Crucial Ballistix Sport 2400MHz 32GB (4x8GB) Quad Channel Memory Kit Review

Introduction


When purchasing a computer, RAM generally is the last component that you tend to think about and when you do come to think of it; quantity is the only real factor you tend to consider. That is if you don’t have a colour scheme or a limited amount of DIMM slots to accommodate RAM. Since the early days of computing, RAM has come a long way, the most recent format DDR has seen four iterations. The latest being DDR4, which has surpassed DDR3 as the new mainstream RAM type and has introduced memory speeds up to and surpassing 3333+MHz.

Crucial are one of the big players in the RAM game, providing us with a solid performance at a more affordable price. Today’s kit is the Ballistix Sport 2400MHz, one of Crucial’s cheaper options on the market, providing us with minimal heat spreader size and design and the base unit to adopt the use of black PCB. Let’s see how this set compares in today’s review.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

The packaging is almost exactly the same design as the rest of the current Crucial RAM range. A basic clamshell style case with small amounts of information on the single sticker on the front; allowing for maximum exposure for the DIMM’s within.

A Closer Look

Something that the Ballistix Sport range is understated. The black PCB and gold fingers are a nice contrast with a rather small silver heat sink on either side of the DIMM; Personally, I think a splash of gold could have been added to the corners and the logos.

RAM is an often overlooked part of the system, but it’s always nice to see how it looks when installed into a motherboard. Here is the set installed into our base motherboard, the ASUS RAMPAGE V X99. The Ballistix Sport kit fits in well with the colour scheme of our base motherboard.

Gigabyte BRIX GB-BXi5H-5200 Review

Introduction


Today we are taking a look at Gigabyte’s Intel i5 5200U powered BRIX. Gigabyte has an impressive array of BRIX models that come in at all different performance levels with many CPU options and even options with discrete GPUs. The small form factor computer business has been exploding the last few years due in part with parts shrinking and their abilities skyrocketing. Many people have been buying small form factor units deciding to use them as business or daily workstations due to the low power consumption, helping to lower costs. Others love these small boxes for use as home theater PCs (HTPCs) since they can be tucked out of the way and will generally not be heard over ambient sound in the home theater. The specs for this BRIX look promising for use in both situations so let’s take a closer look and see just how well it would perform in these tasks.

Specifications
  • Name: Gigabyte BRIX GB-BXi5H-5200
  • CPU: Intel i5 5200U (2C/4T, 2.2 GHz w/ 2.7 GHz Max Turbo, 14nm, 15W)
  • RAM: User Supplied – We tested with Crucial Ballistix 2x4GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1T 1.35v 
  • SSD: User Supplied – Crucial MX200 SSD 250GB
  • GPU: Integrated – Intel® HD Graphics 5500
  • LAN: Realtek RTL8111G 10/100/1000/Gigabit Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Mini isplayPort, Headphone-out, Microphone in, RJ-45/GbE LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 10 preview used in this review
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $364.99

Retail Packaging

Printed materials and hardware that the BRIX comes with. You will get a power adapter and power cord to hook up the BRIX as well as all the screws that you will need to mount your SSD or HDD and use the VESA mount if you wish. The DVD and printed materials are toss away materials in my opinion since the most up to date drivers and materials can be downloaded from the support website.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Crucial Announces Ballistix DDR4 16GB Performance Memory

Crucial is well known for their memory and storage drives, but this time it’s the memory that we’ll talk a little about. Crucial just announced the release of Ballistix DDR4 16GB performance memory with various heat-sink configurations.

The new modules are perfect for gamers and enthusiasts who deal with content creation, virtual machines, RAM drives, and memory-intensive applications. The new modules are using Micron’s new 8Gb DDR4 component technology to offer up these high-density DDR4 memory modules.

With the recent release of these high-capacity memory modules with 16GB per module, home users can now create systems with 128GB total memory capabilities that otherwise was reserved for server grade systems. The modules are compatible with the latest Intel X99 platforms and support XMP 2.0 profiles for easy setup.

“This density of memory module will start to become broadly available in the desktop space with our new 8Gb-based Ballistix DDR4 16GB modules,” said Jeremy Mortenson, worldwide DRAM product marketing manager, Crucial. “We anticipate that our new modules and component densities will enable smaller form factors and the next generation of computers to have capacities that were traditionally limited to the server or high-end desktop space.”

Ballistix DDR4 16GB memory is expected to ship in late July as Ballistix Sport, Ballistix Tactical, and Ballistix Elite. The 16GB modules will be available single or in kits up to 128GB and come backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Crucial Ballistix Sport 2400MHz Quad Channel DDR4 16GB Memory Kit Review

Introduction


Memory, the most vital part of any computer that gets overlooked the most. There’s not a lot to say about RAM apart from its expensive and very confusing. DDR4, the newest iteration of RAM is currently the fastest version of the consumer RAM, with speeds exceeding 3333MHz.

