Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR3 1866 16GB Quad Kit

Posted by on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 6:13am

Crucial BallistixCrucial has a line of ram what would be a worthy choice of a higher-end system. The Ballistix Elite series is designed for the gamers and enthusiasts in mind. Running in frequencies ranging from 1600 to 2133 MHz and kits size of 4 to 16 GB, Crucial as a kit for almost everyone. We will be taking a long look at the Elite 1866 MHz 16GB quad kit today.

Introduction to the Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR3 1866 16GB Quad Kit

In my past days of retail it was very common for customers to come in the store and ask for memory. And it was also very common for people to come in and ask for a particular brand of memory. More some it is better to do with what has worked for them in the pass. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it type mentality. Many of us are like that and nothing wrong with it.

More often than so the brand asked for was Crucial. People have seen Crucial memory used in their HP, Compaq, Dell and various other systems and figured it worked then it works now. And when memory is used in picky systems like Apples and different servers chances are it will work for you. Crucial has been a leader in ram manufacturing for quite some time.

But many of us aren’t in OEM systems like these except when dealing with a broken system of a family member or neighbor. For many of us we are our own system builder, our systems normally comprised of components that many would not want to spend the money on as they don’t see the point. But we do. And when it comes to our systems we want the best. Well, the best we can afford.

Crucial has a line of ram what would be a worthy choice of a higher-end system. The Ballistix Elite series is designed for the gamers and enthusiasts in mind. Running in frequencies ranging from 1600 to 2133 MHz and kits size of 4 to 16 GB, Crucial as a kit for almost everyone. We will be taking a long look at the Elite 1866 MHz 16GB quad kit today.


Specifications

  • Module Size: 16GB kit (4GBx4)
  • Package: Ballistix 240-pin DIMM
  • Feature: DDR3 PC3-14900
  • Specs: DDR3 PC3-14900 • 9-9-9-27 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1866 • 1.5V • 512Meg x 64

Features

Simply the best.

  • Advanced finned Integrated heat spreader
  • Black PCB
  • Advanced speeds and timings
  • Thermal sensor allows real-time temperature monitoring
  • Custom Ballistix M.O.D. Utility - temperature monitor and history
  • Premium-quality DRAM
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Proven stability and reliability
  • Crucial: a trusted name in memory

Elite force.
The Crucial Ballistix Elite series holds nothing back. Designed for extreme enthusiasts, demanding gamers, and uber-power users, our Ballistix Elite modules feature the best technical features available in an eye-catching design.

Latest and greatest.
Designed for unprecedented gaming performance, we’ve engineered the Crucial Ballistix Elite series to include an enhanced mechanical heat spreader design, a sleek black PCB, and integrated thermal sensors. That makes it the ideal choice for top-notch performance: enjoy the fastest speeds and best response times, along with the stability and quality you’ve come to expect from the Crucial name. Available in DDR3 for the latest cutting-edge platforms.

Guaranteed Compatible
Crucial Ballistix Elite Series memory is backed by our outstanding service and support, enjoys a limited lifetime warranty, and is guaranteed compatible.


Closer look

The Ballistix line from Crucial consists of four different series of kits there are the Tracer, Tactical, Elite and Sport. All with their own unique heat spreaders and characteristics. But to be honest, the Elite series is the better looking of the four.

The official title of the kit we are reviewing here today is BLE4KIT4G3D1608DE1TX0. It is a four module kit containing for 4GB of memory per module. It is rated at 1866 MHz with a low timing sequence of 9-9-9-27 operating at 1.5v by default.

The heat spreaders on the modules tend to make them pretty heavy. Much heavier than any of modules we have played with except for kits like the Corsair Dominators. The heat spreaders are all black in color with a shiny silver sticker going across one of the modules. Written dead center is the Ballistix Elite logo.

One end of the module in the upper corner is some spec details of the kit. It states the kit’s name, XMP status and timings. The modules are pretty tall making it difficult with some coolers in different situations.


