PNY XLR8 Gaming Mako DDR5-6200 C42 Review: Pricey Average Performer

The Mako series sounds fierce but lacks aggressiveness.

PNY XLR8 Gaming Mako DDR5-6200 C42
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

The PNY XLR8 Gaming Mako DDR5-6200 C42 isn't the fastest memory on the market, but it'll get the job done.


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    Low-profile design

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    Multiple XMP 3.0 profiles


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    Loose timings

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PNY has created the Mako memory series under its XLR8 Gaming sub-brand. The XLR8 Gaming Mako family, which borrows inspiration from the shortfin mako shark, arrives in standard and RGB versions and comes in both DDR5-6000 and DDR5-6300 flavors.  

DDR5 pricing has improved significantly compared to when the new memory standard debuted. However, prices will continue to decline as we head into next year, so it's no surprise to see more value-oriented kits cropping up.

For now, the Mako series is the only enthusiast-grade DDR5 offering available from PNY, and it's only available at 32GB (2x16GB). In addition, the company has only listed DDR5-6000 and DDR5-6200 kits. However, the company's press release stated that the Mako would go up to DDR5-6400, so we may see another kit come to market soon. 

PNY's Mako memory modules sport an aluminum heat spreader that provides passive cooling to the integrated circuits (ICs) and power management IC (PMIC). The heat spreader only comes in black with a couple of diagonal silver lines to enhance the overall design. In addition, the company implanted the brand's XLR8 and Mako logos on both sides of the modules. 

The memory modules cater to builds where clearance space is a luxury, so the heat spreader is designed to be compact. As a result, the modules conform to a low-profile design with a height of 34.8mm (1.37 inches). For comparison, generic DDR5 memory measures 31.15mm (1.23 inches), so the Mako is only 11.7% taller.

Each Mako memory module has a capacity of 16GB; therefore, it features a single-rank design. PNY uses SK hynix H5CG48MEBDX014 (M-die) ICs for the memory module. Meanwhile, Richtek's "0D=8J 20H" PMIC handles the voltage regulation.

The memory posts at DDR5-4800 at 40-40-40-76 timings. It has an abundant amount of XMP 3.0 profiles. The main profile gets the memory to DDR5-6200, 42-42-42-88, and 1.3V. The alternate profiles configure the Mako to run at DDR5-5600, 40-40-40-77, and 1.2V and DDR5-4800, 38-38-38-77, and 1.1V.

See our PC Memory 101 feature and How to Shop for RAM story for more on timings and frequency considerations.

Comparison Hardware

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Memory KitPart NumberCapacityData RatePrimary TimingsVoltageWarranty
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5CMT32GX5M2X6600C322 x 16GBDDR5-6600 (XMP)32-39-39-76 (2T)1.40Lifetime
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGBF5-6400J3239G16GX2-TZ5RK2 x 16GBDDR5-6400 (XMP)32-39-39-102 (2T)1.40Lifetime
V-Color Manta XPrismTMXPL1662836WW-DW2 x 16GBDDR5-6200 (XMP)36-39-39-76 (2T)1.30Lifetime
Patriot Viper Venom RGBPVVR532G620C40K2 x 16GBDDR5-6200 (XMP)40-40-40-76 (2T)1.35Lifetime
PNY XLR8 Gaming MakoMD32GK2D5620042MXR2 x 16GBDDR5-6200 (XMP)42-42-42-88 (2T)1.30Lifetime
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGBF5-6000U3636E16GX2-TZ5RS2 x 16GBDDR5-6000 (XMP)36-36-36-76 (2T)1.30Lifetime
Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR5CMH32GX5M2D6000C362 x 16GBDDR5-6000 (XMP)36-36-36-76 (2T)1.35Lifetime
TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGBFF3D516G6000HC40ABK2 x 16GBDDR5-6000 (XMP)40-40-40-80 (2T)1.35Lifetime
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5CMT32GX5M2B5200C382 x 16GBDDR5-5200 (XMP)38-38-38-84 (2T)1.25Lifetime
Kingston Fury BeastKF552C40BBK2-322 x 16GBDDR5-5200 (XMP)40-40-40-80 (2T)1.25Lifetime
CrucialCT2K8G48C40U52 x 8GBDDR5-480040-39-39-77 (2T)1.10Lifetime
Sabrent RocketSB-DR5U-16G x 22 x 16GBDDR5-480040-40-40-76 (2T)1.105 Years

Intel DDR5 System (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Our DDR5 test system has Intel's Core i9-12900K Alder Lake processor with Corsair's CUE H100i Elite LCD liquid cooler taking care of the cooling. The 16-core Alder Lake flagship chip sits on the MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X motherboard, running the 7D28vA8 firmware. In addition, the MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Trio is responsible for our gaming RAM benchmarks.

