The computer memory market is a cut-throat playground where companies have to find even the smallest competitive edge to surpass their rivals. For Essencore, that means establishing a partnership with SK Hynix, which could go a long way when the time comes to purchase high-quality chips for the company's memory products.
Essencore, which commercializes its memory under the Klevv branding, isn't a rookie in the memory game, either. The company has been around since 2014 and has built up a pretty diverse portfolio of memory products over the years. On this occasion, the brand sent over its Cras XR RGB DDR4-4000 memory to prove that it has what it takes to play with the big boys.
The Cras XR RGB memory modules feature a low-profile design that doesn't measure more than 42.5mm (1.67 inches) tall. The pure aluminium heat spreader flaunts an ordinary but jazzy, dotted design. As its name implies, the Cras XR RGB comes with a user-controllable RGB LED diffuser with rounded edges.
Even though Essencore doesn't provide its own software to control the memory's lighting, the Cras XR RGB is compatible with five RGB ecosystems: Razer Chroma RGB, Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Light Sync, and ASRock Polychrome Sync.
The Cras XR RGB DDR4-4000 is available as a single module or in a dual-channel package with a capacity of 16GB. In either case, the memory modules conform to a single-ranked design with a capacity of 8GB. Essencore carves the Cras XR RGB out of an eight-layer PCB adorned with Hynix H5AN8G8NDJR-VKC (D-die) integrated circuits (ICs).
Out of the box, the memory runs at DDR4-2666 with the typical 19-19-19-43 timings. If you're not into manually setting up your memory, the Cras XR RGB memory modules are equipped with an XMP profile to get them up to DDR4-4000. At the advertised frequency, the memory commands a 1.4V DRAM voltage and requires its timings set to 19-25-25-45. 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 RGB||R009D408GX2-4600C19A||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4600 (XMP)||19-26-26-45 (2T)||1.50||Lifetime|
|Patriot Viper 4 Blackout||PVB416G440C8K||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4400 (XMP)||18-26-26-46 (2T)||1.45||Lifetime|
|Klevv Cras XR RGB||KD48GU880-40B190Z||2 x 8GB||DDR4-4000 (XMP)||19-25-25-45 (2T)||1.40||Lifetime|
|TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB||TF10D416G3600HC14CDC01||2 x 8GB||DDR4-3600 (XMP)||14-15-15-35 (2T)||1.45||Lifetime|
Our Intel test system consists of an Intel Core i9-10900K and Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex on the 0901 firmware. On the opposite side, the AMD testbed leverages an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and ASRock B550 Taichi with the 1.30 firmware. The MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Trio handles the gaming workloads in our RAM benchmarks.
The Cras XR RGB's performance on the Intel platform was pretty decent. While the memory was faster than the DDR4-3600 C14, it did lag behind the DDR4-4400 C18 and DDR4-4600 C19 memory kits. The Cras XR RGB came in last in the gaming charts, though.
The Cras XR RGB fell to the bottom of the performance and gaming charts on the AMD platform. The lower performance is a byproduct of the fact that not many Ryzen processors can run a 2,000 FCLK to take advantage of the memory kit properly. Asynchronous operation introduces a latency penalty that takes a toll on the Cras XR RGB's performance.
Overclocking and Latency Tuning
A small increase of 0.05V in the DRAM voltage was all it took to get the Cras XR RGB to run at DDR4-4400. The same timings for DDR4-4000 translated over to DDR4-4400 without a hiccup.
Lowest Stable Timings
|Memory Kit||DDR4-3600 (1.46V)||DDR4-4000 (1.45V)||DDR4-4200 (1.45V)||DDR4-4400 (1.45V)||DDR4-4500 (1.50V)||DDR4-4600 (1.55V)||DDR4-4666 (1.56V)|
|Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB DDR4-4600 C19||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||18-24-24-44 (2T)||20-26-26-45 (2T)|
|Patriot Viper 4 Blackout DDR4-4400 C18||N/A||N/A||N/A||17-25-25-45 (2T)||21-26-26-46 (2T)||N/A||N/A|
|Klev Cras XR RGB DDR4-4000 C19||N/A||18-22-22-42 (2T)||N/A||19-25-25-45 (2T)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB DDR4-3600 C14||13-14-14-35 (2T)||N/A||19-19-19-39 (2T)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
We were able to get Cras XR RGB's timings at DDR4-4000 down to 18-22-22-42. It was a satisfactory result, and we only had to use a 1.45V DRAM voltage to stabilize the memory at the aforementioned timings.
The Cras XR RGB DDR4-4000 C19 is a decent option if you want a DDR4-4000 memory kit that doesn't break the bank. On the other hand, availability will be a huge issue since the memory kit has yet to make its way over to the U.S. market. Klevv hasn't provided a firm timeline for U.S. availability yet, but we do know the kit will debut in the UK market within the next few weeks.
Strangely enough, the Cras XR RGB DDR4-4000 C19 is available at Amazon U.K. for £143.75, which is equivalent to around $199.21. It remains to be seen if the memory will have the same price tag once it makes it over to the U.S. market, though. The Cras XR RGB's current pricing will make it hard to compete with similar DDR4-4000 C19 kits that cost between $100 to $130 on the U.S. market. However, the Cras XR RGB DDR4-4000 C19 does have one advantage over its rivals: RGB lighting. That could turn into an important deciding factor if you want bright lights on your memory.