Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB Kit Review
   
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Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB Kit Review

April 10th, 2017 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

Here we are again looking at another DDR4 memory kit, this time around from stalwart of the Memory world Ballistix (a brand now separate from Crucial). And not much has changed, in fact at the moment it would appear that the Memory (RAM) world has stagnated somewhat, with the only real difference being the introduction of illumination and RGB memory modules. But the good news is that memory speeds keep increasing and pricing gets better over time.

Today we will be taking a look at the latest in the Ballistix Sport LT range that has now received a speed increase up to 2666MHz (PC4-21300). Enter the Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB Kit (BLS4C4G4D26BFSE). This particular kit comprises of four 4GB modules with Timings of 16-18-18-38.

 




‘Designed for performance enthusiasts, gamers, and anyone who simply wants to get more out of their system, Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 memory helps you do just that. Give your processor the resources it needs to perform and make your computer faster and more responsive.’

 

 

Packaging is the now standard Memory (RAM) affair with no scissors required, with all four modules arriving at pcG in a single sealed clear plastic wallet.

 

 

On opening the wallet we find that the four modules themselves sit clipped into two separate plastic trays. Behind this tray there’s a cardboard Ballistix folder that gives a basic guide on how to install the modules. And that’s it, nothing else, not even a sticker! For that I applaud you Ballistix , I’m so fed up with everything coming with stickers… 😉

At the time of review, the Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB Kit (BLS4C4G4D26BFSE) is available from Amazon for approximately £150 and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of Crucial

Series Sport LT
Memory Type DDR4
Capacity 16GB (4GBx4)
Multi-Channel Kit Dual Channel Kit
Tested Speed 2666MHz
Tested Latency 16-18-18-38-2N
Tested Voltage 1.2v
Registered/Unbuffered Unbuffered
Error Checking Non-ECC
SPD Speed 2666MHz
SPD Voltage 1.20v
Fan lncluded No
Height 44 mm / 1.73 inch – measured at 33mm
Warranty Limited Lifetime
Features Intel XMP 2.0 (Extreme Memory Profile) Ready

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

 

First impressions of the Ballistix Sport LT modules are pretty good, I like the colour red (but hey it’s a popular colour right!?) and like the digital styled military camo pattern on them also. They’re also a good size (33mm in height, despite what Crucial seem to suggest) meaning that they’ll fit with pretty much any setup out there.

 

 

As far as the design of the Ballistic Sport LT goes it may best be described as a safe design yet it’s still a good looking design. Both sides are effectively the same except for two information stickers found on one side only. Note that there’s no ‘Warranty Void if Removed’ sticker, so therefore you know what I’m thinking… 😉

This time around as the modules are now Red Ballistix have elected to use a black PCB which works well. The modules themselves are actually quite short, which is always a good thing, gone are the days of the massive RAM heatsinks, well I hope so anyway! The modules measure in at a total height of 33mm, meaning that they’re likely to fit in with most Rig builds and under pretty much any Air CPU Cooler.

 

Hardware Installation

 

To install the Ballistix Sport LT modules could not be easier as it is basically the same as installing any other memory modules. Just line up the slot in the Module with the key in the Motherboard DIMM slot and (carefully) push into place. Make sure the RAM can be secured by the clips, as this is a good way to know that the RAM modules have been pushed in far enough.

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport 2400MHz 32GB - MB assembly

 

As you can see the Ballistix Sport LT modules, at only 33mm in height, offer plenty of clearance, they also look good too especially here as they compliment our test ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6 motherboard well.

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport 2400MHz 32GB - above Crucial Ballistix Sport 2400MHz 32GB - side

 

The images above show that there’s plenty of clearance around the modules meaning that you are unlikely to run into any clearance issues with this Memory (RAM) and an air type CPU Cooler. As you can see our Noctua NH-U12S fitted with ease.

 

  • Test Rig Setup


Case Cooler Master HAF XB Power Supply SilverStone ST60F-ES230 600W Strider
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6 CPU Intel Core i5 6600K
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S RAM Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB Kit
Graphics Card Asus GTX 1080Ti “Founders Edition” SSD Samsung SM951 512GB

 

 

What was also useful was the fact that these Ballistix Sport LT modules did not default to the default Intel maximum speed of 2133MHz, but instead set themselves up at their maximum rated speed of 2666MHz, with the correct Timings (16-18-18-38) and the correct Voltage (1.2v). No need to use the XMP setting!? Result, see screenshots above.

 

Testing Methodology/Setup

 

The Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB Kit was tested on our Z170 (Skylake) based platform shown above, using Windows 10 64Bit with all relevant Drivers installed. Prime95 (Blend) was used to test stability and the following benchmarks were also used.