Our Windows 11 installation, benchmarking software, and games reside on Crucial's MX500 SSDs, whereas the RM650x feeds our entire system with the necessary power. Lastly, the Streacom BC1 open bench table ensures that our hardware is well-kept and tidy.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Intel DDR5 System
ProcessorIntel Core i9-12900K
MotherboardMSI MEG Z690 Unify-X
Graphics CardMSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio
StorageCrucial MX500 500GB, 2TB
CoolingCorsair iCUE H100i Elite LCD
Power SupplyCorsair RM650x 650W
CaseStreacom BC1

Intel Performance

The XLR8 Gaming Mako DDR5-6200 C42 lagged slightly behind the Viper Venom RGB DDR5-6200 C40 due to the latter's tighter memory timings. However, logically, the PNY memory kit delivered higher performance than the standard DDR5-4800 and DDR5-5200 memory kits.

Overclocking and Latency Tuning

The Mako memory uses SK hynix M-die ICs, similar to other DDR5-6200 memory kits. Therefore, it was easy to achieve a DDR5-6400 overclock at 1.4V. In addition, we could run the memory with 36-38-38-76 timings, the same configuration as Mako's rivals.

Lowest Stable Timings

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Memory KitDDR5-6200 (1.4V)DDR5-6400 (1.4V)
Patriot Viper Venom RGB DDR5-6200 C4036-37-37-76 (2T)36-38-38-76 (2T)
V-Color Manta Xprism DDR5-6200 C36 36-37-37-76 (2T)36-38-38-76 (2T)
PNY XLR8 Gaming Mako DDR5-620036-38-38-78 (2T)36-38-38-76 (2T)

When you run hardware outside of the manufacturer's specifications, there's always a potential risk of damage. That's the standard caveat with overclocking any hardware, not just memory. Although we've already reached out to SK hynix to inquire about the maximum safe voltage for its ICs, we haven't received any feedback on safe voltages for overclocking. However, after speaking with various memory vendors, they've agreed that 1.4V is the maximum voltage you would want to pump into DDR5 for an extended time.

Although PNY has opted for SK hynix M-die ICs, there's still a bit of silicon lottery regarding overclocking. For example, we could tighten the memory timings to 36-38-38-78 at 1.4V on the Mako, whereas the tRCD and tRP can go as low as 37 on the Viper Venom RGB DDR5-6200 C40 and Manta Xprism DDR5-6200 C36.

Bottom Line

The XLR8 Gaming Mako DDR5-6200 C42 prioritizes compatibility in the memory module's design and incorporates multiple XMP 3.0 profiles. While most high-speed DDR5 memory kits only come with a single profile, PNY's memory offers you two additional choices. Veteran users may find it redundant, but it's nice to have in case less experienced users happen to own a processor that can't do DDR5-6200. The out-of-the-box performance on the PNY XLR8 Gaming Mako DDR5-6200 C42 is average unless you manually optimize or overclock the memory.

The memory kit presently retails for $269.99 at multiple retailers. However, the price won't favor the memory and will scare off potential suitors. For example, the Vengeance RGB DDR5-6000 C36, which outperforms the XLR8 Gaming Mako DDR5-6200 C42, sells for $270. Alternatively, the Venom RGB DDR5-6200 C40, which is also faster, carries a $239.99 price tag, $30 cheaper than the PNY memory kit. 

If the pricing for the XLR8 Gaming Mako DDR5-6200 C42 improves, it could be a legitimate contender for anyone on the market for low-profile DDR5 memory or anyone who loathes RGB.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

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.