Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit Review
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Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit Review

November 10th, 2014 Mike Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

Here we have our second set of DDR4 DIMMs here at pcG. As you’re most likely aware, if you choose to build a rig based around the new Intel X99 chipset, the only memory you can choose is DDR4. Coincidentally X99 also happens to be the premier and only platform for DDR4 at the moment. The Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit (BLS4C4G4D240FSA) is comprised of 4x4GB DIMMs with a native speed of 2400MHz, latency timings are 16-16-16-39 at an incredibly low voltage of just 1.2V.

While our previous DDR4 tests have been impressive, they have also shown us there is no benefit to us Gamers (yet!). Will the latest memory kit from Crucial show us the same? We best take a closer look…

 

Crucial Logo

Performance memory for everyone

Serious gamers are serious about our award-winning Ballistix and Ballistix Tracer products. At Crucial, we engineer these products to deliver the fastest, most reliable memory for gaming and performance enthusiasts.’

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit - box front Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit - box back

 

The Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit arrived at pcG in two familiar clear plastic wallets (2x4GB in each). Being totally transparent gives us a good look at the DIMMs inside, whilst the front of each features a sticker giving us the model name, specifications and tells us the DIMMs are DDR4.

Over on the back (which is also transparent 😉 ) we see a black card giving us brief descriptions on the Crucial Ballistix range and Crucial web address.

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit - contents

 

Being a typical RAM package, there isn’t much in the way of contents. Just the DIMMs themselves and an installation guide.

At the time of review, the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit (BLS4C4G4D240FSA) is available from Amazon for £199.99 or from OverclockersUK at £199.99, whilst offering a lifetime warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of Crucial

 

Brand: Ballistix
Module Size: 16GB kit (4GBx4)
Specs: DDR4 PC4-19200 • 16-16-16 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR4-2400 • 1.2V • 512Meg x 64 •
Series: Ballistix Sport
Part number: BLS4K4G4D240FSA

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport Series Memory

Approximately 5.25 in. by 1.18 in. (133.35 mm by 30 mm)

 

Performance memory for the rest of us.

  • Designed for entry-level and mainstream users
  • Integrated heat spreaders
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Proven stability and reliability
  • Crucial: a trusted name in memory

 

Performance memory for everyone
Serious gamers are serious about our award-winning Ballistix and Ballistix Tracer products. At Crucial, we engineer these products to deliver the fastest, most reliable memory for gaming and performance enthusiasts.

But why should the most hardcore gamers have all of the fun?

If you‘re new to performance memory and like what Ballistix has to offer, the Crucial Ballistix Sport Series is a great place to start. This line was created for mainstream users and general enthusiasts. They feature heat spreaders for thermal performance — along with standard timings and voltages, making this reliable, quality module ideal for maximum stability and compatibility.

Easy installation
Unlike traditional Ballistix products, those industry -standard specifications require no special or tricky BIOS configuration. That means this product installs easily, so you can get up and running quickly. And, it’s priced affordably so you can have your fun and stay on budget.

Available in both DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 in the most common and popular speeds and densities, you’ll be sure to find a product that suits your needs. And because it supports today’s latest AMD and Intel platforms (including SandyBridge), Ballistix Sports Series memory works upon installation.

Guaranteed Compatible
Crucial Ballistix Sports Series memory is backed by our outstanding service and support, enjoys a limited lifetime warranty, and is guaranteed compatible.

 

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit

 

My first impressions of the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit is good. Each of the DIMMs feature black PCBs, with gold contact points offering a really nice contrast. Then rather than featuring a full cover heatspreader, we have a styled plate either side of each DIMM in matte aluminium and chrome. They look striking and personally I think rather good.

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit - front Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit - back

 

The front of each DIMM despite looking good, shows us very little (it isn’t like you’ll see a lot when they are installed anyway 😉 ). To the left of each we have the Crucial logo, then slap bang in the middle the Ballistix Sport DDR4 logo.

Over on the back and we see exactly the same, bar the warranty and specification stickers.

 

Hardware Installation

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit - installed

 

Installing the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit into the temporary X99 test rig featuring an Intel Core i7-5820K and the ASRock Fatal1ty X99M KILLER motherboard was incredibly simple. All four memory slots were occupied by the four 4GB DIMMs that made up the 16GB kit, but slightly obscured by the Cryorig R1 Ultimate used to cool the CPU. Having very little in the way of heatspreaders means the DIMMs can be considered low profile, meaning that they’ll fit under any CPU cooler you choose to fit in your X99 build.

 

  • Test Rig Setup
Case BitFenix Prodigy M Power Supply BitFenix Fury 550
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z99M KILLER CPU Intel Core i7-5820K
CPU Cooler Cryorig R1 Ultimate RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit
Graphics Card MSI R9 290 GAMING 4G SSD HyperX Fury 120GB

 

The X99 test rig booted first time without a hitch. With the ASRock Fatal1ty X99M KILLER motherboard UEFI updated via the Internet flash facility to the latest available. The Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 16GB Kit DIMMs were then automatically set at their native 2400MHz with timings of 16-16-16-39.

 

Testing Methodology/Setup

 

The Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit was tested as part of our temporary X99 Test Rig, using Windows 7 64Bit (Service Pack 1) with all relevant Drivers installed. Prime95 (Blend) was used to test stability and the following benchmarks were also used.

