While you can’t buy graphics cards for reasonable money at the moment, memory upgrades are thankfully a little more affordable. However, if you want a cutting-edge kit using the latest features such as RGB lighting, you’ll still pay a small premium, as is the case with Thermaltake ToughRAM.
With a price of £132 inc VAT for a dual-channel 16GB kit of 3600MHz RAM, The ToughRAM costs a tad more than Gigabyte’s equivalent Aorus RGB memory kit, and a good chunk more than Corsair’s 3600MHz Vengeance RGB Pro kits. The Thermaltake modules are quite tall too, measuring 48mm high compared to the super-low profile 41mm height of the Aorus modules.
On the plus side, this extra money does at least buy you another couple of hundred megahertz of rated effective frequency at 3600MHz compared to the Thermaltake’s 3333MHz. These Thermaltake modules also offer quite a lot more in the way of light customisation than the Aorus sticks, which we’ll get to in a minute.
The memory chips use Hynix C dies and have timings of 18-19-19-39 at this speed, while dual-channel 4000MHz, 4400MHz and 4600MHz kits are also available. We managed to push the modules to 4133MHz in our Intel Z490 system at stock voltage, while in our AMD X570 system we got to 3933MHz, but needed to increase the DDR voltage to 1.4V. Still, these are significantly higher frequencies than the memory’s rated speed and there’s a sizeable amount of headroom, especially on Intel systems.
The modules themselves are beautiful and have three diffusing RGB LED covers each. The top strip comprises two arrow shapes, with the points meeting in the middle, and a third triangular section sits underneath the meeting point. The diffusing covers all sit on top of a glossy grey metal midsection.
Eight RGB LEDs sit underneath them, and although you can control the colour of each of them, you can’t adjust the colour of each of the three sections independently, as there’s some shared lighting that spills over from the centre section into the top strips.
Meanwhile, the heatsinks are black with a crosshatch design on one side. The most impressive part of these modules’ attire, though, is of course the RGB lighting. It’s punchy, vivid and all but the white colour setting is accurate – the latter lacks the vibrant pure white we’ve seen from other modules, with Corsair’s latest sticks offering slightly more vibrant lighting too. However, the greens and yellows here were more convincing than they were on the Aorus RGB memory.
Thermaltake’s software also allows you to choose from numerous lighting effects, including a static mode. You can set most of the effects to make use of the full RGB spectrum, dishing out fancy rainbow lights or applying effects to single or customised colours, so it’s fairly flexible.
Thermaltake’s ToughRAM XG RGB modules look unique, and offer vivid and highly customisable RGB lighting. The only colour that wasn’t as accurate as the competition was white. However, the ToughRAM XG RGB modules are much shorter than Corsair’s standard Vengeance modules and have an interesting trio of illuminated areas, which makes them stand out in terms of looks.
The only issue is price, as Corsair’s Vengeance Pro RGB kits currently cost under £95 inc VAT for the same 3600MHz speed. However, the ToughRAM XG RGB modules are shorter, they overclock phenomenally well, they have a unique exterior and they have multiple lighting zones. If overclocking and funky lighting are your priorities, then they’re worth the extra money.
£117 (16GB, 3600MHz, dual-channel)
DESIGN: 22/25 / PERFORMANCE: 27/30 / VALUE: 37/45
- Separated lighting zones
- Individual LED control
- Unique exterior design
- Great overclocking
- Shorter RGB modules are available
- Whites aren’t pure or vibrant
- Competition is cheaper
Thermaltake ToughRAM XG RGB specifications
- Frequency: 3600MHz (tested) / 4000MHz / 4400MHz / 4600MHz
- Timings: 18-19-19-39 / 18-19-19-39 / 19-25-25-45 / 19-26-26-45
- Voltage: 1.35V
- Height (from base): 48mm
- Lighting: Yes (RGB)
This review was revised on 8 July 2021 to reflect retesting on different motherboards, as our original test board turned out to be faulty. This improved overclocking performance.
Good-looking, highly overclockable and vibrantly lit RGB memory, although the competition is a bit cheaper.