The Bottom Line
- + Awesome aesthetics
- + High contrast color
- + Thermal pad on PMIC
- + Circular light bar
- + Thermal sensor
- - Availability
- - Unknown cost
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Those of you who have looked for some of the best overclocking sets of RAM are likely aware of a company called KLEVV, which pops in and out of the market occasionally. We heard that KLEVV is an offshoot of SK Hynix, where some of the best ICs are sent, giving KLEVV a leg up on what is available to the masses. With this process, KLEVV is getting the best of the best, and it only makes sense that not only do they produce kits with insane overclocking potential, but due to the limited amount of amazing ICs from the manufacturing process, it explains why they are not always around with offerings. Once the kits are sold out, that is it for that run.
We have seen various DDR3 kits in the past, but only a single set of DDR4, yet with all of what we tested, to say we were impressed does not do KLEVV justice. No matter which set we are discussing, while they may seem "standard" by the XMP specifications on the product page, there is much more to be had from them. Typically we would look at a company for what their XMP settings offer the masses, but with a company such as this, we have to look at things through a slightly different lens. Since we know the backstory, and the reason KLEVV exists, overclocking is more given with their products, and it will be a significant part of our judgment and how we award such a product.
For those who may have never heard of KLEVV or what they are capable of, strap in and enjoy. We feel that the KLEVV CRAS XR5 that we have in our lab now stays with the trend we know of them, and we may be in for quite the surprise compared to all of the other SK Hynix M-die kits we have seen in the past. While history doesn't always ring true with the current market, knowing what we did before writing this review, we can say that KLEVV is undoubtedly sticking to what we know of them and has set forth a kit that is not only fun to tinker with, but is also amazing to look at and will be a much-welcomed addition to just about any Intel 600 and 700 series motherboard users.
The KLEVV CRAS XR5 RGB sports the part number KD5AGUA80-62E400S, telling us that it is DDR5 via the KD5 bit, while the rest of the code does not make much sense to many, the latter part of the number expresses the speed and CAS latency. As far as we know, only one version is available, with white heat spreaders made of high-quality aluminum. Our kit comprises two 16GB sticks with their XMP profile set to 6200 MT/s. Timings are not all that impressive with the listed 40-42-42-78 2T arrangement, but also consider they are pushing this kit with just 1.30V, whereas others are using more to get the timings they set forth.
Beyond the basics, we know that these are SK Hynix-based kits, and unlike the fresh A-die sets that are doing amazing things, KLEVV is still using the M-die that most out there would consider average clocking ICs unless you want to push a bunch of volts through them. Not only do they come with great ICs on a black PCB, but the styling is some of the best we have seen yet, and their unique way of diffusing their RGB illumination is something we have yet to see anyone else attempt. You rarely get a kit that can not only look amazing in any compatible system but delivering the amount of headroom that KLEVV puts forth, and doing so within our tight testing methodology makes these sticks as common as hen teeth.
There is one glaring issue as we see it at this time. Not only is availability limited, we find them listed in some places, but with a "currently unavailable" where the price should be. Sadly, no matter where we look, press releases, other reviews, or shopping via Google search, the cost of these kits is nowhere to be found. While it does put a damper on what we can provide and deliver the complete overview of such a product, we would hazard guessing that they will come with a premium price point. We think that you may be expected to spend in the realm of $250 for a kit such as this, but even with that level of cost, we would still fork out the cash to get our hands-on a set of KLEVV CRAS XR5 RGB, as they are just that good.
Packaging and KLEVV CRAS XR5 RGB
Even though the packaging is mainly matte black, KLEVV sets the image of the RAM on something that reminds of the opening scene of Star Wars. At the top left is the company name, where the CRAS XR5 RGB name is found. To the right, we are shown that this is a 32GB kit of 6200MHz memory, where the circle at the bottom says they come with a lifetime warranty.
The back of the packaging displays a list of seven features found within these sticks. In the center, we are told what kind of product it is, in multiple languages, before we see the iconography for the various compatible sync systems. At the bottom is a bit about ESSENCORE, the parent company to KLEVV, while to the right are the serial numbers of the sticks and a second box covering the specifications and where it is made.
Inside the cardboard, we find two sticks of DDR5 packaged inside the plastic, form-fitted to keep the RAM safe in its travels. Not only does it protect the finishes found on this RAM, but it is also the layer that guarantees against static.
The white on black is a look you already know we love, and KLEVV does it uniquely. At the top is the diffuser, which is just above the high-quality aluminum heat spreaders. On the spreader is a shiny black band that displays the name of this kit and its DDR5 nature. The bulk of the area below that band is white but offers a circular pattern to help dress things up.
