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ADATA DDR5 memory kits were one of the first available on the market. Fast forward a few months to today, and now we can look at the latest and improved XPG Caster memory. The tested memory kit is rated at DDR5-6400 and is also one of the fastest available in stores. ADATA promises to offer this memory series up to DDR5-7000 in the near future. ADATA is well known for great memory and storage products but also is one of those brands that offer well-performing products at a reasonable price. Now we have a chance to check how much has changed since we first looked at ADATA DDR5.
Specifications and Features
The below key features come from ADATA, and you can also find them on the product’s website.
ADATA XPG Caster Features
- DDR5 High-Speed Performance
Running at 7000 MT/s, the XPG CASTER RGB is a new breed of DDR5 that’s over two times faster than your standard DDR4 memory. With blazing-fast data transfer rates, you’ll enjoy a smoother and more seamless gaming experience.
- Futuristic Flair
With its steel gray heat sink, bold triangular RGB light, and streamlined shape, the XPG CASTER RGB exudes a sense of high performance and futuristic styling. RGB Your Way Set the RGB lighting the way you want it. Choose from different effects (static, breathing, and comet) or sync the lights with your favorite jams via Music Mode. All this can be done through RGB control software from all the major motherboard brands. Performance You Can Rely On The XPG CASTER RGB is equipped with built-in On-Die EEC for real-time error correction and Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMIC) for enhanced stability and reliability. Overclocking Made Easy
With support for Intel XMP 3.0, get overclocking easily without the need to hassle with BIOS settings. There is no need to repeatedly adjust and fine-tune overclocking parameters.
- QuikTips: DDR5 vs DDR4 – Appearance
DDR5 U-DIMM modules have the same dimensions and pin count as DDR4 modules. The most obvious difference is the position of the fool-proof notch. Also, DDR5 integrates I/O resistors with CMD/ADD resistors. Also, the appearance of DDR5 modules is cleaner than DDR4. In addition, you can see a PMIC in the center. QuikTips: DDR5 vs DDR4 – Chip Architecture DDR5 modules provide two times more capacity than DDR4 by packing in more banks and bank groups. In addition, Burst Length and Prefetch are also doubled. And to ensure data integrity, they feature error correcting code (ECC) technology. QuikTips: DDR5 vs DDR4 – Performance The biggest change is that bandwidth and frequency are significantly higher. The ADATA DDR5 memory modules deliver frequencies of up to 4800MT/s and feature a bandwidth of 38.4GB/s, which is 50% higher than the DDR4-3200. The maximum frequency is increased 1.63 times compared to DDR4.
The XPG Caster DDR5, regardless of speed, is available only in 16GB modules (as are most gaming series DDR5 kits). Most brands decided to release only 16GBx2 kits as 32GB RAM is more than enough for home usage. We can always buy two kits if we need 64GB, but it’s not always guaranteed it will work together at the declared speed.
Modules have programmed one XMP profile, which works without issues on higher series Z690 motherboards. Some motherboards may have problems at 6400MT/s, so I recommend checking the motherboard’s QVL to be sure that our RAM will be compatible. The XMP profile worked fine on MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X and ASUS Strix Z690I-Gaming WIFI. However, these motherboards are rated to run at DDR5-6800, while most of the cheaper series offer us DDR5-6200 or DDR5-6400.
ADATA Caster uses Hynix IC, the same as nearly all retail DDR5-6400 or higher kits. Hynix IC overclocks high and produces less heat than the Samsung IC, so it promises good results. This is great news for all who are into overclocking.
|ADATA XPG Caster Specifications|
|Speeds||6000, 6400, 7000 MT/s|
|CAS Latencies||36, 40|
|Operating Voltage||1.25V, 1.45V|
|Operating Temperature||0°C to 85°C|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||133.35 x 43 x 8.4mm|
|Warranty||Limited lifetime warranty|
Besides the obvious data, the specifications give us one important piece of information which is the operating temperature. Most competitive brands do not share where the limit is, while ADATA suggests their RAM will work at the rated speed up to 85°C. Overclockers will say it’s high, depending on the frequency and other factors. In my experience problems with stability start at about 60-65°C. If we push the RAM to 7000 MT/s+, it can appear even at lower temperatures.
