As you’d know, RGB craze is everywhere now a days. Just recently I saw an RGB toothbrush. No, I’m not listing it here, and yes I lied, I mean seriously? Jokes aside, today we are taking a look at the ADATA XPG Spectrix D40 RGB DDR4 RAM. That’s right, this RAM from XPG features RGB LEDs. Now I personally know a few people who don’t like RGB on everything, but the point of RGB is so that your system looks more attractive and you don’t have to buy single colored LED hardware everytime you need a change of color, so to me, it’s a much appreciated feature.

Anyways, back to the Spectrix D40, it is XPG’s top of the line RAM and it’s also their very first take at DDR4 RGB memory. So it will be exciting to check out what they have to offer. Their previous take on a LED RAM was DDR4 Dazzle. As for Spectrix D40, this RAM is available in 8 to 64GB in capacity and 2400Mhz to 3200MHz in speed. It features a Red/Black armor-inspired heatsink. And it is also ASUS Aura Sync compatible, so the ASUS community can rejoice. But those without the ASUS Aura sync aren’t left alone as the Spectrix D40 also comes along with its own software to control the RGB effects.

The one we got for review is a 16GB (2x8GB) dual channel kit running at 3200Mhz at 1.35v and CL16 timings. So it’s the highest factory overclocked kit we have here on the test bench, and we’ll see if we can take it further on the speed later in overclocking section.

As far as the brand is concerned, XPG, short for Xtreme Performance Gear is a sub-brand by ADATA that pioneers in products geared towards gaming communities and eSports. Their catalog includes RAMs, SSD, Hard Drive Enclosure and Audio gears. ADATA has been in Pakistan for a long while now with a plethora of USB and external Hard Drive options available. It is just recently we saw XPG make a big move in the Pakistan market with their RAMs and SSDs and their sponsorship of a local eSports team by the name of Eximious eSports.

Here’s an unboxing video I did on the product, while a closer look can be taken on the ram on next page.

Closer Look at XPG Spectrix D40:


So this is what the ADATA XPG Spectrix D40 looks like up close. We have the armor-inspired Red/Black heatsink. There’s an XPG logo in the center of the RAMs. The PCB being used is in the industry standard black color. We all can agree the green PCBs always looked ugly on RAMs.


The kit information can be found on the sticker, glued to one side of the ram. The exact model number of our kit is AX4U32008G16-DRS. That the number you’ll find in the motherboard QVL. This, once again is a DDR4 memory, running at 3200MHz at 16-18-18 timings at a DRAM voltage of 1.35. For some reason, we have 8Gx8 written on the sticker, but that’s not the case since it’s a kit of 8GB x2. Maybe it means something else and not the capacity. Also, if you remove the sticker, you void the warranty, so make sure it remains there.

This is what the top of the RAMs look like, the only part that glows in RGB. It actually had a plastic film on it that I removed prior to taking the photos. You can actually check that in the process in the video below.

We also have an XPG logo on the top in Red color. This is also the visible side of the RAM in a tower chassis so the placement makes sense

Here’s some more photo’s I took of the RAM.

XPG Spectrix D40 Specifications:

Model namespeedsizeLatencyVoltageHeat Sink Color
DDR4-2400PC4-192008GB x 2CL16-16-161.2VRed
DDR4-2666PC4-213008GB x 2CL16-16-161.2VRed
DDR4-2666PC4-2130016GB x 2CL16-16-161.2VRed
DDR4-3000PC4-240008GB x 2CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3000PC4-2400016GB x 2CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3200PC4-256008GB x 2CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3200PC4-2560016GB x 2CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3600PC4-288008GB x 2CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3866PC4-309008GB x 2CL18-22-221.35VRed
DDR4-4000PC4-320008GB x 2CL18-19-191.35VRed
DDR4-4133PC4-330008GB x 2CL19-19-191.4VRed
DDR4-4266PC4-341008GB x 2CL19-19-191.4VRed
DDR4-4400PC4-352008GB x 2CL19-19-191.4VRed

 

