Crucial are well known for their extreme Ballistix range of memory kits. In the past XSR has reviewed their PC3200 and 6400 dual channel modules. Today we have the pinnacle of Crucial Ballistix memory kits, the PC8000. Like the DDR PC4000-4800 kits of old these modules promise stable overclocks but will they deliver?
|Module Size||2GB kit (1GBx2)|
|Package||Ballistix 240-pin DIMM|
|Configuration||128Meg x 64|
Crucial’s Take on the Ballistix PC8000
CrossFire Certified — Ballistix and Ballistix Tracer performance memory modules have been tested to meet AMD’s high quality standards.
Bits and Box
As per all Crucial memory kits the modules come packed in a plain, brown cardboard box with a blue Crucial sticker on it. Inside this box are the two 1gb modules packed nicely in anti-static packaging.
You also receive a small manual for those unsure how to install their new sticks of Ballistix.
The Batllistix’s Ballistics
Each module sports the Crucial 10th anniversary heatspreader. This varies from Crucial’s normal ‘spreaders by making them completely flat on all sides and adding a small silvery edge to them; it makes them look that bit more fancy.
The PCB used underneath the heatspreaders is a sexy black colour. I have always thought black PCB looks awesome, and they compliment the heatspreaders while continuing the black theme of the P5W-DH we tested these modules in.
Installation was obviously very easy. The heatspreaders are quite low profile so they caused no problems when plugging in each stick.
To test memory, we run several synthetic and gaming benchmarks designed to test the modules performance while they are in stock and overclocked states. The tests that we run are as follows:
Everest read and write tests, SuperPi mod 1.5, 3Dmark01, Sisoft Sandra bandwidth test, FEAR benchmark and X3 Reunion benchmark.
All tests were run 3 times and the average of the results taken to ensure that the scores were accurate. If there was a large anomally in the testing we repeated the 3 tests again.
The rig that this memory was tested in is as follows:
Core 2 Duo E6600
Asus P5W DH Deluxe
Silverstone Olypia 650w
Spire Blackfin case with Noiseblocker 120mm’s fitted in the front and rear; side panel 120mm fan disabled.
Before giving the results, I would like to just make a small note about overclocking these modules. Like the old extreme kits from the DDR era, to obtain the full speed that these modules can offer, you need to overclock them. At stock speeds they would run at the same speed as the cheaper PC6400 modules. Therefore the results feature the modules at stock (800mhz) speeds, overclocked to stated speeds (1000mhz) and overclocked to their max stable OC (1050mhz).
Speeds, Timings and Voltages used
Crucial Ballistix PC8000
Stock: 800mhz, 5-5-5-15, 2.15v
Rated overclock: 1000mhz, 5-5-5-15, 2.2
Max overclock: 1050mhz, 5-5-5-15, 2.25
A note of warning, if you are overclocking the modules to these levels, I would recommend active cooling at all times. For this test I had 2 80mm fans blowing air over our modules.
Most of the gain seen when progressing in clock speed that can be seen will be down to the CPU. However the memory plays an oft ignored part in SPI scores and it will have had an effect.
Again the CPU will have played the largest role in the increase in score, but the memory will have played its part.
These results are pure memory driven. The gains you see here really give a great indication of how much performance can be gained through overclocking.
X3 Reunion shows a nice gain from the overclock though FEAR was never one to show much benefit from a memory and CPU OC.
These Ballistix modules cost around £250. This is £50 more than the PC6400 modules that we reviewed here.
This Ballistix kit is a high performing, sleek looking pair of modules. However, considering they are a whole £50 more than their slower rated, but equally overclockable cousins, the 6400 modules, there seems little reason to pay the extra fifty. If you want to absolutely guarantee that your modules will overclock to 1000mhz speeds, then purchasing these modules would be a good plan. However, if you are content with spending less and “only” having a very good chance of reaching such speeds, you are better off with the 6400 modules of the same name.
|Good performance||Only overclocks to the same speeds as the 6400 modules|
|Overclockable||Overpriced because of the above Con|
|Anniversary heatspreaders and black PCB|
I’d like to thank our sponsors Crucial for providing us with this kit.
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