Battle of the 16GB SODIMM - Crucial PC3-10600 vs. Ballistix PC-14900 - Final Thoughts

Article Index
Battle of the 16GB SODIMM - Crucial PC3-10600 vs. Ballistix PC-14900
Features, Specifications and Setup
Test Setup and System Information
Let the Benchmarking Begin!
Real-World Benchmarks Continued
Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts:

There has been a very large shift over the last few years away from desktop PCs and into the notebook market. These portable PCs are much more powerful and a lot more portable as Ultrabooks have really taken off. With all that said, notebook memory doesn't really get a lot of press and this is a shame.

The focus on portable computers certainly has increased and we now have a wide range of systems that sip power and extend to massive desktop replacement workstations. Even though we focus a lot of this segment, we tend to forget that these machines can actually be upgraded and improved. Crucial hasn't forgot this though and they have a wide selection of DDR3 kits that range from simple 2GB sticks - all the way up to 8GB sticks that are paired up in 16GB kits.

 

While most people will be more than happy with a large 16GB DDR3-1333MHz, the benefit of having faster memory in certain machines is undeniable. The Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1866 kit is a very good choice for computers that support XMP memory profiles and in systems such as the Intel NUC where BIOS settings can be tweaked and overclocked, this memory would really shine. In our test machine from Lenovo, the memory really shines in all of the synthetic benchmarks that measure raw memory performance and don’t take into account other bottlenecks and architecture limitations. In our real-world tests, the performance improvement is measurable, but not clearly as noticeable as it was in the earlier benchmarks.

Does that mean that the Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1866 CL10 kit is a waste of money? I don't think so at all and here's why. It costs a mere $13 more than a much slower kit and offers a lot more performance and flexibility in other systems. When I buy a laptop computer, I generally move my better RAM from a previous machine to the new machine and if you can get better RAM for a mere $13 more, this is a great performance investment to make.

If you want to move this RAM to another system or keep it in your laptop, you won't be disappointed at all. The performance is fantastic, the warranty is great and a 16GB kit is plenty good enough for most gaming laptops and portable workstations. There really is no downside with the Ballistix DDR3-1866 kit. If you have to pinch your pennies though, the Crucial DDR3-1333 kit is still a worthy choice as it does very well in real-world tests, but it may be a bottleneck in terms of performance down the road.

My money is on the Ballistix DDR3-1866 kit from Crucial.

 

Pros:
  • Extra performance for a little extra money
  • High quality RAM
  • Great packaging
  • 1.35v Low Voltage modules
  • XMP Profiles

 

Cons:

  • XMP not compatible with many laptops

 

I'd like to thank Crucial for sending out these kits for us to test and compare. If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please feel free to post it in the forum at the link below.