The Ares RGB DDR5-6000 C34 is a DDR5-6000 memory kit with an attractive price point that offers impeccable compatibility with both Intel and AMD platforms.
XMP 3.0 and AMD EXPO profiles
Low AMD performance
The new Lexar Ares RGB DDR5-6000 C34 memory kit possesses all the qualities of a strong competitor, but can it compete with the best memory modules on the market? Lexar entered the memory market in 2021, although it was an inconspicuous entry with DDR4-2666 modules. Nevertheless, Lexar has been diligently working on building its memory portfolio. Currently, the brand offers three memory series (Ares, Hades, and Thor), and they have made them the best. Within this range, Lexar offers DDR5 modules under the Ares series with a limited selection. The only available capacity is 32GB (2x16GB), but these modules are offered with DDR5-5600, DDR5-6000, or DDR5-6400 clock speeds.
The Ares RGB memory module is equipped with an aluminum heatsink available in dark gray or white color. They have some advertising on them, but the design looks good regardless. The memory modules have a height of 43.3mm (1.7 inches), so we don't expect them to interfere with the installation of your air CPU cooler. However, it wouldn't hurt to double-check if you have a massive cooler that protrudes above the memory slots on your motherboard.
Lexar has placed a transparent light panel on top of the Ares RGB memory modules. There is full compatibility with motherboard lighting systems, including Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Light Sync, and ASRock Polychrome. The company also provides Lexa RGB Sync software for individual customization and personalization.
Each DDR5 memory module features a single-rank construction with a density of 16GB. The memory module consists of eight SK hynix H5CG48MEBDX014 (M-die) integrated circuits (ICs), each with a capacity of 2GB. The power management integrated circuit (PMIC) has the part number 5100 X52A14 and belongs to Global Mixed-mode Technology (GMT). GMT, founded in 1996, specializes in power management solutions, including PMICs. It is interesting to note that we have not come across a manufacturer using a power management integrated circuit from GMT until now.
The default setting for the memory kit is DDR5-4800 with timings of 40-39-39-77. Each Lexar Ares memory module contains one XMP 3.0 profile and one AMD EXPO profile for DDR5-6000 mode. Regardless of the manufacturer, the memory operates with timings of 34-38-38-76 at a DRAM voltage of 1.3V. For more information on timings and frequencies, please refer to our article "PC Memory 101" and the "How to Choose RAM" guide.
On our Intel test system, we are running the Core i9-13900K processor on the MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X motherboard with firmware version 7D28vAA. In contrast, our AMD system pairs the Ryzen 7 7700X processor with the MSIMPG X670E Carbon WiFi motherboard, which has its firmware updated to 7D70v176. The Corsair CUE H100i Elite LCD liquid cooling allows us to maintain normal operating temperatures for our Raptor Lake and Zen 4 processors.
The MSI GeForce RTX 4080 16GB Gaming X Trio handles more graphically intensive tasks, ensuring no graphics bottleneck in our tests of gaming memory. The installation of Windows 11, benchmarking software, and games are placed on Crucial MX500 solid-state drives. Meanwhile, the Corsair RM1000x Shift ATX 3.0 power supply provides clean and ample power to our system, directly supplying power to the GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card through a dedicated 16-pin (12VHPWR) power cable. Lastly, the open bench system Streacom BC1 plays a crucial role in organizing our hardware setup.
Overall, the Ares memory kit performed averagely on the Intel test platform. It showed good results in several tests, including Cinebench R23 and LuxMark, where the memory kit claimed the first place. The cumulative gaming performance was on par with the application performance.
As for application performance, the Ares memory kit ranked lower on the AMD platform. It did not show any significant results. In terms of gaming, the memory once again held an average position compared to its competitors.
Overclocking and Latency Tuning
Our expectations were high because the Ares memory kit utilizes M-die integrated circuits from SK hynix, and the memory from Lexar did not disappoint us. It was one of the three DDR5-6000 memory kits that were able to achieve DDR5-6600. As for the settings, we tuned the timings to 34-40-40-76. We had to slightly increase the tRCD and tRP values and raise the DRAM voltage to 1.4V.
Lowest Stable Timings
The initial performance of the Ares memory kit is not strong, but you can improve it if you're interested in adjusting the settings. However, when operating at DDR5-6000 frequency, the Ares memory kit performed well with a CAS Latency (CL) delay of 30 cycles. There were also some opportunities to adjust the values of tRCD and tRP. We used a similar DRAM voltage of 1.4 V during the overclocking test.
Ares RGB DDR5-6000 C34 is a memory kit that pleasantly surprises with its performance. Despite having XMP 3.0 and AMD EXPO profiles, this memory kit delivers better performance on Intel platforms. Perhaps the only good news is that the performance difference between Ares and its competitors is not significant for most users. However, if you are looking for a memory kit with maximum performance, Ares is not the best choice.
Lexar sets the price for the memory kit at $99.99. It's not a bad price, but it's not the lowest for DDR5-6000 memory kits. Entry-level DDR5-6000 memory kits start at $75 but have worse latencies compared to Lexar's memory kit. The latencies of the Ares RGB DDR5-6000 C34 are acceptable for that price. In the current market, it's quite challenging to find DDR5-6000 memory kits with performance below $100, so the Ares RGB DDR5-6000 C34 has its appeal, especially if Lexar can lower the price to make it more competitive.
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