Just in case the whir of fans and the occasional tick-tick of a hard drive doesn’t provide enough clues that that yes, your PC really is powered on, Lexar Media is now offering its LED-laden Crucial Ballistix Tracer SDRAM in DDR3 trim.
Red and green LEDs mounted between the DIMM sticks’ black aluminum heat spreaders and above the top edge of the black PCB light up in sequence based on memory activity. Eight blue “ground effects” LEDs mounted closer to the bottom of the module, near the pins, cast their glow on the DIMM sockets.
But there’s no need to break out your old Morse code book; you won’t be able to divine much, if any, insight on what your PC is doing based the Tracer’s light show.
The modules operate on 1.8 volts of power and by default run at 1,333MHz with 6-6-6-20 timing. Since the word on the street is that Intel’s upcoming Core i7 architecture won’t tolerate DIMM voltages higher than 1.65V, we pinged our Lexar contact to ask about future compatibility. We got the following long non-answer:
“We’re working closely with Intel and other motherboard manufacturers,” said the Lexar spokesperson, “to ensure we have Crucial memory products that support the upcoming platforms and technology. We haven’t finalized our products to date, so we’re not able to share specific product details at this point in time. We’re confident we’ll have Crucial products that support these new, upcoming platforms.”
A 2GB kit (two 1GB DIMMS) sells for $109.99; a 4GB kit (two 2GB DIMMS) goes for $199.99. We enjoy bling as much as any performance-rig builder; but based on the comments above, we wouldn’t recommend anyone invest in new memory today if your intent is to migrate it to a new Core i7 motherboard down the road.