Crucial are one of the big players in the RAM game, providing us with solid performance at a more affordable price. Today’s kit is the Ballistix Sport 2400MHz, one of Crucial’s cheaper sets, providing us with minimal heatsinks and the base unit to use a black PCB. Let’s see how this set compares to the likes of Corsair, G-Skill and our base 32GB Crucial DDR4 set.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

We won’t dwell on the packaging too much as it is very plain and simple. Ffour modules neatly packed into a small rectangular box. This kit is a quad-channel variety so each module is 4GB in size.

A Closer Look

The Ballistix Sport kit looks very understated. A very slimline heatsink panel on each side. Such a minimalistic design which I think might put some off due to looking a little “cheap”. Hopefully that is not the case with the performance.

Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 16GB 2400MHz Quad Channel DDR4 Memory Kit Review

Introduction


With every new DDR memory release comes a decline in operating voltage and a decrease in heat output. In the transition from DDR2 to DDR3 and now DDR4, we’ve seen voltages drop and the need for large memory heatsinks are no longer necessary. This allows memory brands to release high-performance memory kits in compact low profile form factors that require minimal cooling. Crucial Ballistix Sport LT is a great example of this – it boasts high frequency yet it still has a low profile design making it ideal for use in compact system builds and with large tower heatsinks that are definitely going to be necessary to cool some of Intel’s swanky new Haswell-E Core i7 5XXX processors.

2400MHz sits on the higher end of the consumer DDR3 kits, as a result we should expect to see some excellent performance from this new Crucial 2400MHz DDR4 kit but the real question is: how well can most applications take advantage of the improved memory architecture? Let’s find out in today’s review.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

Packaging is very boring here, a simple clip case displaying two modules with a very small amount, but useful information.

A Closer Look

Crucial seem to have taken the original SPORT memory kit design and added a lip to the upper edge, which hugs the top of the PCB and meet the other side at the top.

Crucial Ballistix Elite 2666MHz Quad Channel DDR4 Memory Kit Review

Introduction


Memory, no matter how you look at it, you need it. Starting life as super slow DDR modules, it has come a long way from the simple 600MHz speeds, now exceeding 3000MHz in most higher end consumer kits. Module sizes have also come a very long way, back in the day with 128MB, yes Megabyte, to now 4GB modules as the standard with 8GB becoming the norm very soon.

The kit we have in today is the Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 2666MHz. This is currently the highest clocked memory modules that Crucial produce, which is lower than what the likes of Corsair and G-Skill offer, but let’s see if this Elite 2666MHz kit has what it takes to compete with the big boys.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

We won’t dwell on the packaging too much as it is very plain and simple: four modules neatly packed into a small rectangular box. This kit is a quad-channel variety so each module is 4GB in size.

A Closer Look

The Crucial Elite range is all very similar, but the transition from DDR3 to DDR4 has seen the fins removed from the top of the heatsink; A lower profile makes room for a bigger CPU heatsink.

Get Your Old Rig Gaming Ready on a Tight Budget

Introduction


Have you been looking at the latest graphics cards, then looking at your own PC and thinking you’ve got a gutless gaming rig? I know the feeling, the new cards can be very tempting, at least until you check your bank balance and remember you’re not rich. High-end hardware is great, but do you really need a $1000 Titan X to enjoy your favourite games? Nope. If you’re thinking that your current system is a little outdated, that you need to upgrade the whole thing to be able to enjoy the latest games, you’re wrong and I’m going to prove it.

Now I will admit, if you have a good bit of money saved up to replace your entire rig, go for it, it’ll be awesome. However, if your budget is limited and your system needs a new lease of life, we’re going to see how much improvement you can get for a modest investment of just £300 (approx $440 US)!

I’ll be starting out with a rather humble system, which features the hardware listed below, which I think you’ll agree is pretty unremarkable by today’s standards. The motherboard is an overclocking board, but we’ll be running at stock clocks to help better simulate an under powered system, it just happens to be the most suitable board I had at the time.

  • Dual-core i3 4330 3.5GHz
  • MSI GTX 560 Ti 1GB graphics card
  • ADATA 8GB 1600Mhz Memory 11-11-11-28
  • Gigabyte GA-Z97N Motherboard
  • Western Digital 500GB Hard Drive 7200RPM
  • Silverstone Kublai KL06 Chassis
  • Seasonic 600W 80+ Bronze PSU
  • CoolerMaster Gemini Low-Profile CPU cooler

I’ll be upgrading the system with the following components, then benchmarking it in some popular applications to compare how much the performance improves.

All prices correct at the time of writing.

As you can see, there’s nothing exciting about this system. Perhaps a couple of years ago, a system of this specification may have raised an eyebrow a little, but perhaps not so much today.