 

Hardware Performance

 

 

  • AIDA64 Benchmark Results
  • Memory Type Platform Read Write Copy Latency
    Patriot Viper DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit @ 15-15-15-35 DDR4 X99 (Quad) 40550 37050 45891 71.9 ns
    G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4 2400MHz 16GB Kit @ 15-15-15-35 DDR4 X99 (Quad) 40502 36974 45615 72.0 ns
    G.Skill TridentZ DDR4 3000MHz 16GB @ 15-16-16-35 DDR4 Z170 42559 44605 40599 53.2 ns
    Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB @ 16-18-18-38 DDR4 Z170 36224 38966 35221 58.9 ns
    Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 16GB Kit @ 16-16-16-39 DDR4 Z170 34023 36352 33339 60.6 ns
    Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 2400MHz 32GB @ 16-16-16-39 DDR4 Z170 32559 35683 33263 67.3 ns
    Crucial Ballistix Elite DDDR4 2666MHz 16GB Kit @ 16-17-17-36 DDR4 X99 35829 19186 32148 73.9 ns
    G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4 2400MHz 8GB Kit @ 15-15-15-35 DDR4 Z170 34439 35588 31274 55.3 ns
    Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3 2133MHz 16GB Kit @ 9-11-11-31 DDR3 Z97 32180 33437 31298 48.9 ns
    HyperX Savage DDR3 2400MHz 8GB @ 11-13-14-32 DDR3 Z97 33409 34811 29523 48.9 ns
    Avexir Raiden Series DDR3 2133MHz 8GB Kit @ 9-11-10-27 DDR3 Z97 30478 31445 28178 48.9 ns

     

    I have left the DDR3 RAM results in the benchmark results table for comparison purposes as obviously much has changed here for Z170 (new MB, new CPU and obviously new RAM). Somewhat predictably the Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB Kit places itself right between the 16GB 3000MHz kit and the 16GB 2400MHz kit. Although you can still see that the 3000MHz kit is way out in front when you look at the Copy score alone.

     

  • Gaming Related Benchmarks (Z170)
  •  

    Memory 3DMark (FireStrike Extreme) Unigine Heaven Metro Last Light
    G.Skill TridentZ 3000MHz 16GB 8037 1093 121.00
    Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 2400MHz 16GB 8001 1097 117.00
    Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB 8021 1090 118.00
    G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4 2400MHz 8GB 8023 1097 117.00
    Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 2400MHz 32GB 8014 1090 117.00

     

    Does more memory (over 8GB) and or faster memory mean you will get better FPS in Games? Well, we’ve looked at this before and as a rule of thumb it’s safer to say No rather than Yes! Why? As you can see from the above tests, in the pure Gaming tests (Unigine & Metro) there’s no discernible difference between these Ballistix 2666MHz modules and our regular test 2400MHz modules! And, it makes no difference whether your using 8GB, 16GB or 32GB!

    But. We need to be careful here: In recent testing I have seen more system memory used when running at higher resolutions (Ultra Wide (3440×1440) & 4K (3840×2160)) with high levels of detail in Game. Therefore if you’re planning on playing at these extreme resolutions then 16GB or more is your best bet!

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    As I’ve already stated the world of Memory (RAM) has become somewhat stagnated of late, but Ballistix offer up a damn good offering in the Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB Kit. OK so there’s no illumination or RGB but the the Sport LT modules are a good size, look good and perform well. The question is what more do we really want…

    The Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB modules arrived at pcGameware in the (now standard) plastic wallet, with no scissors required to get at the modules within! Once out of the packaging it was obvious that the Ballistix Sport LT modules were both good looking and low profile (approximately 33mm high), which is always good to see and means that they offer up a good level of compatibility.

    Installation was a breeze and the PC booted with no problems. Once in the UEFI though it was odd (and good) to see that the modules were already running at their maximum rated speed of 2666MHz. Odd as normally all modules over 2133MHz default to the Intel maximum supported speed of 2133MHz. But not the Ballistix Sport LT modules, they ran at 2666MHz 16-18-18-38 @ 1.2v straight out of the box, no need to enable the XMP profile!?

    From a pure performance point of view the Ballistix Sport LT modules performed well as you would expect with a rated speed of 2666MHz. And, as you can see from the performance data above, the modules sported the second highest (DDR4 Z170) bandwidth that we’ve seen on our Z170 test platform.

    Yet again Ballistix offers up a good set of RAM modules that are both good looking and low in profile, setup’s a breeze as the modules seem to default to their top rated speed even without enabling XMP. The only real fly in the ointment at the time of review is the price as at around £150 the Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB (BLS4C4G4D26BFSE) kit is far from cheap…

     

    Verdict

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

    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Ballistix Sport LT 2666MHz 16GB Kit a Gold
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to Crucial for providing this sample for review

     


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