Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP DDR3-1600 16GB Kit

Print

Product: Crucial Ballistix VLP DDR3-1600 16GB Kit
Provided By: Crucial
Price: $107.99 MSRP @ Publication

Introduction:

Today I will be looking at another set of low profile RAM released by Crucial. Crucial is a well known brand of Micron, a large producer of memory.  Crucial also produces high quality SSD drives, as well as, USB Drives. You can check out more products by Crucial here (insert link to www.crucial.com).

The sample that is on the bench today is Crucial's Ballistix Sport VLP (very low profile). It is DDR3 PC-3 12800 @ 1600MHz. This kit includes 2 x 8 GB sticks, they are rated at 1.35v (1.5v in XMP2 mode), and they have a timing of 9-9-9-24 1T. 

 

First Impression:

The Ballistix Sport VLP came packaged in a standard, plastic clam shell. They were securely held in a removable tray that immobilized the modules until you were ready to install. The package also had a large sticker denoting the type, speed, size, model, and latency of what was contained. 

Package Front In Package

 

I was actually amazed when I seen how small these modules were. When crucial says, "very low profile," they mean it! I recently tested another low profile module from crucial, Ballistix Tactical LP(link Tactical Review), and the Ballistix Sport VLP makes those look big.

Profile

Being small there really isn't a lot of room to use, but Crucial made sure to use what room it did have. The heat spreader seems like it can do the job of heat dissipation. The spreaders aren't real flashy, but they do have thicker, grooved areas around the borders to help get rid of the heat.  The fact that this memory can run up to speed at 1.35v doesn't hurt the thermal situation either.

Spreaders Pair Of Modules

On the next page, we'll talk briefly about the specifications and features of this RAM before we jump into isntallation and testing.

 


Features and RAM Info:

The following information has been taken from Crucial's website here.  We post it for reference purposes only.  If you want all of the latest information, please check out their site.

About the RAM

Specifications:

Specs

On the next page we'll cover installation and the test setup as we start testing this memory.

 


Installation & Testing:

Installation is pretty simple, you just locate your Memory slots, insert the RAM, and once completely seated make sure your latch is fully engaged.

Installed

Test Setup:

 
Ivy Bridge
CPU
Intel Core i7 3770K @ 3.90Ghz
Motherboard
EVGA Z77 FTW
Memory
* 16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 12800 (1600MHz) 2T (4x4GB)
* 16GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP DDR3 12800 (1600MHz) 1T (2x8GB)
*  16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP DDR3 12800 (1600MHz) 1T (2x8GB)
Graphics
EVGA GeForce GTX 550Ti 2GB
Cooling
NZXT Havik 120
Hard Drives
Western Digital  Black 1TB (SATA III)
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GeForce Drivers
306.97 WHQL

 

Low ProfileFor these benchmarks I will be using Aida64 and SiSoftware Sandra. I will also be using CPUID CPU-Z to show the changes and timings in each setting.

I used some other memory (listed above) as a comparison for my benchmarks to determine where the Ballistix Sport VLP will fit in. I placed all ram modules in default mode for my first set of benchmarks, then in XMP1 for the second set. The corsair ram only supports one XMP mode, but both of the Crucial modules support XMP1 (1.35v) and XMP2 (1.5v) modes.  In each test, with both of Crucial's modules, XMP2 mode rated virtually the same as XMP1 modes.

Benchmark Results:

CPUID CPU-Z:

I was somewhat surprised when the Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP defaulted to the listed speed and timings.  Both default and XMP modes rated at 1.35v with a speed of 1600 MHz and timings of 9-9-9-24 1T. XMP2 bumped the voltage to 1.5v with no other noticeable difference.

The Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP defaults to a lower setting of 1333 MHz @ 1.35v with timings of (9-9-9-24) 1T. When put into XMP1 Mode the settings are increased to 1600 MHz @ 1.35v and timings of (8-8-8-24) 1T.

SPD Settings Running at XMP2

 

My Corsair XMS3 was in a similar boat. At default settings it was registering settings of 1333 MHz @1.5v with timings of (9-9-9-24) 2T.  After I put it into XMP mode the only change was the clock speed jumping to 1600 MHz where it was originally advertised to be. Timing remained the same.

On the next page, we'll jump into the benchmarks and see how this memory stacks up against another couple 16GB kits.


SiSoftware Sandra:

This benchmark is used to test memory speed. My two test modules default to a slower speed so the Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP obviously does better in this benchmark since it runs a speed of 1600MHz in default.

With all three in XMP1 mode I wasn’t shocked to see all have similar results. The Ballistix Sport VLP rates slightly better than the Corsair XMS3 I tested against. The Ballistix Sport VLP also rates a little less than the Ballistix Tactical LP.  I was expecting this since the timings match my Corsair memory.

SiSoftware Performance

AIDA64:

This benchmark measures latency, utilizing read, write, and copy speeds to produce the results. As with my last memory review, I didn’t feel that Aida64 could really illustrate a more than nominal difference between the three modules tested.  The Ballistix Sport VLP fell to the bottom concerning read, write, and copy speeds. It also had the highest latency in all categories.

AIDA64 Performance

 

Final Thoughts:

I feel that the Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP performed well. It didn’t blow any of my test memory out of the water, and actually had some points scored against it from both test modules. This being said, it didn’t score bad, because any differences in the benchmarks was nominal at best.  This memory rates comparably with both my test modules. 

I was also pleased to see Crucial make an effort in putting out low profile memory. A lot of us don’t have tons of room when we take into account CPU coolers and smaller motherboard sizes, and Crucial Ballistix Sport's very low profile barely rises above the clip securing it in place.

This memory also uses less power. This will definitely help with the limited size the heat spreaders can use.

I didn’t encounter any issues installing or running this memory.

This memory lists for ~119$ on Crucial's website, but I was able to locate the same modules on newegg.com for ~77$.  At the lower price, this ram is a good buy because of its performance. I'm happy to recommend it for anyone with space restraints or looking to use less power while getting the same performance.

 

Pros:
  • Lower voltage
  • Good quality
  • Very Low profile 
  • Good Price

 

Cons:

  • None

BCCRating

BCCSilver

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them at the link below.  I'd also like to take a moment to thank Crucial for sending out this kit of RAM for a review.