Crucial Ballistix PC4000 (DDR500) Review

Article Index
Crucial Ballistix PC4000 (DDR500) Review
Test Setup and Overclocking
Game Testing with the PC4000
Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Product: Crucial Ballistix PC4000 1GB Kit (2x 512MB)
Provided By: Crucial Memory
Price: $201.99 @ Crucial.com

Introduction:

The high-end computer market has really advanced over the past two years.  We've seen the introduction of Precott CPU's from Intel boasting 2MB of L2 cache.  Intel's latest platforms also now use DDR2 which scales faster that traditional DDR, albeit at slower latency.  In the past two years we've also seen AMD enjoy success with the launch of their Athlon 64 processor.  Combine that with a speedy nForce 3 or nForce 4 chipset and you've got yourself a screaming system.  As good as any of these processors are, they are only as good as the motherboard and RAM that they use.  If you've got a great board, and processor, but run PC2100 or PC2700, you are seriously crippling your performance.

Today, we are taking a look at a pair of PC4000 DDR modules from Crucial.  This is their Ballistix series of memory and features pretty decent timings and performance.  For those of you who are unaware, Crucial is the front-end for Micron - a memory company who's been around a long time.  In this review we'll see if Crucial has a decent product with the Ballistix PC4000 (DDR500) or if they are relying more on their name to sell a product.  It should be a good time.

Package & Bonus:

I talked to Samuel over at Crucial about a sample for review and he was prompt to get things set up.  He got my address and within the week a package had arrived from the U.S.A. with the goods.  It was shipped in a UPS box and included the goodies you see below.

Package From Crucial
 Package From Crucial

Arrived Safe & Sound
 Arrived Safe & Sound

Bonus Shirt
 Bonus Shirt

Currently, Crucial is offering free shipping to anywhere in the contiguous US, and a free shirt to anyone who places an order.  Even though I was getting a review sample, I still managed to score a shirt.  Free schwag is always cool.

Before opening the memory packages, it's always a good idea to read the warning and to make sure you are grounded.  Static electricity can kill computer components instantly, and it's always a good idea to protect your investment.  Stay grounded.

Warning & Specs
 Warning & Specs

2x 512MB PC4000 Front & Back
 2x 512MB PC4000 Front & Back

Details & Specs:

The package above doesn't really disclose a lot of detail regarding these memory modules.  To find out what's cool and special we'll pull the specs off of Crucial's site:

  • Module Size: 1GB kit (512MBx2)
  • Package: Ballistix 184-pin DIMM
  • Feature: DDR PC4000
  • Configuration: 64Meg x 64
  • DIMM Type: UNBUFFERED
  • Error Checking: NON-ECC
  • Speed: DDR500
  • Voltage: 2.8V
  • Memory Timings: 2.5-4-4-8
  • Specs: DDR PC4000 • 2.5-4-4-8 • UNBUFFERED • NON-ECC • DDR500 • 2.8V • 64Meg x 64

What's nifty about this RAM, and not listed above is the two sets of SPD information.  This DDR is rated at 2.5-4-4-8 @ 500MHz as well as 2.0-3-3-8 @ 400MHz.  I was even able to run it at 2-2-2-5 @ 400MHz with as little as 2.6v!  Unlike a lot of DDR that is rated at 500MHz or higher, this stuff can be ran with very tight timings at the popular PC3200 (DDR400)! 

Now that we've got a bit of info on what this memory is rated, let's take a look at the test setup on the next page and find out what this RAM can actually do.