Packaging and Product Photos
The ADATA XPG Caster DDR5-6400 kit retail package is your typical small, flat box. Inside we won’t find anything besides two memory modules. On the other hand, nothing else is needed anyway. If anyone has questions, they can easily find answers on the manufacturer’s website. There is no need to print additional manuals and other things that won’t ever be used and end up in a garbage can.
The XPG Caster’s design reminds me of the previous series like the Lancer but does have significant differences. The illumination on the sides is in a triangle shape, but the heatsink isn’t flat as in the previous series. This suggests that it may have a larger heat dissipation surface. It’s important for DDR5 modules, especially while overclocking. How it works, we will see during the tests.
The Caster RAM, like the Lancer series, uses large light bars across the top which makes the ADATA RAM look amazing with an LED backlight. Besides the new shape, everything else seems as good as in the Lancer series. Back then, it was already exceptional.
The RGB LEDs work without problems on ASUS and MSI motherboards. As long as the software works properly, we should have perfectly synchronized illumination. ADATA is very popular, so most motherboard brands provide full compatibility. Below you can see some of the test rig pictures with RGB illumination on the MSI Z690 Unify-X motherboard.
|Motherboard||MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X BIOS A31.U2|
|Graphics card||ASRock Phantom Gaming RX6800XT 16GB|
|OS Storage||Silicon Power XS70 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD|
|Power Supply||Corsair HX1200, 1200W 80+ Platinum|
|Used memory kits|
|Operating System||Windows 11 Pro x64 with the latest updates|
Stability at Rated Speed
The XMP profile was tested in AIDA64 System Stability Test and passed without problems. As with other previous testing, this test was performed on the MSI Z690 Unify-X motherboard.
Tests were performed on popular synthetic benchmarks and benchmarks included in popular games. The list consists of tests that react well to memory performance. I skipped older popular benchmarks and tests based on pure CPU performance, as we wouldn’t see any difference.
For readers’ convenience, I added the highest overclocking result to the comparison so you see if it’s worth the overclocking.
Benchmarks list includes:
- AIDA64 Cache & Memory Benchmark
- PCMark 10 – default benchmark
- 3DMark: Time Spy, Time Spy Extreme, and Fire Strike Extreme
- Superposition Benchmark – 8K Optimized
- Final Fantasy XV Benchmark – 4K High Details
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – 1080p, high details, default benchmark
- Far Cry 6 – 1440p, high details, default benchmark
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – 1440p, high details, default benchmark
AIDA64 Cache & Memory Benchmark
AIDA64 is the most popular synthetic memory benchmark. Results are easy to read and, as we can see, it scaled great with memory frequency. The highest result is, as expected, at the overclocked settings. This will repeat in all other benchmarks, but AIDA64 is the only one where we can see it so clearly.
PCMark 10 uses popular applications to perform tests close to daily tasks. The results are, for all intents and purposes, the same.
3DMark – Fire Strike Extreme
In 3DMark series benchmarks, ADATA Caster memory shows slightly better results than other memory kits in the comparison. In competitive benchmarking, it’s a significant difference.
3DMark Time Spy
The same as in all 3DMark benchmarks, we can easily notice the difference in scores, but these scores do not translate into a significant performance gain in games.
3DMark Time Spy Extreme
The same thing in Time Spy Extreme, there are negligible differences among our test subjects.
Results in the Unigine Superposition benchmark are on the edge of the margin of error. They’re so close that rerunning the benchmark may change the order. On the other hand, our results place memory kits in a similar order in all benchmarks, which was more diverse in the previous DDR5 reviews.
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark
The Final Fantasy XV Benchmark suggests that the higher frequency gives us more performance than latency.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Benchmarks based on popular games suggest we can count on everything between 1% and 5% performance gain because of DDR5 overclocking. The best results are in games at lower display resolutions like 1080p. When the resolution increases, the graphics card becomes more important than the CPU or RAM.
Far Cry 6
In Far Cry 6, overclocking gave us 2 FPS. It’s better than in previous reviews but still not high enough to be worth the time spent on stability testing and manual timing adjustment.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
In the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, results are scaling similarly to Far Cry 6. The total FPS is lower, but the overclocking also gave us a 2 FPS gain.
