Sometime in mid-Q2, Colorful launched its CVN Guardian DDR5 memory series. It’s designed to work with the latest 12th gen Intel Core processors and the upcoming Ryzen 7000 series. Colorful is not a major player in the DRAM industry. If I am not mistaken, they only started during the DDR4 times. They do make striking graphics cards. The CVN Guardian is the company’s first DDR5 memory series featuring a silver-color scheme and uses SK Hynix’s DRAM modules. We have here the CVN Guardian DDR5-6000MHz CL36 to test. It’s currently the fastest memory stick Colorful has. Let’s find out how it performs in our review below.
Colorful CVN Guardian DDR5-6000MHz CL36 32GB Memory Review
As I mentioned above, the CVN Guardian is Colorful’s first DDR5 memory series. It works with the latest 12th gen Intel CPU platform and the upcoming Ryzen 7000 Zen4 platform as well. Aesthetically speaking, the CVN Guardian DDR5 memory series was designed to complement Colorful’s CVN FROZEN series motherboards.
As of today, the memory kit is only available in 16GB capacity per stick and memory speeds of DDR5-4800MHz, 5600MHz, and 6000MHz. According to the company, the CVN Guardian DDR5 memory is “rigorously tested to guarantee stability and durability and it also passed through a 48-hour stability test”.
I haven’t seen a list of compatible motherboards, but Colorful says that they worked closely with other major motherboard manufacturers for compatibility. I haven’t tested the memory sticks we have here with various Z690 motherboards (yet), but I didn’t encounter any problem when I tested it with the Asus Maximus HERO Z690 motherboard.
Below are the specs of the CVN Guardian DDR5 provided by Colorful.
Packaging and Closer Look
Color sells the CVN Guardian DDR5 memory in single-module packages. Meaning, it’s sold per stick. So, if you want a 32GB (dual channel) memory, you’ll have to get two of these. Currently, Colorful only offers a 16GB memory stick. There’s no 8GB or 32GB stick. Also, all of the CVN Guardian memory sticks have RGB lighting. There’s no non-RGB variant.
Aesthetically speaking, the CVN Guardian has a silver color theme with some accents and a couple of fighter jet icons on both sides. Colorful also has silver-themed motherboards, like the CVN Z690 Gaming Frozen and CVN B660M Gaming Frozen. This memory kit was primarily designed to complement the motherboards. But generally speaking, this would also look good on white-themed motherboards as well.
According to Colorful, the CVN Guardian DDR5 memory is “designed for gamers and enthusiasts with its silver-colored high-performance aluminum alloy heatsink with an RGB lightbar that will fit any gaming PC setup”. RGB lighting can be customized and synchronized using the iGame Center app. Although, personally, I am not a fan of installing a lot of apps, just to control the RGB lighting of each component. Hopefully, it would work with the motherboard’s software to control the lighting. Although that’s a case-to-case basis and sometimes the motherboard’s app doesn’t work well with some memory kits.
Here’s what the RGB lighting on the CVN Guardian DDR5 looks like. The cutouts on the edges of the memory sticks give it a bit of an aggressive or gamery look. But the RGB lighting is not the brightest or most saturated we have seen. I’m not sure how many RGB LEDs they used on each stick or the type of the LEDs, but I’m sure it’s not on the level of Corsair’s Capellix RGB LEDs. Those Capellix are really bright, saturated, and colorful.
Let’s find out how it performs…
Test System Used
In testing the CVN Guardian DDR5-6000MHz 32GB (2x16GB) memory, I’m using a Z690 motherboard powered by an Intel Core i7-12700K. Below are the rest of the specifications of the system:
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro 64bit|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-12700K|
|CPU Cooler||MSI MEG CORELIQUID S360|
|Motherboard||Asus ROG Maximus Z690 HERO|
|Memory||Colorful CVN Guardian DDR5-6000MHz 16GB x2|
|Graphics Card||MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ti SURPIM X|
|OS Drive||MSI Spatium M470 1TB Gen4 SSD|
|Power Supply||Seasonic Prime 850W Titanium|
|Chassis||Thermaltake Core P5|
I included a DDR4-4000MHz memory kit on the graph for comparison. Since it is a DDR4 memory kit, I have to use a different motherboard for that one. I used MSI’s MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4 motherboard for the Klevv Cras XR RGB DDR4-4000MHz. The rest of the components used (CPU, graphics card, etc,) are the same.
Colorful CVN Guardian DDR5-6000MHz CL36 Benchmarks
AIDA64 Memory Benchmark Results
The CVN Guardian is the second fastest DDR5 memory kit I have in terms of clock speed. The highest clock speed I have so far is the Viper Venom RGB DDR5 with a clock speed of 6200MHz. I am expecting that the CVN Guardian would be slightly slower than the DDR5-6200MHz memory kit considering the clock speed. However, when it comes to latency, the CVN Guardian DDR5 memory has the lowest among the DDR5 kits I have.
Cinebench R23 Benchmark
Cinebench R23 is primarily a CPU benchmark. The performance differences between these memory kits are very small and negligible. It means that when it comes to CPU-intensive workloads, there won’t be any significant performance difference regardless of the memory speed.
In this test, the CVN Guardian is in the second position, but generally speaking, the performance difference is so small that it’s basically negligible.
