In the US, a few big brands dominate the PC memory space. Corsair, Crucial, G.Skill, Kingston. The last time you bought RAM, chances are good you bought it from one of those companies. They’re the big dogs in the RAM world. At least, in the west. At Computex, I saw more RAM from two companies than perhaps every other RAM vendor combined, and they weren’t any of the bigshots I was familiar with. Computex’s most popular RAM came from Avexir and GeIL.
I first saw Avexir’s RAM at the Computex opening press conference, where their Raiden DDR3 modules had won a design & innovation award. Then Avexir’s booth was the first one I saw when I walked onto the exhibit hall. The booth was chock-full of open-air systems running flashy Avexir RAM, lit up in all sorts of neon colors. Pretty soon, I was seeing Avexir RAM everywhere.
Many, many booths at Computex use elaborate case mods to attract attention. In fact, if it’s a PC hardware booth, it probably has an awesome custom PC front and center, LEDs blazing. It certainly worked on me: every time I saw a PC themed a radiant purple or decked out with ridiculous watercooling piping or transforming, I stopped to take a look. And then I started to notice a trend: almost all of those rigs were sporting four sticks of Avexir RAM, lit up to match the case lighting.
It’s pretty easy to see why Avexir’s RAM was the go-to for nearly every case modder with a system at Computex. The Raiden sticks have a tube of plasma at the top that shimmers like a xenon light, which stands out even more starkly than usual against the large white housing of the RAM.
I also spotted other flavors of Avexir RAM, none quite as flashy as the Raiden, but still sporting various LED colors that matched whatever rig contained them. If a case mod wasn’t packing Avexir RAM, it was probably running with GeIL memory instead. GeIL is another brand that doesn’t have much of a footprint in the US, but like Avexir, GeIL’s Super Luce memory modules are wonderfully ostentatious. They’re tall sticks, crowned with LEDs that come in enough colors to match most case mods.
Avexir’s and GeIL’s RAM—the former especially—embody what’s so great about the custom PC building scene. Yes, they’re far more expensive than reliable sticks from brands like Corsair and G.Skill. Yes, they’re taller than necessary and could get in the way of a cooler. Yes, they’re completely unnecessary. But like case mods, they’re a reminder that a PC doesn’t have to only be about function.
PC hardware can be about imaginative engineering: highly skilled precision laser cutting, ornate arrangements of metal and plastic, retrofitting cases into unplanned shapes and configurations. PC hardware can be about expression: an aesthetic conveyed through painstaking cable management, coordinated lighting, snaking watercooling lines pumping blue or purple or white or yellow blood, personality imprinted onto plastic and metal.
And most of the time, at least in Taiwan, that expression includes RAM sticks topped with a glowing tube of plasma. Yeah, it’s ridiculous, but I can’t help but love how fun it is. It’s already got me rethinking what kind of PC I want to build when Intel’s Skylake comes around. I think there’s a good chance the build will start with a set of Avexir RAM.