 

Hardware Performance

 

AIDA64 - Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit

>Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit (16-16-16-39)

AIDA64 - Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2935MHz 16GB Kit

Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2935MHz (OC) 16GB Kit (18-18-18-47)

 

  • AIDA64 Benchmark Results
  • Memory Read Write Copy Latency
    Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2935MHz(OC) 16GB Kit @ 18-18-18-47 48238 45798 51741 64.5 ns
    ADATA Premier DDR4 2133MHz U-DIMM 16GB Kit @ 15-15-15-36 46710 51235 49063 68.8 ns
    Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit @ 16-16-16-39 44987 46766 51028 70.1 ns
    Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3 2400MHz 8GB Kit @ 11-13-13-30 35815 37514 34726 46.8 ns

     

    The out of the box performance of the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit somewhat surprised me. As a 2400MHz, you’d expect it to outperform the previously reviewed ADATA Premier DDR4 2133MHz U-DIMM 16GB Kit. Yet the table above with the AIDA64 results shows a different story. This is of course due to the timings being slightly tighter on the ADATA 2133MHz kit.

    However with a little playing around within the BIOS and loosening the timings for the Crucial (as shown above) we pushed the performance up from 2400MHz to 2935MHz. This gives a 7.2% increase in Read, a 2.1% drop in Write, an increase of 1.40% in Copy speed and a drop of 5.6 ns in latency! Given how much gain you actually get without spending a penny it’s pretty impressive.

     

  • Gaming Related Benchmarks
  •  

    To give us some idea of the effect of DDR4 over DDR3 on Gaming, we’ve run the benchmarks below on both the ADATA and our HyperX Beast test memory. The Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit was run at its full rated speed of 2400MHz and overclocked speed of 2935MHz, whilst our DDR3 test RAM, the Kingston HyperX Beast kit was also run using their 2400MHz XMP profile. Let’s see how they compare!

     

    TEST SYSTEM: ASRock Fatal1ty X99M KILLER/ Intel Core i7-5820KK/ MSI R9 290 Gaming 4G (1007MHz Core/5000MHz Memory)

    Memory 3DMark (FireStrike) Batman Arkham Origins Tomb Raider Unigine Heaven Metro Last Light
    ADATA Premier DDR4 2133MHz U-DIMM 16GB @ 15-15-15-36 9613 148 79.80 1427 74.33
    Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2935MHz(OC) 16GB Kit @ 18-18-18-47 9641 147 80.50 1337 74.00
    Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit @ 16-16-16-39 9607 146 78.80 1328 73.67
    Kingston HyperX Beast 8GB 2400MHz @ 11-13-13-31 9071 146 79.90 1342 77.00

     

    As we can see from the above benchmarks. Currently DDR4 and even with the Crucial Ballistix Sport 2400MHz 16GB Kit overclocked to 2935MHz gains you very little whilst Gaming. The Firestrike benchmark shows a healthy jump, but when are you ever going to play that? 😉

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    The Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit kit arrived at pcG well protected in a typical clear plastic wallet showing off the the DIMMs inside

    With all black PCB, gold contact points and matte aluminium and chrome heatspreaders (or should that be semi heatspreader???), the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit DIMMs certainly look good. The obvious benefit of their design (other than looks) being their ability to fit beneath any CPU cooler you should choose.

    The Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit out of box performance wasn’t as high as I’d hoped, but loosening the timings allowed them to overclock to 2935MHz giving them a healthy performance boost and putting them at the top of the AIDA64 benchmark leaderboard. Of course as we all know and pcG have proven in the past, high speed RAM be it DDR3 or DDR4 makes a negligible impact on the all important are of Gaming.

    With a retail price of £199.99, the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit although expensive, is still very competitively priced in the world of DDR4. When you factor in an easy to obtain overclock of 2935MHz, then compare them to similarly rated DDR4 kits they suddenly look fantastic value for money.

     

    Verdict

    Please Share, Like & Comment below, we really value your thoughts and opinions…



    Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
      Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit a Silver
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to Crucial for providing this sample for review

     


    1. November 11th, 2014 at 17:22 | #1

      It would be good to see a screnshot with SPD details prepared by Thaiphoon Burner program.

    2. ed
      August 6th, 2015 at 22:28 | #2

      “The DIMMs can be considered low profile, meaning that they’ll fit under any CPU cooler you choose to fit in your X99 build.”

      They are not low profile. In their DDR3 series they had low profile dimms, these are just standard crap.
      http://www.crucial.com/wcsstore/CrucialSAS/images/product-pages/ballistix-sport-best-fit.jpg

      Still waiting for low profile DDR4’s from crucial.

    3. Jason
      October 10th, 2015 at 22:07 | #3

      I get better AIDA64 results simply by lowering timings to 14 14 14 31 than to radically overclock. I do not believe tightening the timings increases heat produced by the DRAMs. Overclocking certainly does. As a matter of fact, my benchmark results are nearly identical between stock 2400 and overclocked 2666 at the 14 14 14 31 timings. CrystalMark64 is maybe 100MB/S more, but was over 6600MB/S for each, so who cares. But the difference between stock MHZ speeds with lowered CAS was huge. 10%+
      My system: ASrock X99 Extreme11, Intel 5230K CPU, 32GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4 2400, Samsung M.2 PCI-E 512GB system SSD (1GB/S read/ write), 2X HGST C10K1800 1.8TB, 10,000RPM enterprise SAS HDD in RAID0 (3.2GB volume at about 450MB/S read/ write, 7ms access time). NVidia Geforce GTX680.
      RAM ALLOCATION:
      12GB for Windows. 10GB RAMDisk (ROMEX) – 5GB is the Windows Pagefile. So Windows swaps RAM to RAM
      4GB Romex Disk Cache on the SSD (about a 66% hit rate)
      4GB Romex Disk Cache on the RAID HDD volume.
      That leaves 14GB for Windows.
      Looking to double RAM to 64GB soon since I have 4 more slots available.

      • James
        October 14th, 2015 at 21:47 | #4

        That’s a nice setup you have there and I like your approach to OCing the RAM, by just changing the timings… 😉