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PNY XLR8 2x16GB DDR4-3200 Review: A Really Big Deal?

This PNY XLR8 kit is a steal if you get it directly from PNY.

PNY XLR8 2x16GB DDR4-3200
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

When ordered from the PNY store, PNY’s XL8R 32GB dual-channel kit is one of the most price-competitive in its class. But value-seekers shopping at mainstream sellers will be far less enthused.

For

  • Very inexpensive at PNY store
  • Attractive to non-RGB buyers

Against

  • Costs roughly $15 more at mainstream sellers

Tom's Hardware Verdict

When ordered from the PNY store, PNY’s XL8R 32GB dual-channel kit is one of the most price-competitive in its class. But value-seekers shopping at mainstream sellers will be far less enthused.

Pros

  • +

    Very inexpensive at PNY store

  • +

    Attractive to non-RGB buyers

Cons

  • -

    Costs roughly $15 more at mainstream sellers

Any tech geek who’s been in a coma for the past decade would be excused for thinking of PNY as primarily a memory company, but its recent marketing efforts have focused primarily for storage and graphics cards. It’s not that the firm dropped out of PC memory, but that it appeared to be resting on its reputation as new kits were released. That’s about to change with its latest XLR8 modules.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The snazzy new kit comes in plain packaging at a surprisingly low price: Available from several sellers for around $155, the firm’s online store recently dropped its price from $145 to $140. That makes it $10 cheaper than the least-expensive previous 32GB kit we’ve tested.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Like every other DDR4-3200 kit we’ve tested, XLR8 part number MD32GK2D4320016XR uses Intel XMP overclocking technology to push mainstream DRAM ICs (memory chips) to its rated settings at 1.35V. Buyers who find that their board isn’t capable of XMP will find a highest non-XMP configuration of DDR4-2400, which is still a bit faster than the DDR4-2133 of most competitors. 


PNY XLR8OLOy WarHawk RGBPatriot Viper SteelHyperX Predator RGB
Part No.MD32GK2D4320016XRMD4U163216BEDAPVS432G320C6KHX432C16PB3AK2/32
Capacity32 GB (2x 16GB)32 GB (2x 16GB)32 GB (2x 16GB)32 GB (2x 16GB)
Data RateDDR4-3200 (XMP)DDR4-3200 (XMP)DDR4-3200 (XMP)DDR4-3200 (XMP)
Primary Timings16-18-18-36 (2T)16-18-18-36 (2T)16-18-18-36 (2T)16-18-18-36 (2T)
Voltage1.35 Volts1.35 Volts1.35 Volts1.35 Volts
WarrantyLifetimeLifetimeLifetimeLifetime

We’re fortunate enough to have a full range of 2x 16GB DDR4-3200 kits with 16-18-18-36 timings to compare, and have included the cheapest of those for this battle of value supremacy. Readers who’d like to understand a bit more about that data rate and timings should check out our PC Memory 101 feature. The test system uses AMD’s fast  Ryzen 7 3700X to feed data through MSI’s memory-mastering MEG X570 Ace from Toshiba’s OCZ RD400 SSD, while Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming OC 8G pushes the pixels. 

Overclocking and Latency Tuning 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

PNY XLR8 ties HyperX Predator RGB for last place in overclocking headroom on our platform, but getting anywhere beyond rated settings is somewhat of a gift. Let’s see how far that gift takes us when we try to quicken its response times: 

Lowest Stable Timings at 1.35V (Max) on MEG X570 ACE (BIOS 1.20)


PNY XLR8OLOy WarHawk RGBPatriot Viper SteelHyperX Predator RGB
Part No.MD32GK2D4320016XRMD4U163216BEDAPVS432G320C6KHX432C16PB3AK2/32
DDR4-4266



DDR4-360019-21-21-42 (2T)16-19-19-38 (2T)16-20-20-40 (2T)18-19-19-38 (2T)
DDR4-293315-17-17-34 (1T)13-15-15-30 (1T)13-16-16-32 (1T)13-15-15-30 (1T)

We didn’t find much flexibility in this XLR8 kit’s timings either, as dropping the speed from DDR4-3200 to DDR4-2933 allowed only one cycle of latency to be shaved off. But PNY could have other tricks up its sleeve. 

Benchmark Results

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PNY XLR8 2x16GB DDR4-3200 Sandra

PNY XLR8 2x16GB DDR4-3200 Sandra (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Image 2 of 2

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Not only did XLR8 land last in overclocked performance results in Sandra, but even its XMP bandwidth came out slightly behind competitors. It did score the lowest XMP latency though, which could point to better-optimized advanced timings. 

Image 1 of 2

PNY XLR8 2x16GB DDR4-3200 Gaming Performance

PNY XLR8 2x16GB DDR4-3200 Gaming Performance (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Image 2 of 2

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The XLR8 also fell slightly behind in gaming performance, though by a far lesser amount than its price difference. Could this be a best value? 

Image 1 of 2

PNY XLR8 2x16GB DDR4-3200 Compression Benchmarks

PNY XLR8 2x16GB DDR4-3200 Compression Benchmarks (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Image 2 of 2

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

XLR8 DDR4-3200 makes up for some of its earlier losses in our performance average by getting the best XMP-based 7-Zip encode time. 

Final Thoughts

Two of the kits in today’s comparison have RGB, which some users don’t want, and others are willing to pay a little for. None of that is considered in a basic performance-per-dollar chart.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Those who only want the best performance per dollar will find that the XLR8 delivers, providing the same overall performance as the second-cheapest kit while being priced up to $15 less. Given that big value surprise, we’re looking toward more offerings from PNY.

MORE: Best Memory

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.