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Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666 Memory Review

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Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666 Memory Review

By Jason Maxfield

Manufacturer: Micron Technology, Inc.
Product Name: Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 UDIMM
Model Number: BLE2K8G4D26AFEA
UPC: 649528770592 EAN: 0649528770592
Price As Tested: $74.50 (Amazon / Newegg)

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Crucial.

DDR4 RAM launched in Q2 of 2014 with ECC (error correcting code) memory technology, followed shortly by consumer versions launching with the introduction of the Intel’s Haswell-E. Now that prices have dropped to DDR3 levels and LGA 1551 motherboards have been out since September 2015, DDR4 is becoming more mainstream in the PC upgrade market.

Crucial sent us a sample of their DDR4-2666MHz 16GB Ballistix Elite RAM. Crucial Ballistix Elite is their premium memory line, with speeds ranging from 2666MHz to 3200MHz, and memory capacities from 4GB to 32GB in single to quad channel kits. Crucial is pushing the speed envelope with their line of Ballistix Elite memory kits well past the DDR4 standard of 2133MHz. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I’m going to see if higher bandwidth memory makes a difference. Will Crucial Ballistix Elite deliver, or fall short of the mark? Let’s find out!

Crucial-Ballistix-Elite-Perspective

I will be running a series of synthetic benchmarks to test the Crucial Ballistix Elite RAM. The memory will be going head-to-head with a Corsair Vengeance LPX 2400MHz 16GB (CMK16GX4M2A2400C14) kit.

Features & Specifications

Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4

Outplay. Outmatch. Outlast. The future of performance memory is here.

To max out performance in the final days of DDR3 technology, you needed the right processor, the right motherboard, a PhD in overclocking, and the willingness to surrender everything in your wallet. Not anymore.

 

Product Specifications
Brand Ballistix
Total Capacity 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB)
Warranty Limited Lifetime
Specs DDR4 PC4-21300 • 16-17-17 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR4-2666 • 1.2V • 1024Meg x 64 •
Series Ballistix Elite
Form Factor UDIMM
ECC NON-ECC
Module Qty 2
Speed 2666 MT/S
Tracer False
Voltage 1.2V
DIMM Type Unbuffered
Bullet Features Designed for extreme enthusiasts, gamers and overclockers

Product specifications taken from Crucial’s website.


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2 comments

  1. Olle P

    Overall a nice review!

    I use the “Tactical” version, with a more slender heatsink, myself (in a 4x4GB setup).
    When I got the new hardware this summer (around the same time this article was published) I ran similar tests, comparing different settings XMP on/off and also with variations in CPU speed settings.
    The main questions for me at the time were:
    1. Given that Intel officially states support for memory “up to” (only) 2,133 MHz; will faster memory work well at all, or will there be issues?
    2. Given that there are no issues, will faster memory increase the overall computer performance?
    My results matched the ones in this review: No issues. Faster memory will provide a performance increase that’s measurable in benchmarks but hardly notable in regular use.

    Back to your review:
    * The “Elite” heatsink is quite wide. To me it seems like there could be an issue with cooling when all four memory slots are occupied. Is that observation correct?
    * Based on the introductory statement, “In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I’m going to see if higher bandwidth memory makes a difference.”, I would have preferred the Corsair memory with XMP off (or any other memory at 2,133MHz) to be the opposition.
    * It’s refreshing to read a review where the emphasis isn’t on the hardware’s overclocking capabilities!

    Conclusions and recommendations:
    Is Ballistix Elite a good set of RAM? Yes, at least unless you want/need a set of four to run at maximum overclock.
    Generally, when buying RAM the considerations should be (in order of importance):
    1. A type that is compatible with the motherboard and CPU.
    2. Sufficient amount of memory. As of today 8GB is generally considered the minimum requirement (when used with a 64-bit OS) and up to 16GB can be beneficial. For video editing and other demanding tasks even more can be useful.
    3. Do buy RAM in matched pairs to get the most out of the “dual channel” capability.
    4a. For best price/performance buy the fastest RAM you can get at the same (or better) price as slower RAM. Don’t spend extra money to get faster RAM unless you want higher benchmark scores and/or better overclocking capabilities.
    4b. Looks (of the heatsink) is important to some users. Spending extra money to get the right look is fine as long as it doesn’t impede points 1 through 3 above.

    1. Jason Maxfield

      Olle P, There isn’t any cooling issue that I’m aware of when using 4 sticks of this RAM. My friend has 4 installed and we haven’t noticed any heat issues with it so far.

      Memory speed can increase performance a slight amount. But it largely depends on what application is being used. Video or image editing is usually more effected by the amount of RAM installed and not so much the speed. I did notice a slight improvement in my testing with gaming. Although, it’s mostly insignificant. You would not be able to tell simply by observing the game while playing.

      They are good sticks of RAM. They were slightly better than the Corsair RAM I put them up against in the article. Basically you have it right. What your PC is going to be used for will determine how much RAM you will need. Gaming, I’d recommend 16GB. Some games are becoming huge resource hogs and the extra RAM now will help in the future. If you do a lot of video editing, then more is even better.

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