For some users, the XMP profile is never enough. All those who love to push the limits will be happy to hear that the ADATA XPG Caster has a high overclocking potential. Let’s look at our results.
Temperatures and Voltages
The XPG Caster runs at slightly lower voltages than the recently reviewed G.Skill and V-Color memory kits. It’s not a rule but our kit required about 0.02-0.03V less at DDR5-6800 and DDR5-7000 than the previously reviewed Hynix-based kits. Most of the reviewed memory kits were limited by motherboards and couldn’t pass DDR5-7000 without stability issues.
If we are overclocking DDR5 kits at higher voltages, then we have to remember about a good airflow or even water cooling as DDR5 memory kits don’t like too high temperatures and start to generate errors faster than most DDR4 modules. Depending on many factors, memory modules may lose stability at higher frequencies and over 60°C. If we push the limits, we may see differences even at 40-50°C.
For daily overclocking, including games, I’m not recommending anything above 1.45V as the performance gain won’t be visible and some memory kits may generate random errors.
Below are typical temperatures with a standard PC airflow. You can expect better results with a direct airflow or additional chassis airflow. The temperature is still slightly lower than that of mentioned G.Skill or V-Color memory kits reviewed in the last weeks, but higher overclocking still requires additional cooling.
For the performance comparison tests, I’ve used MSI Z690 Unify-X. However, this motherboard doesn’t work with memory above DDR5-6800. I had to move to an additional setup based on ASUS Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi. The ASUS motherboard also isn’t the best but works at DDR5-7000. This was the tested limit of stability. I hope we can get something better with the upcoming AMD X670E motherboards.
Below results were stable in various benchmarks but were not tested in long stability tests. If you wish to use these settings, you may need to adjust some timings or voltages to make it work without issues.
DDR5-6800 CL30-39-39-32 1.50V
CL30 could work at DDR5-6800. CL28 couldn’t run up to 1.57V, so I skipped it. The performance gain wouldn’t be visible, so it’s not worth pushing the voltage higher. The tRCD and tRP timings run at 39, which is one lower than is typically required at this frequency. This suggests that once we get a better motherboard, then we can count on a higher frequency than on most Hynix-based kits.
DDR5-7000 CL32-40-40-38 1.50V
The memory scaling suggests that we could reach DDR5-7400 or more, but the motherboard can’t make more than DDR5-7000 on two memory slots. We could set a DDR5-7200 on a single slot but it gives us nothing as dual-channel is the desired and more performant configuration.
Our results are still great, and I’m sure many will be happy with such a high frequency. ADATA suggests that the XPG Caster will soon appear in stores at 7000MT/s, and with more relaxed timings than ours, but I haven’t seen it in stores yet.
I’m sure that some of our readers will have more luck with their motherboards and achieve even higher frequencies. Feel free to share your results on our forums.
ADATA XPG Caster is a well-designed memory kit. During the tests, there were no issues with the memory kit or its compatibility with motherboards. That is good news as not all memory kits have well-programmed XMP profiles. Also, the RGB was working without problems on ASUS and MSI motherboards. ADATA is one of the most popular brands, so it was expected. The new module design is great with the large light bars and should perfectly match any gaming PC or a more exotic modded rig.
The performance is exceptional, so I’m sure everyone will be satisfied on that front. Additionally, the high overclocking potential gives us a chance at even higher speeds and better performance. The ADATA XPG Caster 32GB DDR5-6400 kit can be found on Newegg (3rd party seller) for around $309.99 or less on Amazon ($299.99). It may not be cheap, but compared to other DDR5 kits, it’s a reasonable price. Considering market prices, DDR5-6400 can be a good investment as many of the lower frequency DDR5 memory kits are not significantly cheaper.
After testing, we can say the XPG Caster DDR5-6400 comes highly recommended for gamers and overclockers. If you want the highest frequency DDR5 at a reasonable price, then there are not many other options that can match the ADATA XPG Caster. I’m sure you will be happy with this memory kit.
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Bartosz Waluk – Woomack