Testing the Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666MHz has been fun and educational. You may have noticed by now that I did not include any overclocking results. I had some teething issues while doing this article. Mainly dealing with the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 6 motherboard and a corrupted Windows install (oops). Needless to say, I learned some things about attempting overclocking RAM when you have no previous experience doing so. In the end for stabilities sake, I decided to test the RAM with their XMP profiles enabled and called it a day.
The Crucial Ballistix Elite RAM seems to be aimed at enthusiasts and overclockers, but with the added advantage of not being absurdly expensive memory to go into that shiny new PC build. Saving some money on RAM could mean a slightly better component somewhere else in your build.
DDR4 has had time to mature, and 2666MHz is lower-ground when it comes to DDR4 memory speeds. DDR4-4266MHz is at the top of the heap, but at a costly punch to ones wallet. 4266MHz is not really practical for most normal use scenarios, as many programs just do not need that much bandwidth to function at optimal speeds.
The performance of the Ballistix Elite is hard to rate. It was better than the Corsair Vengeance LPX kit. It did what it was designed to do, just ever so slightly faster on paper. Realistically I could not perceive any difference, other than a slight bit faster boot time than I had with the Corsair memory.
The aesthetics of the Crucial Ballistix Elite line-up are nice. The kit feels like it could take a bullet and shrug it off. Nice and solid heft, makes it feel as if your money is well spent. In my case, no money was spent, but I would buy this kit just based on looks, as it will accommodate a wide variety of color schemes and blend right in.
As I mentioned already, the construction of this kit is solid. The kit weighs close to 1 pound with how much aluminum is on the Ballistix Elite kit. Mainly due to the top heat-sink having a thick top ridge.
Functionality was spot-on. The XMP profile enabled right away with proper timings. I had no errors running this kit through Memtest and Windows memory manager for several hours with XMP profile enabled.
Value is always a bit objective to me. At the time of testing the Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666 memory kit was listed online for $74.50 (Amazon / Newegg). In comparison the Corsair Kit is currently $77.99 on newegg. Considering those prices, the Crucial Ballistix Elite is the value winner between these two kits. The Ballistix Elite is higher speed, yet costs less.
At the current price I would not hesitate to buy the Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666MHz kit if I was in the market for some new memory. Crucials Ballistix Elite series has a variety of speeds from 2666MHz to 3200MHz if 2666MHz is just too slow for you.
+Excellent price for DDR4 memory
+Flawless XMP profile
+Solid build quality
+Visually appealing RAM
-Not quite low profile memory. May have issues with certain coolers/motherboards clearance
Final Score: 9.25 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
COMMENT QUESTION: Who do you turn to for system memory?