XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review

XPG's SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB dual-channel RAM kit doesn't quite sit right with us from what we saw in testing.

@chad_sebring
Published Fri, Jan 7 2022 9:50 AM CST
Rating: 73%Manufacturer: XPG (AX4U36008G17H-DC50R)

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 99 | TweakTown.com
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Every once in a while, some of the significant players in RAM manufacturers will partner with some of the major motherboard makers to develop kits specifically tuned to deliver superior performance over the average kit, as they are tuned to work well with any motherboard. We have seen this year after year, and of all of the motherboard makers to partner with, we feel ASUS gets the most love from RAM makers, as they sell the most product and are the most significant market to do this.

This RAM is not for just any ASUS setup, though, as there are only twenty motherboards currently supported, a dozen for 10th generation Intel CPUs, and another eight for the 11th generation. That being said, we immediately checked the list and found that our Maximus XII Apex is on that list, which makes us very happy. We fully expect a kit tuned to our board to perform admirably across most of our testing, but time will tell that story for us as we progress with this review. We expect a hiccup or two where a specific suite may not prefer this kit, but when we see ROG Certified on a set of RAM, it makes us all warm and fuzzy, as past samples boasting this did well in our charts at the time.

Coming from a company that has kept us busy over the past couple of years and with previous samples that did well, this XPG set of Spectrix D50 ROG Certified RGB should get along well, but you never know what you have until you try it. With that in mind, we would like to bring you one of the more notable things we have seen from XPG. We hope they are even close to what we expect, as the Spectrix D50 ROG Certified DDR4 has quite the feature set to get us interested, long before we get into any of that ASUS Certified business.

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The kit we have is from the Spectrix line at XPG, but rather than just a set of vanilla D50 RGB sticks, this set is ROG certified. What does that mean to the average user? Not all that much. However, you get an advantage if you own one of the twenty motherboards listed for the tenth and eleventh gen Intel processors in the image below. How is this so? Partnering with ASUS, they can tune the XMP profile to work better with these boards and can even get more from the SPD profile if they care to.

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Unlike many other offerings in DDR4, this is a one-off kit, not that we have the only set in existence, but that there are no siblings at different speeds, timings, or densities, you either like what you see in this review and make the leap, or you keep looking, it is that simple with the AX4U36008G17H-DC50R. The Spectrix D50 ROG Certified kit comes with RGB lighting at the top, but rather than the standard aluminum heat spreaders on the other D50 kits, XPG used a special "Black Mirror" electroplated coating to resemble something along the lines of the Trident Z Royal line.

If you desire a 32GB option, it isn't there, and we see only these dual-channel 16GB kits. The speed hits right in the sweet spot for DDR4, but judging by the 17-21-21-43 timings, we are going to guess this is not a B-die kit in hand. To accomplish the speed at those timings, XPG still opted to use 1.35V to power them.

The rest of the chart deals with the thermal range of operation for this RAM and is where we see that XPG includes a pair of XMP 2.0 profiles. We explained the first, but the second option is to run this kit at 3200 MHz with 16-20-20-38 timings, but still using 1.35V to accomplish it. For anyone curious, the SPD profile runs at 2666 MHz with 19-19-19-43 timings but uses 1.20V. We then see the dimensions, where the PCB dictates the length, but the 40mm height and 8mm thickness is dues to the heat spreaders. All told, without the packaging included, the XPG D50 ROG Certified kits come in at 47 grams. Lastly, as many offer, with XPG, we find this set of DDR4 backed with a limited lifetime warranty.

Since the Spectrix D50 ROG Certified kits are what we would consider a limited run of a product, we would also assume the price jumps due to that fact, long before we even think of current economics and availability. Of course, one can go out and grab a set of Patriot Steel similar to this for $68, but those do not have RGB or a fancy heat spreader. The first kit we see with RGB LEDs just so happens to be the Trident Z Royal, but they require $140 to get them.

Considering all of that, when we see that Amazon has this Spectrix D50 ROG Certified DDR4 at $99.99, we are almost shocked they don't cost more, but again, the G.Skill does boast better timings. Before we get too far down this rabbit hole, we should get a good look at this sample, and get a better feel for everything, so we can say with certainty how these stand up to the rest of the DDR4 in our charts.

Buy at Amazon

XPG DDR4 D50 ROG RGB

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$119.99$119.99-
* Prices last scanned on 1/28/2022 at 2:17 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging and XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified

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The XPG Spectrix D50 ROG Certified Intel ROG Certified DDR4 RGB Memory comes in an ASUS red box, with gray designs that almost mimic shapes seen on high-end ASUS mainstream motherboards. At the top-left, we see that this RAM supports ASUS AURA SYNC, in the top-right corner is the XPG logo, and in the bottom-right corner is the density and speed we explained earlier.