3DMark Benchmark Suite
Some of you might be wondering if there’s any benefit of a faster DDR5 memory when it comes to gaming. Well, as you can see from the results above, there’s not much difference at all. My DDR4-4000 memory kit can keep up with the DDR5 memory kits.
However, I noticed that the DDR5-6000MHz is performing quite remarkably, perhaps due to its lower latency of CL36. Although, I am not quite sure what happened in the Fire Strike benchmark. It seems the CVN Guardian performed not so well in this test. But for the rest of the tests, it performed excellently.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Benchmark
I didn’t test a bunch of games since the results would be more or less similar. As you have seen from the 3D Mark benchmark results, the difference between each memory kit isn’t that huge. But it does scale consistently. The higher the clock speed and the lower the latency of the memory kit tends to perform better.
I tested the memory kits using the Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s built-in benchmark since it’s very consistent. Colorful’s CVN Guardian DDR5-6000 CL36 memory offered an identical result with Patriot’s Viper Venom DDR5-6200 CL40 kit. It’s also very similar to ADATA’s XPG Lancer RGB which has a slower clock speed of DDR5-5200 and a slightly higher latency of CL38.
The fps difference between the DDR4-4000 memory kit and the DDR5-6000 is roughly around 8% to 9%. Whether or not it’s significant is up for you to decide. One thing I can say though, the price difference between a DDR4 memory kit and a DDR5 memory kit is quite significant and substantial, at least in today’s market.
PCMark 10 Benchmark
Last but not the least, I tested the memory kits using the PCMark 10 benchmark test. This test is a comprehensive set of tests that covers a wide range of activities from everyday productivity tasks to demanding work with digital media content. It’s primarily divided into three categories: content creation, productivity, and essentials.
Surprisingly, the CVN Guardian DDR5-6000MHz CL36 outperformed the DDR6-6200 CL40 memory kit in this test. However, like what we saw in the results above, the difference isn’t that significant. I guess, having a lower latency is (still) better than clocking a memory a few hundreds of megahertz faster.
Pricing and Availability
The Colorful CVN Guardian DDR5 memory is available in 16GB DDR5-4800MHz for $169 MSRP; 16GB DDR5-5600MHz for $239 MSRP; and 16GB DDR5-6000MHz for $279 MSRP, in single-module packages. According to Colorful, it’s now available in select regions and partner resellers. But I don’t see it listed on Amazon or Newegg yet at the time of publishing this review.
Check DDR5-6000MHz memory kits‘ latest pricing and availability on Amazon.com here.
Colorful CVN Guardian DDR5-6000MHz Memory Review Conclusion
The Colorful CVN Guardian DDR5 memory is the second fastest memory kit that I have tested, in terms of clock speed. It’s just 200MHz slower than the Viper Venom RGB DDR5-6200MHz kit. However, the CVN Guardian has the advantage when it comes to its latency, which is only CL36. So far, this is the only DDR5 memory I have with the lowest latency. It doesn’t have the tightest timings though, since there are other DDR5 memory kits with CL 36-36-36-36 timings.
When it comes to performance, I think Colorful’s CVN Guardian performed remarkably well. It’s one of the fastest DDR5 I have tested and regardless of how it looks, I think it performed well based on its specifications alone. Speaking of how it looks, the CVN Guardian is more suited to white-themed builds or motherboards with a white or silver color scheme. Although, there’s no one preventing you from installing it on a black motherboard.
Its RGB lighting isn’t the most saturated I have seen. And perhaps it could use more RGB LEDs or use a different type of LED to make it look brighter or “colorful”. But generally speaking, its lighting is fine.
My Only Concern…
I have no problem when it comes to its aesthetics, especially its performance. As I recently mentioned, it performed remarkably well. My only concern about the CVN Guardian DDR5 is its price. The DDR5-6000MHz CL36 has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $279, and that’s only for a single 16GB memory stick! I checked the market, and with a budget of around $280 USD, you can already get a 32GB memory kit with a similar speed and/or latency.
PNY’s XLR8 Gaming MAKO DDR5-6000MHz CL36 32GB Kit currently retails for around $250 only. But to be fair, those figures are Colorful’s MSRP at the time they launched the CVN Guardian. A lot of memory manufacturers also priced their memory kits higher at launch. But many of them have adjusted their prices already. Perhaps Colorful will adjust the SRP of its CVN Guardian DDR5 soon. Well, they better do, since it’s very difficult to recommend this memory kit at its original MSRP.
Perhaps when AMD finally releases their Zen 4 CPUs and AM5 platform, these DDR5 memory kits will have a more attractive and reasonable price. Until DDR5 memory gets mainstreamed and more commonly used, I don’t think their prices will drop significantly anytime soon. This was the scenario when DDR4 memory kits were first released on the market. After a while, DDR4 memory prices dropped and we later saw faster memory kits and tighter timings. I’m sure we’ll also get to that point with DDR5 memory kits in the following months to come.
Finally, I believe Colorful’s CVN Guardian DDR5-6000MHz CL36 memory has the potential. It’s fast and performed well during my tests. DDR5 memory is still quite new in the market at this point. So, whether or not you would benefit from its speed is up for you to decide. But I would like to see DDR5 prices drop further since it is a bit hard to recommend at their current retail prices.