In our review of the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4-2400 memory kit, we found it to be a top value for DDR4 memory, while still delivering excellent performance, and even some overclock-ability. It remains one of our favorite DDR4 memory kits, in fact we still use it as our base memory kit for our X99 test system.
So naturally when Crucial asked if we’d like to review the latest of its DDR4 offerings, we couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity. Which is why we’re very excited to be offering in this report; our review of the Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666 quad-channel memory kit.
PACKAGING, PRICING & SPECIFICATIONS
Taking a look at the packaging, we have very much the same clear-plastic casing from the Ballistix Sport. This makes sense, because as we mentioned before, it cut costs significantly. At the front of the packaging we’ll get a clear look at the memory itself, which is great since this RAM is fantastic looking (more on that later.) We’ll also get a look at the labels on the RAM which tell us its specifications.
This is of course a quad-channel memory kit, with four sticks of 4GB (4 x 4GB) for a total of 16GB. It has a rated memory speed of 2666MHz, which is the max speed the Intel X99 platform supports without overclocking, and it has rated memory timings of 16-17-17-36, which is sort of unusual for a DDR4 kit. Finally, we have a stock voltage of the standard 1.2v.
Ballistix Elite is available in sticks of 4GB or 8GB, and can be purchased in kits of 8GB. 16GB and 32GB. Pricing on the 16GB kit featured in this report is currently 264.99, and we’ll also find it under the model number BLE4C4G4D26AFEA.
Ballistix Elite features a custom all black PCB, matched with a very premium, and quite beefy, black anodized-aluminum heat spreader. The black coloring, sharp edges, and exposed screws give it a very stealthy, and sort of industrial look. This RAM is actually really nice and is easily some of the best looking memory we’ve ever seen.
It also features a large Ballistix logo on the front of each stick, as well as on the top, centered between the teeth on the heat sink. The addition of the logo on the top is nice as it allows us to show off the RAM while it’s installed. The all black design of this RAM may have made it hard to spot otherwise.
WHAT IS DDR4?
If you’ve read along this far, you might be wondering what is DDR4 and how is it different from what was available before? – Well, to put it simply DDR4 is the next-generation in DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic random-access memory). It is as the name states, the fourth-generation and successor to DDR3.
Its advancements over previous generations include higher module density, lower voltage requirements and higher data rate transfer speeds. This means that you can not only theoretically have more RAM in your system than ever before, but that it will use less power and perform faster as well. Of course, how much these improvements effect actual usage depends the application. Server and Enterprise users will see the most benefit from adopting DDR4 than pretty much any other market.
As it stands, the only consumer platform that currently supports DDR4 memory is Intel’s X99, which you can find out more about in our reviews for both the Intel Core i7 5960x CPU, as well as the ASRock X99 OC Formula motherboard.