You can do a lot to upgrade a PC but some are less simple and much more costly than others. For example, you might want the latest CPU but that typically involves replacing your motherboard too and potentially a bunch of other things. You can upgrade your HDD to an SSD - that’s always a great one, though with the compromise that you trade-off disk capacity unless you’re prepared to really burst the purse strings.
There's one upgrade that is always effective, and which is easily affordable, and delivers a huge step up in performance compared to its price, and that’s to upgrade your RAM.
The XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB DDR4 16GB RAM kit, made of two 8GB modules, does exactly this - it takes your DDR4-compatible system, anything since 2014, and gives you more capacity and faster memory transfer speeds too. In practical terms, it means you can do more things at once and your apps and games run faster, smoother, and better with the CPU getting information sooner and swapping out to disk much less.
The XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB DDR4 16GB kit comes in two variants - there's the 3200MHz kit which is backwards compatible for motherboards supporting RAM speeds from 2133MHz to 3200MHz, and the 3600MHz kit which similarly is backwards compatible for motherboards supporting 2133MHz to 3600MHz.
iTWire tried out the 3600MHz kit for ourselves; it comes with two 8GB sticks of dual-channel DDR4 RAM that easily slot into your motherboard. This is an upgrade you can easily do yourself, even if you’ve never tinkered with the innards of your PC before:
- Shut down your PC and remove the power cable.
- Remove the case.
- Before you touch anything inside the case, be extremely careful to discharge yourself of any static electricity. Touch any conductive material not isolated from the ground such as the screw on a light switch’s panel, or hold a coin and touch it to something metal.
- Find the RAM slots. Ideally, you will have spare, unused RAM slots, but you might also need to eject current older, slower RAM. Either way, the RAM slots will have a hinged lock on either end; open these. If there is RAM to remove it should be lifted out directly upwards once the hinges are open.
- Line the new RAM up with the RAM slots; you'll see it can only go one direction.
- Push it in firmly with even pressure. You should hear and feel it click into place.
- The hinges may have automatically locked onto the RAM when pushing it in, but give it a quick check to be sure.
- Plug power back in and boot your PC.
- Check the BIOS, or any 'about' / 'system info' screen on your computer, to be sure it is showing the amount of RAM you expect. If so, great! Put the case back on, but if not, shut down again and check the RAM is definitely in place.
Being RGB RAM, not only does the XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RAM run well and let you game for longer, but it also looks awesome. You can customise the colour and lighting effects without any special cables; it’s built-in to the RAM itself. You can control it via ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync, and ASRock Polychrome Sync software.
It's a solid upgrade, giving iTWire's test PC a new edge in gaming, along with other things too - never ever did editing spreadsheets and creating presentations look so good and feel so smooth.
The EPIC-X RGB DDR4 Silver 3200MHz and 3600MHz are available throughout Australia and New Zealand now for the following RRP:
- EPIC-X RGB DDR4 Silver 3600MHz – 8GB - AU$59.00 and NZ$69.00
- EPIC-X RGB DDR4 Silver 3600MHz - 16GB (2 x 8GB) - AU$109.00 and NZ$129.00
- EPIC-X RGB DDR4 Silver 3200MHz - AU$69.00 and NZ$89.00
- EPIC-X RGB DDR4 Silver 3200MHz - 16GB (2 x 8GB) - AU$119.00 and NZ$139.00