CORSAIR recently joined the trend of memory makers to tease its upcoming DDR5 lineup, which looks to be a combination of the flagship Dominator Platinum RGB series and recently released VENGEANCE RGB RT and RS lineup, henceforth referred to as Vengeance RGB RT (or RS) for convenience. These seem to be marketed more with aesthetics in mind as one last hurrah for DDR4, but also serve as design language models on how the brand's DDR5 SKUs will look. I got one of the Vengeance RGB RT kits from CORSAIR for a slightly different reason, which you will see soon enough, and decided to do a quick look article showing off the lighting options since we otherwise had not covered these ourselves.
Okay, that is somewhat of a white lie since TechPowerUp did have a news post talking about the launch in late August. The Vengeance RGB RT is a slightly more premium line, having 10-zone RGB lighting vs. the six on the Vengeance RGB RS. I have a black version of the former, but it is also available in white for those who would like to add to their all-white build. Once again, this is not a full review, so don't expect detailed performance testing or overclocking, either. I have the 32 GB (8 GB x 4) in the 3200 MHz/C16 flavor, so let's begin the quick look now!
I suppose I knew going in that CORSAIR will use its lime green/yellow hybrid color with black on the packaging, as with just about everything from the company in the past year, but at least it's smaller in size, and the yellow is restricted to the tiny top and bottom sides only. The front is adorned with triangles, which has been part of CORSAIR's product ID recently, with relevant information on the front including the company and product name, a rendered memory stick all lit up, and salient features shown on the corners. This continues on the back and sides with more information and marketing features laid out, and seals on the top or bottom keeping the box closed and contents in place during transit. Open it up and you see two sets of plastic blister boxes along with paperwork on top, including a quick start guide, with an online copy found here, as well as safety information noting that these have a limited lifetime warranty.
The size of the box slightly depends on the type of kit you get, with a dual channel SKU being thinner and only having one set of the two-pack plastic blister inlay. This is a quad-channel kit; thus, all four sticks come neatly packaged and protected in sets of two you can use in dual channel mode, too. I mentioned above that I have the black version of this kit, and CORSAIR makes these available in white to match the company's other recently announced white-colored PC DIY components ranging from fans, cases, power supplies, coolers, and even the custom cooling Hydro X series. These memory sticks do remind me of the older Vengeance RGB line, updated with CORSAIR's modern design language. There are more triangles, but they are subtle. Aesthetically, this is quite clean, and, importantly, shorter than the flagship Dominator Platinum RGB lineup for fit compatibility with air coolers. However, it's not a low-profile set by any means, so you may have to go the simpler, non-RGB route instead.
The heatspreader is functional, with thermal pads underneath touching the flash memory modules and relaying heat to the aluminium surface. Don't expect fins for added heat transfer area, as DDR4 in the RGB variant won't allow or need it in this more mainstream set. The aluminium heatspreaders get anodized in the colorway matching the black or white options, with a mix of gunmetal gray in a brushed finish between a more matte black that gets the expected small triangles. "Vengeance" is spelled out in the middle on one side, with certification information on the other. Whether or not this is a Vengeance RGB RT or RS model is clarified in the top-left corner of one side, once again in a fairly subtle manner. The real distintion comes with the lighting, with a frosted white plastic diffuser with ten individually addressable RGB LEDs vs. the six on the less-expensive Vengeance RGB RS. There is a CORSAIR "Sails" logo in white centrally, with more triangles on either side.
Customization of the CORSAIR Vengeance RGB RT is best done with the company's iCUE software suite, which I have described in more detail in keyboard reviews before. As it pertains to this memory kit, there are some global shortcuts and dashboard items that can be placed. The DIMM setup can be customized based on layout, with iCUE recognizing all four installed sticks by default in a quad-channel configuration. If they happen to be installed in a different order, the individual sticks can be moved around, too. This came in handy, as you will see soon. The next two tabs are all about lighting, split up into software mode for extreme configurable, multi-layered lighting with iCUE running, and hardware lighting that can be saved onboard and is slightly more limited. The various static and dynamic effects line up nicely with the rest of CORSAIR's ecosystem, and Lighting Link is what you are looking for to have everything coordinated. There are thermal sensors onboard each stick, which have a readout in the Cooling tab and can be set up as a dashboard item.
I did appreciate the ability to have the LEDs function as an alert system, too. They can be configured based on RAM temperature, to set all fans connected to iCUE to 100%, turn all RGB LEDs connected to iCUE to a color of your choice, run an executable file of your choosing, and shut down the PC itself. The default temperature here is 70 °C, which is probably hot enough to cause more issues than the worry why your RAM is that hot, though it is nice to see anyway. The final set of options includes checking for a firmware update, of which there was none at the time of testing, and a global brightness slider going from 0 to 100% in increments of 1%. If you wish to have the LEDs turn off when the PC is in sleep mode, make sure the hardware lighting effects are set accordingly or just deleted altogether.
This is why I meant having the hardware lighting on accidentally might be an issue, as they are bright enough to temporarily blind you if you are close enough and don't expect it. All the photos and videos above are taken at night, with one deliberately with added exposure to show how bright it gets in practice relative to any ambient light from the rest of the system. The diffuser works well enough for the individual LEDs only to be noticeable in a slow/medium speed for dynamic effects. The transitions are otherwise quite smooth, with consecutive lighting coming off impressive in this set of 40 LEDs even before synchronization with the rest of the system. Notice how sticks two and three were slightly off in the first video, which I easily fixed by re-arranging the order in iCUE. Following this, everything was peachy to where I personally prefer the steady lighting compared to the CORSAIR Dominator Platinum RGB set I otherwise use.
I already had XMP enabled in my personal system I use these in, having replaced the older memory with these after a long-due system shutdown. There was no issue getting the XMP configuration to run on this Z390/Intel Core-i9 9900K system, with the MSI Z390 MEG ACE in turn having plenty of tuning and OC features in the BIOS. CORSAIR markets these as optimized for Ryzen, but you would arguably be better served with a higher frequency kit capable of 3600-4200 MT/s. 3600 MHz kits are available, too, so consider those if you don't plan on overclocking yourself. No such limitations with Intel, where in the absence of any Infinity Fabric restraints, you can go as high in frequency as is stable with the timings. By default, this is a CAS 16-20-20-38 kit, which won't break any HWBot records. There is scope for tightening the timings further, and certainly to go higher in frequency as well. I hit 3600 18-22-22-42 quite easily, making this kit effectively the same as the more expensive kit that costs $20 more. Performance was in line with other 3200 C16 kits, also when it comes to AIDA64 read/write tests, SuperPi 4/16/32M, and wPrime.
As this is written, the CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB RT 32 GB 3200 MHz C16 kit (CMN32GX4M4Z3200C16) sells for $209.99 from the CORSAIR web store for customers in the US. There are a plethora of other kit options in dual, quad, or octa-channel configurations and black or white, with pricing ranging from $105 for a 16 GB dual-channel 3200 MHz C16 kit to $1880 for a 256 GB octa-channel 3600 MHz C18 kit. Pricing for DDR4 is fairly stable now, after years of a rollercoaster ride, but expect pricing to drop before increasing again as DDR5 enters our lives. Speaking of which, I imagine the upcoming CORSAIR Vengeance DDR5 set will look similar to these, so this hopefully gives you a better idea of what to expect there, too.