Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review

Corsair's Vengeance RGB PRO SL DDR4-3600 16GB dual-channel memory kit for AMD Ryzen systems gets reviewed right here. Join us.

@chad_sebring
Published Wed, Feb 10 2021 8:45 AM CST
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Corsair (CMH16GX4M2Z3600C18)

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 99 | TweakTown.com
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Just because DDR5 is certified for this and that does not mean the DDR4 is now irrelevant in any way. To prove this notion, many of the big players in the RAM game are trying to stay as relevant as possible and not sitting on older designs to do the work for the next year or two until the adoption of DDR5 hits the masses. Corsair did not have to dig very deep to find a series to go with, as there are only two options to pick. Going with the Vengeance series means that this kit will fit in more places than Dominators do, but Corsair did not stop there!

Keeping with all things RGB in the PC market today, Corsair added that, which has us to Vengeance RGB so far, but that name is tied to a much older and chunkier design. We have to also add in the PRO, as it is where the bulk of the design ideas start. So far, we are up to Vengeance RGB PRO, but how do we differentiate those older kits from what Corsair is offering now? It seems Corsair opted for the letters S and L. We asked, and they are there for no specific reason, how to differentiate the old from the new is why.

At this point, we now have the Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL, but wait, there's more! Not only do these kits come in black, as we will be showing, but they also come with white heat spreaders. When asked if we could take a look at this memory, we asked them if there were any "spicy" kits we could look at, and we were told we had two options, neither of which seemed amazing to us upfront, but we will wait until the testing is over before we say anything off the cuff this early. We will say this. Considering what this looks like on paper, it has its moments.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 01 | TweakTown.com

While we can understand that our current situation in life around this tiny blue ball does put a damper on many things, this RAM's release was out of the left field and almost flew under the radar. While we were able to cobble together a bit of a specifications list for this kit, we have yet to see a specifications chart on the product page, which is hard to find, but that is another matter. We also had to find out through Amazon that the kit we have, identical in appearance, is sold in two flavors. Ours is a kit with the Z in the model number, which confirms earlier information that Z-kits are Ryzen specific, as in, if you buy Corsair RAM, it needs a Z in the part number to be guaranteed compatible. Just be very slow and methodical when it comes to purchasing these kits; it can be tricky.

You already know that we have the Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL sticks in hand, but the version we have is the CMH16GX4M2Z3600C18, which Amazon lists as AMD Ryzen. There is the D3600C18 said to be for both AMD and Intel, but it makes us wonder why an AMD specific kit if both should work. Also, keep in mind, some of the information to follow may change with time, as we do have version 4.31 and will likely change before you can buy these.

Our pair of sticks are rated to run at 3600MHz with timings of 18-22-22-42. Yes, you read that right, 18-22-22-42 2T at 1.35V is the XMP 2.0 profile of these 8GB sticks. You can get the Vengeance RGB PRO SL with white or black heat spreaders, both made of aluminum and coated with a textured application. Overall, these sticks stand 44mm in height, shorter than anything Corsair made outside of the LPX, and with all of its RGB greatness, you have the option of using iCUE to get the most customization options.

At this time, we also know of another option beyond color. Corsair also lists a 3200MHz set with CAS16 timings, and the rest is hard to find information on, whether at Corsair or e-tailers.

There is also the matter of cost, which can easily make or break a purchase. What we see online are slim pickings. It appears that if you act now, you can grab these kits, black, not white just yet, in 3200MHz or 3600MHz, in 16GB, 32GB, and even 128GB kits. As to what we have in our hands, Corsair wants only $114.99, and it is sent without shipping cost added. What we see on Amazon is close to the MSRP. We see the Z3600C18 set we have listed there for $117 and is ready to be shipped. However, depending on the speed and density of the kits you want, you may be waiting months for stock.

