Tom's New Reference System

RAM: Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600

New DDR3 products are hitting the market every week. While the motherboards don't support anything above DDR3-1333 at this point, most premium brands already have DDR3-1800 RAM available.

We selected an enthusiast product by Crucial, the Ballistix DDR3 for 1600 speeds. Two 1 GB DIMMs should do it for now, although more and more 4 GB memory kits using four 1 GB DIMMs or two 2 GB DIMMs are available as well. The DDR3-1600 Ballistix RAM is still rather expensive at almost $500, but we expect prices to drop by the beginning of next year.

In looking at the modules, you will recognize their orange-painted aluminum heat spreaders. Unfortunately, Crucial failed to provide very basic information such as the memory speed and timings - every enthusiast will ask for these details, and an additional sticker or imprint on the head spreader would not have been too expensive.

This product hasn't been optimized to run at short timings and we don't consider that too important at this point: low latency DDR3 memory will further increase your memory cost, and won't add much performance to your system. We'll have an article available soon that addresses this very topic.

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  • prodevel
    I happened to buy smart or dumb enough to pretty much buy this rig a few - several months after it came out... I'm just now looking into OC'ing it. If anyone's got good links to tut's I'm game
  • prodevel
    *I bought this rig several months ago and have LOVED it. I'm just now looking into OC'ing it. If anyone's got good links to tut's I'm game.*


    Not sure what happened there w/the prev...
  • Hothr
    Why do you use awful color schemes like this in your graphs? Yesterday's $1,250 machine benchmark graphs were the first I had actually been able to easily read. Light/Dark + Blue/Green/Red makes SO much sense. I can easily tell which system is which, and which bar is the overclocked bar. Blue, Green, Red, Purple shows no information on whether it is overclocked or not, and does not provide an easy way to tell which system is which.
    To make things worse, the key at the bottom of every graph (that I have to look at every time) is always in a different order.

    Can we please have more graphs like the $1,250 build?,2146-12.html
  • Hothr
    wrong article, sorry.