We are already half a year after the Alder Lake-S premiere, which brought to homes DDR5 memory kits. The new RAM promises higher performance and many other improvements, but so far, it’s not so apparent to many users. The first generation of DDR5 memory controllers and various motherboard problems limited the expected performance gain of the new RAM. In addition, the high price of DDR5 and new motherboards didn’t convince everyone to move to the new platform. Today, are many more options in stores, and prices have gone down significantly as time has passed. Some popular brands are still holding back with their DDR5 memory kits, while others are releasing new series. This review will present the V-Color Manta, which was just released to stores.
V-Color isn’t a popular brand in the US but is gaining fans with a balanced price and good quality. I had a chance to review previous memory kits of this manufacturer, and I’m glad to see how the brand has been improving over the last few years. V-Color also isn’t afraid to release high-frequency memory kits, but sadly, most of them we can see only on the motherboards’ RAM compatibility lists. Enough with the introduction; let’s look at the reviewed memory kit from the Manta series.
Specifications and Features
The below key features come from V-Color, and you can find them also on the product’s website.
The V-Color Manta XPrism contains two 16GB memory modules. Modules have programmed one XMP profile, which works without issues on higher series Z690 motherboards. I had no problems with the profile on MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X and ASUS Strix Z690I-Gaming WIFI. However, Gigabyte Z690 Master couldn’t handle the DDR5-6200. Problems were also at lower frequencies, as even manual settings at more than DDR5-5600 couldn’t work on this motherboard. Since there is a long list of concerns with Gigabyte and various DDR5 memory kits, we can’t blame V-Color for this situation. We can only hope that Gigabyte releases new BIOS that fixes any compatibility issues with V-Color and other brands of RAM.
Below are screenshots from the ASRock Timing Configurator with a more detailed timings list and additional confirmations in CPU-Z. As we can see, V-Color Manta uses Hynix IC. Hynix IC overclocks high and heats produce less heat than the Samsung IC, so promises good results. This is excellent info for all who are into overclocking.
V-Color Manta XPrism memory modules are rated to work at 1.30V, which is relatively low for DDR5-6200. Brands like ADATA or Team Group typically use 1.35V for this frequency. The only other memory kit that runs at DDR5-6200 1.30V and is available in stores is Corsair Dominator Platinum. You can see it in the performance comparison in this review.
Packaging and Product Photos
The Manta XPrism arrived in a retail package which is a flat box. The size is about the same as other high-end RAM kits. The kit includes additional dummy modules, which is a rare sight on the market but considering DDR5 prices, it can be a good idea.
V-Color Manta XPrism memory modules have a unique design. Especially the light bar is in an original shape that we can find only in V-Color RAM. A not much different design has DDR4 modules, and I won’t hide I was a bit disappointed that V-Color didn’t make more significant changes.
Two aluminum heatsinks protect memory modules with clearly marked product numbers, general clock, and voltage. The XPrism logo is worse visible because of black paint on a black heatsink.
What is more important for most users is how memory modules look during work. Below is the test rig used for this review and the V-Color Manta XPrism. The RGB illumination perfectly matches other components like Raijintek cooling or fan LEDs.
Dummy modules were nothing interesting for a long time because RAM wasn’t so expensive, and we always needed more RAM. Since DDR5 is primarily available in 32GB kits, barely anyone needs more and could save some money. If we wish for a nice 4-stick set of glowing RAM, dummy modules seem like a great option.
Dummy modules are marked with the “RGB non-DRAM” sign and, as we can see, are using only four pins to power up RGB illumination and synchronization. Then all modules are installed on the motherboard. It’s hard to tell which one is real RAM and the dummy. Below you can see how all modules look on the Gigabyte Z690 Master motherboard.
The RGB illumination works without issues on ASUS, ASRock, MSI, and Biostar motherboards. Gigabyte isn’t officially mentioned, but it works with the latest software updates dated April 20. I give this specific date as it didn’t work on Gigabyte Z690 Master some days before. Keeping everything up to date is essential on new motherboards.
We can adjust various modes and manually change each LED on modules, as you can see above. The Z690 Master sees both RAM modules and dummy modules.
Additional option – M.2 PCIe Fulfill Kit
For those who love RGB more than functionality, V-Color designed M.2 PCIe Fulfill Kit. In short, it’s an M.2 dummy module that gives us RGB illumination. It works about the same way as dummy RAM modules. We can install it in any M.2 PCIe socket and control RGB from the motherboard’s software. If the motherboard doesn’t support the module, it will run at the default rainbow mode.
The M.2 Fulfill Kit isn’t included in the Manta XPrism package, but V-Color added it to our review kit.
The Fulfill Kit works with the most popular motherboard brands. However, it may require software updates. You cannot use your motherboard’s integrated heatsinks with this kit.
|Motherboard||MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X BIOS A31.U2|
||ASRock Phantom Gaming RX6800XT 16GB|
|OS Storage||Silicon Power XS70 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD|
||Corsair HX1200, 1200W 80+ Platinum|
|Used memory kits
|Windows 11 Pro x64 with the latest updates|
Tests were performed on popular synthetic benchmarks and benchmarks included in popular games. The list consists of tests that react well to memory performance. Older popular benchmarks and tests based on pure CPU performance were skipped as we wouldn’t see any difference.
For readers’ convenience, I added all overclocking results 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
Stability at Rated Speed
The XMP profile has been tested in AIDA64 System Stability Test, and it passed without problems. The same as all performance tests, also this test was performed on the MSI Z690 Unify-X motherboard.
