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Should You Buy OLOy RAM?

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

While it’s hard to judge long-term reliability, the use of these ICs and modest number of user reviews that complain of actual hardware failure suggest that OLOy DIMMs should last as long as those from other brands. The only real downer we can see is that  OLOy’s weak “lifetime” warranty and short history make long-term support an uncertain proposition. However, in real life, RAM is so cheap that many people who see 3+ year old RAM fail are just going to order a new kit, rather than send in their modules and wait weeks to get replacements.

If you've been shopping for DDR4 RAM, you've probably noticed incredibly low prices on OLOy-branded products. Considering that the OLOy name is pretty new -- it just launched in 2018 --, you're probably wondering if it's really a bright idea to trust these DIMMs. Everyone likes to save money on components, but if you end up with serious problems,  it’s no bargain. To find out whether OLOy RAM is worth considering, we did some digging, spoke with company reps and tested a couple of the company’s kits

OLOy History and Availability

After five years of establishing itself as an OEM module supplier, Chunwell introduced its OLOy brand in 2018. A company spokesperson told us that all of OLOy’s products are made in Taiwan, where Chunwell also manufactures modules for other brands. In the U.S., you can find its DRAM modules selling on both Amazon and Newegg. In China, you’ll find its products on Alibaba.

On Newegg, OLOy prices range from $49 for a 16GB, dual-channel kit of DDR4-2400 to $249 for a 64GB set of DDR-3000. What’s particularly impressive is that, at press time, a 32GB kit of DDR4-3200 was going for only $99 on Newegg, which is about $10 less than the cheapest name-brand competitor we could find and $30 to $60 less than most. It also has some unique-looking DIMMs in its Warhawk line, where the heat spreaders look like wings, have RGB lights and come in a variety of interesting colors including red and teal.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

OLOy Hardware: Industry-Standard ICs

Digging into the hardware, we found that the OLOy WarHawk memory we recently reviewed uses SpecTek ICs on printed circuit boards (PCBs) manufactured in Taiwan by Hsien Jinn. Though most of us consider SpecTek to be the discount brand of Micron, its ICs have appeared on everything from our recent Corsair 64GB kit to G.Skill’s low-cost Ripjaws V DDR4-3200. A second, lower-priced kit we tested uses lower-cost Hynix ICs which were also similar to the budget offerings of better-known brands.

Performance

We liked the OLOy WarHawk memory we tested, because of its great overclocking capability and high speeds. In all of our tests the WarHawk either kept pace with or outright bested competitors such as the Adata Spectrix D80 and Patriot Viper Steel.

We also tested the lower-specked OLOy Owl kit, which is not yet sold in the U.S. Its cheaper ICs had similar latency and overclocking performance to Patriot’s value-priced Viper Steel. It turns out that both kits use the same low-cost ICs.

What Users are Saying

We could test a dozen OLOy kits, but we can never account for all the potential issues a consumer could encounter. That’s why looking at user reviews can be helpful, particularly when you don’t know if you can trust a new brand. The good news is that, putting aside some user confusion about how to use newer RAM with older CPUs and how to overclock it, the number of real complaints is very low.

Looking at Newegg Reviews of the 32GB DDR4-3200 Warhawk kit we tested, two complaints appeared to come from users whose older-model AMD CPUs couldn’t support four ranks of memory at this data rate (DDR4-3000 was once popular with AMD users due to boot failure or operational instability at DDR4-3200). Many of those systems were stable at DDR4-3200 after installing two single-rank DIMMs, and it’s fairly easy to confuse the stability limit of one rank per channel with that of one DIMM per channel. Filled with 8GB per rank, this 32GB kit contains two 16GB dual-rank DIMMs, and applies the same stress to the memory controller as a four-DIMM kit of single-rank modules. Please see our PC Memory 101 for additional info on ranks.

To eliminate the rank-vs-DIMM confusion, we turned our attention to a 16GB kit that contains only two single-rank DIMMs. The most frequent complaint concerned its lack of RGB software, but OLOy is upfront about the fact that its DIMMs rely on motherboard RGB software to change those settings. The next most common complaint was a variation of users not understanding that they need to enable XMP to run the memory’s XMP profile.

Out of 41 reviews of the WarHawk 16GB kit ($67), we saw a mere three (7 percent)  that appeared to indicate a faulty DIMM: For comparison, TeamGroup’s NightHawk RGB ($80) showed three likely hardware defects out of 69 reviews (4% failure rate) along with several likely errant installations, Patriot’s Viper RGB ($92) showed one XMP incompatibility on a Ryzen 2400 out of a mere 13 reviews, and Corsair’s Vengeance RGB Pro ($98) showed only one bad kit out of 38 reviews (3%) plus a single failure of the user to set XMP. It’s important to remember that users who experienced a problem are more likely to post a review so failures are probably over-represented in any list.

