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Going For 4GB: DDR2-1066 Kit Round-Up

Crucial CT2Kit 4 GB

Crucial hasn’t been following the “arms race” in the memory arena as aggressively as other memory makers, but the firm still offers a full lineup of memory products for mainstream users and enthusiasts. If you’re looking for Crucial enthusiast memory, we recommend checking out the Ballistix line. The memory kit we received for review is part of the standard memory line, part number CT2KIT25664AA1067, which already tells us a lot about the actual memory. Compared to most of the other products, this one is not aimed at the uber-enthusiast, but it is the only product that fully complies to the JEDEC specification for DDR2-1066 speed, as nothing faster than CL7-7-7 has been specified.

The Crucial Web site provides assistance to everyone trying to find the right product. First of all, you select the memory type, then you can remove all the parameters that you don’t need or want: memory speed, type, density, kit or single modules, DIMM type, and error checking. The alternative would be using Crucial’s RAM memory advisor, which scans your system in order to find the best memory to upgrade after providing your motherboard or PC make. Anyone who is not familiar with memory details will be happy to get this type of help.

Specifications

The CT2KIT25664AA1067 isn’t a bargain at $229.99, but as upgrade memory it is expected to work flawlessly. The “1067” tells the user that this is a 1066 speed grade, but with CL7 timings. The CT2 prefix tells us about the memory technology, which is DDR2. The kit consists of two unbuffered 2 GB modules. Unlike the other products in this roundup, the Crucial DIMMs stick to conventional DDR2 operating parameters of 1.8 V standard voltage – and they don’t even come with a heat spreader, which is really unusual these days. Heat spreaders are metal plates that dissipate heat away from the memory chips. Crucial proves that they aren’t really necessary at stock speeds or voltages.

Plain and Simple

The Crucial memory isn’t shiny, coming on an ordinary green printed circuit board (PCB) with uncovered Micron memory chips (Crucial is the retail arm of Micron). This memory doesn’t go far in terms of overclocking, it doesn’t look spectacular, and it does not come with any special features such as memory profiles, cooling tweaks or other items of interest. It’s just plain memory and it just works. Period.

Overclocking

As mentioned, the memory doesn’t take you very far, especially since we decided to stay on the safe side of the specified timings and voltage, which means CL7-7-7-24 timings and 1.8 V voltage. Compared to 2.1 V or more with some of the other products, it’s obvious that clock speed records were difficult to reach.

DDR2-1091 speed was as much as we could get, although we’ve seen other Crucial DDR2 memory, also based on Micron memory chips, reach far higher speeds once higher voltages were applied. This is also the case with our test samples: 2.0 V or 2.1 V makes a huge difference, as it will give you almost another 100 MHz maximum clock speed. However, if you want both faster timings and faster clock speed, you’ll probably have to pick another product.

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