PNY XLR8 Gaming REV 2x8GB DDR4-3600 Memory Review

PNY recently sent over their new XLR8 Gaming REV 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3600MHz memory that only lists compatibility with Microsoft Windows 11 and older, but fear not, it does work fine for Linux gamers and others looking for DDR4-3600 memory with RGB lighting and running well with the latest Intel and AMD processors.

PNY in March launched their latest XLR8 DDR4 system memory, launched as the XLR8 Gaming REV. While DDR5 memory is becoming more common over the months ahead, DDR4 will still be around plenty long and with their latest XLR8 memory they are emphasizing its gamers-focused memory with RGB lighting and a geometric aluminum heat spreader design.

The new XLR8 Gaming REV memory is available in 16GB or 32GB kits or as 8GB and 16GB standalone DIMMs. PNY sent over a review sample of their 16GB (2 x 8GB) kit, which is also the first time we’ve tested PNY memory at Phoronix. The SKU on this DDR4-3600 gaming memory kit is MD16GK2D4360018X2RGB.

With the retail PNY XLR8 Gaming REV memory I was rather surprised in 2022 to see it listing “OS compatibility” and with that only noting support for Windows 11 and older. No mention of any alternative operating systems. It’s rather surprising to see them market this as Windows-only memory, but presumably is done because of their “EPIC-X” RGB lighting. We don’t normally see “OS compatibility” listed too often on desktop DIMMs.

Like most gaming-focused vendors these days, PNY does offer their own Windows-only software package for being able to customize the RGB lighting for the system memory modules and to be able to synchronize the lighting among other effects. Presumably this is why PNY markets it as Windows-only, but in any event the memory modules do work fine on Linux. I tested these DIMMs on both AMD Ryzen 5000 series and Intel Alder Lake systems and they worked fine with the optimized (XMP 2.0) memory profile.

For those Linux users that do want to control their RGB lighting under Linux, there isn’t yet any support within the open-source OpenRGB support but there has been efforts to support PNY’s EPIC-X RGB lighting. Within the OpenRGB GitLab tracker has been tickets for various other PNY EPIC-X devices and likely there being some common API/control elements for the PNY EPIC-X RGB lighting across products. So we’ll see with time if PNY EPIC-X RGB lighting products become supported by OpenRGB or other open-source, community alternatives. In any event we are not concerned about the RGB lighting ourselves and when the RAM is powered up is simply a rainbow pattern.

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