High-End DDR3 Memory on the Hook

Crucial Ballistix BL2KIT 12864BA1608 (DDR3-1600)

At this point, Crucial only offers basic DDR3-1066 RAM as well as a premium DDR3-1600 product. The Crucial memory we included in this roundup is the same type of DDR3 RAM that we’ve deployed to multiple Tom’s Hardware test labs for our Reference Test Systems, the BL2KIT at PC3-12800 specification for DDR3-1600 speeds. While Corsair, Patriot and Supertalent rate their high-speed memory for CL7-7-7-x operation, Crucial stays with more relaxed CL8-8-8-24 timings. This did have an impact to the benchmark results, but the difference still is small. The advantage is that the memory can safely be operated at only 1.8 V. That’s still far more than the 1.5 V specified by JEDEC for DDR3 memory, but the overvoltaging stays within acceptable boundaries.

Like other enthusiast DIMMs of Crucial’s Ballistix series, these modules carry yellow-painted, plain metal heat spreaders. Although there are small stickers on the front side as well as on the back, none of them includes clear textual information on the memory speed, voltage and timings. Instead, you have to write down the model number and look the specifications up on the Crucial website.

Though only rated at DDR3-1600, we were able to run the Crucial DIMMs reliably at up to DDR3-1900 speed. While 2.1 V instead of 1.8 V was necessary at DDR3-1750 speed and up, any further voltage increase didn’t allow us to reach even higher speeds. These Ballistix DDR3 DIMMs support Intel’s Extreme Memory Profile for auto-configuration on X38 and future X48 motherboards.

  • ilysaml
    i'm stuck with 1333 MHz and it's really pretty cool
  • Can you specify what brand and/or model number that ddr3-1352 RAM is? It flattened the 1600 with identical timings, and I'd like to know why.