Crucial Ballistix Tracer RED 4GB DDR2-800 - Overclocking the 4GB Kit and SiSoft Performance

Article Index
Crucial Ballistix Tracer RED 4GB DDR2-800
Plugged In - Memory and System Setup
Overclocking the 4GB Kit and SiSoft Performance
Everest Performance and Final Thoughts
 

Overclocking the 4GB Red Kit:

Some memory gives you nothing but fits when it comes to overclocking, however the Ballistix Red was a horse of a nicer color.  This sorrel mare managed to play very nicely and we found the sweet voltage spot to be 2.15v instead of the 2.2v shown on the label.  At this voltage we were able to keep the CPU speed static at 2.66GHz and push this memory up past DDR2-1066 and even hit the DDR2-1100 territory.  To push it further we needed to use smaller increments that mere memory settings would permit so we clocked up the CPU as well as the DDR2-800 kit to an impressive DDR2-1143 and keep it rock stable.  By rock stable, I mean we ran countless loops of Memtest and Prime 95 without crashing.  It was rock solid at 1143, but moving up to 1150 caused instability no matter if we ran the voltage a little higher or not.

Red - CPU O/C
Red - CPU O/C
Red - Max O/C
Red - Max O/C

 

It is important to note that when running RAM benchmarks the memory got very warm when not actively cooled.  We measured temperatures over 45C at stock DDR2-800 and we topped over 50C when running over 1100MHz.  Once we discovered that, we use a nice Noctua 120mm fan to blow air on the RAM and this brought our memory temperature in a nice comfortable 35C-42C territory.


SiSoft Performance:

We used SiSoft Sandra XII to gauge memory performance on the 4GB kit as well as the other kits we've used for comparison.

SiSoft Integer

SiSoft Float Performance

 

I was surprised to see how the standard 4GB DDR2-800 kit compared with these other products.  At DDR2-800 CL5 the 4GB Micron kit is the fastest RAM around and this is quite interesting as it is running at the same speed and timings as every other kit.  At DDR2-80 CL5 the Ballistix Red kit is the slowest kit of the bunch though.  When this is tightened up to CL4, we see it makes quite an improvement in the overall memory bandwidth.

As we increase memory speed we see the performance improve as well.  Please keep in mind that all of these speeds from DDR2-800 to DDR2-1066 the CPU is remaining at the stock 2.66GHz.  When we benchmarked the memory at 1143, we clocked the CPU up to a mild 2.74GHz.  The 2GB Ballistix Tracer kit keeps right up or ahead of the faster clocked 4GB Ballistix Tracer Red in SiSoft.  On the next page we'll see if the same holds true with Everest.