Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit Review
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…
‘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.’
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.
Being a typical RAM package, there isn’t much in the way of contents. Just the DIMMs themselves and an installation guide.
courtesy of Crucial
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.
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.
Crucial Ballistix Sports Series memory is backed by our outstanding service and support, enjoys a limited lifetime warranty, and is guaranteed compatible.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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? 😉
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.
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Many thanks to Crucial for providing this sample for review