With so many companies now offering performance memory, it makes it harder to choose which one to buy. We are taking a look at Crucial’s offering, the Ballistix PC3200. Is their memory worth a purchase? Let’s check it out.
I think it’s easily seen that this is a great set of memory, if not outright awesome. We seen that they are completely stable at DDR540 speeds, with 2.5-3-3-6 timings, which is no doubt impressive. If it wasn’t for my CPU bottleneck, or lack of cooling maybe, then DDR561 was a definite possibility. At any rate though, DDR540 is an awesome overclock, especially for being rock solid stable.
To use these modules though, I do recommend having some sort of active cooling. When I was not using any sort of cooling, they got HOT. Since I didn’t have any immediate way to cool them, I resorted back to my ghetto modding techniques, as you can see in the picture.
Double-sided tape for the win! Tape two 80mm fans together, and then mount that on top of your CPU fan, with yet some more double-sided tape, and you have yourself a Techgage Approved Ghetto Mod! It made all the difference in the world though, because even at overclocked speeds, they are warm to touch, instead of being outrageously hot.
Here is a quick sum up of all the tested and stable speeds I used during the review:
2-2-2-6 @ 2.5v / 200MHz, DDR400, 2.0GHz
1.5-2-2-6 @ 2.5v / 200MHz, DDR400, 2.0GHz
2-2-2-6 @ 2.8v / 218MHz, DDR436, 2.4GHz
1.5-2-2-6 @ 2.8v / 218MHz, DDR436, 2.4GHz
2.5-3-3-6 @ 2.8v / 229MHz, DDR458, 2.521GHz
2.5-2-3-6 @ 2.9v / 270MHz, DDR540, 2.7GHz
2.5-4-4-10 @ 3.2v / 260MHz, DDR520, 2.85GHz (CPU Bottleneck)
2.5-4-4-10 @ 3.2v / 280MHz, DDR561, 2.80GHz (Possibly not-so-stable, CPU Bottleneck)
A few things to note before we finish off as well. As mentioned earlier, Crucial recommends 2.8v for the stock 2-2-2-6 timings but after a little bit of testing, I found that 2.5v was completely stable and gave me an error-free MemTest run. For the overclocked DDR540 speed, it only required 2.9v.. very impressive.
Without a doubt, I highly recommend Ballistix memory if you are looking to upgrade or build a new PC. It goes to show that not only such names as Mushkin and Corsair make great performance memory. We will be taking a look at Mushkin and Corsair memory in the future, but in the nearer future, you can expect another review of Ballistix memory, but this time of their PC4000 (DDR500) version, so stay tuned for that.
I want to give a big thanks to (cf)Eclipse from the HardForum, as he knows so much about Memory, especially Crucial memory. I would be stuck in last week if it wasn’t for him. Rumors are, that he knows more about Crucial than Crucial themselves :P
Have something to say? Got some more questions that need answered? Feel free to post in our related review thread here. Registration is not required, but is free if you choose to do so.