After using the Crucial BallistiX DDR3 DDR3-2000 8GB kit in my primary PC for a couple days, I quickly became spoiled by having an extra 4GB of RAM available compared to the 4GB kit I had been using previously. Even having a few standard applications like an internet browser, photo editor, media player, and office applications open resulted in system RAM usage of 4GB in Windows. So, I am officially convinced that I need more than 4GB of RAM for daily use.
Being a Folding@Home contributor, I certainly appreciated the very tangible performance gains from the faster memory bandwidth compared to 1600MHz/Cas 9 DDR3 on some of the most common and most stressful work units. The majority of our tests, however, demonstrated only minor gains from the increased RAM bandwidth. Our gaming tests showed between 0% and 4% performance increase in most situations, but our Sid Meier’s Civilization V low resolution benchmark did show a 7% increase in minimum FPS, which is significant. Media encoding performance improved by less than 1% but the 7-zip compression benchmark did show more than 3% increase in performance.
The Crucial BallistiX memory comes equipped with a customized heat spreader which will keep the modules cool and potentially lead to additional headroom for overclocking. Additionally, this RAM utilizes a unique temperature sensor which allows for real time monitoring of temperatures.
Whether these improvements and features are worth the price premium of approximately $50 that a buyer would pay compared to an 8GB kit of 1600MHz/Cas 9 memory is an individual determination. The kit comes with a lifetime warranty, backed by an American company, and sell for $119.99 direct from Crucial. For me, the BL2KIT51264FN2001 will definitely be going into my primary system.
Something we haven’t tested here today (and frankly, something that isn’t often relevant to Legit Reviews readers) is integrated graphics performance. Legit Reviews has found in the past that when using integrated video, additional system memory bandwidth can lead to 3D gaming performance increases of between 13% and 86%! So, clearly, anyone using the integrated GPU on an Intel Z68 or AMD 890GX or 990GX integrated video platform would potentially benefit heavily from added memory bandwidth from a kit like this.
Legit Bottom Line: Crucial’s fastest 8GB dual channel kit provides excellent memory bandwidth and very useful temperature monitoring ability, but it comes with a suitably higher price.