Tom's Hardware Verdict
The Colorful iGame Vulcan DDR4-4266 C18 merits consideration if you have the latest Intel system or if you desperately need a matching memory for a white build.
+ Good performance with Intel systems
+ Appealing white aesthetics
+ Samsung B-die ICs
Doesn't perform well with AMD systems
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Despite being one of the more seasoned hardware brands in the industry, most casual users haven't even heard of Colorful. It's hard to blame them when Colorful products are rarely available outside of the Chinese market. In recent times, Colorful has made an effort to get out of its comfort zone, and evidence of that is the availability of Colorful graphics cards at U.S. retailer Newegg. Like countless other hardware brands, Colorful has ventured into different hardware segments, including the memory market. Although the company has a couple of memory lineups, the iGame series offers a decent array of memory kits that could soon vie for a spot on our list of Best RAM.
It's easy to see that Colorful's iGame Vulcan memory is aimed at white builds — the memory modules come with a white PCB and a matching aluminum heat spreader. Colorful has opted for a design that consists of geometric lines with complementing silver accents. The iGame Vulcan's exterior looks clean, and the only traces of marketing come in the form of the iGame logos.
The iGame Vulcan memory module has an irregular RGB diffuser, so it's a bit tricky to measure. The iGame Vulcan measures 48.75mm (1.92 inches) in height at its lowest point and 49.40mm (1.94 inches) at its highest point. Unfortunately, Colorful doesn't provide any software to control the RGB lighting, but we consider that a pro because you can just use your motherboard's software. The memory module's RGB lighting is compatible with Asus Aura Sync, ASRock Polychrome, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and MSI Mystic Light.
The iGame Vulcan memory modules arrive with a capacity of 8GB and a single-rank design. Two memory modules make up the dual-channel 16GB memory kit. Colorful equipped the memory modules with Samsung's renowned K4A8G085WB-BCPB (B-die) integrated circuits (ICs), which continue to be the favorite ICs for many enthusiasts and overclockers.
Right out of the box, the memory will operate at DDR4-2133 with 15-15-15-36 timings. When XMP is activated, or the memory is properly configured, it'll run at DDR4-4266 with the timings at 18-19-19-39, drawing 1.4V. For more on timings and frequency considerations, see our PC Memory 101 feature, as well as our How to Shop for RAM story.
|Memory Kit||Part Number||Capacity||Data Rate||Primary Timings||Voltage||Warranty|
|Thermaltake ToughRAM XG RGB||R016D408GX2-4600C19A||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4600 (XMP)||19-26-26-45 (2T)||1.50||Lifetime|
|Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB||R009D408GX2-4600C19A||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4600 (XMP)||19-26-26-45 (2T)||1.50||Lifetime|
|Predator Apollo RGB||BL.9BWWR.255||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4500 (XMP)||19-19-19-39 (2T)||1.45||Lifetime|
|GeIL Orion RGB AMD Edition||GAOSR416GB4400C18ADC||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4400 (XMP)||18-24-24-44 (2T)||1.45||Lifetime|
|Patriot Viper 4 Blackout||PVB416G440C8K||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4400 (XMP)||18-26-26-46 (2T)||1.45||Lifetime|
|Colorful iGame Vulcan||IGPC08G4266D4R8||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4266 (XMP)||18-19-19-39 (2T)||1.40||Lifetime|
|TeamGroup T-Force Dark Z FPS||TDZFD416G4000HC16CDC01||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4000 (XMP)||16-18-18-38 (2T)||1.45||Lifetime|
|Klevv Cras XR||KD48GU880-40B190Z||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4000 (XMP)||19-25-25-45 (2T)||1.40||Lifetime|
|Thermaltake ToughRAM XG RGB||R016D408GX2-4000C19A||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4000 (XMP)||19-26-26-45 (2T)||1.45||Lifetime|
|TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB||TF10D416G3600HC14CDC01||2 x 8GB||DDR4-3600 (XMP)||14-15-15-35 (2T)||1.45||Lifetime|
The Intel test system is based on the Core i9-10900K and Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex. The latter is currently on the 0901 firmware. The AMD testbed, on the contrary, employs the Ryzen 9 5900X and Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero, which operates on the 3501 firmware. MSI's GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Trio graphics card handles our gaming RAM benchmarks.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Intel System||AMD System|
|Processor||Intel Core i9-10900K||AMD Ryzen 9 5900X|
|Motherboard||Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex||Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero|
|Graphics Card||MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio||MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio|
|Storage||Crucial MX500 500GB, 2TB||Crucial MX500 500GB, 2TB|
|Cooling||Corsair Hydro H115i Pro||Corsair Hydro H115i Pro|
|Power Supply||Corsair RM650x 650W||Corsair RM650x 650W|
|Case||Streacom BC1||Streacom BC1|
The iGame Vulcan was the highest performing memory kit in the Microsoft Office and Adobe Premiere benchmarks. It was 8.6% and 4.6% faster, respectively, than the slowest memory kit in the aforementioned workloads.
On the AMD platform, the Colorful memory kit put up its best performance in Cinebench R20 where it tied for first place with a score of 8,279 points. Overall, the iGame Vulcan finished last in the application charts since our Ryzen 9 5900X simply couldn't run the FCLK in a 1:1 ratio with the memory. As you know, running the FCLK in asynchronous mode suffers from a considerable latency penalty.
Overclocking and Latency Tuning
Overclocking on Samsung B-die ICs was a breeze. A small voltage bump from 1.4V up to 1.45V was more than sufficient to get the memory running at DDR4-4400. We just had to relax the CAS Latency (CL) from 18 to 19 to achieve stability.
Lowest Stable Timings
|Memory Kit||DDR4-4000 (1.45V)||DDR4-4000 (1.50V)||DDR4-4133 (1.45V)||DDR4-4266 (1.45V)||DDR4-4300 (1.50V)||DDR4-4400 (1.45V)|
|Colorful iGame Vulcan DDR4-4266 C18||N/A||N/A||N/A||17-17-17-37 (2T)||N/A||19-19-19-39|
|Klevv Cras XR DDR4-4000 C19||18-22-22-42 (2T)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||19-25-25-45|
|TeamGroup T-Force Dark Z FPS DDR4-4000 C16||N/A||15-15-15-35 (2T)||N/A||N/A||17-17-17-37 (2T)||N/A|
|Thermaltake ToughRAM XG RGB DDR4-4000 C19||17-22-22-42 (2T)||N/A||19-23-23-43 (2T)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
The XMP timings for the iGame Vulcan at DDR4-4266 weren't bad, but there's room for improvement if you're willing to increase the DRAM voltage up to 1.45V. We dropped primary timing by one clock cycle and the tRAS by two clock cycles.
The Colorful iGame Vulcan DDR4-4266 C18, similar to other very fast memory kits, will not hit its full potential on most AMD systems. It's not that memory kit's fault since Ryzen's design makes it hard to leverage very fast memory without taking a performance hit. Even the best Zen 3 chips hit the wall at 2,000 MHz FCLK (DDR4-4000). However, you may have better luck with one of AMD's Zen 3 APUs or Intel's latest Rocket Lake chips.
The memory kit is currently only available on AliExpress for $228.89. The price tag alone is enough to scare off potential customers. Even at its $199 MSRP, the iGame Vulcan DDR4-4266 C18 is a hard sell. For comparison, the T-Force Dark Z FPS DDR4-4000 C16, which is faster, only commands a $164.99 price tag. In its defense, the iGame Vulcan DDR4-4266 C18 does flaunt a fancy, white design with flashy RGB lights, two very valid reasons why a buyer would look at the Colorful's memory kit in the first place.
Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.