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Crucial Ballistix Tracer 4GB DDR3-1333 Memory Kit
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Crucial
Source: Crucial
Purchase: Crucial
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 3 of 6 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]
Crucial Ballistix Tracer 4GB DDR3-1333 Memory Kit
November 12, 2008

Operation:

The following components were used with the Crucial Ballistix Tracer 4GB DDR3-1333 memory kit for this review.

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core processor
OCZ Technology Vendetta CPU cooler
ASUS P5E64 WS Evolution Intel X48 motherboard
Sapphire 2048MB Radeon HD4850 X2 PCI Express graphics card
Maxtor MaxLine III 250GB SATA 3Gbps hard drive
Nesteq 700W modular power supply
Windows Vista Home Premium with SP1 (64-Bit)

The screenshots below are from CPU-Z, and are provided to show the details regarding the memory and other system components. The below left image shows the SPD tab, where information on the memory and its three timings profiles are provided. Despite being rated for 6-6-6-20 timings at 667MHz (1333MHz DDR3), the top profile lists the timings as 9-10-10-25 at this speed. One other difference is that you only need 1.5V to run with these looser timings, but you will need 1.8V to use the advertised timings. The below right image shows the Memory tab with the memory manually configured to match the advertised specifications. After some initial testing to confirm that the stock settings were stable, I proceed to try my hand at overclocking.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

Overclocking:

At the start of this review I have to say that I was more eager to test these modules than I usually am. While they aren't rated to be the fastest I have seen, other reviews I have read indicate that they might overclock enough to be about the fastest. Checking out reviews at bjorn3d.com, thinkcomputers.org, and pro-clockers.com indicated that 1600MHz should be no problem, and that this kit was quite capable of getting up close to 2000MHz. While I don't consider myself to be overly skilled or patient when it comes to overclocking, I was hopeful to hit somewhere in the middle.

With the timings all on auto, my first stop was to go straight to 1600MHz (a 20% overclock). The system booted right up with rather loose timings and 1.8V, so my next move was to tighten the timings up manually. 8-8-8-24 wound up being the best I could do, and those really aren't bad timings for 1600MHz operation. From there I continued upward in smaller steps and after a few adjustments wound up needing some more voltage. A maximum of 1700MHz was reached with the 8-8-8-24 timings and 1.9V. Above this point things were not completely stable, although a few prelimary shots at 1800MHz (9-10-10-25, 2.0V) made it succesfully in to Windows, but failed to complete all tests. Perhaps a bit more tweaking on the CPU and motherboard voltage side of things would solve the problem.

The screenshots below were taken from CPU-Z to confirm the configuration with the memory overclocked to 1700MHz.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

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