In a very wise decision Silicon Power has not opted for a clamshell protector / shipping container. Instead they gone with a nicely attractive cardboard box external container and internal plastic tray combination. This is much, much more optimal than previous Silicon Power designs. This combination provides a much more attractive box that is attention getting on retail shelves, while at the same time providing excellent protection for the XPower Turbine RGB’s during transit. Mix in a good blend of images, data, and a clear window (so you can see what you are buying before you buy) and this is easily the best-looking Silicon Power box we have seen to date. To be blunt, this is how you make a great first impression on North American buyers who may never have heard of Silicon Power before.
Of course, as this is a set of high-performance RAM sticks, without the usual high-performance price tag, it should come as no surprise that Silicon Power does not include any accessories with their new XPOWER Turbine RGB models. So, if you are looking for case badges, door knob hangers, or other goo-gaws… look elsewhere. Silicon Power is obviously not in the business of jacking up prices just to include a bit of dross.
Moving on. The easiest way to describe the new XPOWER Turbine RGB is to compare it to the previous XPOWER Turbine DDR4-3200 kit we reviewed recently.
Much like the earlier XPOWER Turbine series, the new XPOWER Turbine RGB makes use of an advanced heat spreader that is not only attractive but also curves up and over the top of the DIMMS. This is important because for most of their life RAM sticks are going to be inside a case and viewed mainly edge on, in a ‘top down’ orientation. This neatly sidesteps a mistake that many manufactures make, as kits that do not cover the top of the PCB are less attractive when actually being used… even if they look like a million bucks when sitting flat on your desk (and why most retail websites just show them ‘side on’).
In fact, the XPOWER Turbine RGB series makes use of nearly the exact same heat spreader as the original XPOWER Turbine series. The same ‘SP’ stamped into the side heatsink. The same large area for a label in the center. The same little diagonal accents. This is because they are nearly the same heat spreaders… just with a few minor tweaks done to them. This is a good thing.
Where Silicon Power has changed things is first the color. Gone is the blue paint, and instead you will be greeted with a nice gunmetal gray paintjob (with multicolored label on each side). This alone does make the XPOWER Turbine RGB series much more adaptable. However, the reason Silicon Power has gone with ‘gun metal gray’ is that gray is a neutral color. One that will not clash with the color being projected out the top of the RAM sticks.
Where the heat spreaders really differ though is the top. Yes they still wrap up around the top of the PCB but the central area is not solid metal. Instead this central section is empty with only nicely spaced ‘claws’ on either end. The reason for this gap is fairly self-evident as in between the two heatsink pieces is a nicely sized plastic diffuser. Much like Ballistix and their Tactical Tracer RGB series this diffuser is what the LEDS on the PCB shoot their light up and through, and then the light is spread out to create a nice, and soft, glow
Unlike the Tactical Tracer RGB series, this diffuser is smaller. So while the light is spread out and creates a nice glow effect… it is still noticeably more concentrated than what happens with the Tactical Tracer RGB series when its LEDs are activated. The easiest way to compare and contrast the light output of the XPOWER Turbine RGB vs the Ballistic Tactical Tracer RGB is to consider the XPOWER Turbine RGB to be the equivalent of a typical flashlight’s output (i.e. somewhat focused… but not like a laser beam), whereas the Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB creates a glow that is more like a LED lightbulb and covers a wider area in soft light.
That is the main downside to this heat spreader with ‘integrated’ diffuser. The upside is this new XPOWER Turbine RGB series is only 2.5mm taller than the original XPOWER Turbine series. This means that worries over RAM and CPU cooling solution incompatibles are nicely sidestepped… as 2.5mm is a miniscule difference. If the older Turbine kit with fill, the new RGB variant will (most likely) too.
By prying off one of the sides of the heat spreaders you can see that Silicon Power includes a total of ten RGB LEDs (five per side of the DIMM… or three less per side compared to the Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB series which has 8/16) and the 8GB stick version is a single sided desing. I.E. there are only RAM ICs on one side the ten-layer, black PCB. Since the heat spreader is a two-piece affair, this does mean half the heatsink is basically only there for aesthetic purposes only and will provide zero additional cooling. Also, since the top is not open (and is covered by the light diffuser) there is not going to be much passive cooling going on like there is with the standard XPOWER Turbine series. At standard / factory standard frequencies this should not matter all that much. It may however cause issues if you try and push the frequencies too high. This is the other downside to opting for this LED enabled RAM set.
Personally, we think the tradeoff in ‘potential’ overclocking is more than worth it. DDR4 RAM is not exactly fragile and as long as you don’t crank the voltage dial to eleven… the increase in temperatures will never result in a failed overclock.
More to the point these sticks are RGB enabled and the LEDS can be controlled by darn near any major motherboard manufactures software. For example, with ASUS motherboards their AURA sync software will recognize the RAM, let you finetune the color output, and even allow for all the advanced light features too. For example, want them to ‘breathe’ in conjunction with your Aura Sync enabled video card? No problems. Want your new RAM’s color to match the motherboard LEDS color? No problem. Want it to tell you if your CPU temperatures are ok (green), warm (yellow), or too hot(red)? No problem. Want it to output a rainbow of colors? No problem!
Here is a short video showing them in action on a working system (an ASUS TUF z370-pro gaming). We think it really gives a nice ‘finishing touch’ to the system. So much so that is where they are going to stay!
As is our usual MO here, and while we cannot directly comment on the other models in the XPOWER Turbine RGB line-up, the DDR4-3200 variant uses Samsung B-Die single rank RAM ICs. These are some mighty fine RAM IC’s that have a proven track record in a whole host of premium models… and usually are only found on more expensive models from the more recognized manufactures.
The only minor issue with Sammy B-Dies is, just like most DDR4 IC’s capable of DDR4-3200 speeds, is that they require 1.35v to hit their factory rated speeds. Thankfully, the XPOWER Turbine RGB series will easily POST at slower speeds @ 1.2v – in fact the JDEC encodings are all for 1.2v. Only by either implanting the on-board XMP profile, or manually configuring for 3200 frequencies will you actually need 1.35v. Put another way these new XPOWER Turbine RGB series are both user-friendly and high-performance.