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Appeared on: Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Crucial PC3-14400


1. Features, specifications

Crucial is a key brand in the Lexar media family of products. The 'Memory Experts™', a wholly owned subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc., is currently the offering a comprehensive range of memory product lines.

The company recently announced a new series of DDR3 products, rated at 1800MHz. The Crucial Ballistix BL2KIT12864BE180 memory 2GB memory kit is in our labs and we will test it today under the Nvidia 790i SLI platform, which offers high flexibility and overclocking margins.

The Crucial Ballistix line is specifically built for performance enthusiasts who want to push the performance envelope without worrying about data loss or corruption, mysterious intermittent errors and display problems, or worse - the dreaded BSOD, the company claims. The Ballistix line of features advanced speed grades, low latencies, and integrated aluminum heat spreaders.

A Ballistix dual inline memory module (DIMM) consists of a number of memory components that are attached to a black printed circuit board. The gold pins on the bottom of the DIMM provide a connection between the module and a socket on a larger printed circuit board. The pins on the front and back of a DIMM are not connected to each other.

Ballistix 240-pin DIMMs are found in DDR3 memory. DDR3 boasts an improved architecture allowing very fast data transmission. The Ballistix 240-pin DIMMs are available in DDR3 PC3-14400 SDRAM (DDR3-1800).

- Main features

- Retail package

Crucial provided us a retail package of 2x1GB of Ballistix PC3-14400 series. The modules cost $206 and they can be obtained directly from Crucial. The kit we received arrived in a common carton box, with the memory modules packed into antistatic plastic bags.

CPU-Z provides information about the installed memory. The Crucial PC3-14400 supports Nvidia's EPP v2.0 profile that should give you instant performance boost when paired with an Nvidia 790i SLI chipset. The embedded JEDEC timings for 444,593 and 667MHz are rather relaxed, allowing us to seek for tightest timings for you later in this review:

For some reason, CPU-Z doesn't display the EPP 2.0 information.

More details are available through Everest Ultimate Edition:


2. Overclocking

Below you can see our test PC setup:

The Asus motherboard we used in this test offers several ways to boost memory, either via Memory Level Up or via the manual method, which we followed. In all the tests, we kept CPU locked at 333MHz and after un-linking the FSB/DRAM we were able to boost only the memory and measure its overall performance with Everest Ultimate Edition. The table below includes all the speeds we managed to get and of course the corresponding timings:

Memory Frequency/Timings
Real Frequency
Voltage
Memory Ratio (FSB:RAM)
666,50
1,90
1:2
800,00
1,90
5:12
909,20
1,90
11:30
909,20
2,00
11:30
952,40
1,90
7:20
982,00
1,90
9:26

The results are rather interesting and very good, we can say. The memory did an impressive CL7 at 1800MHz, 2.00V. This performance is higher than what we had with the already tested Crucial PC3-16000, since it easily reached 1000MHz with CL8. We didn't have to make any special adjustments with the Asus Striker II Extreme motherboard, - all settings were left to "Auto". Due to the FSB:DRAM divider, the next step would be to reach the 2074MHz, which however didn't work, despite the high voltage (2.00V) and of course raised cache latency. But still, reaching the 1000MHz with CL8 is very encouraging and most overclockers will definitely appreciate this performance.


3. Benchmarks

Click for official website!EVEREST Ultimate Edition is a system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the EVEREST Technology.

During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and over clock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems. Furthermore, complete software, operating system and security information makes EVEREST Ultimate Edition a comprehensive system diagnostics tool that offers a total of 100 pages of information about your PC. The software has build-in several tests for memory and CPU/FPU.

We used the latest Everest Ultimate Edition software and prepared some reading and writing benchmarks for the memory, clocked in various frequencies:

As it seems the unlinked memory doesn't offer the highest figures. In fact rising up frequency and of course timings produce a lower performance. Of course that's the worst case scenario since most overclockers will keep memory and cpu paired (synced).


4. Final words

Crucial describes the new PC3-14400 memory kit as a 2x1GB memory solution for the DDR3 platform that offers 1800MHz and 8-8-8-22 @ 1.90V. The reality is that the modules offers much lower cache latencies and overclocking margins that extend beyond our initial expectations, at least when installed on an Nvidia 790i SLI motherboard.

 

The retail prices of DDR3 memory have really dropped lately and you get a 2x1GB of DDR3 memory kit that can easily reach 1000MHz with CL8 for just $206. Now if that isn't a true bargain what else would be? We cannot find any issues with the BL2KIT12864BE1808 product, since it delivers what it promises and even more...



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