The Bottom Line
- + Compatibility
- + Clean and concise aesthetic
- + Overclocking potential/headroom
- + Performance at SPD
- + Worth the Investment
- - No RGB
- - Heat spreaders not easily removable
- - Users may not have enhanced profiles
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Many potential customers would not even give Sabrent a thought when grabbing your next kit of RAM from a company that has been around for nearly a quarter of a century. However, while we were oblivious to this fact, Sabrent has been in the memory game with DDR4 and is now offering up DDR5. When it comes to a company like Sabrent, we think storage, hubs, and maybe card readers, but to be blunt, they caught us off guard when the request to look at this DDR5 came across.
While visually and on paper, one might scoff at Sabrent for offering JEDEC/SPD kits for the masses, they have a plan to go along with it. They want to not only offer you something to use in your system, but they also try to have stock in place all of the time, the cost is meant to0 be kept low, and while they may look more vanilla than what many typically use, there may be a surprise under the hood that nobody could have ever expected. While not trying to spill the beans, we have not had this much fun with RAM since the low-binned Crucial yellow-spreader kits of DDR2, the low-profile Samsung, and AXERAM of DDR3. What we have is truly something special.
Along with the new kits of DDR5, the Rocket Series is born. With nothing to go from with history, we are completely without any judgment or expectations as to what to expect, but suffice it to say that for their first sampling to us of anything RAM-related, Sabrent has widened our eyes as to what we should expect from them, but also what we will be measuring the rest of the market against in the future. If you couldn't tell already, we are very pleased with Sabrent, their Rocket DDR5-4800 sticks, and need to get it all out so that you, their potential customers, are fully aware of what they have been able to do.
Taking the information from the product page of the Rocket DDR5-4800 we have, we cobbled together the chart above. When our sticks were sent, apparently "kits" were not yet available, which is why the part number of these is SB-DR5U-16G, as we have two boxes of this model. Kits can be had of two 16GB sticks or four, and you can even get individual, two, or four 32GB sticks in packs. All of these U-DIMM in the Rocket series come with a black PCB, with a thin copper heat spreader, which is black, with copper accents. Visually, it seems strange, as the sticks are thinner than what we are used to for RAM with heat spreaders, but Sabrent is on to something there.
No matter the density of the sticks or sets of DDR5, all of them come with a speed of 4800 MT/s. We also found that 40-40-40-76 2T timings are standard across the board, as is the 1.10V required to run them. Since all of the options in the Rocket series are the same size, no matter which you select, they are 133mm long, stand just 31.75mm tall, and are 3.3mm wide. Each stick of 16GB density weighs in at 19.84 grams, whereas the 32GB sticks will weigh more due to the doubling of the IC count.
There is one thing that we find odd, and that is that there is no lifetime or limited lifetime warranty. Instead, you will get five years of coverage if you register the kit with Sabrent. Otherwise, you get one year's worth of coverage and support.
As we hunted the Sabrent Rocket DDR5 down to see what they cost, they are pricy on the most basic level. Compared to the likes of Crucial or Kingston, which ask around $90 a stick for something similar, or even like Corsair getting nearly $160 for their Vengeance kits, when we tell you that Sabrent requires $179.99 per stick and $299.99 for the 32GB set, we can assume not many will opt for Sabrent before seeing what they can do.
UPDATE - this kit is selling for a reduced price of $239.99 on Amazon (usually $299.99), just apply the $60 off coupon before adding to your cart.
Considering we can get something billed as the same thing from many others at nearly half the cost, Sabrent has to know something we don't, and we are about to show you what that is soon enough.
Packaging and Sabrent Rocket
We started with two individual sticks, which can be seen to be packaged individually, which also means they were not binned or tinkered with in any way to ensure "kit" status. On the packaging, we look at the picture of the sticks inside the box with the density at the bottom. The top of the front panel is where we find Sabrent and their logo and the Rocket DDR5 nature of what is inside.
