Tom's Hardware Verdict
The Orion RGB AMD Edition DDR4-4400 C18 isn't a bad memory kit, but its overly expensive price tag will turn away potential buyers.
+ Acceptable performance
+ Low-profile heat spreader
+ RGB control doesn't require proprietary software
Poor overclocking headroom
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The trend of slapping RGB lighting on every single piece of hardware started a couple of years ago. Memory makers, like countless others, couldn't help but scratch that RGB itch. GeIL, for example, isn't a stranger to high-performance memory with flashy lights, so it recently gave its characteristic Orion memory lineup the RGB makeover. The Orion RGB, which is available in both standard and AMD-optimized flavors, continues to offer memory frequencies up to DDR4-4400 and kit capacities up to a whopping 128GB, but now it comes with that sweet RGB bling.
GeIL didn't want to complicate things — it literally just copied Orion's design and added an RGB light bar on the top of the memory module. The light bar features a combination of a triangle and honeycomb pattern. The Orion RGB still comes with either a titanium gray or racing red aluminum heat spreader.
The addition of the RGB light bar didn't add much height to the Orion RGB memory module, so it maintains its low-profile design. The regular Orion memory modules measure 37.34mm (1.47 inches), and this new RGB variant checks in at 38.2mm (1.5 inches). GeIL doesn't force consumers to use a proprietary piece of software for RGB control. The memory's illumination is compatible with Asus Aura Sync, ASRock Polychrome, Biostar RGB Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0 and MSI Mystic Light.
Each Orion RGB memory module carries 8GB and features a single-rank design. The black PCB is carved with eight layers. GeIL utilizes the company's patented DYNA 4 SLT automatic IC (integrated circuit) tester to pick the best Hynix H5AN8G8NAFR-VKC (A-die) ICs for this Orion RGB memory kit.
The Orion RGB memory's been binned for DDR4-2666 with 19-19-19-43 timings at stock operation. However, if you choose to use it, the XMP profile automatically tweaks the parameters for DDR4-4400 at 18-24-24-44 when enabled. To run at the advertised memory speed, the Orion RGB commands a DRAM voltage of 1.45V. 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|
|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|
Our Intel-based system uses the Intel Core i9-10900K processor and Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex. The motherboard runs on the 0901 firmware. On the opposite side, our AMD testbed is based on the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero. The latter is on the 3501 firmware. We turned to the MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Trio to take care of the gaming RAM benchmarks.
The Orion RGB put up its best performance in the Adobe Premiere benchmark where it was less than 1% slower than the leading memory kit. GeIL's memory kit also performed pretty well in y-cruncher, where it outperformed the slowest competitor by up to 4.4%.
The Orion RGB memory kit didn't improve its overall standing on the AMD test system. That's because the memory runs at DDR4-4400, and only very exceptional Ryzen 5000 chips can hit a 2,200 MHz FCLK to take advantage of the memory kit.
Nevertheless, the Orion RGB still managed to nab second place in Adobe Photoshop, landing less than 1% from the leading memory kit.
Overclocking and Latency Tuning
Similar to other DDR4-4400 kits, the Orion RGB left little overclocking headroom on the table. Increasing the DRAM voltage from 1.45V to 1.5V only got us to DDR4-4500. We only had to loosen the CAS Latency (CL) to 19, while the remaining timings remained the same as the XMP profile.
Lowest Stable Timings
|Memory Kit||DDR4-4400 (1.50V)||DDR4-4500 (1.50V)|
|Patriot Viper 4 Blackout DDR4-4400 C18||17-25-25-45 (2T)||21-26-26-46 (2T)|
|GeIL Orion RGB AMD Edition DDR4-4400 C18||18-23-23-43 (2T)||19-24-24-44 (2T)|
The voltage bump on the Orion RGB memory didn't yield good results for optimization, either. We could only tighten the tRCD, tRP, and tRAS down to 23-23-43. The CL timings, however, wouldn't budge.
Besides the design, GeIL's Orion RGB AMD Edition DDR4-4400 C18 doesn't really have anything going for it. The memory's performance is tolerable, although it isn't the fastest memory kit on the market. With the DDR4-4400 presentation, you basically get what you pay for because there is little to almost no overclocking headroom.
Making matters even worse, the GeIL burdens the Orion RGB AMD Edition DDR4-4400 C18 kit with a hefty $324.99 price tag. Unless you find the memory on sale with a substantial discount, there are cheaper and faster offerings out there, such as the TeamGroup T-Force Dark Z FPS DDR4-4000 C16 that's selling for a little less than half the Orion RGB's price.
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.
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I appreciate that the pretty colors didn't dazzle the reviewer! Maybe it'll go on super sale, but at it's current price, it's a mystery who would buy this stuff. If you want speed, there's faster RAM for half the price. If you want colors, there's just-as-fast RGB options like G-Skill Trident Z, also half the price. You could add a RAM light kit to any standard RAM to make it look very much like the Geil Orion for $20/stick (see Akasa RAM Mate). With the savings, you could buy an entire new premium RGB case like the Corsair 465x RGB or a complete LED kit to outfit an existing case with all sorts of custom effects. Anyone buying a part like this must be at least a little familiar with building a computer. Any retailer selling it will have a dozen better options. How does Giel plan to move any of these? Do they have a super loyal cult following or incredible warranty or something?Reply
How about testing ...Reply
F4-4000C15D-16GVK, Ripjaws V, DDR4-4000MHz CL15-16-16-36 1.50V, 16GB (2x8GB), G.Skill
F4-4000C14D-32GVK, Ripjaws V, DDR4-4000MHz CL14-15-15-35 1.55V, 32GB (2x16GB), G.Skill
F4-4000C14D-16GVK, Ripjaws V, DDR4-4000MHz CL14-15-15-35 1.55V, 16GB (2x8GB), G.Skill
ND4U0840140BRADE, Blade, DDR4-4000MHz CL14-15-15-35 1.55V, 16GB (2x8GB), OLOy
Or heck, any kits at, or above, 4000MHz and at, or below, CL15 (e. g. purportedly lowest latencies)? There currently appears to be a breakpoint at 4000MHz in terms of timings.