Crucial Ballistix 8GB DDR3 2000MHz CL9 Memory Kit Review

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Crucial MOD temperature monitoring

Crucial’s BallistiX modules feature an innovative temperature sensor integrated into the heat spreader.  This allows users to download the BallistiX MOD Utility from http://www.crucial.com/and monitor the temperature of these modules in real time. This functionality could provide essential to memory overclockers because it allows them to accurately measure the temperature of their memory modules while testing for stability of overclocks.  As mentioned above, lower temperatures often allow for increased headroom, so giving overclockers concrete feedback on the temperatures of their modules can give them the information they need to squeeze an extra few MHz or slightly tighter timings out of their RAM.

Ballistix MOD SPD data

MOD stands for Memory Overview Display, which is exactly what this 1MB application provides.  It shows the user SPD data for currently installed modules including JEDEC timings and XMP profiles.  It also monitors the temperature of the modules in real time and supports saving this data to log files.  Legitreviews first saw the MOD utility in use at CES 2011. 

Temperature data can either be viewed in the MOD utility itself, or it can display temperature data in a semi-transparent widget on the desktop.

 

Crucial ballistix mod widget

 

During our testing, we found that placing a fan in position to blow on the modules resulted in idle temperatures of 28 degrees and load temperatures between 32 and 33 degrees celcius.

Crucial ballistix idle temperatures

Crucial ballistix temperatures

When the fan is removed, and only our Lancool PC-K60 case is doing the cooling duties, temperatures raised by approximately 6 degrees celcius.

Crucial Ballistix load temperatures without fan

Any PC user who knows a little bit about PC overclocking is familiar with monitoring temperatures closely. In particular, overclockers are obsessed with CPU and GPU temperatures because keeping these temperatures in check has the potential to allow for higher clock speeds while maintaining system stability.  RAM temperatures, however, are often overlooked, yet they can be a source of instability just like a CPU can.  So, we applaud Crucial for delivering the ability to closely monitor RAM temperatures. 

However, we would very much prefer to see this ability delivered in a monitoring utility that we already use, rather than be required to have yet another application running in Windows. Therefore, we were very pleased to find the 1.18 version of the excellent CPUID Hardware Monitor has the ability to measure the temperatures of these memory modules. 

HWMonitor Crucial Ballistix MOD temperature measurement

I personally actually prefer to use AIDA64 rather than HWMonitor, so I was disappointed to find AIDA64 did not recognize the sensors in our BallistiX modules.  If AIDA64 hopes to remain competitive with the free HWMonitor, we suggest adding this functionality into the application.

MOD can also set alarms that will trigger if the RAM meets a specified temperature and can control the LED lights that are built in to Crucial’s other BallistiX modules that have the lights built in.

Ballistix mod settings and alarms

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