Crucial Ballistix PC4000 2GB Memory Review

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A Wide Variety Of Timings

Knowing this kits reputation, I wanted to see how the Ballistix PC4000 kit would respond to a number of different situations.  To test each configuration for stability, I put each through three cycles of Memtest86 v1.6 and a SuperPi 32M calculation with zero errors before declaring it stable.

Test System:

AMD DDR1 Memory Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+

Motherboard

DFI NF4 SLI-DR

Video Cards

2x XFX 7800 GT’s

Memory

Crucial PC-4000

Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda 7200.7

Cooling

Corsair COOL

Power Supply

OCZ PowerStream 600W

Operating System

Windows XP Professional

* All tests were run using a clean install of Windows XP Professional with SP2. The DFI board uses The 706-2BTA BIOS. The 4800+ X2 was slightly overvolted to 1.45V with its multiplier set to x10. the DFI motherboard LDT/HTT was set to x3, the LDT voltage set to 1.3V and the chipset voltage set to 1.6V.

FSB/HTT

Timings

Voltages

200

2-2-2-5

2.85

212

2-2-2-5

2.93

237

2.5-2-2-6

2.93

248

2.5-3-3-7

2.85

287

3-3-3-8

2.93

292

3-4-4-8

2.85

Looking at the chart above, please realize that the DFI board tends to decide itself what the voltage will be for the memory. When I chose 2.8V it decided I needed 2.85V, and when I chose 2.9V it chose 2.93. I always find that this board overvolts the memory by -.03 to .05 up to 3.0V, anything over that and it tends to under volt by .04 or so.

While I wasn’t really surprised to see this kit achieve 2-2-2-5 at 200FSB with default voltages, I was happy to see it hit 212 FSB at these timings with a modest voltage boost. Something most people with 2GB kits will attest to is how little room there is with these kits when it comes to pushing them with tight timings.

Next, because these -5b D chips seem to like 2.5-2-2-X, I decided to see how far I could push them by simply relaxing the CAS to 2.5 and the TRAS to 6. At 237FSB I hit my next wall, and regardless of what voltage I used (up to 3.2V) it would go any higher.

The next major push was at 3-3-3-8, where these modules scaled all the way to 287FSB (DDR574) at 2.93V, which is well past their rated speed of 250FSB. I was pleasantly surprised here, and considering the very modest voltage increase and the fact I still hadn’t loosened the timings to their rated specs of 3-4-4-8, I thought this kit would fly past 300FSB (DDR600). Alas, loosening the timings to their rated speed only garnered me a slight increase to 292 FSB (DDR584). Regardless of how much voltage I put through them, this kit would not budge any higher.

Though I was disappointed in not hitting DDR600, once I stepped back and considered that this kits was only rated to DDR500 at 3-4-4-8 and that I blew by that quite easily, I have to say that I was quite happy with the results. One thing to note…. these modules run extremely warm, if you plan on overclocking these make sure that you have some kind of active cooling over them.

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