On the back of each stick, we find them identical to the wording in the black band, and the pattern below is the same. The only difference is that KLEVV places a small product sticker in the lower right corner. On it, we find the part number, the full specifications of the RAM, its serial number, and it is made in Taiwan.
From this angle, we can see more of the diffusers, with a hint of a valley that runs down the center of them, but the sides of the diffuser are where we also find KLEVV CRAS XR5 RGB painted on them, ensuring anyone who sees them can tell who made them.
We mentioned the circular diffuser earlier in this review, and we can see what that means in this image. KLEVV has inserted a shiny black bar in the groove of the diffusers. The black bar helps to break up the blast of lighting that many kits deliver when viewing them from the top, but it is also an excellent addition to the looks, whether the RGB is on or not.
Removing the heat spreader from one side of the sticks exposed the thermal tape used to adhere the spreader to the ICs, but we noticed no thermal pad on the PMIC. Looking a bit closer, we can see that all the memory ICs are SK Hynix H5CG48MEB0X014 ships, which may seem like all the rest6, but we can assure you that these are more tightly binned than what we typically see.
KLEVV chose Richtek as the PMIC maker, with 0D=9C printed on them, slightly different than the typical 0D=9B chips we are used to finding. This PMIC is unlocked as it should be for an overclocking kit of RAM, even though it can do amazing things with limited voltage adjustment.
Installed on our APEX test system, the KLEVV CRAS XR5 looks stunning and perfectly fits the overall theme. As it sits, we love what we see and still need to add power to get the full effect.
Once we boot the system, there is a glow of RGB lighting, with the colors cycling through all options as the pattern moves from top to bottom. The delivery of the lighting through the diffuser removes the hot spots, and the transitions from one color to another are smooth and blend well.
Test System Details
To obtain the Intel CPU-Z screenshots, you will see directly following this image; this is the system we used to do it, as well as in getting the results seen in the following pages. Thanks to Intel, be quiet!, ASUS, MSI, Corsair, and Sabrent for supporting us with this venture. Detailed specifications of the system can be found below.
As we do from a CMOS clear, we enable the XMP profile, allowing the RAM to do what specifications intend. Currently, we have a set of RAM running at 6200 MHz with 40-42-42-78 2T timings. However, the VDIMM is set to 1.30V, while the SA uses 0.881V and the memory controller uses 1.119V.
As we do, we attempted to reduce the timings by increasing the voltages slightly. Currently, we are using 1.40VDIMM, 1.0V for the System Agent, and 1.20V for the memory controller. Doing so allowed us to drop the timings of this kit to 34-36-36-78 2T while still keeping the speed at 6200MHz.
Shifting the attention to more speed, using the same voltages described in the previous comments. We can take this kit to 7200MHz with the XMP profile timings used. Keep in mind that we are only using 1.40VDIMM as we only add a tenth of a volt for testing, but we did push further to see if there was more room, and there was. Those willing to move to 1.45VDIMM could see the same 7600MHz we did. We could have likely gone further, but since we are already beyond our testing methodology, we stopped there.
Chad's Intel DDR5 Dual-Channel Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus Z790 APEX - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i7 13700K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Corsair iCUE H150i Elite LCD - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming Trio 24G - Buy from Amazon
- Storage: Sabrent Rocket 4 PLUS-G 4TB - Buy from Amazon
- Case: Custom Thermaltake Core P3 TG
- Power Supply: be quiet! DARK POWER PRO 12 1500W - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Home - Buy from Amazon
While the XMP results are not exceptional with the CPU-Z single-threaded benchmark, we did not expect them to be with the timing set they use. However, concerning overclocked results, KLEVV places much higher on the list. They still fall slightly behind the T-Force Delta RGB and the Vengeance RGB, but the ground made up is attractive for the start of it all.
AIDA64 read performance is lackluster out of the box, but there is a ton of improvement to be had. With a reduction in timings, we gained 3840 MB/s, although still outpaced by the Viper Venom. Adding more speed was the winner overall, sneaking up on the Delta RGB 7200 kit, where we get an astounding 14,610 Mb/s boost over XMP.
The write performance results started much better with a third-place finish, yet we still had gains left in the tank. Running the kit at CAS34 gains us a little bit more bandwidth, to the tune of 1234 MB/s, but when we took the KLEVV to 7200 MHz, that difference over XMP is 13,072 MB/s worth of free performance just waiting to be unleashed.
Copy performance is similar to what we saw with the write performance, with KLEVV landing in third place. With the timings set to 34-36-36, we gained 1827 MB/s, but the difference between XMP and the 7200 MHz run gets us an additional 12,841 MB/s of bandwidth.
