Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666 Memory Review


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Final Thoughts

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.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award Logo (Small)

+Excellent price for DDR4 memory
+Flawless XMP profile
+Solid build quality
+Removable heat-sink
+Visually appealing RAM
+Lifetime Warranty


-Not quite low profile memory. May have issues with certain coolers/motherboards clearance


  • Performance: 9.00
  • Appearance: 9.50
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 9.25 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

COMMENT QUESTION: Who do you turn to for system memory?



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  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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