Model nameSpeedSizeLatencyVoltageHeat Sink Color
DDR4-2400PC4-192008GB x 4CL16-16-161.2VRed
DDR4-2666PC4-213008GB x 4CL16-16-161.2VRed
DDR4-2666PC4-2130016GB x 4CL16-16-161.2VRed
DDR4-3000PC4-240008GB x 4CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3000PC4-2400016GB x 4CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3200PC4-256008GB x 4CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3200PC4-2560016GB x 4CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3600PC4-288008GB x 4CL16-18-181.35VRed
DDR4-3866PC4-309008GB x 4CL18-22-221.35VRed
DDR4-4000PC4-320008GB x 4CL18-19-191.35VRed
DDR4-4133PC4-330008GB x 4CL19-19-191.4VRed
DDR4-4266PC4-341008GB x 4CL19-19-191.4VRed
DDR4-4400PC4-352008GB x 4CL19-19-191.4VRed

Test Rig:

DDR4 Setup

CPU:Intel Core i5 8600K 4.8GHz OC
Motherboard:Aorus Z370 Gaming 5
GPU:ASUS GTX 1050 Dual OC
RAM:ADATA XPG Spectrix D40 3200MHz 16GB CL16

Apacer Blade 3000MHz 16GB CL16

Apacer Panther 2400MHz 16GB CL16

HyperX Fury 2133MHz 16GB CL14

SSD:PNY Optima 120GB for OS and drivers
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM for Games and software
PSU:Chieftec Nitro 1200W Bronze
Chassis:Thermaltake Core P3
Cooling solution:Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate 360mm AIO
Monitor:Gechic 1503H Portable Monitor
OS:Windows 10 Build 16299.248
Nvidia Driver:390.77

DDR3 Setup:

CPU:Intel i5 4690K @4.2GHz OC
Motherboard:Gigabyte Z97-HD3
RAM:Avexir Blitz 1.1 2400MHz 16GB CL10

Avexir Raiden 2133MHz 16GB C9

HyperX Savage 2133MHZ 16GB CL11

GPU:MSI R9 280X
Cooler:Deepcool Gammax S40
PSU:Chieftec Nitro Bronze 1200W
SSD:PNY Optima 120GB
HDD:Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM
OS:Windows 8.1 Pro 64Bit

Methodology:
Testing the ram isn’t as difficult as you’d think. First, we made sure that the RAM at its rated speed was stable by running Memtest86+ for 2 hours. Then we tested the RAM with Aida64 Extreme stress test for another 30 minutes and Prime95 Blend test for another 30. Once it was found to be stable, we ran our benchmark programs. Each test was run at least twice or thrice depending on the program. The scores mentioned in our charts are average of the results we got from our runs. The numbers were rounded off to the closest integer. In case of 0.5 values, it was considered as 1 point.

Once the stock performance was noted, we then overclocked our RAM and ran the same test the same way. Everything related to overclocking in mentioned on the overclocking page.

Our benchmarks included:
Aida64 Extreme – Cache & Memory Benchmark
Cinebench R15
3DMark FireStrike
GeekBench 4.0
Super Pi 32
PerformanceTest 9.0 – Memory Mark – Threaded
WinRAR
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Unigine Superposition
Thief
WinRAR

Stock Benchmark

Let’s start with Aida64 Cache & Memory Benchmark. And being the highest clocked RAM in our chart, the XPG Spectrix D40 seems like a clear winner here.


In latency, the XPG Spectrix D40 is only 0.5ns ahead of Apacer Blade.


In Cinebench R15, the margin between the 3000Mhz and 3200Mhz competitors is only 3cb.


When it comes to some GPU related workload, the XPG Spectrix D40 seems to be lacking behind just a little bit.


And in Geekbench 4.0, it seems like Apacer blade has overthrown the XPG Spectrix D40 with a good margin, especially in the multi-core performance.


As for the calculation of Pi up to 32m, the Apacer Blade and XPG Spectrix D40 are going head to head.


But in PerformanceTest 9.0 Memory Mark threaded test, the XPG RAM came out as the winner once again.


And in our WinRAR benchmark, the XPG RAM still holds the crown of the winner with about 200KB/s difference.


Again, in a GPU related workload, we see that the Spectrix is falling behind, but only by 1 point.


As for our gaming benchmarks, there’s not so much or noticeable difference between our top two contenders. In Rise of the Tomb Raider, the ADATA XPG Spectrix D40 is behind by only 0.03 FPS.


And in Thief, there’s no difference at all in the average FPS.

Overclocking:


Our overclocking session with the XPG Spectrix D40 3200MHz RAM went pretty smooth. Our overclocking journey begins by increasing the DRAM voltage up to 1.37v for a starter, then we kept pushing the multiplier with timings on auto until the system became unstable. Then we dropped down a notch to find a stable overclock. And we landed on 3600Mhz with 12-21-21-43 timings on auto.

