Review – 2x16GB Asgard Freyr T3 DDR5-5200 CL40 – Cheap DRAM with Micron A-Die, any good?
In this review, I will be examining another memory kit from the Asgard brand belonging to the “Freyr T3” series, which offers DDR5 models at 4800 and 5200 MT/s, with 8 or 16 GB modules that can be purchased separately or in kits of 16 GB or 32 GB. The product being analyzed is a 32 GB kit consisting of two 16 GB modules, with a frequency of 5200 MT/s, timings of 40-40-40-77, and an operating voltage of 1.25V.
The memory modules are packaged in a rectangular box featuring a photo of the product and an illustration of the Nordic god Freyr, after whom the product is named. The back of the box provides detailed explanations about Freyr and information about the memory modules, including capacity and frequency, listed on labels.
In addition to the external packaging, the memory modules are also protected by a second box that looks sophisticated. The product comes with a pair of anti-static gloves, as well as memory modules with protective covers on the contacts.
As for the heat spreader, the Asgard chosen a simple, silver aluminum heat spreader without any lighting for this series, resulting in a very understated and sleek appearance.
After removing the heat spreader, which fortunately turned out to be a fairly simple task, it is possible to see that it does not make contact with one of the chips, using a shorter thermal interface due to the raised rune illustration on the heat spreader, which is far from ideal.
Regarding the chips, Asgard chose to remark them, but we quickly identified that they are Micron A-Die, which are not exactly the best chips for those who intend to overclock, reaching, at best, 5600 MT/s. Just as a reference, these chips are manufactured using a D1z process and have a die size of 66.26 mm².
Another important point to note is that the 2x8GB kit from Asgard that we tested previously was equipped with Samsung B-Die chips, which are dramatically superior to the Micron ones in terms of overclocking capabilities and timings. In fact, the XMP specifications also differ between the two kits, with the 2x16GB kit having a specification of 40-40-40-77 and the 2x8GB kit having a specification of 36-36-36-77. There is no guarantee regarding the chips used, and there have been recent reports of people who purchased the 2x8GB kit and received CL40 instead of 36.
With DDR5, the DC-DC converter responsible for powering the memory modules has been moved from the motherboard PCB to the memory module itself. This move is intended to increase efficiency and minimize losses by placing the converter as close as possible to the load.
This converter is called PMIC and corresponds to an integrated circuit that does all this “dirty work”, where in the case of this DRAM kit, a unit from Richtek was adopted, which is not compatible with the “High Voltage Mode”, meaning that these memories are limited to a maximum VDD / VDDQ voltage of 1.43V.
If you are interested, here is the link to the official Asgard store’s listing these memories on AliExpress.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7700X (Obrigado AMD!) / Core i5 12600K
MOBO: GIGABYTE B650M Aorus Elite AX (UEFI F3c) / ROG Maximus Z690 Apex
GPU: GIGABYTE RX 5500 XT 8 GB (Obrigado Terabyteshop!)
PSU: Silverstone SST-ET750-G
COOLER: 1STPlayer TS-360
SSD: Netac N530S 240GB
Software: Windows 10 x64, TM5 0.12 anta777, AIDA64 6.85.6300, Geekbench 3.4.4, y-cruncher 1b.
Testing Objectives and Methodology:
The objective of the tests was to determine the daily usage limit of the Asgard Freyr T3 memory modules on AM5 platform, as well as the maximum frequency for benchmarking. To facilitate the understanding of the results, they were separated into two groups:
- XMP: This refers to the highest achievable frequency by simply loading the XMP profile and adjusting the clock/voltage, stopping at 6400MHz, which is the stable limit for the Ryzen 7 7700X used in the test. Of course, this is only achievable if the memory being tested can reach that frequency.
The advantage of this approach is that it is extremely simple and does not require any user adjustments regarding timings. However, the price of this simplicity is lower performance since the adjustments are made automatically by the motherboard and can be quite relaxed.
- 24/7 with fine tuning: In this group, manual adjustments were made to all possible timings to obtain the best possible result with viability for daily use, again, limited to 6400 MHz due to CPU limitations.
