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Written by Servando Silva   
Monday, 28 June 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Crucial Ballistix BL2KIT25664FN1608 Memory Kit
Crucial Ballistix Features
Closer Look: Crucial Ballistix DDR3
Crucial Ballistix SPD
Ballistix MOD Utility
RAM Testing Methodology
Benchmark Tests Results
Application Performance Results
Overclocking
Crucial Ballistix DDR3 Final Thoughts
BL2KIT25664FN1608 Conclusion

BL2KIT25664FN1608 Conclusion

Crucial Ballistix BL2KIT25664FN1608 performance is just average. The kit isn't able to work at 1T command rate and it needs more than 1.5v to work stable with very loose timings and common frequencies. They also suffered from a cold boot bug or something similar at the beginning but stopped showing that problem after a few days. The overclock scaling capabilities are also simple based on a low-binned IC and there's really not much chance to tight the latencies either. Somehow, this isn't the RAM we are used to receive within a Ballistix kit. Hopefully, they will launch better kits on the future with thermal-sensor technology equipped.

The appearance is good, but it has its downsides. While some people will love the color combination, some others won't have the same patience trying to combine them with the rest of their PC. The new high-profile heat spreaders look good, but they aren't really necessary. I still haven't heard of many memory kits suffering over heating problems, and even less considering there's not much room for overclock. Also, the heat spreaders could hinder your CPU heatsink installation or jam your mITX case installation. Finally, Crucial changed their old brown boxes for a more appealing blister this time.

Construction on the other side is very solid. There's really not much to say about the construction of a memory. If they have heat spreaders, they are normally easier to install and there are less chances of damaging them with an ESD. But other than that, this kit just works as it should and the functionality of owning 4GBs of RAM is still there.

Not everything is that bad. The value of this kit is good as it retails for $119.99 USD at NewEgg, and you also receive a free T-Shirt with this special special promotion. There are better kits at the same price, but none of them offer thermal-sensor ICs, which is why the new Crucial Ballistix kit shines. Crucial says they aren't charging any extra values for this technology, so let's imagine a similar Crucial's kit without the thermal-sensor will cost about the same.

My recommendation is: If you want to have full control of your PC and you really care about thermal monitoring, then get the Ballistix BL2KIT25664FN1608. If you care about anything else, then get another kit. There are kits from G.Skill, Patriot or OCZ which will offer more OC room or lower timings with lower voltages at the moment at the same price point. Therefore, I recommend waiting until Crucial launches better kits equipped with thermal-sensor IC so you can really enjoy the experience of monitoring your RAM while topping out your overclock at the same time.

Pros:bmr_approved.png

+ Good price for the value ($119 USD)
+ Crucial Limited Lifetime Warranty
+ Interesting design and colors will appeal a bunch of users
+ Integrated IC for thermal-monitoring via MOD utility (support 32 and 64 bit OS)
+ Will work on any Intel based system and probably on AMD systems too

Cons:

- Overclocking is very limited due to the ICs in their memory chips
- It doesn't work at 1T Command Rate
- Requires "high" voltage for very common frequencies and loose timings
- The new heat spreader's design could interfere with a big CPU heatsink
- The MOD Utility is still in BETA mode, and the same applies to this technology, so this kit was more of a pilot than a final product

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.00
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.50
  • Functionality: 8.00
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.

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Comments 

 
# RE: Crucial Ballistix BL2KIT25664FN1608 Memory KitDavid Ramsey 2010-06-28 20:40
I worry about the temperature of my processor; the temperature of my GPUs, and even the temperature of my chipset. I never worry about the temperature of my memory, and have yet to see any evidence that any memory cooling setups serve any function other than aesthetics. I'm hypocritical enough to want flashy-looking RAM while acknowledging that bare chips would work just as well.
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# RE: RE: Crucial Ballistix BL2KIT25664FN1608 Memory KitServando Silva 2010-06-28 21:20
That was my point at the final thoughts and the reason it didn't scored high at the end.
Actually, now that you've mentioned it David, as far as I remember memory heat sinks started some years ago with the purpose of hiding the ICs of each memory. I always took them away and added a fan. That worked much better than a plain metallic bar. I can't really see something useful unless for those curious about their whole system. I've never heard of heat problems with RAM yet (unless overclocking).
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# RE: Crucial Ballistix BL2KIT25664FN1608 Memory KitDavid Ramsey 2010-06-29 07:07
Sorry, I was responding to the Crucial rep's assertion that PC enthusiasts claim that system heat is a "constant concern." It is...for some components.
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# PffftJames Jowers 2011-09-02 17:30
What the heck!
I'm looking to read more about your Crucial ram with the lights and when I click on a hyper link to read more it's a friggen Intel comercial???
What are you trying to sell here your ram or intel???
I'm shopping for ram and I don't want to see a comercial for another company's product!
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