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We stick with the bright red on the reverse of the packaging, and XPG uses white text but increases the font for legibility. On the left, we are shown that this is U-DIMM, with the company information below it and the product sticker to the right of that. On the right half of the panel, we can see the product stickers on the RAM through windows, we see a code that drops you at the product page, but there is a notation to a lifetime warranty, not a limited one.

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Right out of the cardboard, we grabbed a picture of the inner packaging, where we find standard fare with the form-fitting plastic keeping the kit locked into place and protecting it from static. If you look closer, you can also see that XPG took the time to protect the mirrored finish with additional layers of plastic stuck to them.

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Now, with nothing left to block our view, we get our initial impressions of what XPG has to offer. We grasp how this is a "black mirror" finish, but it is more dark chrome in most lights. We like the aggressive angle cut into the sides, and what ASUS users don't like seeing ROG Certified? As to the lighting, there is a white wedge shape that lights up from the sides. We can say we do not care for the oxidation present. XPG could have done better.

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We found the same finish on the back, but we tried changing the angle to show off the range of the reflected color on these heat spreaders. Gone is the ROG Certified notation, which gets replaced by the sticker we saw through the packaging. Also, XPG puts its name on this side but is the least seen in many systems. We also see that the oxidation continues and is on both sticks.

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As to the diffuser running the entire length of the spreaders, we like this portion a lot with the contrast of gray on white. XPG chose to capture the diffuser with bits of the aluminum spreaders. Sadly, the cuts in the spreaders are not that clean and look a bit rough under closer inspection.

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This is the view you will get of this set with most systems when installed. We like the simplicity of the aesthetic, one line, one triangle of light, the ROG badge, all on a sea of reflection. Since you cannot see the XPG painted on the "black mirror" coating, the fact it is easily seen on the diffuser leaves no question as to the maker of the kit in there.

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 09 | TweakTown.com

Rather than warm the stick and attempt to remove the heat spreaders, we opt to look in Thiaphoon Burner first. It is there where we are shown that this is based on 2666 downbin ICs made by Hynix. H5AN8G8NCJR-VKC, eight of them per stick, populates the black PCBs.

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 10 | TweakTown.com

Those out there with a gap between the DIMM slots do get to see more of the "black mirror" coating, which is much darker now that it is surrounded with black, and not directly under the lights. The lighting is not as intense as others, but the diffuser does an excellent job of removing hot spots from view and blending the color changes well.

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Without the gap, we lose view of the side lighting on the stick closest to the CPU, but we are not mad at it, we still thoroughly enjoy what XPG did here, and from this angle, we cannot see the oxidation anymore.

Test System Details

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 12 | TweakTown.com

To obtain the AMD CPU-Z screenshots, you will see directly following this image, and this is the system we used to do it, as well as in attaining the results seen in the following pages. Thanks go out to Corsair, ASUS, and GIGABYTE for supporting this venture. Detailed specifications of the system can be found below.

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With a quick trip into BIOS, we enabled the first of two DOCP profiles to see what shakes. In doing so, we see that our RAM is running at 3600 MHz with 17-21-21-43 timings at a 1T command rate. To do this, the motherboard changed the VDIMM to 1.35V, and our SOC increased to 1.08V.

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 14 | TweakTown.com

The second DOCP profile allows us to try out the Spectrix D50 ROG Certified at a slower speed but with slightly tightened timings. As we can see in the screenshot, we are now cruising along at 3200 MHz with 16-20-20-38 1T and will see how well this stacks up to the first DOCP option. As to the voltages, they are the same as they were in the first DOCP setting.

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 15 | TweakTown.com

We found success in our quest to reduce the timings, but much more with the CAS than with any of the secondary timings. We enabled the faster DOCP profile and dropped the timings to 15-19-19-43 1T. We did increase the VDIMM to 1.45V and bumped the SOC to 1.18V, allowing this to be completely stable with these settings.

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While not guaranteed, we typically see a range of 200 to 400 MHz left in the tank on most DDR4, but to leave 600MHz on the table is rare when using these lower voltages to OC our kits. XPG sent us this kit which tops out at 4200 MHz with DOCP timings, although we did bump the voltages to 1.45 VDIMM, and our SOC was at 1.18V.

Chad's AMD DDR4 Dual-Channel Test System Specifications

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 17 | TweakTown.com

To obtain the Intel CPU-Z screenshots, you will see directly following this image, and this is the system we used to do it, as well as in attaining the results seen in the following pages. Thanks go out to Corsair, ASUS, and GIGABYTE for supporting us here too! Detailed specifications of the system can be found below.

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 18 | TweakTown.com

Using the first of the two XMP settings, we attain the speed and timings shown on the box without a hitch. The motherboard uses 1.35 VDIMM to do this, and our VCCIO and VCCSA were 1.312V and 1.152V, respectively. In doing so, the 3600 MHz at 17-21-21-43 2T is easily accomplished.