AIDA64 Cache & Memory Benchmark
AIDA64 offers us the most popular synthetic memory benchmark. Results are easy to read and as we can see, it’s scaling great with memory frequency. The best results are on overclocked V-Color memory, but it’s not a surprise. The XMP profile results are about as high as that of the more expensive Corsair Dominator Platinum. Both V-Color and Corsair DDR5-6200 memory kits have similar XMP profiles, so it was expected.
PCMark 10 uses popular applications to perform tests close to daily tasks. Here the results are, for all intents and purposes, the same.
3DMark – Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
In 3DMark series benchmarks, V-Color Manta performs similarly other high-end memory kits.
3DMark Time Spy
There’s a trend you should be spot out in Time Spy and Fire Strike series benchmarks. Even in tests at lower display details, all results are close to each other. I assume that overclockers taking a part in competitive benchmarking would see it as a performance gain but all other users won’t notice anything.
3DMark Time Spy Extreme
3DMark Time Spy Extreme
Same thing in Timespy Extreme, with 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.
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark
Final Fantasy XV
In most tests, we can see the performance scaling the most with the memory frequency. It’s clearly visible in the Final Fantasy XV Benchmark.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
In games, everything looks a bit better. We can see the FPS gain with higher memory frequency at a lower display resolution. Even though it wouldn’t change much at over 200 FPS, the highest result is nine FPS (around 4%) faster than the lowest.
Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6
In Far Cry 6, all we could gain from overclocking was 1-2FPS. It’s not worth the hassle and time to overclock and test stability.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Assasin’s Creed: Valhalla
In the last test, results are so close that the XMP profile even reaches the performance of much higher overclocked settings.
All the results are great, and the only thing that seems disappointing is how the performance of RAM affects current software. Considering the market prices, it’s worth buying a higher memory kit, around DDR5-6000 or 6200.
V-Color RAM has two advantages over most DDR5 memory kits on the market. One is the Hynix IC which is the best in the current generation of DDR5. The second is Richtek PMIC that most popular motherboards support, allowing users to set higher voltages.
Temperatures and Voltages
Since we are on Overclockers, I wasn’t limiting myself with low voltages and went up to 1.55V. As long as the airflow in the PC case is good enough, the RAM should still be stable. We have to remember that depending on many factors, memory modules may lose stability at higher frequencies and over 65°C. If you are thinking about high RAM frequencies, I’m not recommending anything above 1.45V without a directly blowing fan or water cooling. It won’t damage the RAM but may cause stability issues and waste time during stability tests.
On the test platform, there were no problems with stability up to DDR5-6800. The V-Color Manta worked surprisingly well, even up to 75°C using 1.55V. On the other hand, I was expecting lower temperatures as the Corsair memory kit could keep the temperature about five degrees Celcius lower. V-Color results are closer to what G.Skill offers.
The motherboard architecture and shorter traces are causing better signals which help in RAM overclocking. Anyone who buys a DDR5-6200 memory kit will run it at XMP settings or try to overclock, so I skipped lower frequencies that would be a step back from the XMP settings. The V-Color RAM also overclocks excellent, so why hold it back. However, I had to admit that to run this memory at more than DDR5-6400, you will need a top overclocking motherboard, and the best if it’s one of the models with two memory slots. My weapon of choice is MSI Z690 Unify-X. It’s not the best but one of the better motherboards on the market. My motherboard is limited to DDR5-6800 on two memory slots, so sadly, I won’t show any DDR5-7000+ results even though with the RAM scaling, I’m sure it can reach even more.
DDR5-6400 CL28-37-37-40 1.50V
At DDR5-6400, I could set CL28 which seems pretty impressive considering the RAM the CL36 rating. Results are also pretty good, but the motherboard is causing them worse than expected as RTL adjustment doesn’t work. ASUS motherboards should give lower latency.
DDR5-6600 CL30-38-38-44 1.50V
DDR5-6600 also wasn’t hard. Results in tests are slightly better than at DDR5-6400. We can set CL36 at 1.35V or go down to CL30 at 1.50V.
DDR5-6800 CL30-40-40-48 1.55V
DDR5-6800 could also run at CL30, but I had to set higher voltages. At this point, I would expect closer to flat 50ns latency. However, the current motherboard’s BIOS doesn’t let me adjust some settings. I will try to work some more on the V-Color Manta RAM as it’s very promising.
The V-Color Manta XPrism is a well-designed memory series. I would change some single things as I’m not a fan of the design, but the list isn’t long. For sure, the list of advantages is much longer and should convince users who until now were using only the most popular brands. The Manta XPrism performs as well as Corsair or G.Skill. It also overclocks the same, or even better, as the Corsair memory kit used in the comparison required higher voltages to reach the same frequencies as V-Color.
V-Color could work on the heatsinks or maybe different thermal pads, as competitive memory kits keep lower temperatures. It doesn’t matter at XMP settings but helps in SFF builds or overclocking. During all tests, there were no problems with stability or compatibility. The XMP profile works without issues on ASUS and MSI motherboards. It’s great news as we hear about various issues with competitive brands.
For modders or all those who love RGB illumination, V-color has dummy modules to fill the spaces a two-stick kit leaves open. Barely any brand offers kits with RGB dummy modules while they lower the price of the 4-slot RGB setup. Since I mentioned the price, the 32GB, two-module DDR5-6200 kit is $399.99, while the kit with additional two dummy modules is around $459,99. Even though it’s not cheap, it’s currently one of the best deals. The DDR5-6400 kits will cost $140 more in each version.
V-Color Manta XPrism 32GB DDR5-6200 CL36 memory kit is clearly worth the recommendation as a fast and well-designed DDR5 memory kit that overclocks high and does it in an RGB style.