DDR4 memory isn’t exactly mainstream just yet, but that isn’t keeping the memory makers from releasing hundreds of memory kits to the market. There are over 200 memory modules listed online at Newegg, so there isn’t a shortage of DDR4 memory modules online. Next week Crucial will be introducing the Ballistix Elite DDR4 series of memory modules (product website), which is the premium line for Crucial. Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory modules start at 2666MHz to ensure users have improved responsiveness, increased frame rates, and optimized latencies versus those using standard 2133MHz or 2400MHz DDR4 memory modules.
All Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory modules that are coming to market right now are clocked at 2666MHz with 16-17-17-36 2T timings and operate with just 1.2 Volts. Crucial offers Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory modules individually, in pairs for dual-channel operation and in sets of four for quad-channel use. Right now the modules themselves will be available at 4GB and 8GB and all the modules run at 1.2V compared to 1.5V that most DDR3 memory kits use.
|Dual Channel Kits|
|BLE2K4G4D26AFEA||8GB Kit (2x4GB)||2666MHz||16-17-17||1.2V||PC4-21300||$199.99|
|BLE2K8G4D26AFEA||16GB Kit (2x8GB)||2666MHz||16-17-17||1.2V||PC4-21300||$351.99|
|Quad Channel Kits|
|BLE4K4G4D26AFEA||16GB Kit (4x4GB)||2666MHz||16-17-17||1.2V||PC4-21300||$379.99|
|BLE4K8G4D26AFEA||32GB Kit (4x8GB)||2666MHz||16-17-17||1.2V||PC4-21300||$703.99|
Since the Intel X99 Haswell-E platform is the only desktop solution that uses DDR4 memory it will be safe to assume that the quad-channel kits will be the most popular right now. You don’t have to run all four channels on the X99 platform though, so you can run fewer modules if you needed to.
Today, Legit Reviews will be taking a closer look at the Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory kit it is sold under part number BLE4K4G4D26AFEA for $379.99 plus shipping. The Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory comes in sealed clam shell packaging, so be sure to open it with your machete or hatchet to ensure minimal end user frustration.
The Crucial Ballistix Elite product line is aimed at gamers and enthusiasts, so absolutely no one should be surprised that the modules feature a menacing black heat spreader along with a black PCB. If the black on black color combination with white branding accents is what you are looking for you’ll most certainly find these modules aesthetically pleasing. If you were looking for something else you are out of luck.
The Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory modules have a good heft to them thanks to the beefy heat spreader and that weight gives you the feeling that they are a quality kit.
The top of the heat spreader looks vaguley familiar. After thinking about it for a bit we think that Crucial got their design inspiration from a picatinny rail commonly used on the AR-15. The spacing and angles at the edges of the lobes looks awfully familiar.
Oh yeah, there is no denying that! Here is an AR-15 quad-rail and you can see that it is distant cousin of the Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 heatspreader!
Last year we reviewed the Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400MHz 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit and to be honest we fell in love with it and it has been the 32GB kit that we recommend to anyone that asks. The kit starts out with not so impressive CL16 timings, but we were able overclock the kit up to 2666MHz and get the timings all the way down to CL12. The Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 2666MHz 16GB (4x4GB) memory kit that we are looking at today has some pretty big shoes to fill if it wants to outshine its fellow brethren. The real reason we are talking about the Ballistix Sport DDR4 though is due to the fact we wanted to show you the visual difference between the two colors. Obviously the heat spreaders are totally different, but so is the module height. The Ballistix Sport DDR4 stands 31.15mm and the Ballistix Elite DDR4 stands 40.75mm in height when both are measures at the middle of the module. This 9.6mm difference is fairly minor, but you can unscrew and remove the top rail on the Ballistix Elite DDR4 and bring the overall height down to 32.4mm if you needed to clear a CPU cooler or something like that in your case.
Let’s move along and take a look at the Crucial M.O.D. Utility (Memory Overview Display) and the Intel XMP 2.0 settings that were programmed into the modules SPD.