Custom PC

Thermaltake Toughram RC DDR5 Review

By Antony Leather. Posted

If there’s one criticism we can aim at Intel’s new Z690 platform for its 12th-gen CPUs, it’s the price and availability of DDR5 memory. For the first few weeks after the CPUs launched, DDR5 memory was out of stock everywhere, and when it did turn up, the prices were ridiculous. Thankfully, the situation is now gradually improving, making the more lustworthy Z690 motherboards available a little more accessible, and there are DDR5 modules with even faster speeds inbound too.

Thermaltake’s entry into the DDR5 market isn’t exactly cheap, though, and with a price of $429 US (approx £423 inc VAT) for a dual-channel 32GB (2 x 16GB) 4800MHz kit, the Toughram RC DDR5 is much more expensive than the competition too. The Toughram RC modules also lack RGB lighting, but they look extremely smart, with square-edged, black brushed aluminium heatsinks that sit tightly packed, with zero gap between them if you fill adjacent sockets.

They’re compact as well, measuring just 40mm tall, although Kingston’s Fury Beast models are a little shorter. This means they’re less likely to clash with large CPU coolers than taller modules, and the RC in the name also means the modules are compatible with Thermaltake’s Floe RC RGB-clad liquid coolers, which add the memory to an AIO liquid cooler loop that also cools the CPU.

Thermaltake’s RC Ultra coolers not only feature an integrated display on the waterblock/pump unit, but also add a second display that spans the memory modules. These coolers demand a hefty price, but if you’re happy to ditch the displays and just have RGB lighting (again spanning the memory as well as the CPU block), then a version with a 240mm radiator currently costs under £150.

Thermaltake’s RC Ultra coolers add a second display that spans the memory modules

Sadly, the price of the memory itself is another issue, though, because at £350 inc VAT, a dual-channel Toughram RC 32GB DDR5 kit costs over £100 more than other equivalent kits from the competition. Even a faster 5200MHz 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Dominator kit, with RGB lighting, comes in at under £300 from scan.co.uk at the moment.

The Toughram’s rated speed of 4800MHz is the lowest speed of DDR5 memory you’ll find at the moment, and it gets there with relatively relaxed timings of 40-40-40-77 too. However, our eyebrows were raised when we found we could overclock it to 5600MHz, and it kept going too.

It only fell over when we ran it at 6200MHz, at which point our system refused to enter Windows, but it was happy at 6000MHz, proving stable enough to get to the Windows desktop and run a few benchmarks. That’s a seriously impressive overclock, but we did find that our Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Apex didn’t allow us to set any kind of XMP profile that matched its specification.

Thermaltake’s website states that the 4800MHz kit lacks XMP 3 compatibility, but thankfully, opting for the Asus optimised profile, and then dialling in the 40-40-40-77 latency settings worked fine, and continued to work all the way up to 6000MHz too.

The modules look extremely smart, with square-edged, black brushed aluminium heatsinks

Conclusion

There were still some question marks over the final UK price of the Toughram RC DDR5 when we wrote this review, but with a dollar price of $429 US on Thermaltake’s website, a UK price of £423 inc VAT seems pretty accurate. This puts it at a significant disadvantage, especially when plenty of other 32GB kits offer speeds of 5600MHz for under £300.

If you like RGB lighting, then you’re out of luck with the Toughram RC too – again, there are cheaper kits that offer it and with higher rated speeds. While it overclocks like a trooper, the Thermaltake Toughram RC DDR5 is simply too expensive to be worth it, even if you factor in the overclocking headroom and compatibility with Thermaltake’s Flo RC liquid-cooling components.

Verdict
Smart looks and awesome overclocking headroom, but it looks set to be far too expensive compared with the competition.

Price
$429 US (~£423 inc VAT) for 8GB (2 x 16GB), 4800MHz

Scores
PERFORMANCE 29/30 | DESIGN 19/25 | VALUE 25/45 | OVERALL 73%

BRUSHED ALUMINIUM
+Very overclockable
+Clean and smart design
+Relatively low profile

BRUSHED ASIDE
-RGB fans need to look elsewhere
-No XMP 3 compatibility
-Very expensive

SPEC
Frequency 4800MHz
Timings 40-40-40-77
Voltage 1.1V
Height (from base) 40mm
Lighting No

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