First Time is a Charm at GIGABYTE
Back at COMPUTEX 2018, GIGABYTE showed off a prototype of the AORUS RGB Memory. We never had the chance to see it in action back then yet fast forward today, we’ve got a kit of four to review. Well, a kit of two actually if we’re to count the real ones.
The AORUS RGB Memory we got is the 3200MHz 16GB kit. Again, it is a kit of 4, with 2 working and 2 dummy DIMMs. Basically, it is a mix of real and fake memory sticks to fill up the slots for maximum aesthetic effect without hurting compatibility or performance. It supports the GIGABYTE RGB Fusion out of the box and feature 100% sorted and tested Samsung B-Die chips. That’s among the top of the class when it comes to performance.
The memory kit we got is the only part (yet) of the AORUS RGB high performance DIMM series from GIGABYTE. The AORUS RGB Memory is sold at 3200MHz frequency alone.
|Series||AORUS RGB Memory|
|Capacity||16GB (2x 8GB)|
|Channel||Dual Channel Kit|
|Features||Intel XMP 2.0, RGB Lighting, RGB Fusion|
Our kit is again, packing a 3200MHz of tested frequency and 16-18-18-38 timings. It is Intel XMP 2.0 certified with support for GIGABYTE RGB Fusion technology.
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
The AORUS RGB Memory comes in a standard packing with dual internal plastic shells holding the real and fake DIMMs in pairs.
Bundled accessories are non existent, but we’ve got a warranty pamphlet instead. I want a case badge, GIGABYTE – especially with that good looking AORUS logo.
DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY:
The AORUS RGB Memory is an extraordinary looking memory kit with a full length light bar and brushed aluminum heat-sink on top of extra detailing. It looks simple on a certain angle, yet not so quite on some. A perfect compromise between simplicity and aggressiveness with a build quality to match.
With a height of around 40mm, the AORUS RGB Memory is compatible enough with most tower and down draft coolers. If looks could kill, then this should be it.
Each AORUS RGB Memory stick features a single rank module with Samsung chips embedded on a 10 layer PCB. That, together with a hefty heat-sink made each sticks heavier than the norm.
Each memory module also comes with an MCU to control the RGB effects of the light bar. That said, only a handful of pins are required to supply power to the dummy modules. Be aware though that you still have to install the memory kit with caution so you wont mess up with the channels. We do not want to run this 16GB kit in a single channel fashion.
TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:
The performance of the system shall be evaluated by various benchmarking tools and applications. We are testing this system with the high-performance settings enabled at the OS, with the default UEFI configuration. Background processes such as anti-virus and third-party applications are disabled as well. Outlined below are the applications and benchmark tools for reference:
|TEST SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS|
|PROCESSOR||Intel Core i5-6600K|
|CPU COOLER||Cryorig C1 Top Flow|
|MEMORY KIT||Crucial Ballistix Tactical|
|GRAPHICS CARD||ASUS GTX 1060 STRIX OC 6GB|
|INTERNAL STORAGE||Crucial BX200 480GB|
|POWER SUPPLY||CORSAIR RM850X 850W|
|DISPLAY||27″ DELL U2715H|
|OPERATING SYSTEM||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro|
CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:
- Super PI – 32M Calculations
- wPrime – 32M and 1024M Calculations
- AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Memory Benchmark
- GIMP – 7 MB worth of image processing
- HandBrake – 150 MB MP4 to H.264 video encoding
- WinRAR – Internal benchmark tool
- Battlefield 4 – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- DIRT: Rally – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Ultra Settings | HairWorks off | V-SYNC off
The GIGABYTE AORUS RGB Memory we got has a JEDEC standard of 2133MHz with default timings at 16-15-15-36 under 1.20v. At its XMP settings, the GIGABYTE AORUS RGB Memory features a 3200MHz frequency, together with a 16-18-18-38 timing set under 1.35v.
We had stability issues running the memory kit at 3200MHz using XMP alone on our board. Granted, it’s not on the compatibility list. We have to manually set the timings, frequency and voltage in order to have a fully stable test system.
CPU AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE:
Super PI is a single-threaded program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point. It is a widely used benchmark within the industry.
WPrime is a multi-threaded program that calculates a set number of square roots. It verifies the results by squaring them, then compares it with the original numbers.
The AIDA64 Memory Benchmark measure the data transfer bandwidth and latency of the system memory.
The GIGABYTE AORUS RGB Memory showed us excellent results on most synthetic benchmarks; Trading blows with the Trident Z for the top spot.
GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free and open-source image editing tool. A 7 MB worth of images is be processed and converted to gauge the system performance.
HandBrake is a free video encoding tool that supports a wide variety of media codecs. A 150MB worth MP4 video is converted using the H.264 codec to gauge the system performance.
WinRAR is a file archive utility that can create, view and unpack numerous archive file formats. The software’s built in benchmark tool is utilized to gauge the system performance.
On our real world benchmarks, the GIGABYTE AORUS RGB Memory is the fastest 3200MHz kit we’ve got – though not by much against the other two kits with the same frequency.
Battlefield 4 is Electronic Art’s popular First Person Shooter, running on the Frostbite 3 game engine developed by DICE. It utilizes the DirectX 11 and the Mantle API.
DIRT: Rally is CODEMASTER’s take on the rally racing game genre. It utilizes the EGO game engine with support for the DirectX 11 API.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is CDProjekt RED’s award-winning Action Adventure RPG. The Witcher 3 utilizes the REDengine 3 with DirectX 11 support.
Gaming wise, the GIGABYTE AORUS RGB Memory gained a significant amount of performance at Battlefield 4 just like the rest compared to slower DIMMs. Other games? Not so much like the rest.
WRAPPING IT UP:
Alright boys and girls, let’s start with functionality, especially with the dummy modules in mind. You see, I’ve been looking for something like the AORUS RGB Memory for lifetime. Something that will let me maximize my motherboard’s slots without hurting compatibility, performance and my wallet. For the price of a little over $200 USD, you’d get four slot illumination over some DIMMs that would allow it for an extra. The idea is not extraordinary, but it makes sense on this day and age of computing; where aesthetics, functionality and performance usually doesn’t mix well with the price.
As for performance, this is one of the fastest 3200MHz kits to date that we’ve tested so far. Synthetics, real world benchmarks, games – you name it. The memory kit wont fail you at those marks. Design and RGB illumination are also its strong points – together with the outstanding build quality of course.
The GIGABYTE AORUS RGB Memory sounds too good to be true – and it is to an extent. While we like that the illumination worked on our board and we could actually run it on its XMP specifications, GIGABYTE’s RGB Fusion will only work with their own. Meaning you’ll get most out of it with a supported GIGABYTE motherboard. No Mystic light support, no ASUS AURA support, nothing else but GIGABYTE if you want to customize the lighting feature.
Overall, GIGABYTE did a great job with their first memory kit. It offers excellent performance, form and build quality while populating all your DIMM slots at an arm’s reach price. Nothing much to dislike.
GIGABYTE AORUS RGB Memory 3200MHz 16GB DDR4
For the price of a little over $200 USD, you’d get four slot illumination over some DIMMs that would only allow it for an extra cash. The idea is not extraordinary, but it makes sense on this day and age of computing; where aesthetics, functionality and performance usually doesn’t mix well with the price.