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Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2x2GB DDR3 10666 Review

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When it comes time to purchase your new memory modules, most people look to review sites to get a good idea on the performance capabilities of the memory they want to buy. Why, you ask? So they don't have to go through the endless buy it and return or sell it routine to find the set of their dreams. Hey we do it for you! How? By testing the memory with a series of benchmarks that show some of the capabilities of the system memory. Synthetic benchmarks as well as real gameplay are used to show the capabilities. Also, there are comparisons to other performance modules just so that this is not a one-sided affair. That just would not do and offers up only the knowledge of what the featured product can do.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Modules:


CPU-Z: This application shows us the settings that we have chosen in the BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings and SPD chip information.


Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file, and processor usage.



Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel Q9450 430 x 8 1.375 volts
  • Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 10600 2x2GB 860MHz 8-8-8-24 1.90 volts

Overclocking memory on an Nvidia chipset based motherboard allows the user to overclock the memory independently from the processors frontside bus speed. But doing this causes a performance "Hit". To get the most from the modules and the entire system running the processor and memory Linked and Synced is the way to a massive difference in the performance of the system. Of course this is the more difficult path to choose. A quad core processor ran linked and synced with the memory is hard on the northbridge, but this is the method I will employ to overclock these Crucial Ballistix modules. Taking the easy way out would be using a dual core CPU to ease the burden on the northbridge and push for a higher speed. Of course your mileage may vary. Pushing the modules to the 860MHz plateau required a loosening of the subtimings from 6-6-6 to 8-8-8 and a slight increase in the voltage supplied to the dimms, moving up to 1.9 volts from the stock 1.8 volts. There was not a whole lot of drama in getting to the 800MHz level. It took a reduction of the timings to 8-7-7. Going further required an increase in the voltage to the modules and further loosening of the subtimings. The final clock speed linked and synced was 860 MHz. This is where the overclocked scores were run for this review.


The benchmarks used in this review include the following:


  • CPU-Z Version 1.47
  • Windows Task Manager
  • PCMark Vantage
  • SiSoft Sandra XII
  • Company of Heroes

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing (Setup, Cpu-Z, Task Manager,Overclocking)
  4. Testing: PCMark Vantage, Sandra 2009
  5. Testing: Company of Heroes
  6. Conclusion
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