Crucial launches performance memory line

Chicago (IL) - Crucial, the direct sales arm of DRAM manufacturer Micron, goes ballistic : The company today announced a new performance line of DDR and DDR2 memories "Ballistix", aimed at enthusiast users. We were lucky enough to already get our hands on the modules.

Sales of performance memory have been growing at a steady as we see more and more companies offering the prestigious DDR and DDR2 memories. The latest entry into this market is Crucial, the company who directly sells Micron’s memory products through its website.

"We’ve always paid close attention to the enthusiast market and it seems to have reached a point of critical mass-enough to justify our move into the market," said Crucial spokesperson Sam Harmer. "The Ballistix line gives Crucial’s customers access to lower latency, higher speed memory from the same source they have always trusted for quality mainstream memory upgrades."

The Crucial Balistix line is characterized by a double-sided aluminum heat spreader and offers higher speeds and lower latencies than the typical products from the company. The initial product line includes four different versions ranging from the PC-3200 (DDR-400, CL2-2-2-6, $75 for 256 MByte and $139 for 512 MByte), PC-4000 (DDR-500, CL2.5-4-4-8, $78 and $145) to the PC2-4200 (DDR2-533, CL3-3-3-10, $119 and $229) and PC2-5300 (DDR2-667, CL4-4-4-10, $125 and $239).

Crucial never was the performance leader in the memory segment, but rather built its business on product compatibility. With its first appearance in the performance market, the Ballistix line left a good impression in our test lab. Stable overclocking results were achieved up to DDR-715 (357 MHz) in combination with boards from Abit and Asus. This fact makes the chipset especially interesting to overclock Intel’s 775 platform equipped with 915P and 925X chipsets - which is possible with top of the line boards from Abit, Asus, and Gigabyte.

Crucial’s Harmer believes that the company might quickly get a foothold in a market with competitors such as Samsung, Toshiba and OEMs such as Corsair and OCZ. "We were waiting for a point when we felt the market justified the product launch. That time is now." Crucial expects that the "Ballistix line will provide the same market share success that our standard line has in the space." Taking the 2003 DRAM market share report from research firm Semico, this translates to just under 20 percent share.

The leading DRAM memory manufacturer currently is Samsung with a share of 28.6 percent, followed by Micron with 17.2 percent and Infineon, also with 17.2 percent.