Lexar ARES RGB DDR4 and DDR5 Desktop Memory

The other half of Lexar’s recently announced additions to their gaming lineup comes in the form of their Lexar ARES lineup for RAM. They have introduced new DDR3 and DDR5 RGB memory kits and I’ve got one of each in today. DDR5 prices have come down and both AMD and Intel have support for them but Intel still has the option to run DDR4 with their chipsets and of course, you have all of the older chipsets as well that need DDR4. So it’s great to see that Lexar hasn’t forgotten DDR4 this launch. They have had RGB kits in the past with their Hades lineup that I previously took a look at. Today I’m going to see what the ARES kits have to offer, let’s get to it!

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Viper Gaming Venom DDR5 RGB

Recently I have taken a look at a few of the stock speed JEDEC DDR5 kits as well as an overclocked 6400 MHz kit as well. With those I was impressed with just how much the memory speeds and timings affected our Z790 13900K test bench in a variety of tests and games. Viper Gaming, Patriot’s gaming brand, must have seen that and thought that 6400 MHz DDR5 were a little too slow for us because they sent over two of their Venom DDR5 RGB kits, one clocked at 7200 MHz and the other at 7400 MHz to check out. So today I’m going to take a look at what the Viper kits have to offer, check out the fancy lighting, then put both to the test in our benchmark suite to see how they compare to the previously tested kits.

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G.Skill Ripjaws S5 DDR5-6400 2x16

In recent years, for a lot of people, one of the biggest go-to suggestions for memory has been the G.Skill brand. They have been reliable, had great compatibility, have a lifetime warranty, and are almost always a reasonable option price-wise. Sadly we haven’t had too many in the office for review other than a few kits sent alongside launch kits. With DDR5 gaining traction and pricing coming down I’m excited to get a look at a kit that G.Skill sent over which is their Ripjaws S5 kit, and the model they sent over is the 6400 MT/s 2x16GB kit. Today I’m going to check out what the Ripjaw S5 kit has going on and then put it through a few tests to see how it performs then we can find out how it fits in the market price-wise. So let’s dive in!

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Crucial DDR5 5200 & 5600MT/s memory

With the initial launch of DDR5, the main kit you could find and what was also sent out from Intel in their launch kits was the 4800 MT/s kit from Crucial. While it isn’t a crazy overclocked kit with crazy looking heatspreaders, it was a simple kit that got the job done. Well, Crucial has expanded that lineup recently with 5200 MT/s and 5600 MT/s kits. They have the same simple styling but have stepped up the speeds while also offering a variety of densities. Today I’m going to check out both speeds in 16GB densities with 2 x 32GB kits to see how they compare with the original 4800 MT/s kit so let's dive in and check them out.

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Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition 2x16 3600MHz

I’m late to the party on this one but late this last fall Kingston expanded their DDR4 lineup of their gaming sub-brand FURY with a special edition to their FURY Beast DDR4 which features a bright white heat spreader and RGB lighting, both of which are now staples in what my niece calls the “streamer” style PC build. While DDR5 is growing in popularity with Intel and AMD's latest CPUs both supporting it. There are still people who are opting to go with DDR4 with Intel builds and older AMD chipsets which are still a much better value. So today I’m going to check out what the FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition is all about with their 3600 MHz 32GB kit.

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Project Icyu– Blue Iris Build Part 4

This fall I set out to upgrade our now-aged security camera server which over the years we have tripled the number of cameras that we were running and at the same time started upgrading their resolution as well. The gradual expansion and upgrading has pushed our once powerful system to its limits and beyond and has needed an upgrade for a few years now. Over the last few articles I have gone over the specific limitations we found with our old system and our new system that we call Icyu is all together except for one very important aspect, storage. I have been trying to decide what I’m going to go with and my decision paralysis has delayed the already previously delayed build even longer. So today I’m going to talk about what I’m going with, at least for now so I can get the system up and running and finally let our old system have some rest.

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Project Icyu– Blue Iris Build Part 3

That last time we worked on the Icyu project build, which is a rack-mounted upgrade to our Blue Iris security camera server, I put together our cooling and cleaned up our server rack. With that out of the way, it’s finally time to dive into the big hardware. So today I’m going to talk about what CPU I went with, which motherboard, and the memory we are going with and then I get it all installed. So let’s jump in and see what will be powering the new server and get things up and running.

