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Crucial DDR3 Memory — Now With More Bling!

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 9 comments

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.

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  • 1 Hide
    starhoof , October 8, 2008 11:59 AM
    so.... why do you need LEDs beside of looking pretty ?
    i bet they give you that extra performance boost !
  • 3 Hide
    blackened144 , October 8, 2008 1:54 PM
    Sounds like the racing stripes on my friends Dodge Neon.. Useless.
  • 0 Hide
    gwolfman , October 8, 2008 1:58 PM
    it's like stickers/logos on a rice rocket. The more you have, the faster you car/PC. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    neodude007 , October 8, 2008 2:30 PM
    I bet they take away from the RAM's power and you have to bust out your pencil and do a vdroop mod on your memory!! chomg
  • 1 Hide
    rocket_sauce , October 8, 2008 3:25 PM
    I had the DDR version of these and they performed great. For OC'ing they were good for knowing when things froze up, the lights wouldn't be moving. Fun to watch while playing games they just zip across the heatspreaders!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 8, 2008 3:45 PM
    I have had memory with LEDs from Corsair and Crucial.
    Corsair does it better, hands down.

    The order in Corsair's LED pattern provides useful info, while the Crucial LED pattern just randomly lights up like a string of Xmas lights.

    Oh, and the heat-sink is better on Corsair too.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , October 8, 2008 4:01 PM
    My case has no side window. Is this a good memory dimm for me?
  • 0 Hide
    buzznut , October 8, 2008 5:09 PM
    I have the ddr2 800 2gb tracer kit. It def looks good in a windowed machine, but I would go for ocz without the window personally. The tracers found their way into my wifes pc and they look great, perform well too. Just remmeber, the leds add heat so they wont be the coolest sticks you've ever used. may need a cooling mod for serious overclocking.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 8, 2008 6:10 PM
    Just another way to waste more electricity...
    I wonder why they don't do that with your desktop speakers...