Crucial Ballistix 2GB 1600MHz DDR3 Review: Speeds The Toke

It is been two months since Crucial launched their first Crucial Ballistix DDR3 memory modules and while they were months behind other DDR3 manufacturers their 1600MHz kit has been a success. Since Micron and Crucial are one and the same it shouldn’t be a surprise that Crucial memory kits are able to perform above average. The kit is part of the Ballistix line, which is a higher performance series that is specifically built for enthusiasts who want to push the performance envelope of their system.

The new Ballistix DDR3 modules sport a new look thanks to the redesigned heat spreader with a clip-less design, giving the modules a cleaner look. The new Ballistix heat spreader design also features a Micron company logo on the heat spreader, which means that the modules use Micron memory IC’s. Crucial also uses black Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s) on their Ballistix series, which give the modules a a tougher look over traditional green PCB’s. When it comes to warranties, Crucial warrants the original end customer of its products that their memory kits are free from defects in material and workmanship affecting form, fit, and functions for life. So, all Ballistix modules carry a lifetime warranty.


Benchmarking Overview & Conclusion

Sandra XII showed higher memory bandwidth in the OCZ kit, but the 276MB/Sec difference is only a 3.4% performance improvement. Again, the relaxed CL8 memory timings on the Ballistix kit are causing the differences.

When it comes to picking DDR3 memory kits companies are selling kits at a variety of frequencies, which can be a bit overwhelming for those that are new to DDR3 and the chipsets that use it. Right now there are six speed grades that DDR3 memory is available in: 1066MHz, 1333MHz, 1375MHz, 1600MHz, 1800MHz and 1866MHz. Which is the right kit to invest in? Keep in mind that the Intel only officially supports 1333MHz on the Intel P35 and X38 Express chipsets. When it comes to density all Intel P35 Express chipsets support up to 8 GB of memory addressability, so density is certainly not a limitation these days when it comes to selecting a kit. So, why buy a 1600MHz memory kit when the chipsets are only rated to run at 1333MHz? Because Crucial does it right.

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