Introduction & Closer Look
Model: 16GB (4x4GB) Ballistix Sport LT 2400MHz CL16 – BLS4K4G4D240FSB
Price: £190.79 (At time of review)
In the new age of the DDR4, 3 major manufacturers of memory chips deserve huge plaudits for pushing the latest in memory technology forward; Hynix, Samsung and Micron. Of course, if you were to buy a kit of DDR4 memory on a consumer level in a shop or online, the chances are the memory IC chips you will find laden between those ever improving heat sinks will be from one of these 3 companies. To take it even further, if you happened to pick up a kit of Crucial memory, you are 100% guaranteed to get the mighty Micron ICs; this is due to Crucial being a subsidiary of Micron which not only produces memory, but also manufactures some of the best value for money SSDs on the planet.
So we know that Crucial are a global brand of Micron who on the whole, are a multi-billion dollar company giving them huge weight in the market, but on top of that, they have a market capitalisation of $32 billion further showing that they are a force to be reckoned with.
On the test bench today and up for review is a 16GB (4x4GB) kit of DDR4 from the Ballistix range; the Crucial 16GB Ballistix Sport LT 2400MHz CL16 memory kit. With particular kit is designed to run on the Intel X99 platform which means it only currently works with the Intel Haswell-E enthusiast platform. So the Ballistix Sport LT kit in my possession has speeds of 2400MHz and latency timings of 16-16-16; this might not look like a huge upgrade over say a DDR3 kit with 2400MHz CL10 timings, but it is worth noting that DDR4 operates at around 1.2v over 1.65v such as found on high speed DDR3 memory.
So as with a lot of memory these days, the Crucial Ballistix Sport LT kit is no different and comes in a re-sealable blister pack; a much easier and better experience opening than with a factory pressed one, oh the bane they are without a knife handy!
As previously mentioned, this particular kit is a quad channel memory kit and operates at 2400MHz with latency timings of CL16; this is if used with Intel’s XMP memory setting through the BIOS. You could of course customise your DRAM settings, but if you don’t know what you are doing or aren’t too fussed with a marginal performance increase, most will just use the XMP profile provided.
The latest Ballistix kit to be supplemented with Micron manufactured IC’s features a nice but subtle low profile camo clad heat sink with the PCB being black in colour; no tacky green PCB here folks! If I had to describe the heat sink, I would say it is more of a grey digital camo and is a nice change from red, black and blue heat sinks.
Compared with regular 2400MHz DDR3 memory, this particular kit has an operating voltage of 1.2v in comparison to the 1.65v needed on DDR3; this gives DDR4 a much wider potential for the future over DDR3; even if the performance difference is still pretty marginal within around 5% of each other, give or take the benchmark they are tested on.
So we have seen the memory, discussed a bit about the specifications, but let’s take a look at the full official specifications and then get down to the nitty gritty testing!