Warranty Coverage

Yet, no matter how low the failure rate, every company produces products that are either defective out of the box or fail later on. That’s where company warranties come in, and for OLOy, the devil is in the details. While OLOy’s product listings claim the modules have a “limited lifetime warranty,” a company spokesperson told us that it provides a brand new product as replacement during the first year, the same but a likely refurbished product as replacement in years two and three and, after that, you can send in your RAM but may have to pay for repairs.

Our consolations are that good memory rarely fails, and that any failures that do occur usually happen within the first three years. Additional assurance comes from OLOy’s use of high-quality components.

Bottom Line

So, should you feel comfortable buying OLOy RAM? For the most part, the answer is a resounding yes, because the company uses industry-standard ICs, which are the same as those found in many of its better-known competitors. In our tests, OLOy RAM was at least as fast as its direct competitors so performance should not be a problem.

  • Sedare
    So this is freaky. I was researching this RAM 2-3 days ago b/c NewEgg was having a flash deal on it, and now this article comes up.

    The comments showed the ram to be unreliable in terms of being compatible with motherboards and also the RGB working with various programs it's stated to support. I decided to go with the G.Skill RAM instead for 5 bucks more. Would have liked to test this RAM but just don't want to take the risk.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    I feel ram is ram. I would take the risk if there was a good enough deal.

    Personally, when you can spend $5 more and get better name brand g.skill/hyperx/corsair ram, why consider OLOy ram?
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    NightHawkRMX said:
    I feel ram is ram. I would take the risk if there was a good enough deal.

    Personally, when you can spend $5 more and get better name brand g.skill/hyperx/corsair ram, why consider OLOy ram?

    I used to think that until the first gen Ryzen CPUs came along and there were so many reports of RAM incompatibility. Now I pay very close attention to the modules I buy and what's lurking underneath the heat sinks. Thankfully that's no longer a thing since AMD got those issues ironed out in the 2nd and 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs but it's always better to know exactly what you're getting before you buy.
    Reply
  • buzznut
    admin said:
    OLOy-branded RAM is some of the cheapest memory on the market, but is this largely heard-of brand reliable and performant enough to buy?

    Should You Buy OLOy RAM? : Read more
    Just yesterday I saw a couple of posts on a FB hardware enthusiast group where a couple of folks were bad mouthing Oloy memory, as if it was a given you are going to have problems. (Well duh, its Oloy memory, LOL)

    Largely I would suggest many issues with compatibility can be attributed to operator error. Some people never want to go into the BIOS to set ram speeds. Even fewer will go to the mobo manufacturer to check compatibility lists before purchasing. As an AMD user and overclocker for 20 years, red team's motherboards have always been known for pickiness when it comes to RAM. Ya can't just throw anything in there.

    As an Amazon reviewer, I get questions every week about RAM compatibility. I always advise people to check the compatibility lists--evidently people can not be bothered to read the Q and A section, because I have posted this same recommendation at least a dozen times for one motherboard. And with AMD, you cannot expect a mobo to apply XMP profiles out of the box. Basically people are lazy and get frustrated when plug and play doesn't work.

    Comments I see online often mention the " cannot fill all slots" rule for DDR4 3200+ memory on 300 and 400 series motherboards. I will start adding this addendum to my QA's.
    Reply
  • toyo
    I'd recommend caution when it comes to buying this. I have Spektek RAM in my PC (from Adata), and it took me no less than a year of stresstesting to get it fully stable with XMP on Z370 with a 8700K.
    The weird part was that the RAM was unstable at the full 1.35V XMP voltage, but is fully stable at 1.2V with XMP enabled. To actually get to the point where I found that out took hundreds of hours of Prime95 Blend and many more hours of mostly useless memtest type of stuff.
    So yeah, be aware that there might be minor, yet incredibly annoying issues with ICs from Spektek.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    Sedare said:
    So this is freaky. I was researching this RAM 2-3 days ago b/c NewEgg was having a flash deal on it, and now this article comes up.

    The comments showed the ram to be unreliable in terms of being compatible with motherboards and also the RGB working with various programs it's stated to support. I decided to go with the G.Skill RAM instead for 5 bucks more. Would have liked to test this RAM but just don't want to take the risk.
    I carefully combed through the negatives of each brand and actually made a list of "type of problem" before writing this. By far the greatest so-called "compatibility issue" was caused by people not enabling XMP. As for the RGB programs, it is compatible with every manufacturer's program, the problem is typically that those programs are broken on some motherboards (we touch on that in motherboard reviews).
    NightHawkRMX said:
    I feel ram is ram. I would take the risk if there was a good enough deal.

