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Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 2x8GB Review: Unexpected Strong Performer

Repping the Aorus brand

Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

Gigabyte's Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 is a very nice memory kit that's thwarted by a high price tag and limited availability.

For

  • Excellent performance
  • Faster than the similarly-specced competition

Against

  • Too expensive
  • Little room for overclocking
  • Lighting requires proprietary software

In today's world, computer hardware vendors have to venture into new markets to stay relevant. Some brands remain faithful to their roots, but the majority of hardware brands have branched out from their comfort zones to take up new adventures. Gigabyte, for instance, is mostly known for its motherboards, graphics cards, and gaming laptops, but the company has also tried its hand in the memory market. Gigabyte's memory collection isn't quite there yet, but its Aorus gaming memory aims to steal a piece of the pie.

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Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18

Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18

Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18

Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Gigabyte builds the Aorus RGB memory modules on a black PCB that's accompanied by a stylish aluminum heat spreader with an asymmetric design. The heat spreader, which is 2mm thick to help improve heat dissipation, can either arrive in silver or grey (or, as Gigabyte calls it, Aorus Grey) depending on the memory kit's frequency. In our case, the heat spreader came in Aorus Grey. 

The memory modules are equipped with a discrete LED diffuser, which helps keep their height down to 39mm (1.54 inches). Gigabyte touts up to 12 different lighting modes for its Aorus RGB memory, but the actual number varies from kit to kit. 

As expected, the memory is part of the Gigabyte's proprietary RGB Fusion 2.0 ecosystem; therefore, it's possible to synchronize its lighting with other Aorus-branded hardware and peripherals. The brand provides the RGB Fusion 2.0 software, which is the only way to control the memory lighting if you don't have a Gigabyte motherboard.

Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Gigabyte doesn't include any dummy sticks for this particular DDR4-3600 16GB (2x8GB) memory kit; you only receive two 8GB DDR4 memory modules out of the box. Despite what Thaiphoon Burner says, Gigabyte claims that the Aorus RGB memory is made from a 10-layer PCB. They conform to a single-rank design with Hynix H5AN8G8NCJR-VKC (C-die) integrated circuits (ICs).

The memory modules will run at DDR4-2666 with the typical 19-19-19-43 timings without any adjustments. With XMP activated, you'll find the memory modules at DDR4-3600 with slightly better 18-19-19-39 timings while pulling 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
Team Group T-Force Xtreem ARGBTF10D416G3600HC14CDC012 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)14-15-15-35 (2T)1.45 VoltsLifetime
Adata XPG Spectrix D50AX4U360038G18A-DT502 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-20-20-42 (2T)1.35 VoltsLifetime
HP V87EH92AA#ABM x 22 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-20-20-40 (2T)1.35 Volts5 Years
GeIL Orion AMD EditionGAOR416GB3600C18BDC2 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-22-22-42 (2T)1.35 VoltsLifetime
Gigabyte Aorus RGB MemoryGP-AR36C18S8K2HU416R2 x 8GBDDR4-3600 (XMP)18-19-19-39 (2T)1.35 VoltsLifetime

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 graphical duties on both platforms.

Intel Performance

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Gigabyte's kit provides powerful performance on the Intel platform. The Aorus RGB outpaced other C18 memory kits and even some of the lower latency C14 rivals in application performance. Gaming, on the contrary, is another story. The Aorus RGB memory dropped to the penultimate position on the gaming charts.

AMD Performance

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Unfortunately, the Aorus RGB memory couldn't maintain its dominance on the AMD platform. We see the DDR4-3600 C14 memory kits back up top in our application RAM benchmarks. Nonetheless, it's important to mention that the Aorus RGB memory was the fastest of the DDR4-3600 C18 memory kits.

Overclocking and Latency Tuning

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Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18

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Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18

Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Aorus RGB memory was the second-worst overclocker out of our DDR4-3600 memory kits. With the help of a 1.45V DRAM voltage, the memory got to DDR4-3900 with 20-20-20-40 timings.

Lowest Stable Timings

Memory KitDDR4-3600 (1.45V)DDR4-3733 (1.45V)DDR4-3900 (1.45V)DDR4-4000 (1.45V)DDR4-4133 (1.45V)DDR4-4200 (1.45V)
G.Skill Trident Z Neo13-16-16-36 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/A19-19-19-39 (2T)
Adata XPG Spectrix D60G13-15-15-35 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/A20-19-19-39 (2T)
Team Group T-Force Xtreem ARGB13-14-14-35 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/A19-19-19-39 (2T)
Adata XPG Spectrix D5014-19-19-39 (2T)N/AN/A18-22-22-42 (2T)N/AN/A
HP V814-19-19-39 (2T)N/AN/AN/A18-22-22-42 (2T)N/A
GeIL Orion AMD Edition16-20-20-40 (2T)19-22-22-42 (2T)N/AN/AN/AN/A
Gigabyte Aorus RGB Memory16-19-19-39 (2T)N/A20-20-20-40 (2T)N/AN/AN/A

Similarly, there wasn't much headroom for manual tweaking. The Aorus RGB memory was stable with a CAS Latency of 16, but the rest of the timings had to remain at 19-19-39. We had to boost the DRAM voltage to 1.45V to achieve complete system stability.

Bottom Line

Gigabyte did a good job on the Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 as it looks and performs great. However, the brand kept the memory inside its own RGB ecosystem, meaning that you will need to use Gigabyte's software to control the memory's lighting effects properly. On the performance end, the memory is a strong performer, but just don't expect to squeeze many extra megahertz out of it. Overclocking headroom isn't great on the Aorus RGB memory.

Unfortunately, the Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 is also a very elusive memory kit. Like us, you will have a hard time finding it in a retailer other than Amazon. When in stock, the Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3600 C18 retails for $149.99, making it one of the most expensive DDR4-3600 memory kits, even by C18 standards.