No SSD here, just a standard and rather well aged mechanical hard drive, so expect boot times to be enough to go and make a coffee.

The GPU has had a hard life, it’s actually the one we used to use for chassis reviews, so there’s are a few bumps and scrapes, but it’s still in perfect working order.

I’ve already benchmarked the system with this setup and we’ll get to the scores for that very soon, so let’s install our new Ballistix Sport memory, which has tighter timings than the old kit, it won’t be much, but it should give us that extra edge for very little investment.

The Crucial BX100, an absolutely incredible bargain at under £60 ($88 US); this will no doubt have a huge impact on the systems performance.

I’ll be using the new ASUS GTX 960 STRIX 2GB card for my upgrade.

It’s certainly one of the nicest GTX 960’s on the market right now and while I’m expecting great performance gains, it’s also aesthetically pleasing, so should provide a nice visual upgrade too!

The card also features more video outputs than the 560 Ti, giving you greater connectivity options.

It also features a nice back plate and only required a single 6-pin power connector vs the dual 6-in required by the GTX 560 Ti.

 

New components all installed, which only took about ten minutes to get them out of their respective boxes and plugged in.

The GTX 960 looking great!

Our new BX100 SSD.

Finally, the new Ballistix Sport memory.

Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 Memory Available

Crucial announced the availability of their new Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory modules. The new modules come as 4GB and 8GB versions and as single, dual or four packs.

The new modules deliver introductory speeds starting at 2666 MT/s, and allow users to radically increase bandwidth to 21 GB/s while decreasing the power consumption by up to 40 percent when compared to DDR3 memory. Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory is optimized for the latest Intel X99 platforms with support XMP 2.0 profiles and features a custom-designed black PCB and anodized aluminum heat spreaders for that extra touch.

“Ballistix Elite DDR4 introduces a striking new look for us while reducing the memory bottleneck further by delivering faster speeds and bandwidths, improved responsiveness, and enabling increased frame rates,” said Jeremy Mortenson, product marketing manager, Crucial.

A really cool feature is the exclusive Ballistix Memory Overview Display (M.O.D.) utility which provides the ability to read information from the module. This includes real-time temperature from the integrated thermal sensor, voltages and more, and all to aid those overclocking efforts.

The new modules are available for purchase from Crucial’s website and global partners where the prices start at $94.99 for a 4GB module. Like all Crucial memory, these modules are also backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Thanks to Crucial for providing us with this information

Crucial Introduces New Ballistix Sport and Tactical DDR4 Gaming Memory

Crucial has introduced two new DDR4 modules to the Ballistix series, the Ballistix Sport LT and the Ballistix Tactical Gaming Memory

Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 memory is designed for the mainstream users for fast speeds and increased bandwidth. The new modules feature a covert digital camo design and integrated heat spreader and Intel XMP 2.0 profiles to achieve DDR4 speeds of 2400 MT/s.

The Crucial Ballistix Tactical DDR4 Gaming Memory supports four-channel architecture for maximized data rates. It delivers 2666 MT/s speeds and offers increased bandwidths of 21.3 GB/s. The modules feature a distinctive heat spreader on a black PCB  and also have certified Intel XMP 2.0 profiles for easy setup and configuration.

“With our new Ballistix DDR4 offerings, we continue our commitment to giving gamers, enthusiasts, and overclockers the latest memory products needed to keep their systems on the cutting edge,” said Jeremy Mortensen, product marketing manager, Crucial. “Our Ballistix Sport LT and Tactical DDR4 memory offers a great combination of performance, style, and reliability that gamers have come to expect from Crucial.”

Ballistix Sport LT and Ballistix Tactical DDR4 modules will be available in Q1 2015 at Crucial.com and through select global partners in 4GB and 8GB densities and in kits with up to 32GB. All Ballistix memory is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Thanks to Crucial for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Crucial

Crucial Ballistix Sport XT DDR3 1866MHz 16GB Memory Kit Review

Introduction


Micron are on of the biggest DRAM vendors in the industry and Crucial is one of their main brands through which they channel their DRAM products. Today we are looking at Crucial’s revamped Ballistix Sport line which now comes with the XT moniker. These Crucial Ballistix Sport XT DDR3 modules we have come in a variety of capacities and speeds which you can see here. The key things to note are that they are available in either 4GB or 8GB modules and can have either 1600MHz or 1866MHz clock speeds. We have with us today the best dual channel kit of the Ballistix Sport XT series, more specifically we have the BLS2K8G3D18ADS3 kit which uses two 8GB DIMMs running at 1866MHz, CL10 latencies and 1.5 volts.

The packaging is pretty plain and simple and indicates all the key details about the kit on the sticker. The packaging is clear so you can get a clear glimpse at the memory kit.

The back is quite plain and tells you that this series is aimed at mainstream users and gamers. There is nothing included with this product other than the memory kit itself.