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The second XMP setting slows the RAM to 3200 MHz, and the timings drop to 16-20-20-38 2T. Voltages remain the same as they were with the first XMP setting.

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Finding the lowest stable timings leaves us with the same settings as when paired to the 3900X. While still at 3600 MHz, we were able to push the timings down to 15-19-19-43 2T but to accomplish it, we moved the VDIMM to 1.45V, with the VCCIO and VCCSA left alone or left as described in the previous two runs.

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Typically, running RAM with a 2T command rate makes the kit a bit more flexible, but oddly we didn't see that with these XPG sticks. This time, using 1.45V, the RAM topped out at 4000 MHz with XMP timings. We are happy there is still room to play, but we figured we would match the AMD results.

Chad's Intel DDR4 Dual-Channel Test System Specifications

AMD Performance

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DOCP(1) results are average for the kit, mixing it up with other 3200 MHz kits with that 53777 MB/s showing. Enabling DOCP(2) can eliminate stability issues for some, but at a hefty cost. Versus DOCP(1), we lost 5613 MB/s with that 48163 MB/s throughput. Reducing timings did help a bit but to the tune of around 300 MB/s. Increasing speed took XMP into second place with a 1468 MB/s advantage over DOCP(1).

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 23 | TweakTown.com

The write results are similar to the read scores, where DOCP(1) runs neck and neck with other similar kits, resulting in a throughput of 52627 MB/s. The gap widens to a 5877 MB/s loss enabling DOCP(2), but again, they run with similar kits in our chart. The advantage of reducing timings is minimal, but this time, adding speed topped the chart, giving us a 3166 MB/s boost compared to DOCP(1).

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Copy performance is lower than expected, but keep in mind, we are not on a motherboard found on the list yet. DOCP(1) results at 47416 MB/s are not good, and the drop seen to use DOCP(2) makes it even worse. Reducing the timings made things slightly better, but it takes 600 MHz added for the kit to climb the list, and even then, we should have passed those TEAM XTREEM ARGB doing that.

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 25 | TweakTown.com

Latency with DOCP(1) is quite respectable, and while we thought a reduction in timings would add more, the gap is less than one millisecond. Adding more speed delivers average latency for a kit such as this, but it is hard to explain away the DOCP(2), yet at the same time helps to explain their lackluster results with this profile.

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3DMark Fire Strike scores were unexpected to fall into line as they do. The DOCP(1) option delivers superior performance, beating all other kits, and even surpasses the 4200 MHz overclocked results. DOCP(2) does much better than we expected, but reducing timings for a run in Fire Strike is the worst of the options, by far.

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Right after 3DMark shined such a bright light, PCMark 10 hands it its bum on a platter. Out of the box, scores are below average for DOCP(1), and at the bottom of the chart falls the DOCP(2) score. Even at 4200 MHz, we got little love. However, where the 3600C15 results landed is where we would expect most of the scores to have settled.

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In 7-Zip, while compressing data, we cannot complain about the positioning of the DOCP(1) results. The DOCP(2) results are shameful, to be blunt, and the 4200 MHz run places near the others past 4000 MHz, but the best score was had by reducing the timings.

XPG SPECTRIX D50 ROG Certified DDR4-3600 16GB Memory Kit Review 29 | TweakTown.com

In Cinebench, we cannot complain about the XPG kits scores. DOCP(1) delivered the best results, mixed in with many 3600 MHz RAM. 3600C15 was close but scores slightly less than DOCP(1). DOCP(2) follows in the next slot down, and after skipping a spot, we see the 4200C17 run scoring the least of the bunch.

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Handbrake seems to enjoy the settings of DOCP(1), as it takes fourth in the chart. 3600C15 is slightly slower, but just more than 2.5 seconds. Add another thirteen seconds, and you will find the 4200C17 time, and add another second to that as we run into the DOCP(2) time.

Intel Performance

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The read performance we saw with XMP(1) is almost laughable, and in seeing the results, we ran the test multiple times to ensure it wasn't something we were doing. Either way, that 44985 MB/s isn't even worth talking about. The good thing for XPG is how well XMP(2) scores at 49745 MB/s. 4200C17 did not do as well as XMP(2) but is still much better than XMP(1), but that 53391 MB/s from the 3600C15 run is the shining light in this test.

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Roles have reversed a bit this time, where the write performance favors XMP(1) at 51637 MB/s, whereas XMP(2) sits at just 45955 MB/s. The 3600C15 run at 51740 MB/s almost catches XMP(1), but adding speed to the tune of 4000C17 gets a 53019 MB/s advantage over XMP(1) and drives XMP towards the top of the chart.

