In the world of fast performance memory, Crucial sometimes get’s overlooked. We are taking a look at their PC4000 Ballistix, which we hope will prove overclocker friendly, as were the PC3200’s. Let’s check them out!
While reviewing the PC3200 Ballistix modules, Crucial definitely earned my respect. Until reviewing those.. I would have never likely considered Crucial when buying performance memory. Even with the minor MemTest issues I encountered, this memory would take most of anything I threw at it.
The absolute only gripe I have, are the MemTest errors. Even when I run stock settings and various voltages, I will get errors. I blame the board more than I do the modules, because it’s fussier than kids and vegetables, when it comes to memory.. in my opinion. Seeing that I get errors with two separate sets, and after trying 12+ BIOS versions, I settle on blaming the board. In the near future, I will test out the modules in another Socket 939 motherboard and see how MemTest plays out.
Even with the errors though, as mentioned, all the settings I tested, seemed rock stable. I didn’t once crash due to the modules, and they performed through all the tests seamlessly. Without a doubt, you need active cooling, even with stock voltages. I hate to bring my ghetto memory cooling mod back into this, but it works so well, that I swear by it.
Before the mod, you couldn’t touch the modules for more than a second without burning yourself. With the fans, they are only slightly warm. If your case has better airflow than mine, I’m sure it would even be better.
Once again, for quick reference, here are all the stable settings I have used:
2-2-2-6 @ 2.5v – 200MHz (DDR400)
1.5-2-2-6 @ 2.5v – 200MHz (DDR400)
2-2-2-6 @ 2.8v – 218MHz (DDR436)
1.5-2-2-6 @ 2.8v – 218MHz (DDR436)
3-4-4-8 @ 2.8v – 250MHz (DDR500) (Stock)
2.5-3-3-6 @ 2.8v – 270MHz (DDR540)
3-3-3-8 @ 3.0v – 300MHz (DDR600)
All of these settings, except the last, are easily done. The last required the latest BIOS version, so that I could use the 233MHz (7/6) divider. Without that divider, my CPU would have been a bottleneck, not making those speeds possible.
In comparison to the PC3200, would I recommend choosing the PC4000? I would definitely recommend the PC4000, if your motherboard can handle it. The funny thing is, that the PC4000 costs the exact same as the PC3200’s, so you may as well buy the PC4000. Even if your motherboard can’t utilize the PC4000 speeds, you can still run them at PC3200, and leave leeway for later, if you upgrade.
Since the 512MB modules cost around $30+ less than the direct competitors, they are a great value. Without a doubt, definitely check out Ballistix for your new system or upgrade. I’d like to thank Crucial for sending us the memory to review and making this review possible!
If anyone out there runs the DFI Ultra-D and uses Ballistix memory, please let me know how they work for you, and if MemTest gives you any errors! I’d love to know your overclocks as well! If you have any further questions that you want answered about the Ballistix, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail at rob dot williams at techgage dot com, or post a comment in our related forum thread, where registration is not required (Please fill in a name though!).