Buy at Amazon

Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3600 (PC4-28800) C18 1.35V

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$99.99$114.99-
* Prices last scanned on 2/26/2021 at 3:07 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging and Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL

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As we have seen on other recent Corsair submissions, the triangles are in, and Corsair wants to use them everywhere, on their packaging and products. The Corsair name and logo, along with the RAM type, density and speed, frames the top, where the black version of the new Vengeance RGB PRO SL gets center stage. The full name of the kit is near the bottom, and we see that these are optimized for AMD Ryzen and the use of iCUE.

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Around the back, we find that Corsair wants us to know that there is dynamic RGB lighting, preset RGB profiles, a height of just 44mm, and optimizations for AMD DDR4 motherboards. This information is repeated in various languages where we do find windows where one views the product sticker without opening the box. The bottom right corner is where you will need to pay attention when getting these from a box store. Make sure you find a Z in that part number if you want what we have.

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Along with the clamshell inner packaging containing the RAM and keeps them secure, we found literature. The pamphlet to the left shows how to install the sticks, tells you where to get the software, and provides a QR-code for how-to videos. The safety information is mostly to do with disposal for environmental protection.

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Our Vengeance RGB PRO SL kit should look different than the previous kits, as Corsair kept with the triangles this time on the heat spreaders, along with the RGB light diffuser. The matte finish over the angled heat spreaders does dull the shapes a tad, but the shiny contrast of the Vengeance stickers and the bright white Corsair sails pop.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 06 | TweakTown.com

In case you missed it, and the visual changes of the new Vengeance RGB PRO SL slipped past, you will find that Corsair designated the RAM like all other products leaving the factory now, as RGB PRO // SL in an out of the way spot.

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On the back of both sticks, you will find the same product sticker we saw through the back of the packaging. Not only does this sticker include the all-important model number, but it shows the density, speed, timings, voltage, revision, and even has the serial number for the individual stick on it.

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Between the aluminum heat spreaders is the diffuser bar on the top of these Vengeance RGB PRO SL. Note that not only do they step down in the middle, but there are four ridgelines in the middle, and the ridges are reversed at the ends, with six ridges there. Not only should it bland the lighting well, but maybe also add some shadows and contrast.

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With this set of DDR4, we did find that if you are running iCUE and polling the RAM, you cannot open Thaiphoon Burner. To use this software, you must close iCUE and then open TB. If you open TB first, you will need to restart to get it to work. Anyways, once open, we do see that our sticks are filled with 20nm Samsung B-die, K4A8G085WB-BCPB ICs.

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Once powered, we can see the ten individual LEDs on either stick, but we love the gentle blend of light across the diffuser bar. The light emanating from the triangles in the sides of the spreaders is a nice touch, but we do want to fill all of the slots when the RAM looks this good!

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 11 | TweakTown.com

Synced with the Intel system, not only does the glow from the RAM match the rest of the iCUE powered components, but we also get our first peek at the holographic Vengeance name on the sides. Depending on the angle, the colors will change, which is a nice added touch many may miss.

Test System Details

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM 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. For detailed specifications of the system, those can be found below.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 13 | TweakTown.com

While our kit is said to be specifically designed for functionality and compatibility with AMD Ryzen systems, this is the only way our kit would run. We have always said that the DOCP/XMP is guaranteed from the kit, nothing more, and this is an instance where it is what you get. We are at 3600MHz with 18-22-22-42 1T timings with opening the UEFI, enabling DOCP, saving, exiting, and loading into Windows.

Attempts to lower the timings resulted in tests not running or BSODs, and increasing speed lead us to the desktop locking-up on us.

Chad's AMD DDR4 Dual-Channel Test System Specifications

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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! For detailed specifications of the system, those can be found below.

