It's difficult to get things right the first time, and even more so for a company embarking into unknown territory. Last year, Lexar made an unexpected announcement that it was venturing into the memory market. It didn't come as a complete surprise, though, given that Lexar was already deep in the storage game. While Lexar didn't exactly make a splash with its lackluster debut DDR4-2666 memory, the brand is ready to take another shot. This time around, Lexar has released its first RGB memory in the shape of the Hades RGB lineup that it thinks will rival the best RAM on the market.
Lexar's Hades RGB memory modules sport a rectangular, aluminum heat spreader complemented with a brushed finish. It's not the type of flamboyant design that we're accustomed to, but it should work for the majority of consumers. Other than the Lexar logo and the traditional sticker with the specifications, there's nothing else that draws your attention.
The memory is 45.6mm (1.8 inches) tall, so we recommend that you check your CPU cooler's clearance space before pulling the trigger on the Hades RGB. Doing justice to its name, the memory is equipped with an RGB lightbar that's integrated into the heat spreader design. You can play with the illumination with the included Lexar RGB Sync software or your motherboard's software. If you opt for the latter, note that the memory is only compatible with Asus Aura Sync, ASRock Polychrome, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, and MSI Mystic Light.
Underneath the Hades RGB's sleek heat spreader, you'll find a black, eight-layer PCB with a single-rank design. The single-rank design will hurt the memory kit's performance. The type of integrated circuit (ICs) remains a mystery as it seems that Lexar blotted out that information, so Thaiphoon Burner can't assess it. Given the sloppy XMP timings, the ICs are likely on the low-end of the quality scale.
Unlike other memory kits that default to DDR4-2133 or DDR4-2400, the Hades RGB runs at DDR4-3200 with 22-22-22-52 timings out of the package. In addition, there is XMP 2.0 support. The memory is rated for DDR4-3600 at 18-22-22-42 and has a DRAM voltage of 1.35V. 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|
|GeIL Orion AMD Edition||GAOR432GB4266C18ADC||2 x 16GB||DDR4-4266 (XMP)||18-24-24-44 (2T)||1.45 Volts||Lifetime|
|G.Skill Trident Z Royal||F4-4000C17D-32GTRGB||2 x 16GB||DDR4-4000 (XMP)||17-18-18-38 (2T)||1.40 Volts||Lifetime|
|Crucial Ballistix Max RGB||BLM2K16G40C18U4BL||2 x 16GB||DDR4-4000 (XMP)||18-19-19-39 (2T)||1.35 Volts||Lifetime|
|Patriot Viper Elite II||PVE2432G400C0K||2 x 16GB||DDR4-4000 (XMP)||20-26-26-46 (2T)||1.40 Volts||Lifetime|
|G.Skill Trident Z Neo||F4-3600C16D-32GTZN||2 x 16GB||DDR4-3600 (XMP)||16-16-16-36 (2T)||1.35 Volts||Lifetime|
|Mushkin Redline Lumina||MLA4C360GKKP16GX2||2 x 16GB||DDR4-3600 (XMP)||16-19-19-39 (2T)||1.40 volts||Lifetime|
|Klevv Bolt XR||KD4AGU880-36A180C||2 x 16GB||DDR4-3600 (XMP)||18-22-22-42 (2T)||1.35 Volts||Lifetime|
|Silicon Power Xpower Zenith RGB||SP032GXLZU360BDD||2 x 16GB||DDR4-3600 (XMP)||18-22-22-42 (2T)||1.35 Volts||Lifetime|
|Lexar Hades RGB||LD4BU016G-R3600UDLH||2 x 16GB||DDR4-3600 (XMP)||18-22-22-42 (2T)||1.35 Volts||Lifetime|
|Patriot Viper Steel RGB||PVSR432G360C0K||2 x 16GB||DDR4-3600 (XMP)||20-26-26-46 (2T)||1.35 Volts||Lifetime|
The Intel system has the Intel Core i9-10900K and Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex (0901 firmware), while the AMD system uses the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and an Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero (3501 firmware). The MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Trio takes care of the graphics-intensive RAM benchmarks, including all the gaming tests.
|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 Hades RGB memory spearheaded the Microsoft Office workload with a 6.2% margin over the slowest memory kit. If we look at the cumulative results, however, the Hades RGB was at the lower end of the charts.
The memory kit's performance was even worse on the AMD platform. Overall, the Hades RGB ranked last with the other single-rank memory kits.
Overclocking and Latency Tuning
We couldn't get the memory stable at any frequency higher than DDR4-3600. Even at 1.45V, there wasn't any headroom for our overclocking endeavors. Loosening the timings further did nothing for stability at speeds above DDR4-3600.
Lowest Stable Timings
|Memory Kit||DDR4-3600 (1.45V)||DDR4-3800 (1.45V)||DDR4-4100 (1.45V)||DDR4-4133 (1.45V)||DDR4-4200 (1.45V)|
|G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 C16||13-14-14-35 (2T)||N/A||N/A||N/A||19-19-19-39 (2T)|
|Klevv Bolt XR DDR4-3600 C18||16-19-19-39 (2T)||N/A||N/A||18-22-22-42 (2T)||N/A|
|Mushkin Redline Lumina DDR4-3600 C16||16-17-17-37 (2T)||N/A||17-19-19-39 (2T)||N/A||N/A|
|Patriot Viper Steel RGB DDR4-3600 C20||16-20-20-40 (2T)||17-26-26-46 (2T)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Lexar Hades RGB DDR4-3600 C18||17-20-20-40 (2T)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
When overclocking didn't produce a positive result, we turned to optimizing the memory kit's primary timings at DDR4-3600. We increased the DRAM voltage to 1.45V just to lower the timings from 18-22-22-42 to 17-20-20-40. However, the Hades RGB was still far from being a solid performer.
It's bad enough that the Hades RGB DDR4-3600 C18 memory kit has single-rank memory modules, but it also has some of the worst timings for a DDR4-3600 memory kit. Depending on the platform, Lexar's memory kit was sometimes faster than some rival 2x16GB single-rank memory kits, including the Mushkin Redline Lumina DDR4-3600 C16 or GeIL Orion AMD Edition DDR4-4266 C18. However, the Hades RGB was simply no match for standard dual-rank memory kits.
To make things even worse, Lexar slapped on a pretty high MSRP. When the memory kit isn't on sale, it sells for $216.99 (opens in new tab), which is overly expensive for what it offers. Sometimes it goes on sale for $159.99, but it's still more costly than the competition. For example, the Patriot Viper Steel RGB DDR4-3600 C20, which has inferior timings but a dual-rank design, offers better performance for just $149.99 (opens in new tab).