Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-3466 Memory Review


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Synthetic Benchmark Results

Test Platform

  • MSI Z170 Gaming 5 motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-6700K CPU, non-overclocked

Some years ago, Intel defined the “Extreme Memory Profile” (XMP) protocol, wherein a memory vendor could indicate, via a special chip on a memory module, the fastest timings the memory could run at. Modern motherboards allow you to enable or disable XMP in the BIOS, or sometimes via a physical switch on the motherboard. The Crucial Ballistic Elite DDR4 we receive has XMP settings of 16-18-18-36 at 3,466MHz, while the “standard” DDR4 I tested against is running at 2,133MHz. It’s important to note that if you install performance memory in your computer, you must enable the XMP setting in your computer’s BIOS to realize the extra performance. Well, that or overclock it manually.

Starting off with AIDA64’s built-in memory benchmark, we see substantial gains in both sequential reads and sequential writes, with a 48.3% increase in read throughput and 61% increase in write throughput. The increase in write throughput virtually equals the 62% increase in memory clock speed over stock.

Next, I ran Passmark 9’s memory benchmark. Uncached read results were modest, with a 14% increase; cached reads were virtually the same (which is to be expected here), while writes showed a more substantial 38% increase.

The last synthetic test, the memory benchmark built into SiSoft’s Sandra Lite utility, shows substantial gains: 55% overall, with a 55% increase in integer bandwidth and a 54% increase in floating point bandwidth. This is very close to the 62% increase in clock speed.

In the next section I’ll run some real-world applications.


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