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Crucial Ballistix 2GB PC2-6400
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by Rob Williams on September 22, 2006 in Memory

With so much competition in the memory market nowadays, it’s increasingly difficult to make the -best- choice when it comes to purchasing a new kit. The Crucial PC2-6400 use the infamous D9GMH chips, but requires a staggering 2.2V! Does its performance make up for it?

Technical Information & Testing Methodology



The chips used in these modules are none other than the Micron D9GMH. Hmm… Micron chips in Crucial modules.. so odd! </sarcasm>

These modules are rated for DDR-800 speeds with 4-4-4-12 (CAS-tRCD-tRP-tRAS) timings, at 2.2v. 2.2v?? Yes, 2.2v. While other comparable kits on the market could suffice with 1.9v or even 1.8v at those timings, these are stickered for 2.2v. However, it was my main goal to see if that could be tweaked down a little bit.

The modules have the stats we are looking for, but the overclock ability is the primary concern here. The fact that stock ‘requires’ 2.2v doesn’t exactly give a reassurance that they will be that overclockable, but there is only one way to find out!

So, after a 3:00am run was over, I came up with these conclusions:

  • DDR2-800 4-4-4-8-21 2.2v (2.50GHz, 1.30v)
  • DDR2-900 4-4-3-12-21 2.2v (2.70GHz, 1.45v)
  • DDR2-1000 4-4-4-12-21 2.3v (2.50GHz, 1.30v)
  • DDR2-1100 5-5-5-15-21 2.5v (2.75GHz, 1.45v)

I spent about four straight hours trying to get the memory to be 100% stable at stock speeds with lesser than 2.2v, but it was not happening. At 1.9v, things were smooth, but not for long. It benchmarked okay, but Super Pi would crash immediately. At 2.0v, 3D Mark 01 would halt every few seconds.. sometimes not snapping back out of it. 2.1v returned the Super Pi problem. So, 2.2v on the testing motherboard proved to be a requirement.

450MHz was just as stable with 2.2v though, which I found surprising. I had to boost it up to 2.3v at 500MHz speeds which is not that much of a surprise… as it’s normal of other kits. Finally, 550MHz with 5-5-5 timings were completely stable with 2.5v… rather modest. So, I am impressed with the overclocking potential of these, because I didn’t expect it due to the fact that they required 2.2v for stock. Trying 4-4-4 timings at 550MHz was not happening, however. I tried it up all the way to 2.8vdimm, and it was still not stable.

Here is where I start to be confused though. Our friends at EclipseOC had a similar kit tested a few months ago, and they had far better results than us. So, I could have received a less than ideal kit. This could be considered a good thing, really. It goes to show that your mileage may vary, and it’s evidenced here.

With that out of the way… results!

Testing Methodology

Throughout all of our benchmarks regardless of what we are reviewing, testing is done in a clean and stand-alone version of Windows XP Professional with SP2. Prior to testing, these conditions are met:

  • Desktop and scrap files are cleaned up, including emptying of recycle bin.
  • No virus scanner or firewall is installed in the stand-alone installation.
  • The stand-alone installation drive is completely defragged using Diskeeper 10 Pro Premier.
  • All unnecessary programs are closed, so that Windows should have no more than 15 active processes running.
  • Computer has proper airflow.

If you are interested in using the same benchmarks as us, feel free to visit the developers website:

The testing rig used for today’s benchmarking is as follows:

I am pitting the Ballistix up against the recently reviewed OCZ 7200 EPP modules, which are based on the same Micron chips.


Page List:
Top

1. Introduction
2. Technical Information & Testing Methodology
3. Sandra, Everest, Sciencemark
4. Super Pi, Final Thoughts