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Review: Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1,600: putting bling before value?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 18 February 2009, 06:48 3.1

Tags: Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1,600 CL8 6GB , Crucial Technology (NASDAQ:MU)

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How we test


Memory Crucial Ballistix Tracer LED 6GB (Blue) Corsair TR3X6G1866C9DF Crucial CT3KIT12864BA1339 Crucial CT3KIT25664BA1067
Memory capacity 6GB (3x 2GB) 6GB (3x 2GB) 3GB (3x 1GB) 6GB (3x 2GB)
Memory speed and timings 1,600MHz, 8-8-8-24 2T 1,866MHz, 9-9-9-24 2T 1,33MHz, 9-9-9-24 2T 1,066MHz, 7-7-7-20 1T
Rated voltage 1.65V 1.65V 1.5V 1.5V
CPU Intel Core i7 965 EE ES (3.20GHz) 
Core speed 3.20GHz 3.20GHz 3.20GHz 3.20GHz
Uncore speed 3.20GHz 3.73GHz 2.66GHz 2.66GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte EX58-UD5
BIOS revision F5d (08/02/2009)
Graphics Card Force3D Radeon HD 4870 512MB
Disk drive(s) Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB
Mainboard software Intel Inf 9.1.01007
Graphics driver ATI Catalyst 9.1
PSU Corsair HX1000W
Operating System Windows Vista Business SP1 64-bit
Approx. price at time of writing £297.84 £344.01 £52.89


2D benchmarks Sisoft Sandra 2009 SP2 (15.72) Win64 memory bandwidth (float)
ScienceMark 2.0 memory latency
wPrime (1024M calculation)
DivX 6.8.3 encode of 1.22GB file
Far Cry 2 benchmarking loading time


3D Benchmarks Far Cry 2 v1.01, 1,680x1,050 4x AA,  vhq, ranch long demo.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, OpenGL, 1,024x768 0xAA, 0xAF low
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, OpenGL, 1,680x1,050 4xAA, 16xAF vhq

Setup notes - important

Ranging from speed-grades of 1,066MHz to 1,866MHz, we look at four packs that cover the pricing spectrum. The Crucial DDR3-1,333 pack is the only tri-module 3GB set, to see how much of a difference capacity makes to our test results. Otherwise, they're all run on an Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition CPU with varying uncore speeds.

The price premium between DDR3-1,066 CL7 and DDR3-1,600 CL8 is absolutely massive - some 250 per cent - so let's crack on to them benchmarks.