We find the KLEVV CRAS XR5 RGB in fifth place for the XMP run at 70ns. Lowering the timings helped to reduce latency by a decent margin, but the 7200MHz run takes KLEVV to the top of the chart.
Super Pi is a race to complete the test with the lowest time, and out of the box, the results leave the XMP run in a similar spot to the previous tests. We gained almost four seconds back when lowering timings but took over six seconds off the run when adding more speed.
The 3DMark physics scores are not that impressive, but we see the XMP profile landing KLEVV in fifth place again. We gained minimal points with the timings being lowered, and while more speed ends up in fourth place, the results in this metric are not all that impressive.
PCMark 10 handed KLEVV their defeat in the overall score when looking at the XMP run. While gains are tough in this test, as seen with the results of lowering the timings by gaining a single point, adding speed shoots KLEVV up the chart into second place overall.
The 7-Zip file compression is another race for the lowest time to completion, and out of the box, the KLEVV CRAS XR5 RGB struggles a bit near the bottom of the chart. We gained six seconds back with the kit at 34-36-36 but got an astounding twenty-one seconds back by pushing them to the fastest stable speed.
A fourth-place finish in Cinebench R23 is about what we expected, although we had hoped that lowering the timings had given us an advantage over the XMP results. Happily, when we raised the speed to match the Delta RGB in the chart, we also reached its score at the top of this chart.
Using Handbrake to transcode, we find that the KLEVV settles into its fifth place slot we seem to have found it in quite often. While not the most remarkable results from the XMP run, we could knock off another four seconds, setting them to CAS34. Using the most speed we could get stable with limited voltage applied, we saw over a fourteen-second difference between that run and XMP.
On the basic level, what you get is a stunning-looking kit that will go well with any system, although it looks incredible on our Z790 APEX, and while we have liked other similar-looking kits in the past, KLEVV hit the nail on the head here. The design of the heat spreaders, the unique look of the diffusers, and how the RGB is presented checks all the boxes visually for us and does not leave us wanting in any way aesthetically.
We mentioned we would be assessing this kit slightly differently than the bulk of what we look at due to who KLEVV is and how they get their chips. Being part of the SK Hynix family and the fact that they are getting some of the best memory IC available on the planet, overclocking is a significant factor in how we judge them. In this respect, not only do they allow us to get the most movement in timings we have seen to date, but they are also the first kit of M-die to breach the 7000MHz mark.
Considering we can do all of that with less voltage than we have applied to any other kit previously, it is easy to see just how good these ICs are. The best part is, even though we limit how much voltage is added, the KLEVV CRAS XR5 RGB that we have was still able to go further. As we mentioned, we saw 7600MHz with XMP timings with another 0.05V added to the VDIMM, and we feel there is still more in the tank.
Given the specs of the XMP profile and the timings used, we did not expect miracles, and the results proved that point. Mixing it up with the 6000MHz kits is what we assumed to be the reality. However, once we started to tinker, everything changed dramatically. Not only did we gain the most in AIDA64 than any other kit when overclocked to date, but we also saw significant benefits in almost every test we threw at them. The bulk of the reasoning behind the higher timings than the JDEC spec was due to the limited voltage used, and once you break that barrier, the KLEVV CRAS XR5 come to life in a way we have yet to see from any other kit of M-die RAM.
While these may not be the perfect kit for the average user, it is not intended to be. Those in the know realize what a gem a kit like this is, and with overclocking as its main claim to fame, KLEVV does not disappoint. Those of you out there looking to get the most from your system, IMC willing, with the balls to push the voltages beyond spec, will thoroughly enjoy the CRAS XR5 RGB, hands down. Compared to anything other than the Sabrent set we saw previously, there is not one single kit beyond them that has given us as much fun and the results to back up the effort.
There is still the minor issue of price, which seems to be the best-kept secret in DDR5. Early on, we stated that we could see KLEVV asking in the realm of $250 for such a set of RAM, but to be as blunt as possible, they could be the most expensive set of DDR5-6200 on the market, and based on what we saw in testing, we would gladly hand out the cash. Granted, the average reader is likely to pass on such a product due to the cost and limited availability, but for those looking to get the most from their memory, look no further, as KLEVV is about to drop bombs on the rest of the market when these kits become available to the masses.
To date, we have seen nothing this fun or effective, and at the same time, they are visually stunning. The CRAS XR5 RGB from KLEVV is worth the wait, and for those running the standard M-die kits, you can see the full potential of that technology from this company alone. No other company has been able to accomplish what KLEVV has put forth today.