The back of the boxes is similar, with the name at the top and a look at the sticks in the middle. However, near the bottom, we find the link to obtain more information, the SB-DRU5-16G part number, a note to being developed in the USA, and the site address.
While many would expect plastic innards to protect the RAM, it is not the case here. Sabrent uses dense foam wrapped in a folder with magnetic closures to keep them closed and the memory safe. Each package also came with an instruction manual, should this be the first time you have inserted RAM into a motherboard.
Once removed from the packaging, we can see the Sabrent Rocket DDR5 for what it is. The black PCB is a must, and while the spreader may appear to be a plastic sticker, it is made from a thin sheet of copper. Leaving bits of it exposed offers the contrast to the black and blue found across these sticks. There aren't any fancy shapes, no high-end textures, and certainly not a spec of lighting on them, but do we really need all of that?
We get an entirely new view on the other side of that coin. The copper spreader is mostly black, with the Rocket log in the center. To the left is what would typically be found on an additional sticker. There, we see the speed and model but no mention of timings of voltage.
Stood next to each other, we like the way the light plays against the near matte black and the reflective portions of copper showing. We also like that, unlike Crucial and their delivery of naked sticks, while almost the same in measurement, it amazes us how much even a thin cover adds to the appeal.
Along the edges of the top of the sticks, we can see a perforated line, which allows the copper cover to bend around the sticks while also adding another printable surface. At the left are tiny copper-colored rockets, while on the right end, we see Rocket, DDR5 4800MHz UDIMM, and the 16GB of each stick.
Even though we hated to have to do this, we peeled the copper back to expose the ICs, finding that foam was also added to keep the thin heat spreader spaced properly without leaving shadows around each IC on the outside. Under the copper, we find eight SK Hynix chips on each stick, and their part number is H5CG48MEB0X014.
The PMIC is located in a gap in the foam support, and we can see it is the P8911Y0 from Renesas. Some say this PMIC is locked as it supposedly does not surpass 1.45V, but is it locked if it can move from 1.10V to 1.45V? We think not and did not even need all of that to get what you are about to find our kit can do.
When it came time to install the Sabrent Rocket DDR5 into the motherboard, we assumed the Sabrent name would be visible, but Sabrent would rather you see the rocket logo. While either side view is fine, we can appreciate leaving the part number visible for easier reference later.
Test System Details
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 be quiet, ASUS, and NVIDIA, for supporting this venture. Detailed specifications of the system can be found below.
Fresh from the UEFI to Windows, the SPD profile sets the kit after loading defaults, as we see here. The speed is 4800 MHz, and the timings are 40-40-40-76 2T as advertised. Going back into the UEFI to check voltages, we see the VDD/VDDQ uses 1.10V, the System Agent is at 0.897V, and the Memory Controller voltage is set to 1.101V.
What is on view now is something called the ASUS Enhanced Memory Profile and is something our ASUS board offers for kits without an XMP profile. Sensing the ICs, ASUS knows they can do certain things without issue, and this is one option. The speed is still at 4800 MHz, but the timings drop to 32-32-32-77 2T. Voltages stay the same as they are in the SPD/JDEC option.
Here is a view of the second option regarding ASUS Enhanced Memory Profiles, which increases speed versus lowering the timings. We are running the same RAM at 6000 MHz with 40-40-40-77 2T timings with little more than a single click. Voltages increase slightly, where VDD/VDDQ is 1.25V, System Agent is now at 1.23V, and the Memory Controller is at 1.243V.
Doing our due diligence to see if 4800 MHz at CAS32 was the bottom of the barrel, we quickly found out it wasn't. Using 1.20V for the VDD/VDDQ and Tx voltages starts it off. And 1.233 was set for the System Agent and 1.25V for the Memory Controller. Shockingly, we bottomed out the timings at an astounding 28-29-29-77 2T.