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Project Icyu– Blue Iris Build Part 2

In our first look at our latest project build Project, Icyu which is a rack-mounted upgrade to our Blue Iris security camera server setup I dove into some of the issues that I’ve been running into and some of the goals for the new build. I also started putting the hardware together for the build with the case, hard drive storage, the power supply, and the rack rails and got all of that set up and installed in our server rack. Today I want to continue on that and get into cooling and noise by checking out what I’m going with to keep the CPU cool, the case cool, and hopefully keeping noise levels for the system overall down. To do that I’ve partnered up with Cooler Master and Noctua which we have worked with a lot in the past.

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Project Icyu– Blue Iris Build Part 1

If you have been a reader for a while now you may have noticed that while I do sometimes love smart home products and some of the cloud-based services that go along with them. I have a strong hate for anything that requires a monthly payment and I try to host as much as I can on our own rather than have potentially important data in someone else’s hands. I’ve moved things like Google Photos over to our own storage and even before all of the cloud-based camera services came out we were running our own IP cameras with a basic server running on my main PC. Eventually, to take the load off of that I used a small SFF system that I had to run Blue Iris and then stored the data on a NAS. With me trying to tidy up our server rack I have been hoping to get that server rack mounted but I have also been running into issues with our current setup in just about every way possible so it’s high time that I stop putting this off and rebuild our security server, welcome to Project Icyu.

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V-color Skywalker Plus DDR4 2x32GB 4000MHz

Maybe it's because I just finished watching the entire Star Wars movie lineup after finishing the Obi-Wan TV series but the name Skywalker evokes a little bit of nostalgia and is the last thing I would see as the model name for memory. But that is the name that V-color went with. We haven’t had anything in the office from V-Color but I have been seeing coverage about them pop up for the last few years and the company itself has been around going back to 2006. The Skywalker Plus lineup features heatspreaders with silver or golden plating on them which isn’t new but is rare to see and always stands out so I’m excited to take a closer look and see how they perform. Let’s dive in.

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Viper Venom RGB DDR5 2x16GB 6200MHz

With Intel’s 12th generation Core CPU launch alongside the new CPUs, CPU Socket, and Motherboards/Chipset it also brought DDR5 into the mainstream market. Initially, DDR5 was hard to come by, but things have gotten better and along with that we are seeing some of the companies who didn’t have memory available at the launch getting their kits introduced. A good example of that is Patriot with their Viper Gaming lineups first DDR5 kits. They have named the new kits Venom which goes well when you combine it with the Viper branding. They have standard and RGB kits available and the kit that they sent over for us to check out is the Viper Venom RGB in a 2x16GB configuration running at 6200 MHz.

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Lexar Hades RGB DDR4 32GB 3600MHz Kit

Lexar is well known in the storage market, especially with their flash products and more recently with their SSDs and portable storage. But it was only last year that they jumped into the memory market with laptop memory. Well, this year they are expanding that and are getting into the desktop side of things. They have introduced their first gaming memory with a normal and RGB kit as well as a simpler standard memory kit without a heatspreader as well. Today I’m going to check out both the new Hades gaming-focused 32GB kit with RGB as well as take a look at the 3200 MHz UDIMM kit and see what Lexar has been up to. Let’s check them out!

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Project Build Crushed Update - Part 3

Late last year I set out to update one of our project builds, specifically the build that I have been using as my main PC. I was fighting performance issues with the latest games. But more importantly, things were starting to break down and I had been ignoring them. I had a hard drive that was making noise and an SSD that was slow compared to modern drives and that wasn’t large enough for my needs. Cooling was noisy and I found out when digging into things that the heat contributed to the hard drive failure as well. I was also dealing with weird network hiccups that seemed to indicate a motherboard issue or a PSU problem so in past episodes I updated the cooling, the PSU, the video card, and all of the storage. But that left the main issues with the CPU performance and the motherboard issues, plus not having as much ram as I would have liked for Microsoft Flight Sim. Well, I’ve put it off a lot longer than I should have, but today I’m going to update those last few areas.

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Project Data Hoarder – TrueNAS CORE Build Part 5 – Problems and upgrades

In my previous coverage on our TrueNAS CORE build, I got the entire system together but I skipped talking about how I hooked up the 8 SATA drives to our mATX motherboard. I had a plan when going in, but sometimes things don’t go the way you had planned. In fact, my problems went even beyond that. So today I want to run through what went wrong with our original plan and then our backup plan as well and go over what I ended up doing. When getting things running I also ended up adding an upgrade as well. So let's get up to date on the TrueNAS CORE servers current setup and why!