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As we did with the AMD rig, we opened the UEFI, enabled the XMP setting, saved, exited, and waited for Windows to load. Once there, we opened these screens to see our Vengeance RGB PRO SL running as expected, at 3600MHz with the appropriate timings and voltage.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 18 | TweakTown.com

The 2T setting and auto-tuning from the various motherboards make a considerable difference in how this RAM reacts. We saw no movement on the AMD chip, yet here we are stable at 3600MHz with 16-20-20-42 2T timings. We are using 1.45 VDIMM, 1.3 VCCIO, and 1.5 VCCSA.

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Keeping the same voltages as we used to lower the timings, we returned them to 18-22-22-42 2T and pushed the memory dividers. We got up to 3900MHz with stability. We saw 4000MHz in Windows, but they would not complete testing with the voltages we use.

Chad's Intel DDR4 Dual-Channel Test System Specifications

Chad's Intel DDR4 Dual-Channel Test System Specifications

AMD Performance

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53,772 MB/s is a decent score in bandwidth with all things considered. Not only are the timings anything but tight, yet they come close to the CAS14 XTREEM ARGB and leave the Vengeance RGB PRO SL with a solid third-place finish.

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With a result so high, we tested multiple times, and there is no doubt in our minds that Corsair, hands down, won when it comes to write performance. 52,316 MB/s may not seem like a lot, but it is 5,000+ MB/s better than the 4000MHz LPX in second-place.

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Oddly, with how well things started, copy performance is not as good as we had expected. A bit below the average at 47,453 MB/s, leaving them in sixth-place this time around.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 23 | TweakTown.com

Back to the top again with latency numbers. Second-place is a terrific out of the box result, especially when you consider what the competitors are and how slow this RAM looks on paper with the timings we see.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 24 | TweakTown.com

By 420 points, the Vengeance RGB PRO SL leap into first-place in our 3DMark Physics scores. We will admit, we did not expect this level of performance, and we hope Corsair can keep this up.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 25 | TweakTown.com

The workload of PCMark 10 is a fickle beast. Sometimes it loves you, sometimes it hates you, and sometimes for no reason, you can smash the rest of the charts and still come up average here. We wanted more from our RAM, but we won't hold this metric against them too harshly.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 26 | TweakTown.com

There are better choices for compression, but only a few. We can say that when released, all of the kits in first through third did cost more, but that does not lessen that 32.6-second deficit per 8GB of data to first place, as these sit in fourth.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 27 | TweakTown.com

Our older version of Cinebench seems not to want to favor the Vengeance RGB PRO SL much either. We feel that we hit 207 cb's at least, so it's in the good range, where a few kits we tested couldn't even get to this level.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 28 | TweakTown.com

Just like when it came to compression, the Vengeance RGB PRO SL kit comes out swinging in transcoding. Figuring these times are for roughly every 4GB of video, which is almost 21-seconds of time back over anything else we have tested. Multiply that out as a job, and you can see Corsair shows why you need the Vengeance RGB PRO SL on your AMD rigs.

Intel Performance

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 29 | TweakTown.com

On the 10700K based system, Corsair did fair. Fourth-place overall isn't a terrible result but is a bit shy of the TEAM in front of it. Overclocking the Vengeance helped it compete with the XTREEM ARGB but is still a way out of first and second place.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 30 | TweakTown.com

It is almost as if we copied this from the last chart, just that when talking about write speed, the Vengeance RGB PRO SL came in third. . Lowering the timings gave a small boost, but that extra 300MHz sent the kit way up the chart.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 31 | TweakTown.com

Unlike on the AMD rig, the copy performance is more in line with the rest of the results with the Intel system, with another third-place finish. Overclocking has an advantage in the score, but neither was enough to bridge the XTREME ARGB gap.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 32 | TweakTown.com

Latency results are good. We never expected some CAS18 3600MHz kit to come in and do nearly as well as this has, which its third-place finish here and potential for near some of the best latency we have seen is impressive.

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In 3DMark Fire Strike Physics results, we see that XMP delivered a third-place result, which is great, but sadly, any form of overclocking resulted in worse scores.

