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Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2666 Review (Ballistix Elite)

Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2666 Review (Ballistix Elite)

Back when we first looked at Intels latest chipset/platform, X99, we covered an initial range of DDR4 which launched at the same time. Since then various manufacturers have been tweaking their product range including one of those who we saw on launch day, Crucial. Back then it was a standard set of DDR4 designed with maximum compatibility and a no frills approach. Today we have their performance range in our Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2666 Review (Ballistix Elite Edition).

Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2666 Review – The product

crucial-ballistix-ddr4-2666-review-packet crucial-ballistix-ddr4-2666-review-modules

Crucial go with a fairly standard set of packaging on the Ballistix series. We get an information label on the front and then in two trays inside, two modules each. A cardboard sleeve gives us some key info on the back and as long as the sticks arrive in a nice protective packet, like this, then really memory doesn’t need anything else.

As for the modules themselves, they use a black PCB and attached to it are two black, aluminium heatsinks with Ballistix Elite branding. Crucial attach a part number sticker to the modules which also includes speed and timings as well as voltage. In terms of those specifications these modules are 4GB (XMP is supported) and the profile provided sets the memory at 2666MHz with 16-17-17-36 @ 1.2v. Warranty length is of course “lifetime”.

crucial-ballistix-ddr4-2666-review-cpuz

Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2666 Review – Performance

Key Test Platform Specs: Asus X99, i7-5960X, R9-295, 1TB SSD.

Memory Bandwidth
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Cinebench R15
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Music Conversion (2CD lossless to MP3)
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Video Conversion 4K to 720p
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GRID Autosport
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Rome 2:Total War
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Module Temperatures
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Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2666 Review – Conclusion

We always love to see black PCB on enthusiast memory and so right from the start Crucials Ballistix Elite Edition create a good impression. The chunky black heatspreader also looks good and will fit in with high end hardware while also feeling solid. The branding is minimal, which is also a good thing as it doesn’t draw too much attention in windowed systems and of course we know the build quality as far as parts goes will be top notch. Crucial after all use their own (Micron) parts.

As is pretty much always the case, installation is simple. Drop the modules into our system taking care to note the motherboard manufacturers recommendations for the slots to use. Power on, enter the BIOS and select the XMP profile. The modules will of course boot and function without the XMP step but for maximum performance it is always recommended.

At stock speeds the modules performed very well. Edging ahead of the DDR4-2666 we had previously tested and showing a noticeable gap over the standard 2400Mhz modules. There are of course faster MHz sticks available which can peak higher but they have a price premium. Where we can work around that is overclocking where we were able to hit 3000 Mhz with 1.35v and CAS 17-17-17-36 which is only a minor tweak over the factory timings. It did however give a decent boost in bandwidth however we found another aspect to be more impressive. For those looking to build a low power, decent performance system with minimal temps… maybe a media PC. The 1.2v spec of the Ballistix Elite mixed with the quality headspreader meant these were the coolest running DDR4 modules we have tested so far.

Summary: Competitively priced, good performance and decent tweaking potential. A nice bonus of low temperatures/voltage compared to other manufacturers.

Recommended Award

Available from Crucial.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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