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Project Data Hoarder – TrueNAS CORE Build Part 4 – PSU, Rails, and Installation

The last time we took a look at our Project Data Hoarder build I went through what we were using for the CPU and motherboard as well as cooling and ram to get all of that sorted out. We are down to just the last few components to button things up. So today I’m going to talk about what power supply I went with, the rack rails, and getting things installed and set up. So let’s dive into our TrueNAS CORE build as I work out ways to use some older hardware to get an open-source NAS up and running. The goal is to finally condense some of my home and office storage needs down into fewer devices, get them tucked away into my rack, and learn about TrueNAS CORE which was formerly known as FreeNAS.

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Project Data Hoarder – TrueNAS CORE Build Part 3

Well, I’ve been busy and because of that projects like our TrueNAS Core build quickly get put aside for other things. But it is still important. The last time we took a look at it I went over the storage options that we went with. Well in order for everything to work, I need processing power. So today I’m going to go over what I’m planning on using for the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and for some of our cooling. The original goal for the build was to put to use some older hardware combined with new components on wear items like the storage into a new rack-mounted case. So some of this hardware isn’t going to be cutting edge, but that’s the point of a NAS build like this right? Putting your old PC hardware to use to get more life out of it.

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Project Data Hoarder – TrueNAS CORE Build Part 2

Late last fall I set out to finally make a few big upgrades to our network and storage which was long overdue. In fact, around that time and over the winter I have had one NAS die and I’ve had 4 different hard drives and one SSD die. So saying it was overdue is an understatement and frankly dealing with each of those drives has been a big reminder that no matter how safe you might think you are being with your data that you most likely should be doing more if you don’t want to lose it. Anyhow our TrueNAS CORE build saw a big delay while waiting on the final parts. There are shortages all over the place, not just on the CPU and GPU side of things but today I can finally get back to work on the build. Today I want to go over all of the storage components. These are the most important part of a NAS and depending on how many drives you have planned they are most likely also going to be the most expensive part as well. So let’s check out what I went with for data storage and the OS drive.

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Gelid Solutions Astra ARGB Extensions Cables

When it comes to crazy RGB accessories for your PC full RGB extension cables always top the list. They are bright and in your face and if you hate RGB then they are exactly what you think of when complaining about it and if you love RGB it might just be your next pickup. I took a look at the Strimer Plus set last year which was Lian Li’s second RGB extension set. Our friends at Gelid Solutions which we haven’t seen around for a while recently jumped into the market with their own addressable RGB cable extensions that they call the Astra. Rather than doing the same thing as Lian Li, the Astra cable extensions have a weaved design that makes for a very unique and interesting effect. So today I’m going to check them out and see if they are worth the pickup for those of you who love your lighting.

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All Asus ROG Build

I think just about everyone who builds their own PC eventually gets comfortable with a few different brands. They have a good experience along with having friends or family have similar experiences and then you start to favor a few brands over others when given the choice. I know in my builds there are a few that I tend to go with, it's almost like a superstition. For the most part, though, your PC is going to have components from a variety of companies, but recently a few of the brands have been branching out a lot to the point where you can nearly build an entire PC using just their components. Asus being one of those companies has in the last few years gotten into the PSU market, water cooling, and cases as well. I thought it might be fun to put together an all Asus build using the ROG Strix Helios, so let's see how it goes!

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Project Data Hoarder – TrueNAS CORE Build Part 1

Most people store all of their data on their PC or maybe on an external drive and for a long time that was all I did as well. Eventually, because we have multiple devices on our network and because I would reinstall windows often I moved my important files onto the network with a basic server and later I moved to a NAS. But as a data hoarder, I eventually couldn’t fit everything together and split my movies and TV show backups on to their own NAS and everything else on what we call the collective. This has worked well, but our server rack has become a mess with three tower NAS taking up too much space as well as other makeshift servers. I’ve been needing to clean things up for a long time and to start that off I am finally building a rack-mounted NAS. It won’t combine all three of the current NAS, but it will get 2/3 and allow me to also get to know TrueNAS CORE which I’ve heard a lot about. This is a project build, so you can expect to see a few articles going over what is going into the build as well as the build and performance. But today I’m getting started by taking a look at the case itself, which is the Silverstone RM21-308. Let’s get started!

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