Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600 6GB Kit - Test Setup and Core i7 Benchmarking Info

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Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600 6GB Kit
Test Setup and Core i7 Benchmarking Info
Benchmarking the DDR3-1600 Kit

Test Setup:

In this section we will show the setup of the test system for our memory testing. I have provided separate configurations for each of the speeds we have tested 1600MHz CL8 (stock), fastest CL7 speed, and the fastest CL8 speed possible. It is important to note that in order to achieve some of these speeds we have tested this memory kit at, it required overclocking the FSB, which in turn increases our CPU clock speeds. For all of my testing I used the EVGA X58 motherboard and keyed in specific timings in order to keep everything comparable.  Please keep in mind that in order to reach CL7 speeds at 1600MHz, we had to slow down the rate to 2T instead of running at 1T on the standard CL8 tests.

 

Test System:


Intel Core i7
CPU
Intel Core i7 920 - 2.66GHz
Motherboard
EVGA X58 SLI
Memory
6GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 Kit
Graphics
2x Radeon HD 4850 Crossfire
Cooling
Hard Drives
2x Seagate 640GB HDD RAID 0
Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate x64 w/SP1
ATI Drivers
9.1 Drivers

 

We only used three main memory settings for testing the Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600 memory.  We use the timings on the label - 8-8-8-24 1T at 1.65v as well as the fastest clock speed available using the highest XMP setting shown in CPU-Z.  This ended up being DDR3-1626 at CL7.  Finally we clocked up the DDR3 as fast as possible using the CL8 settings for stock speeds, left the voltage at 1.65v and found out how high we can take this memory before it gets flaky on us.  The result was an impressive 1806MHz at CL8.  I'm sure we could take it higher with a bit more voltage and slower timings like many other companies, but we want top-end performance from this kit, and I believe we got it.

RAM Sticker
RAM Sticker

 

Many DDR3-1600 kits for the Core i7 come with CL9 timings, but according to the XMP profiles available in this RAM, Crucial believes that it can run fine at CL7 with a 2T Command Rate.  The "default" XMP settings are CL8-8-8-24 2T, but we actually ran all of our CL8 memory tests at 1T command rate.  The CL7 test had to be ran at 2T.

 XMP Profiles
XMP Profiles

 

Included below are a couple more screenshots of CPU-Z and the EVGA Eleet utility showing system settings.  We will follow these up with some benchmarks on the next page.

 CPU-Z & RAM
CPU-Z & RAM
CPU-Z - Motherboard
CPU-Z - Motherboard

 

 

 

1626 CL7
1626 CL7