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Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 Review: Failing The Test Of Fire

Not all the shines is gold

Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

The ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18 memory kit definitely stands out, but for its aesthetics and expensive price rather than its performance.

For

  • + Appealing design
  • + Ample support for RGB ecosystems

Against

  • - Very expensive
  • - Subpar performance
  • - Limited overclocking headroom

Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 kit revitalizes the company's high-speed memory kits with four new trims for creative builds. These types of high-performance kits have proliferated on the market over the last few years, largely because each new generation of AMD and Intel processors arrives with improved memory support that allows vendors to constantly push the frequency limit. However, DDR4-3600 memory kits continue to be a very popular option among consumers, which explains why the market is flooded with them. As you know, memory comes in all sizes and colors, so there's a memory kit for everyone out there.

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Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18

Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18

Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18

Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Thermaltake now offers its ToughRAM RGB memory kits in four new trims: racing green, racing red, turquoise and metallic gold. However, the design is the same regardless of the color: The heat spreader still comes in a rectangular shape with notches and metal strips that highlight the design. Our sample sports a metallic gold exterior with matching metal strips.

As a recap, the memory modules have a height of 48.25mm (1.9 inches) and flaunt a beautiful RGB diffuser with ten addressable LEDs. You can control the ToughRAM RGB's illumination with Thermaltake's in-house TT RGB Plus software, or you can just use the software that comes with your motherboard. Compatibility is great as the ToughRAM RGB will play nice with Razer Chroma, Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync, and ASRock Polychrome Sync.

Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The ToughRAM RGB is a typical dual-channel 16GB DDR4 memory kit with two 8GB memory modules. The memory modules rock a single-rank design, and in the ToughRAM RGB's case, come with a 10-layer PCB. Thermaltake is very fond of Hynix integrated circuits (ICs) for the ToughRAM RGB lineup, so it's no surprise that this DDR4-3600 memory kit uses H5AN8G8NCJR-VKC (C-die) ICs.

Out of the box, the memory modules function at DDR4-2666 with automatic timings at 19-19-19-43. The memory kit only comes with a single XMP profile that will crank the data rate up to DDR4-3600. At the advertised frequency, the memory modules tick with 18-19-19-39 timings and pull 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.

Comparison Hardware

Memory KitPart NumberCapacityData RatePrimary TimingsVoltageWarranty
G.Skill Trident Z NeoF4-3600C14D-16GTZNB2 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)14-15-15-35 (2T)1.45 VoltsLifetime
Adata XPG Spectrix D60GAX4U360038G14C-DT602 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)14-15-15-35 (2T)1.45 VoltsLifetime
TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGBTF10D416G3600HC14CDC012 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)14-15-15-35 (2T)1.45 VoltsLifetime
Gigabyte Aorus RGB MemoryGP-AR36C18S8K2HU416R2 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-19-19-39 (2T)1.35 VoltsLifetime
Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic GoldRG26D408GX2-3600C18A2 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-19-19-39 (2T)1.35 VoltsLifetime
HP V87EH92AA#ABM x 22 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-20-20-40 (2T)1.35 Volts5 Years
Adata XPG Spectrix D50AX4U360038G18A-DT502 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-20-20-42 (2T)1.35 VoltsLifetime
Predator TalosBL.9BWWR.2152 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-20-20-42 (2T)1.35 VoltsLifetime
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro SLCMH16GX4M2Z3600C182 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-22-22-42 (2T)1.35 VoltsLifetime
GeIL Orion AMD EditionGAOR416GB3600C18BDC2 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-22-22-42 (2T)1.35 VoltsLifetime
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Intel System

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

AMD System (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Intel test system houses the Core i9-10900K and Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex, which is based on the 0901 firmware. The AMD platform has the Ryzen 9 5900X and Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero on the 3501 firmware. The MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Trio is in charge of the more graphics-intensive RAM benchmarks.

Intel SystemAMD System
ProcessorIntel Core i9-10900KAMD Ryzen 9 5900X
MotherboardAsus ROG Maximus XII ApexAsus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero
Graphics CardMSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X TrioMSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio
StorageCrucial MX500 500GB, 2TBCrucial MX500 500GB, 2TB
CoolingCorsair Hydro H115i ProCorsair Hydro H115i Pro
Power SupplyCorsair RM650x 650WCorsair RM650x 650W
CaseStreacom BC1Streacom BC1

Intel Performance

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The ToughRAM RGB was the fastest memory kit in the 7-Zip compression benchmark. It outperformed the slowest DDR4-3600 memory kit by a 10.3% margin. Overall, the ToughRAM RGB found itself at the bottom of the barrel in our application and gaming performance benchmarks.

AMD Performance

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The memory kit's performance was consistent on the AMD platform as well. In the application performance, it was at the lower end of the charts. However, the ToughRAM RGB did perform better during the gaming benchmarks.

Overclocking and Latency Tuning

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Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18

Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18

Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The ToughRAM RGB was one of the worst overclockers. The memory kit only surpassed the GeIL Orion AMD Edition DDR4-3600 C18. The highest frequency we could get out of Thermaltake's memory kit was DDR4-3800 (at 1.45V). We also had to relax the timings to 19-20-20-40.

Lowest Stable Timings

Memory KitDDR4-3600 (1.45V)DDR4-3733 (1.45V)DDR4-3800 (1.45V)DDR4-3866 (1.45V)DDR4-3900 (1.45V)DDR4-4000 (1.45V)DDR4-4133 (1.45V)DDR4-4200 (1.45V)
G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4-3600 C1413-16-16-36 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A19-19-19-39 (2T)
Adata XPG Spectrix D60G DDR4-3600 C1413-15-15-35 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A20-19-19-39 (2T)
TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB DDR4-3600 C1413-14-14-35 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A19-19-19-39 (2T)
HP V8 DDR4-3600 C1814-19-19-39 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A18-22-22-42 (2T)N/A
Adata XPG Spectrix D50 DDR4-3600 C1814-19-19-39 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/A18-22-22-42 (2T)N/AN/A
Predator Talos DDR4-3600 C1815-18-18-38 (2T)N/AN/AN/A19-20-20-40 (2T)N/AN/AN/A
Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C1816-19-19-39 (2T)N/AN/AN/A20-20-20-40 (2T)N/AN/AN/A
Thermaltake ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C1816-19-19-39 (2T)N/A19-20-20-40 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro SL DDR4-3600 C1816-20-20-40 (2t)N/AN/A19-22-22-40N/AN/AN/AN/A
GeIL Orion AMD Edition DDR4-3600 C1816-20-20-40 (2T)19-22-22-42 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A

Hynix ICs aren't known for running at tight timings, and that showed in our tests. For example, we increased the DRAM voltage on the ToughRAM RGB from 1.35V to 1.45V and could only tweak the CAS Latency (CL) to 16 cycles. The memory kit's other primary timings simply wouldn't cooperate.

Bottom Line

At $154.99, the ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18 is undeniably one of the more expensive DDR4-3600 memory kits on the market. There is no arguing that the memory kit looks good, but that will likely be the main reason for its purchase. The memory kit will get you by, but just don't expect top-tier performance. Or overclocking headroom, for that matter. 

There aren't many gold-theme memory kits on the market, so the ToughRAM RGB Metallic Gold DDR4-3600 C18 carves out its own unique niche in the memory market. If you're not as focused on a particular aesthetic and looking for a more balanced price and performance price point, check out our list of Best RAM for alternatives.