Crucial Ballistix Elite PC3-14900 8GB Kit

6/7/2012 6:26:24 PM

Crucial opts for blatant elitism in its new Ballistix series

I've been a fan of Crucial Ballistix ever since a rather smart pair of cadmium yellow DDR2 sticks bearing the brand landed on my desk many moons ago.

It still makes yellow modules, but they're now called Ballistix Tactical, and its new flagship product is these black Ballistix Elite.

Description: Crucial Ballistix Elite PC3-14900 8GB Kit

Comparing these with a pair of older Ballistix Thermal Sensor, I noted that the comb-like heat spreader hasn't changed much since 2009, although that 4GB kit cost just under £100, where this 8GB one is less than $96.

That said, in memory terms 8GB at 1866MHz speed rating can be had for less than this, so what makes these 'Elite'?

Well, according to the marketing material, these are designed for 'unprecedented gaming performance' no less. Cutting through the hype, what Crucial appears to have done here is produce some high-quality modules, with a decent performance range and built-in thermal sensors that system tweakers might well appreciate.

Crucial rates these as PC3-14900, or 1866MHz modules with 9-9-9-27 timings, which by modern standards isn't exceptionally high, but greater than typical default memory settings.

Delving into the internal SPD chart, there are no less than eight different SPD settings, with three JEDEC options and five XMP modes. As seems to be the norm these days with memory makers, the vaunted 1866MHz mode isn't one of them. Instead, those wanting big clock options can take either 1908MHz at the quoted 9-9-9-27 timings, or 2120MHz at 10-10-10-30 settings. Technically, that makes these modules PC3-17000, though most people don't run CL10 timings.

At the other end of the scale, you can punt for a much more conservative 1272MHz and trade off the clock speed for some very tight 6-6-6-16 timings. What overclockers here will like is the scope of clocks and timings, and knowing Crucial Ballistix as I do, there is obviously some scope for even greater clock adjustments or tighter timings for those wishing to make manual adjustments. I had these up above 2200MHz with no issues and no voltage adjustments above the standard 1.5V needed.

The only real concern I have about these sticks is that the size of the spreader could be an issue on some systems where the RAM sockets and CPU are in close proximity. They're 5cm high, so if you don't have that much clearance, they just won't fit.

If you don't use a 64-bit OS, and just need 4GB in total, Crucial also does these in that configuration, but they're $67.184, so not as good value as these modules. It also does them in triple-channel packs for those using LGA 1366, and quad channel is promised.

Description: Crucial Ballistix Elite PC3-14900 8GB Kit


Price: $75

Manufacturer: Crucial


Required spec: System that accepts two DDRS 4GB modules

Part Number: BLE2KIT4G3D1869DE1TX0


  •  Buffalo 1TB LinkStation Live
  •  Western Digital 1TB My Book Live
  •  TP-Link AV500 Powerline Adapter Starter Kit
  •  Review: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
  •  Free VirtualBox Images (Part 2) - Create your own VirtualBox image
  •  Free VirtualBox Images (Part 1)
  •  Review: A-Data DashDrive Durable HD710 750GB
  •  Windows Server 2003 : Windows Terminal Services - Enabling Remote Desktop & On the User's Side
  •  Windows Server 2003 : Windows Terminal Services - The Remote Desktop Protocol & Requirements for Terminal Services
  •  Software Overclocking for Windows (Part 3) - GFX: MSI Afterburner
  •  Software Overclocking for Windows (Part 2) - Remote controlled overclocking
  •  Software Overclocking for Windows (Part 1)
  •  Rig Builder – May 2012 (Part 5)
  •  Rig Builder – May 2012 (Part 4)
  •  Rig Builder – May 2012 (Part 3)
  •  Rig Builder – May 2012 (Part 2)
  •  Rig Builder – May 2012 (Part 1)
  •  Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 - Bulletproof backup
  •  iomega StorCenter - A look at what’s in store
  •  Ultrabook vs MacBook (Part 2)
    Top 10
    Pure Sensia 200D - Nice Wireless Speaker
    AOC E2343FI – It Isn’t Just Incredibly Slim
    HP Anti-glare Compaq LCD
    Philips C-Line 249C4QH - Lacking In Features And Adjustability
    Wonderful Accessories For Your Life
    Xyfi Wi-Fi And 3G Router
    All About Nexus 7 (Part 5)
    All About Nexus 7 (Part 4)
    All About Nexus 7 (Part 3)
    All About Nexus 7 (Part 2)
    Most View
    Administrative Improvements with Windows Server 2008 R2
    Corsair Vengeance C70 Mid - Tower Gaming Case
    SQL Server 2008 : Failover clustering - Clustering topologies and failover rules
    IIS 7.0 : Managing Remote Content
    ASP.NET 4 in VB 2010 : Membership - Role-Based Security
    Security in Windows 7 : Security Features Previously Introduced in Windows Vista
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.0 : Working with Colors
    Videography – The Devil's In The Details
    10 best products of the past 200 issues (part 2)
    Windows 7 : Managing the BCD Data Store
    Assembly vs. C
    ARMed and Ready For Action
    Budget Internet HD Player From Coex
    Exploiting SQL Injection : Enumerating the Database Schema (part 2) - MySQL
    Windows Server 2008 R2 monitoring and troubleshooting : Event Viewer - Configuring event-based tasks & Setting up event log forwarding
    CMS Revolution (Part 2)
    Zotac Geforce GTX 670 AMP! Edition
    Windows Phone 7 Development : Creating a Cloud Service to Access the Cloud Database (part 1) - Generating an Object Model to Access the Cloud Database
    iTunes Match Q&A - Too much songs,Playlist sync
    Active Directory Domain Services 2008 : Delegate Permissions on a Group Policy Object