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Geil Puts RGB LEDs On DDR4 Memory

Geil unveiled a new family of DDR4 RAM modules today that come with RGB LED heatsinks. The RAM also operates at competitive clock speeds and is targeted at enthusiasts.

Geil’s new Evo X RGB heatsinks are primarily black, but they have red highlights, and the company name is stamped on the DIMMs in white. The five RGB LEDs are placed close to the top of what Geil calls a Hybrid-Independent-Light-Module (HILM).

The HILM is essentially a completely separate silicon board designed to handle the LED lighting. An advantage of this design is that it allows Geil to re-use essentially any memory modules in the Evo X RGB line (and several others), but there are a few problems with it. One side effect of this design is that the LEDs require external power from either a 12 V four-pin power connector or a 9 V or 12 V two-pin fan cable.

If the 12 V four-pin power connector is used, then (according to Geil) the RAM can be programmed with motherboard lighting software (if available) to flash several different colors and use different lighting patterns. If your motherboard doesn’t have a lighting application for this, then you cannot program the lights.

Further, if you use the two-pin fan power cable, you won’t be able to program the lights; instead, you can change the color using a switch. In this mode, the lights will use the breathing animation, and the LEDs can be red, green or blue, or set to cycle RGB.

No matter which power cable you use, there are a few problems that you will run into. First, unless your motherboard has an abnormally high number of unused fan headers and 12 V power cables, you are going to have trouble powering four of these RAM sticks at the same time. Even if you have enough connections for it, that is also going to lead to a lot of extra cabling hanging around the case.

If you have a large air cooler, carefully check to be sure that it doesn’t cover the closest RAM slots, as the LEDs will make the RAM physically higher than most other DIMMs. There is currently no word on pricing or availability.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.