Hands on review: Ballistix Elite DDR4-3200 32GB
I really can’t stress just how important having decent RAM is for an optimal PC experience. Be it playing the latest games or opening up multiple programs as part of a business workflow. The amount, speed and quality of your machine’s memory will determine just how well you PC does what you want it to do.
I’ve been busy upgrading the FutureFive gaming review rig, slotting in a i7 7700K and another NVIDIA GTX 1080ti GPU. The finishing touch is 32GB of Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-3200.
Crucial’s Ballistix modules are aimed at the more discerning gamer, but will also suit users of memory hogging media applications and general PC tasks. The Ballistix range comes in three flavours- Sport Tactical and Elite, depending how much you push your machine.
The entry level Ballistix Sport is aimed at X99 motherboard owners, giving speeds of up to 2666 MegaTransfers per second. One step up are the 3000MT/s Ballistix Tactical modules, aimed at mid-range gamers and a wider motherboard compatibility.
The cream of the crop is the Ballistix Elite, which can reach 3600 MT/s. Each module is cooled via a stylish black heat spreader, and they look pretty awesome when installed next to each other.
Installing the four 8GB modules into the ASUS Z170AR motherboard was a breeze. On boot-up the board asked me if I wanted to go into the bios setup, which I did, in order to switch on the XMP 2.0 mode.
Using Intel’s XMP 2.0 the modules run at 1600MHz (which at a double data rate gets you your 3200) with timings of 15-16-16-35-73. If I’m truthful, performance-wise the machine is only going to benefit by a few percentage-points. But, with both the CPU overclocked to 4.8Ghz (114%) along with both GPUs running with an extra boost, the inside of the case gets pretty warm.
The XMP profiles also push the memory voltage up, from the JEDEC norm of 1.2V, to 1.35V which will cause more heat. Those awesome-looking graphite-black heat spreaders are just the things to keep the memory temperatures in check.
As well as keeping the Ballistix Elite modules cool for everyday use, the head spreaders also give you, if you are so inclined, the headroom to dabble in a bit of overclocking. With the Ballistix Elite installed I was finally able to get the i7 7700K running at 5Ghz via a 48x multiplier and a 104Mhz BCLK.
Crucial’s Ballistix range offers gamers a choice of memory options, enabling them to tune their machine to their specification and their pocket.
As Ballistix senior marketing manager APAC Mathew Luu explains, “What you look for in your game is unique to you, whether it’s to immerse yourself in the visuals, mod your rig, or be the next eSports superstar. That level of performance and personalisation is why standard PC RAM just won’t cut it. Ballistix gaming memory is trusted by pro eSports players and delivers faster speeds, lower latencies, and better style. Compare Ballistix Sport, Tactical, and Elite because no matter what kind of gamer you are, there’s a Ballistix module to help you become the gamer you want to be.”
If you are looking to build or upgrade your PC and squeeze every bit of performance out of your elite machine Ballistix has you covered.