We then started tightening the timing at 3600Mhz and we finally landed on a stable overclock of 3600Mhz at 17-19-19-36 timings. All while the VCCIO and VCCST were set to auto. The stability was tested with a combination of Mem86+ test, Aida64 Extreme stress test, and Prime95 Blend test. All while the VCCIO and VCCST were set to auto.

So how much performance increase did we get with that extra 400MHz? Let’s find out below:


In Aida64 Extreme Cache & Memory Mark benchmark, we saw a good increase in the overall performance with about 5600MB/s increase in our write speed.


There was also an improvement of 1.5ns in the latency.


There was also an increase of 4cb in our Cinebench R15 test.


There wasn’t much of a difference in the overall firestrike test, but there’s an increase of about 111 points in the physics score.


Compared to the stock, we have an increase of about 162 points in single and 1157 points in multi-core performance. And the Spectrix D40 Oced also tops the chart.


There was also a good performance increase recorded in the PerformanceTest 9.0 Memory Mark threaded test.


In WinRAR benchmark, an increase of 400KB/s was recorded.


A good marginal performance increase in the Superposition performance.


As for gaming goes, nothing too noticeable. There’s about 2.25FPS increase in Rise of the Tomb Raider.


And not much has changed in the Thief Benchmark, other than the minimum FPS boost.

RGB LED Effects & Software:

Here’s a video that covers the RGB LED effects of the RAM and the so XPG RGB Sync Beta software. I most of the chassis, you can apply different colors to individual LED on the DRAM. Each DRAM sports 5 LEDs so that’s up to 10 individually control-able spots. However, you cannot apply different effects on the LEDs.

The music effect wasn’t covered in this video as I had to sync the video with a soundtrack and had to make it look good at the same time. Which was too much trouble. So if you’re wondering what does the music effect looks like. Well it’s more like a basic equalizer where all the LEDs are turned on, but imitates a beat by decreasing and increasing the brightness on certain LEDs. The different profiles in the Music tab are for different LED colors. However, you cannot create your own preset from the XPG RGB Sync beta software. Maybe we’ll see a better music effects once the full version is released.

Conclusion:
Looking at our benchmark scores, it’s easy to say that the ADATA XPG Spectrix D40 was the clear winner overall. There were no issues running the RAM at its rated speed, so you can just plug it in your system, enable the XMP profile 1 and you’re good to roll. And as far as overclocking is concerned, this RAM is probably a hidden gem as I was easily able to achieve 3600Mhz overclock without putting too much effort. So there’s a good enough overclocking headroom available on the XPG Spectrix D40.

As far as the RGB LEDs effect goes, the RAM has some very attractive effects, Glowing Yoyo being my favorite. And the option of customizing separate positions individually on the RAM is also a great feature. The only weak link I found here was the Starry-Night and the music effects. The starry night effects look almost as if the LEDs aren’t functioning properly while there’s not much customization available in the music effect. Other than that, the Spectrix D40 is Aura Sync compatible so you can synchronize them with your ASUS Aura compatible hardware so there’s much more customization option available on that route. But I would like to see a combined effort put forward by both motherboard brands and XPG to push more of this LED synchronization software forward. But then again, it may not be the top priority for some.

With my Gigabyte Aorus Z370 Gaming 5 motherboard, I think I got somewhat lucky with the synchronization. The RAM isn’t fully compatible with the Aorus RGB Fusion software, but the RAM tries it’s best to match the LED effect with the software. The best match it gets is, of course, the static colors effect, but other effects aren’t too far off. While some doesn’t do anything to the RAM.

So let’s conclude the review now. It’s clearly visible that the XPG Spectrix D40 is a good performer RAM. Along with some flashy RGB effects, is also has the raw horse-power to compete against other brands. And there’s also a good overclocking headroom available so you can push it even further.

The 3200Mhz 16GB is currently retailing for $199.99 on Newegg while other RGB memories with same specs are listed within a margin of 10 to 17$. So the price point is good. As far as the availability in Pakistan is concerned, XPG is currently in talks with distributors and will soon be launching their new products here. So the price is to be confirmed yet. So, considering the price to performance ratio and having a look at the other options in the global market, it’s quite easy to say that the XPG Spectrix D40 is great choice for consumers. So in the end, I would like to conclude the review by giving the ADATA XPG Spectrix D40 our Editor’s Choice Award.

I’ll have the review updated once the product is available in the local market. And I would like to thanks XPG for sending in the samples for review.

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