Crucial Ballistix 1GB Kit (2x512MB) PC4000/DDR500 Memory Review

 

The introduction ...

Memory is an important component of the PC system and with current operating systems e.g. Microsoft Windows XP
in combination with current games or DTP applications nowadays 512 MB are by far not enough and
should be upgraded to at least 1GB memory.
However memory is not like memory and naturally there're dozens of DDR (double data rate) module types on the market,
that the choice isn't really easy.
In order to make the choice somewhat easier, there's a new test report of the high-end 1 GB memory kit
with LED lighting and heatspreaders by Crucial.

 

 

Thanks for the support ...

Many thanks for the support with the BL2KIT6464L505 Ballistix 1GB PC4000 kit by the manufacturer Crucial.

Click Here

The 1 GB kit includes two 512 MB Ballistix Tracer 184-pin DDR-500 (PC4000) LED equipped memory modules and the
current price is about 149 euro (02/2006).
They're available with the upper banner in the Crucial Shop and our sponsors.

 

 

The supply of the two 512MB PC4000 memory modules ...

In this small box are the two very well protected memory modules:

 

 

That is contained in the scope of delivery ...

Crucial supplies the two memory modules as well as the multilingual installation guide, which should make it possible
also for less experienced users to install them:

 

 

The technical data ...

Manufacturer Crucial
Article number BL2KIT6464L505
Memory 1GB kit (512MBx2)
Package Ballistix Tracer 184-pin DIMM mit LEDs
Type DDR PC4000
Configuration 64Meg x 64
DIMM Type UNBUFFERED
Error correction NON-ECC
Speed DDR500 (250 MHz * 2)
Voltage 2.8 Volt
Memory timing 2.5-4-4-8 (Tcl-Trcd-Tras-Trp)

 

 

Characteristics and other features ...

The memory modules are provided on a black plate with black passive heatsinks (heatspreader) which are supposed to
enhance the cooling of the memory modules also with higher frequencies and/or higher voltages.
Thus one achieves on the one hand better results with overclocking and on the other hand a longer life-time,
whereby Crucial by the way grants lifelong warranty (Limited Lifetime Warranty) for the buyer
(all informations to manufacturer conditions are of course without guarantee by ocinside.de).

A further fancy feature are 8 green and 8 red light emitting diodes on each memory module,
which shows the active processes, so that one recognizes immediately if the PC is still alive ;-)

In the lower PCB range close to the pins are besides 8 blue LEDs integrated to ensure a nice ambiance in the PC ...
Modders will love it !

 

 

Benchmark values and test results ...

Let us begin with the most important part of the test report, because the optics is of course rather secondary and
the possible stable performance is the most important factor.
The test results are based on an EPoX 9NPA+ SLI nForce4 Motherboard with an Athlon 64 3000+ CPU with different
frequency depending upon reference clock for the different memory benchmarks.
Thus the multiplicator adjustment remains on 9x with all frequencies.
An adjustment for the CPU in half steps would be too inaccurate to get nearly the same CPU frequency for all tests.

Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 is used as operating system.
The stability was examined with the software Memtest86 and SiSoft Sandra Lite 2005.SR3 Program is used for all
benchmarks, since it offers extensive adjustments and a fast result comparison.

First the maximum possible frequency of the memory module was determined.
For this the memory frequency was increased in small step with a fixed memory timing of 2.5-3-3-8 (2T) and default
memory voltage, as long as the detailed memory test with Memtest86 was error free.
This quite long testing time ensured that this frequency works really stable with these modules.

The highest possible frequency with 2.5-3-3-8 (Tcl Trcd Tras Trp) values was stable with sayful 265 MHz!

With higher voltages or smaller timings it was possible to run still clearly higher frequencies,
because the frequency values and timings depends directly from each other.
Note: Please don't try this high timings with conventional PC3200 modules, only increase frequencies in small steps.
Otherwise it would end with a beep of the systemspeaker.

This highest possible timing was compared with two further adjustments. On the one hand 265 MHz with SPD values
(these are given by the manufacturer in the SPD IC) and on the other hand 200 MHz with SPD values.
By the way the memory bus range is no benchmark value, but the value is quite simple to calculate by the frequency
and is only useful for the benchmark comparison.

 

Here're the Benchmark results:

Frequency
Timing
RAM Range Int Buff'd iSSE2
Memory bus range
265 MHz
fix (2.5-3-3-8 2T)
6033 MB/s
8480 MB/s
265 MHz
SPD (3.0-4-4-9 2T)
5932 MB/s
8480 MB/s
200 MHz
SPD (2.0-3-3-8 2T)
4580 MB/s
6400 MB/s

 

And here're again the benchark values as diagram:

Thus it's a great result, which let us highly overclock a CPU with locked multiplier.
Whether one uses rather high timings with a low clock frequency, or better timings with reduced frequency,
depends on the respective Motherboard and the used processor
(Have a look in our Workshop to get informations about the locked multiplicator of newer AMD Socket A, AMD Athlon 64
and Intel CPUs).
The Crucial Ballistix PC4000 memory modules had wonderful results at all values.

 

Result and general impression ...

Crucial offers with the 1GB Ballistix PC4000 kit (BL2KIT6464L505) a great memory solution regarding all criteria !
Strong performance, very good overclocking, wonderful design and a good cost-performance ratio will speed up
home PCs for current 3D-Games and professional applications like DTP.
Thus they're also absolutely recommendable for high-end Overclocker.

 

 

Read on in the hardware test area with several hardware reviews ...

 

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All pictures and article copyright 2006 www.ocinside.de