We also had to check to see if 6000 MHz was top of the range and found that it wasn't. Using 1.35V for the VDD/VDDQ and Tx voltages now and 1.25V for the SA and MC took us up to 6800 MHz, an amazing 2000 MHz overclock.
Chad's AMD DDR5 Dual-Channel Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus Z690 APEX - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i9 12900K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: be quiet! PURE LOOP 360mm - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition - Buy from Amazon
- Storage: Phison B47R Fortis 1600 2TB M.2
- Case: Thermaltake Core P3 TG - Buy from Amazon
- Power Supply: be quiet! DARK POWER PRO 12 1200W - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Home - Buy from Amazon
In the following charts, along with the blue line designating SPD results, and green bars for our overclocks, we added purple bars to represent the ASUS Enhanced Memory Profiles.
Starting things off like a hero, Sabrent tops the chart any way we ran it. While we used the term XMP out of habit, the SPD/JDEC setup is the best when scoring higher in the CPU-Z single thread benchmark. With nine points from worst to best of previous submissions, Sabrent takes a thirteen-point lead over the XPG Caster RGB, the last top scorer.
AIDA 64 read performance for the SPD setting is much better than what Crucial did at the same speed, with a near 2200 MB/s advantage going to Sabrent. 4800C28 does slightly better with nearly 1500 MB/s over the SPD run. AEMP is next with its 4800C32 option, netting another 31 MB/s, whereas the second AEMP option is 19,390 MB/s better than what the kit ships as. If that isn't good enough, 6800C40 earned us a huge jump over SPD, with the gap being an astounding 28,389 MB/s advantage.
Write performance also shows Sabrent better than Crucial, even if the gap is much closer this time. We found almost no advantage to 4800C32 of the AEMP, but our timing reductions got us 1502 MB/s more. AEMP, the second option of 6000C40, increases throughput another 15,028 MB/s, and at 6800C40, they blow right past the XPG Caster RGB, allowing us to obtain an amazing 22,647 extra MB/s.
The copy performance chart looks like the rest. The baseline run is still above Crucial by nearly 2000 MB/s, but this time AEMP at 4800C32 gave us another 1810 MB/s more than SPD. Our reduction of timings nets 2609 MB/s over SPD, whereas the second AEMP of 6000C40 gets us 16.166 MB/s added. However, the most improved goes to 6800C40, where the gap from SPD to it is an astonishing 24,905 MB/s extra.
Latency is what we expected, being close to what Crucial did, and we can see the latency drops pretty well, lowering the timings as the AEMP-1 and 4800C28 results show. We cannot hate on the AEMP-2 results for one tick clocking, nor can we complain at the 6800C40 results, even though they may not have topped this chart.
The Super Pi results are much better than we expected to see. The SPD run and our 4800C28 runs ended at six minutes and three seconds, with some change left over. The AEMP options sit near six minutes, although AEMP-2 is slightly better. We could also break into the five-minute range with a five-minute fifty-three-second run to top this chart.
Fire Strike physics scores tend to show DDR5 differently, as evidenced by the randomness of how the AEMP and overclocked runs landed near the bottom of the chart. Shockingly, though, using them as intended, out of the box with no fuss, the Sabrent Rocket takes second place, behind a much faster kit.
While AEMP-2 shows no advantage while running PCMark 10, we are not mad at the AEMP-1 and SPD results being so close to the Crucial kit. Our overclocking makes things better, and again, Sabrent got to the top of the chart.
In compression, using 7-Zip, Sabrent beats Crucial head-to-head. However, if you would like 16.5 seconds of your life back, we would opt to use the AEMP-1 option. At 4800C28, we gained another six seconds, and AEMP-2 gets us another sixteen seconds, but what is ungodly is the forty-nine-second gap between Sabrent at SPD and the best we could get out of them.
Regarding those who run Cinebench R23, Sabrent scores the best right out of the box and can stay ahead of the Crucial kit. With mixed results of our overclocking and the ASUS Enhanced Memory Profile results, we see no advantage, but the results are alongside some much faster options.