In both cases, TM5 0.12 1usmus was used to check stability, AIDA64 to measure bandwidth/latency numbers, Geekbench 3.4.4, and y-cruncher 1b to get a better idea of performance. For these tests, the CPU was locked at 5.35GHz with 1.25V and the FCLK at 2166MHz, which is the stable maximum for this sample.
For Ryzen 7000 “Raphael,” there is no longer a requirement to keep the FCLK working in 1:1 proportion to the memory clock. Therefore, before adjusting the memory clock, it’s important to test the FCLK limit, which will be between 2000 and 2200 MHz varying with your CPU quality.
To add further, we also tested these memories on the Intel platform, as previously mentioned, the Micron A-Die chips have a limit of a maximum of 5600 MT/s, which is within what the Maximus Z690 Apex can deliver with stability. It’s worth noting that this motherboard is one of those manufactured in late 2021, from a batch that has issues with higher memory frequencies.
Timings – AMD
Com essa abordagem, foi possível obter estabilidade no TM5 com DDR5-5400 usando tensão VDD/VDDQ de 1.3V, o que apesar de não parecer grande coisa, está dentro dos limites para esses chips e já foi superior ao outro kit Micron A-Die que testamos.
- 24/7 with fine tuning:
Com os ajustes finos, foi possível melhorar vários timings relevantes para o desempenho, trazendo alguns ganhos em relação ao XMP, porém, sem melhorias na frequência. Os maiores ganhos vieram pelo tREFI em 65535, tRFC e timings primários um pouco mais apertados.
Timings – Intel
Já na plataforma Intel, o limite de frequência foi o mesmo e também foi possível melhorar bastante os timings originais. Curiosamente, foi necessário aplicar 1.375V no VDD/VDDQ para obter estabilidade nessas condições, enquanto no AMD, 1.3V/1.32V já resolveram.
Temperature and Power Consumption:
A welcomed novelty in DDR5 is the inclusion of temperature sensors in the modules, which means that the task of checking if stability tests are failing due to temperature has become much simpler!
The Freyr T3 reached a maximum temperature of 51.3°C (Ambient temperature = 29.6°C) after half an hour of stress testing on TM5 using the anta777 extreme profile, on an Intel bench, with overclocking and without a fan blowing directly on the memory modules. Despite the fact that one of the chips and the PMIC did not make contact with the heatsink, the memory did not exhibit instability or errors due to temperature at the end of the test, which is great news.
Here are the memory performance results from AIDA, Geekbench 3.4.4 memory sub-test, and y-cruncher 1b. The latter is especially sensitive to memory subsystem performance and extremely demanding in terms of stability, so it was included in the tests.
It’s worth noting that all these results passed the TM5 0.12 v3 stability test and, at least for these particular samples, represent something that can be used on a daily basis.
The Asgard Freyr T3 5200CL40 32GB (2x16GB) kit showed good compatibility on both platforms, working normally with XMP. When overclocked with XMP settings, stability at DDR5-5400 was achieved by only increasing the memory voltage to 1.3V, which is expected for Micron A-Die chips. It’s important to note that we previously tested a 2x8GB DDR5-5200 kit from the same manufacturer, which came with Samsung B-Die chips. Therefore, for this series, Asgard sends kits with assorted chips.
With manual adjustments, it was possible to achieve the same 5400 MHz with primary timings of 34-39-39-34-52 and tighter secondary timings, which resulted in a small performance gain compared to the XMP profile. It’s worth noting that the limits were the same on both AMD and Intel platforms.
Regarding availability and pricing, as of March 25, 2023, the Asgard Freyr T3 5200C40 should go on sale soon, with a maximum price of 157 USD. This is a bit steep considering that there are competitors with higher specifications selling for practically the same price. Nevertheless, these memory modules may still be worth considering if they are sold for less than 100 USD, which is the price paid for this test sample, making it a great value per GB, even if performance is not the strong suit of this product.
It is important to be aware of potential issues when purchasing imported products like this one. There is a possibility of customs duties being applied, the delivery may take longer than expected, and there may be uncertainties regarding the warranty.