    Personally, when you can spend $5 more and get better name brand g.skill/hyperx/corsair ram, why consider OLOy ram?
    The difference was $20 a month ago, at least for the $100 32GB kit. Price drops on the other kits have made them more attractive.
    g-unit1111 said:
    I used to think that until the first gen Ryzen CPUs came along and there were so many reports of RAM incompatibility. Now I pay very close attention to the modules I buy and what's lurking underneath the heat sinks. Thankfully that's no longer a thing since AMD got those issues ironed out in the 2nd and 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs but it's always better to know exactly what you're getting before you buy.
    We kept hearing Samsung B-Die, but our most compatible kit was the old HyperX DDR4-2933 with Hynix chips. And it overclocked well on every AMD board we tried. So we've little faith in those rumors.

    buzznut said:
    Just yesterday I saw a couple of posts on a FB hardware enthusiast group where a couple of folks were bad mouthing Oloy memory, as if it was a given you are going to have problems. (Well duh, its Oloy memory, LOL)

    Largely I would suggest many issues with compatibility can be attributed to operator error. Some people never want to go into the BIOS to set ram speeds. Even fewer will go to the mobo manufacturer to check compatibility lists before purchasing. As an AMD user and overclocker for 20 years, red team's motherboards have always been known for pickiness when it comes to RAM. Ya can't just throw anything in there.

    As an Amazon reviewer, I get questions every week about RAM compatibility. I always advise people to check the compatibility lists--evidently people can not be bothered to read the Q and A section, because I have posted this same recommendation at least a dozen times for one motherboard. And with AMD, you cannot expect a mobo to apply XMP profiles out of the box. Basically people are lazy and get frustrated when plug and play doesn't work.

    Comments I see online often mention the " cannot fill all slots" rule for DDR4 3200+ memory on 300 and 400 series motherboards. I will start adding this addendum to my QA's.
    Useful, thanks. Getting the message across that two dual-rank 16GB DIMMs will likely have similar limits to four single-rank 8GB DIMMs is much more challenging however.

    toyo said:
    I'd recommend caution when it comes to buying this. I have Spektek RAM in my PC (from Adata), and it took me no less than a year of stresstesting to get it fully stable with XMP on Z370 with a 8700K.
    The weird part was that the RAM was unstable at the full 1.35V XMP voltage, but is fully stable at 1.2V with XMP enabled. To actually get to the point where I found that out took hundreds of hours of Prime95 Blend and many more hours of mostly useless memtest type of stuff.
    So yeah, be aware that there might be minor, yet incredibly annoying issues with ICs from Spektek.
    I think some of this is about the timings table on the module. AMD boards have traditionally been even more finicky, which is why so many companies are now putting AMD badges on their memory.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    Crashman said:
    We kept hearing Samsung B-Die, but our most compatible kit was the old HyperX DDR4-2933 with Hynix chips. And it overclocked well on every AMD board we tried. So we've little faith in those rumors.

    G.Skill Trident Z is usually my go to RAM because they use the Samsung B-Die, but lately I've been using Corsair Dominator Platinum which has the HK Hynix B-Die on it and I haven't noticed any major differences.
    Reply
  • zx128k
    https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/help-ram-die-type.3563019/#post-21510311
    Is there any more SPD images from thaiphoon for this RAM. Best guess so far, is it could be Samsung A-Die.

    Their contact email is service@oloymemory.com
    source
    Reply
  • CanadaGuy24
    TeamGroup’s NightHawk RGB ($80) showed three likely hardware defects out of 69 reviews (4% failure rate)
    The math here is WRONG. 3 REVIEWS out of 69 reporting likely defects is NOT a 4% failure rate of the RAM. It is 4% of the REVIEWS reporting failures. The 3 bad reviews, nor the 69 reviews total indicate the number of SALES. Failure rate is actual_failures divided by sales---neither of which are present in the information you are working from.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    CanadaGuy24 said:
    TeamGroup’s NightHawk RGB ($80) showed three likely hardware defects out of 69 reviews (4% failure rate)
    The math here is WRONG. 3 REVIEWS out of 69 reporting likely defects is NOT a 4% failure rate of the RAM. It is 4% of the REVIEWS reporting failures. The 3 bad reviews, nor the 69 reviews total indicate the number of SALES. Failure rate is actual_failures divided by sales---neither of which are present in the information you are working from.
    Please read the entire article, because I don't think it was necessary for you to reword the explanation ;)
    Reply