiphoon Burner screenshot below:

PNY 3600 CL18 Thaiphoon Burner Screenshot


I installed these XLR8 Gaming REV modules in an ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (WI-FI) motherboard with a Ryzen 7 5800X processor, and compared the results against some other recently-tested DDR4 memory in the same system. FYI the “baseline DDR4-2400” is a Crucial kit tested at 2400 MT/s with 16-16-16-39 timings at 1.20 volts.

PC Perspective Test Platform
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (1800MHz FCLK)
Motherboard ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO (Wi-Fi)
BIOS 3703
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)

Here’s how things look in the purely synthetic world of AIDA64 memory test results:

PNY XLR8 Gaming REV 3600 CL18 AIDA64 Chart

Notice that this 3600 CL18 kit is not that far off from the 3600 CL14 kits just above it on the chart, with the far more meaningful results being the jump from DDR4-3200, and especially DDR4-2400 (the horror!) at the bottom of the chart.

What about a real-world application? I always test memory with 7-Zip, which scales with both memory and processor speed. Again the DDR4-3600 kits all support the faster 1800 MHz FLCK from the Ryzen 7 5800X processor:

PNY XLR8 Gaming REV 3600 CL18 7z Chart

With the 3600 MT/s kits, based on that compression result at the top from the Trident Z Neo kit, there is a bigger advantage in having 32GB of memory than in having CL14 over CL18. Our review unit just happens to be 16GB, rather than the available 32GB kit, so the Apollo kit just above it is a better comparison.

Bottom line, latency isn’t going to be much of a consideration, even from CL18 all the way down to the premium CL14 kits, at a given speed for most applications. I only showed one application and one synthetic benchmark, but you get the idea. Also, when gaming with a dedicated GPU it is next to impossible to show any appreciable difference.

Final Thoughts

PNY’s XLR8 Gaming REV memory looks good, performs as expected, and while the current $79.99 retail price ($5 off list) of the 16GB DDR4-3600 CL18 kit we reviewed represents a premium over other options out there, when you add lighting to the mix it’s right in the $70-$80 range of RGB kits with similar specs.

PNY has been producing memory upgrades for a long, long time (I know this because I have a PNY 30-pin SIMM upgrade kit in my collection), so there is peace of mind to consider.

PNY XLR8 Gaming REV Memory Old Box

In general, after a trouble-free experience in our Ryzen testbed system, I have zero complaints and could easily recommend this kit for someone looking for a 16GB kit that supports the all-important Ryzen 1800 MHz FCLK, and wants nice looking modules with RGB.

It’s a very tough market, however, and I feel like PNY could steal some sales from the likes of G.Skill with a slightly lower price tag.

PC Perspective Silver Award

Review Disclosures

This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.

How Product Was Obtained

The product is on loan from PNY for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The product remains the property of PNY but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

PNY had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by PNY for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

PNY has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

If this article contains affiliate links to online retailers, PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.

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About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.

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