Testing Begins

Testing Hardware:
1. ASUS X79 Deluxe Motherboard
2. Intel Core i7 3930K Processor
3. Kingston HyperX 1866 DDR3 16GB
4. Kingston V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive
5. ASUS BC12B1LT BD-Rom Drive
6. Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU Cooler
7. Microcool Banchetto 101 Open Air Test Bench
8. Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 850W Power Supply
9. ASUS Nvidia GTX 560Ti 448 Graphic Card

Testing Software:
1. AIDA64 Extreme Edition
2. Super PI Modded 1.5
3. Flying Wild Hogs Hard Reset
4. Futuremark PCMark Vantage
5. MaxxMEM 2

Were we have some screenshots of how our test motherboard read the XMP profile(s) of the reviewed memory kits.


Overclocking

Our overclocking adventures begun with us jumping right to 2133 MHz using all the 1866 MHz timings from the stock setting and the system tried to post into Windows but froze just when the 'Starting Windows' display came up. Then we backed the system back to 1866 MHz and starting playing with the Strap and manually adjusting frequency. Never touching the voltage at this point remaining at 1.5v.

We found our sweet spot for the XMP stock settings were with the 100 MHz Strap. First thing we did was try 105 BCLK and the system passed 32M in SuperPi with no problems. So, we decided to push our luck and jump to 108 MHz instant lock up on the system. After playing around in this range the finally frequency was 106 MHz for a 1978 MHz at 9-9-9 at 1.5v. A very nice overclock at low voltage.

But our goal here was to see if we could get an even high frequency even if it means we have to loosen up the timings. So, that is just what we did. We first set the ram frequency to 2133 MHz and we got an instant boot into the BIOS screen but that is the farthest we got. It seems this memory is right at home at this voltage even at 10-10-11.

Now it is time to up the voltage to see where we could go from there. To take a quick shortcut we left the timings at the above setting and went straight to our 'max' in voltage which is 1.65. And I am happy to report the system booted right to Windows. But I am also sad to report these settings would not pass Super Pi. Even lower the timings to 11-12-11 failed us at 2133 MHz so; this is where we decided to call it quits.


Results

AIDA64 Extreme Edition
“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential networkmanagement solution for small and medium scale enterprises.
The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.”

Super PI Modded 1.5
“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

Flying Wild Hogs Hard Reset
“Thee world as we know it ceased to exist. Humanity is at the verge of extinction, living in the last closed city of Bezoar. Mankind wages war against the machines controlling vast areas of what became the 'Barrens'. Machines want to control and assimilate 'The Sanctuary' a network that holds billions of digitalized human minds. Our hero, Maj. Fletcher, is a soldier of CLN - a corporation combat unit, established to protect the city. Machines are constantly assaulting the walls of Bezoar. Fletcher moves in when Bezoar's protective barrier is breached.”


Futuremark PCMark Vantage
“PCMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed for Windows Vista offering one-click simplicity for casual users and detailed, professional grade testing for industry, press and enthusiasts.
A PCMark score is a measure of your computer's performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security.
From desktops and laptops to workstations and gaming rigs, by comparing your PCMark Vantage score with other similar systems you can find the hardware and software bottlenecks that stop you getting more from your PC.”


MaxxMEM 2
“Is the *little brother of MaxxPI², it contains the same Memorybenchmark routine as MaxxPI² does. So your reaced results will be comparable to Memory / Latency benchmarks done by MaxxPI².”


Conclusion

The Crucial Ballistix is definitely a keeper. You get the privilege of having a quad kit of DDR3 running at 1866 MHz with pretty tight timings at just 1.5v. This is a winner in anybody’s body. The goal as of last has been getting the most without having to sacrifice a lot. We have seen this with power supplies, processors, solid state drive and memory. The less voltage and wattages used while still getting great performance is a big plus.

Overclocking resulted in some better than decent numbers. Running at the default 1.5 volts we able to hit a wall at 1978 MHz which in our minds is pretty impressive. Not having to force the issue with the integrated memory controller of the processor is a plus. Many would instantly jump to 1.65v which many consider the max for the current Intel chipset but we did not have to with this kit.

At the time of this review we were not able to find the 4x4 kit of Ballistix Elite 1866 on any retail sites. But we were able to find the 1600 MHz version around going for about $125.

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