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On AMD, the Vengeance RGB PRO SL sticks did not do any better. We may have picked up a place or two this time while running PCMark 10. The 7408 score is more aligned with 3200C16 kits, although we are just thirty-seven points from first.

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Sixth place overall, when it comes to 7-Zip compression. A couple of spots down from the AMD results. This may not be the best metric to try to highlight the Vengeance RGB PRO SL. Overclocking does help but still gets hammered by slower kits.

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Cinebench shows more of the same with the results we see in this chart. This time, a seventh-place result is the best we could get from the Vengeance RGB PRO SL in this benchmark. Overclocking did nothing to help us and lowering the timings dove into nearly last place.

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO SL (AMD Ryzen) DDR4-3600 16GB RAM Kit Review 37 | TweakTown.com

Again, we assumed better than this after seeing how well this worked on the AMD system. While the XMP profile delivers some pretty dismal results, overclocking makes all the difference in transcoding on Intel. We shot near the top of the chart with 3900MHz, but it is only slightly better than the TOUGHRAM with 3600C16 settings.

Final Thoughts

When asked to have a look at this memory, we may have turned it down normally, but with what we saw in the early renderings, we thought they at least looked cool enough to have a go with them. Not only do they have a style like no other kit of Corsair RAM, but we also cannot think of another manufacturer with a similar look. How Corsair changed the diffuser bar to use grooves and ridges at the top and its overall shape are unique to these Vengeance RGB PRO SL sticks, yet at the same time, there is no doubt they are Vengeance through and through.

Beyond looks and possibly a top 3 finish in RGB lighting presentation of all DDR4 we have seen over the years, Corsair has come out swinging visually. It gets us hooked quickly as we fall into a trance of what effects to try next and customizing the twenty individual LEDs in any way we see fit. We also thought the holographic "VENGEANCE" sticker on the RAM is another brilliant touch nobody expected but adds that extra pop many are looking for.

Along with the stellar aesthetics and brilliant light display, there has to be the second checkpoint, and that is a place we stop and think about the performance. On the AMD side, we took top-three five times with the Vengeance RGB PRO SL, and only twice would we say it faltered or did not meet our expectations. When we flip the script with the 10700K in the leading role, we find it falls into the average or worse than average category more times than we care to admit. If we were pondering an AMD build, and you can find this specific kit, by all means, get some. If we were considering an Intel build, simply put, these are not the sticks you are looking for.

If this were the average kit of memory to pass through our lab, we might want to start deducting points about now for its lackluster Intel performance, but there are two lanes to take here. Do we look at it as a kit like any other, or do we think about it as marketed? Corsair made sure Amazon had two models of the same kit and somehow decided to show one kit, ours, and AMD only, where the other, we have to assume, works better on Intel.

This is a tough call, but as well as they performed on our 3900X and HERO, other kits that are higher in the charts can do it on both the 3900X and the 10700K. Our take is while amazing on our AMD system, we feel we have to consider Intel's performance. As much as we love this memory, the performance score is going to be a decent hit.

It usually comes down to cost in the end, and with the Vengeance RGB PRO SL that we have, you can find them at Corsair.com for $114 with free shipping, and at Amazon.com for $117, also with free shipping to Prime members. We feel that everything aligns in the right situations, and the Vengeance RGB PRO SL delivers top-tier performance while looking amazing at the same time. If thinking Intel, the bottom line is to pass, but if opting for AMD, you need to consider these seriously!

Buy at Amazon

Performance

85%

Quality

98%

Features

99%

Value

92%

Overall

94%

The Bottom Line

The price is good, aesthetics are top-notch, and performance for AMD users is fantastic. However, it needs said that these do not work nearly as well with Intel systems. There is a lot of good with a sprinkle of "meh" in there, but we still recommend them in the right situations.

TweakTown award
94%

Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3600 (PC4-28800) C18 1.35V

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$99.99$114.99-
* Prices last scanned on 2/26/2021 at 3:07 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

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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