Performance: 35 out of 40.
Much like the DDR5-4800 kit reviewed last year, Crucial ‘5200 is a curious mixture of boundary pushing aggression and extreme conservatism. We say this as on the one hand there are faster 5200 kits with lower CL timings widely available. Timings which Crucial could have easily matched or even exceeded… as a good chunk of the ICs the ‘other guys’ are using are ICs Micron sold to them. However, Micron would have had to go out of spec on the voltage to do so. That is verboten for Crucial engineers. On the other, while it is true this kit will never gain many ‘best’ monikers… they do include best value, best compatibility, and even best ease of use. All of which are good reasons to like the blend of performance it does offer.
Ease of Use: 20 out of 20
Perfect “plug and play” reliability? Check. Will seamlessly work with a wide range of custom builds’ color aesthetics? Check. Zero worries over CPU heatsink compatibility issues? Double check. Brain dead simple overclocking? Triple check. Yes. This kit of RAM can easily be classified as an easy, no drama kit of RAM. Just the way it should be.
Build Quality & Warranty: 18 out of 20
The DDR5-5200 models are mix of excellence and curious cost cutting measures. To be clear, this is not a kit that needs heat spreaders. No DDR5 1.1v kit need them. The lack of such a feature does however come across as being ‘cheap’ to novice buyers. As such it is misstep and a missed opportunity to further differentiate their ‘value’ option from those ‘other guys’ value options – which are not even in the same league as this series. On the positive side, these kits do come with a lifetime warranty. A warranty backstopped by a company known for both their customer service and the likelihood of them sticking around for… well… as long as RAM is being made. So yes. They are excellent, and expectation exceeding, but there is still room for improvement.
Value: 20 out of 20
Over the years Crucial have garnered quite the reputation for being the kings of value by offering equal measures of performance and reliability. For the DDR5 generation they have turned the dial to eleven and are a big reason for the dramatic reductions in price. So much so that DDR5-5200 kits like the one reviewed have pretty much killed DDR5-4800 sales a good year ahead of schedule. No matter how you slice it that is pretty much the definition of perfection.
Final Score: 93%
With their combination of good overclocking potential; above average aesthetics; zero drama installation; and excellent warranty, Crucial’s DDR5-5200 series is an great value. Such a good value that few will ever think about slower DDR5 kits or even DDR4 build options. Now that is how to prove you are the value trailblazers of the industry! Color us impressed. Not surprised, but highly impressed.