Even when it comes down to transcoding, Sabrent surpasses everything but the XPG Caster RGB right out of the box. You can also opt for 4800C28 to gain five seconds back, AEMP-1 for eight seconds gained, AEMP-2 for 14 seconds, or go for the gusto as our 6800C40 results did, topping the chart with forty-nine-seconds of your life back for every 4GB of data. That is nearly a minute with very little effort.
What is awesome is that this is the first time we have seen ASUS try to do its thing with ASUS Enhanced Memory Profiles, and we read that it is not exclusive to ASUS, but we cannot say for certain that it is industry-wide just yet. What happens with this is that ASUS can see the sticks, and notices that there is not an XMP profile, and has settings for the specific ICs, as testing has shown that, for instance, our SK Hynix sticks, can all do 4800 MHz with 32-32-32-77 2T timings at 1.10V. They also know they can run at 6000 MHz 40-40-40-77 2T with 1.25V. Rather than seeing XMP options, under AUTO, we found AEMP-1 and AEMP-2 - a handy little trick for those who buy SPD sticks and don't have the time to tinker but want more from their baseline kits.
Performance is key to us when it comes to any set of RAM. The whole reason for buying it is for the performance, even though a sexy-looking kit is hard to pass. We get it. However, Sabrent can place better than Crucial did in many of the tests, and with a bit of playing around, we also took a JEDEC spec kit and took it to the moon, resulting in chart-topping results. While overclocking is only a small portion of the scoring, offering this level of flexibility in your kit is hard to ignore.
We have yet to see any kit, at any speed, do what we found in the Sabrent Rocket DDR5 sticks. We have never seen lower timings in any kit, and reaching CAS28 with complete stability melted our mind a little bit if we are being honest about it. Since we knew they could run at 6000 MHz, we had to keep pushing, resulting in a 2000 MHz overclock from what we were sent is likely never to happen again. We may not want to say that, as someone will prove us wrong eventually, but you can grasp the point we are trying to make here. It honestly has been a complete joy and almost a privilege to mess about with this set of Sabrent Rocket DDR5.
The aesthetic may not be for everyone, but we have to say that it is better looking than any set of naked sticks out there. The thin copper works as well, if not better than the thicker designs of heat spreaders. Even while adding voltage to make them run faster, these light black and copper heat spreaders never allowed our sticks to go over 42°C, which is cooler than many other sticks running the same voltage levels. Also, the all-black view with just the round copper circle with a Rocket in it is not the worst view of DDR5 either.
When it comes to the cost, if we knew we were getting a set of 4800 MHz sticks at 40-40-40-76 2T with a completely locked PMIC, we would certainly be singing a different tune. However, with the motherboard AEMP kicking in, it makes even the most novice user look like a pro by either greatly reducing the timings or adding another 1200 MHz to what we were sent. All for free, mind you, and all a click away from using them. While the same could be said for XMP profiles, why mess about when options like this are available, is our thought. Yes, $179.99 a stick and $299.99 for a kit like ours may seem expensive for what it is billed as.
However, it hung out with the likes of XPG Caster RGB for most of the tests, and that is one of the fastest kits we have tested and at a similar cost. We lose the fancy heat spreaders, and there is no RGB lighting either. For those looking to relive the days of old and get the most bang for your buck, it is hard not to recommend you give Sabrent a chance, as what they put forward is mind-blowing.
The Bottom Line
They are costly seeing them as only what they are specified to be. On the flip side, the Sabrent Rocket DDR5 has delivered more smiles and eye-opening moments than any other kit tested. For the first go around, Sabrent made sure to stick in our minds as an awesome product with huge potential.
For those looking for deals on Sabrent DDR5 UDIMM and SO-DIMM, check out the Amazon page for the item you want. You will see a coupon box to click to get a better deal. Great savings - this kit drops from $299.99 to $239.99!