Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
In all the time we have tinkered with computers, we cannot honestly say we recall ever using a product from PNY. There is a fleeting memory of some DDR2, but the more we think about it, it seems we were admiring someone else's kit, as the XLR8 logo back then was scripted on the heat spreaders, and for some reason struck us.
However, PNY makes a ton of products we have seen many others buy throughout the years, but as far as any personal anecdotes as to use of their gear, we are coming up empty. It is a rare occurrence when we are looking at a company and what they have sent, with unbiased eyes!
Digging deep into our filing cabinet of memories, we seem to recall that PNY, in the early days, offered RAM with bare PCBs, and if they were covered with a heat spreader, they were relatively tame. This concept carried on through DDR1 and DDR2, even with their top-tier offerings, but when they released the Anarchy series, they delivered DDR3 with more attractive heat spreaders. Splashes of color, a sticker inset into a shape that looks a lot like bird wings extended outward. Again, this carried over to DDR4, where the Anarchy series continued, but now PNY has delivered the most aggressive looking XLR8 RAM we have ever seen!
With the rest of the manufacturers out there moving to 32GB of density in two sticks as basic kits now, and PNY followed suit. We plan to put this PNY XLR8 kit through the wringer and see how it stacks up! For those, like us, who have somehow not had the chance to try PNY gear, stick around and see what we find. No matter the outcome, we can all gain some perspective on what PNY and the XLR8 line of DDR4 are all about!
In the chart we found on the PNY product page, we see what PNY has to say about the kit we have in hand. Widely known as PNY XLR8, our kit is the MD32GK2D4320016XR model, to be exact. It is a two-stick kit of DDR4, each stick housing 16GB worth of ICs on the PCB for this dual-channel kit. Speed tops out at 3200MHz via the XMP 2.0 profile, utilizing 16-18-18-36 2T timings, requiring 1.35V to do so. The list of speed compatibility shows us nothing more than all of the dividers that can be used from 2133MHz to 3200MHz.
The last thing on the chart indicates that you need Windows 10 or older operating systems, so essentially, anything running a Windows OS should be excellent, although we are not sure how an OS plays into the RAM functionality. What is not shown in the chart is that the warranty for the XLR8 memory is a lifetime warranty.
Looking at the PNY consumer memory tab, we find that you can get the XLR8 in 16GB or 32GB kits, like the one we have, but you also can buy a 2666MHz kit of these. However, they come with only two 8GB sticks in those kits.
Pricing is fair compared to everything else we see online in a 32GB, 3200MHz kit of DDR4. At the bottom of the barrel, pricing starts at $114.99 in this market, and with the $129.99 of the PNY XLR8 that we have, its only $15 over the baseline. Comparatively, we see kits like the Vengeance LPX, TridentZ, and T-Force offerings at this price point. We do know what to expect from those lines of DDR4, so at least we have an idea of what to expect for the money.
Also, with much or our testing lately, we have seen many more 32GB kits that have performed admirably, so PNY has a bit of a hill to climb to compete toe to toe.