|Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500 2GB DDR2 Memory Kit
"You get what you pay for". It's a phrase we hear often, but how much does this statement reflect the truth? Usually this statement implies more expensive products perform better, but as this review will illustrate, this is not always the case. After all, cost is only one of the important factors that influence purchases of computer memory. Arguably some of the more important memory criteria include: rated clock speed, stability, and overclocking capability. Appearance is another criterion that companies are increasingly promoting to aesthetic-conscious consumers.
One company focused on satisfying all of the above criteria is Crucial Technology, a veteran in the memory industry. Their latest "Ballistix Tracer" product lineup is intended to satisfy those who care about aesthetics just as much as performance. So with the Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500 2GB DDR2 Memory Kit, do you get what you pay for? We'll let you be the judge.
Before taking a look at the Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500 2GB DDR2 Memory Kit provided for review, let's look at some published data taken from the Crucial website...
Features and Specifications:
The specifications for the 2x1GB Crucial memory kit being reviewed are listed below. This dual-channel DDR2 kit is rated to run at 1066MHz, 2.2V, and 5-5-5-15 timings. Click here for the complete specification sheet published on the Crucial website.
» Module Size: 2GB kit (1GBx2)
» Package: Ballistix Tracer 240-pin DIMM (with LEDs)
» Feature: DDR2 PC2-8500
» Configuration: 128Meg x 64
» DIMM Type: UNBUFFERED
» Error Checking: NON-ECC
» Speed: DDR2-1066
» Voltage: 2.2v
» Memory Timings: 5-5-5-15
The high speeds advertised by Crucial only account for one of the major features of the "Ballistix" product line. The product we are reviewing today is dubbed "Ballistix Tracer," and the term "tracer" signifies thirty-two LEDs that are built into the heat spreader of each memory module. Sixteen of these LEDs are located along the top of each memory stick. These lights alternate between green and red when memory intensive applications are running. Loading the memory heavier increases the speed of the blinking LEDs. The remaining eight LEDs are blue in color and are distributed along the base of each memory stick. The lights are intended to constantly illuminate the area surrounding the DIMM slots of the motherboard. Case modders - this may give your rig that extra "wow" appeal you've been looking for.
Crucial has been using the same standard cardboard packaging for as long as I can remember. The classic brown box is a standard I believe Crucial is known for. As the pictures below suggest, the box is simple yet functional. Each memory module comes sealed in an electrostatic bag with the modules sandwiched between slits in a cardboard base. The pictures below are self-explanatory.