Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer DDR3-1600/PC3-12800 4GB Kit BL2KIT25664ST1608RG Memory Review

Let us continue with the most important part of the test report, the highest possible stable performance. The multiplier adjustment remains on 13x with all frequencies, because an adjustment for the CPU in half multiplier steps would be too inaccurate to get nearly the same CPU frequency for all tests. Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition is used as the operating system. The stability was examined with the software Memtest86
and SiSoft Sandra Lite 2010c and Sandra 2011 is for all benchmarks used, because it offers extensive adjustments and a fast result comparison. BTW. the latest SiSoftware Sandra 2011 version is available on our download server and can be downloaded very fast. All memory benchmark tests are also included in the free Sandra Lite version.

First the maximum possible frequency of the memory module was determined with default 1.50 Volt (1.53V). The memory frequency was increased in small steps with a fixed memory timing of 8-8-8-24 2T and default memory voltage, as long as the detailed memory test with Memtest86 runs without any errors. This quite long testing time ensured that this frequency works really stable with these modules.

The highest possible frequency with 8-8-8-24 2T (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings and 1.53V was 750/1498 MHz.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of CPU-Z 1.53 with 750/1498 MHz and 8-8-8-24 2T with 1,53 Volt:

It’s possible to run much higher frequencies with increased voltages or lower timings, because the frequency values and timings depends directly from each other.

The benchmark comparison of all DDR3 modules were tested with the default 1.53 V, where these modules reached 1498 MHz. This highest possible clocking on the default DDR3 voltage was compared with two other settings. On the one hand they were tested with 200 MHz reference clock x6,66 = 1333 MHz and SPD values (SPD values are programmed in the SPD IC by the manufacturer). On the other hand the highest possible frequency was determined at 8-8-8-24 2T with the permitted manufacturer voltage.

With a frequency of approx. 667 MHz the SPD EEPROM autodetection timings were 9-12-12-30 2T (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS).

Here is a Snipping screenshot of CPU-Z 1.53 with 666.7/1333 MHz and 9-12-12-30 2T:

Officially Crucial specify the voltage of 1.65 Volt without loosing the warranty. This voltage was also necessary, in order to be able to clock the modules stable with 800/1600 MHz and 8-8-8-24 2T. With 1.65 Volt Vmem and CL8 it was possible to reach a maximum frequency of 1600 MHz on the AMD platform.

The highest possible frequency with 8-8-8-24 2T (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings and 1.65V was 800/1600 MHz.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of CPU-Z 1.53 with 800/1600 MHz and 8-8-8-24 2T with 1,65 Volt (manufacturer voltage):

An inoffical overclocking test outside the manufacturer specification with 2.00 V Vmem offered a maximum of 1667 MHz and offers an increasement compared to the permitted 1.65 Volt. The memory temperature rose thereby externally measured from approx. 42.6°C with DDR3-1600 and 1,65V to 50.6°C with DDR3-1667 and 2V, which corresponds to an internally temperature measurement of approx. 53.25°C. With higher voltages one should thus upgrade to larger heat spreader at the best with an active RAM cooler.

Here is a Snipping screenshot of CPU-Z 1.53 with 833/1667 MHz and 8-8-8-24 2T with 2 Volt unofficial voltage:

Here are the SiSoftware Sandra 2010 benchmark results:

Frequency Timing Speicher Spannung RAM Range Int Buff’d iSSE2 Memory Bus Range Memory Latency
220 MHz * 6,66 = 1498 MHz fix (8-8-8-24 2T) 1.53 Volt 13.47 GB/s 23.44 GB/s 77 ns
248 MHz * 6,66 = 1600 MHz fix (8-8-8-24 2T) 1.65 Volt 14.51 GB/s 25.00 GB/s 71 ns
200 MHz * 6,66 = 1333 MHz SPD (9-12-12-30 2T) 1.53 Volt 11.85 GB/s 20.84 GB/s 93 ns

By the way, the “Memory Bus Range” is no benchmark value, but this value is quite simple to calculate by the frequency and this is useful for a benchmark comparison. For own comparisons with the values from older Sandra versions before Sandra 2011 it is important to know, that starting from the version 2011 the memory performance in SiSoftware Sandra is differently calculated and one must convert the value, in order to get identical results: Sandra 2010 value /1024/1024*1000*1000 = Sandra 2011 result.

Here’s a diagram of the benchmark values:

Here is a direct comparison of some DDR3, DDR2 and DDR memory benchmark results:

The Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer PC3-12800 memory modules are not at the top of all results with the standard JEDEC voltage, but they are however nevertheless within the good upper range of all tested modules. With the maximally permitted voltage of 1,65 V, which is also written in the XMP-1600 profile by the manufacturer, it was possible to reach much faster results and starting from a VMem of approx. 2.00 V even the 1600 MHz border (800 MHz) was significant exceeded.