Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR3-1600 Memory






  • Made in USA
  • Brand:  Ballistix 
  • Form Factor:  UDIMM 
  • Capacity:  8GB Kit (4GBx2) 
  • Warranty:  Limited Lifetime 
  • Specs:  DDR3 PC3-12800 • 8-8-8-24 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1600 • 1.5V • 512Meg x 64 • 
  • Series:  Ballistix Tactical
  • XMP 1.3 Support
  • Dual colour LEDs with custom M.O.D software control support
  • Onboard monitoring sensors








Besides the cool looking hardware, do check out this nifty freebie utility from Crucial too!


Ballistix Memory Overview Display (M.O.D.) Utility






The Ballistix M.O.D. utility is a customized software application designed to support Crucial Ballistix Elite, Ballistix Tactical Tracer, Ballistix Finned, and Ballistix Smart Tracer modules.

Lights on
The Ballistix Tactical Tracer is all about customisation. These modules are available in either orange/blue and red/green colour combinations. By utilizing our custom programmed Ballistix Memory Overview Display (M.O.D.) utility, you can manipulate the dual-colour LEDS in real time and switch between colour options. In addition, select from four different LED patterns, adjust brightness, or turn the LEDs on/off.

Utility work
The Crucial Ballistix M.O.D. utility allows you to view uptime, voltages, and set alarms for temperatures, making it one of the most customisable, responsive modules you’llfind. In addition to the LED light controls, this tool also lets you enjoy real-time temperature monitoring, so you can keep tabs on your high-performance memory.








PS: Interestingly, someone did their own Tracer control software which supports SPD accessing via LGA-2011 SMBus Controller too
BLT Controller Utility





Packaging

Tamper proof clear plastic blister pack as shown. Meanwhile note the Singapore office address on the back of the paper insert for locally sourced stock.

Product of USA as stated on the label sticker.









The LEDs are clearly seen in the last photo and for this particular kit, the LEDs are red-green as evident on the plastic packaging and in the part number ending in RG.


OK, here is another Tracer sample kit, can you guess what colour LEDs it has?

Hint: look at the colour boxes printed on the plastic housing and the ending 2 letters of the part numbers.




Yes, this is the Orange Blue Tracer kit with part numbers ending in OB.





Test Setup


★ Asus Z87-A | i7-4790K@4.6GHz | Crucial DDR3-1600@2133 Tracer RG  8GB Kit | Crucial M550 SSD | Corsair H55 AIO | Corsair RM850 PSU ★


The factory stock voltage is 1.50V while most enthusiast DDR3 kits are rated at 1.65V.

Sticking to a really safe low voltage of just 1.55V memory, I started pushing the clocks from the stock DDR3-1600 8-8-8 2T and easily achieved DDR3-2133 9-11-9 1T as seen below

DDR3-1600 8-8-8 2T  vs DDR3-2133 9-11-9 1T ie. higher frequency with relatively tight timings

The more adventurous can shoot for even higher speeds or tighter timings at higher voltages as this kit seems to scale well in that aspect.

* With more time, effort and voltages invested, one can expect to do better but as usual, overclocking is a delicate balance of everything including luck so YMMV.







Lights, Camera, Action!

With so many web videos already around, showcasing the bling bling of these Tracers and since everyone's got their own fave colour combination/sequence/timing, for this sharing - these sticks were left at their factory default LED settings.

Let's focus more on the bin rather than just the bling ie. how well they run (and overclock)...







Roll...


What you see on your PC screen....






And what you actually see on your rig...






UEFI SPD XMP 1.3






CPU-Z & hwinfo64

Note the onboard temperature monitoring of these Tracers as supported by hwinfo64





Mem TweakIt





HyperPi 32M





HCI MemTest Windows

Ah, 1600@2133 passed the acid test easily - no problemo, very nice!





Market Price Compare@Newegg 

With their togglable dual colour LEDs, these Crucial Tracers are actually rather unique in their aesthetic value so it can't be simply compared to any other DDR3-1600 kits on the market.

Newegg (RG is really popular... out of stock at time of checking!)




Initial Impressions

  • Unique
  • Affordable
  • Onboard sensor monitoring with good software support
  • Good bling - user customisable 
  • Good bin - nice overclockling

Yes, these DDR3 Tracers are not new to the world but over time, Crucial has reportedly improved their overclockability and LGA2011 compatibility as compared to the earlier batches.

Another superb job done with these Tracers by Team Crucial cos this is great stuff, definitely recommended!

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