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The copy performance resembles the write performance, with XMP(2) near the bottom again, and XMP(1) is better by a fair margin. Overclocking the kit to 3600C15 handily beats XMP(1), but the best way to run them for this metric is to go with 4000C17, which landed XPG a respectable finish.

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Latency is average at best for the XMP results, and it is no shock that XMP(1) is quicker than XMP(2). We like the results we see from these sticks when overclocked, but these lackluster results are getting a bit tiresome to report for a specifically tuned kit.

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Again, the results are sad on a tuned setup, with three "average" 3600 MHz kits whooping on XPG. Of course, those green lines at the top bode well for the RAM, but we thought we were getting something special, which does not appear to be the case.

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Finally! PCMark 10 seems to enjoy this RAM, but this is one in six so far, where XPG shines brightly against the masses. It is hard to complain when XMP(1) fills the fourth slot and XMP(2) settles into seventh. 4000C17 topped the chart as it should, but we did expect a bit more from the 3600C15 run.

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When we used 7-zip for testing, the Spectrix D50 ASUS Certified DDR4 fell pretty much flat on its face. The overclocking results are decent, but those scores are not guaranteed across all kits. We look at XMP and DOCP primarily for the scores, and these results suck.

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Cinebench testing delivered good results across all four runs. Only the second test so far to like this RAM! Even so, a kit tuned specifically to our setup being beaten by TOUGHRAM at 3200MHz and those TEAM XTREEM ARGB at 3600 MHz is a big blow to these scores.

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Handbrake results are average for XMP(1) and ridiculously low with XMP(2). Yes, we find green lines at the top of the chart, which is good and all, but not for the masses!

Final Thoughts

When we first saw the box, we will be honest. We were giddy to give the Spectrix D50 ASUS Certified DDR4 a go and see just how well a "tuned" kit of RAM would do on our ASUS M12 Apex. We knew the AMD motherboard was an entirely different story, and with Intel specifically mentioned on the box, we assumed the odds would be stacked against us in this regard. While most of the DOCP results were average at best, we didn't think much of it at the time. Seeing it get beat by kits with less speed or worse timings at the same speed, we just brushed it off as "it isn't intended for this setup."

However, even at a 1T command rate, we can get more speed from the kit when overclocking on AMD than we did with Intel, but again, the masses do not tend to dive into that, so DOXP and XMP results are where it's at when comparing all of the kits we have used.

After not seeing anything "special" about this RAM on the AMD system, we eagerly put them on the Intel system. All of the marketing says that this kit is made specifically for twenty motherboards on the market, of which ours is one of them. Yet, only two of our tests showed any reason to buy this kit in the grand scheme of things. The facts being what they are, to be blunt, this is just an average kit with a shiny exterior and a cool-looking ROG Certified logo painted on them. If this is what you get when RAM is specifically tuned to deliver what we saw, we will pass wholeheartedly. Just about every 3200 MHz kit or 3600 MHz kit in our charts beat this kit in one benchmark or another, and we are completely lost as to the point of XPG doing this.

Even when it comes down to the finer points of this RAM, we had complaints earlier about the aesthetics, which adds to the downsides of what we realized as time progressed. From a distance, they look fantastic. That is undeniable, do not get too close. The edges of the spreaders were cut and left rough, which on its own isn't horrible, as you do not mess with RAM much once it is installed. But, on top of that is oxidation, which needs to be removed, but in our minds, should not be there in the first place. If G.Skill can deliver Royals without oxidation, and you want to follow their theme, you need to present it well, and XPG fails at that in our minds. A little extra effort would have gone a long way to me at least having one leg to stand on and try to show this kit from XPG in a better light.

Yes, they are affordable compared to many others like it, but we would much rather buy some of that $70 Patriot Steel over this kit if you want our honest opinion. Based on performance alone, average results do not get a recommendation from us, and when one of your profiles finds itself near the bottom of a lot of our charts, XPG ties our hands to where we can go from here. The fact is that many will see this RAM online, in its perfect-looking state, and at $99.99, it is enticing.

However, the reality is quite different from what we were led to believe or assume from a product such as this. Had this kit not come with all of the marketing and insinuation to its "tuned" compatibility, being compatible to run on a system is one thing. Still, to call it tuned and fumble through our charts as they did, we end up with little reason to sway you to opt for these over the others in its feature set.

Buy at Amazon

Performance

65%

Quality

75%

Features

90%

Value

60%

Overall

73%

The Bottom Line

As far as RAM goes, XPG packed in a touch of features, but falter with just about everything else. This is the epitome of putting lipstick on a pig and trying to pass it off as a supermodel. The only saving grace is it is affordable.

73%

XPG DDR4 D50 ROG RGB

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$119.99$119.99-
* Prices last scanned on 1/28/2022 at 2:17 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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