Test Results: Crucial Ballistix PC3200

To be considered stable for test purposes, Quake3 benchmark, UT2003 Demo, Super PI, Aquamark 3, and Comanche 4 had to complete without incident. Any of these, and in particular Super PI, will crash a less-than stable memory configuration. We have included results for RCW-ET using the Radar benchmark.

Crucial PC3200 Ballistix (DDR400) - 2 x 512Mb Double-Bank
Speed Memory Timings & Voltage Quake3 fps Sandra UNBuffered Sandra Standard Buffered Super PI 2M places
(time in sec)
Wolfenstein - Radar - Enemy Territory
fps
400DDR
800FSB
2-2-2-5
2.5V
329.6 INT 2906
FLT 2919
INT 4511
FLT 4511
129 70.5
433DDR
866FSB
2-2-2-5
2.65V
358.7 INT 3167
FLT 3193
INT 4923
FLT 4917
119 76.7
466DDR
933FSB
2.5-2-2-5
2.65V
384.3 INT 3287
FLT 3332
INT 5237
FLT 5251
111 82.4
500DDR
1000FSB
2.5-2-2-5
2.65V
410.2 INT 3481
FLT 3557
INT 5623
FLT 5638
104 88.4
514DDR
1028FSB
2.5-2-2-5
2.85V
419.3 INT 3600
FLT 3638
INT 5752
FLT 5779
100 90.7

It wasn't even a year ago that we considered 3-4-4 timings to be pretty good at DDR500, so what can we say about Crucial's Ballistix that does DDR500 at 2.5-2-2-5? The only word that comes to mind is "astounding"! Crucial is the only memory in the DDR400 2-2-2 roundup using Micron chips, and the performance across the effective range of DDR400 to DDR514 is incredible. Even the highest speed of 514 is achieved at 2.5-2-2-5 timings. What's more, nothing even came close to the 2-2-2 headroom of the Crucial Ballistix, as 2-2-2 timings were possible all the way to DDR460!

It is very interesting that the Micron chips do not really respond well to higher timings, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Seeing how these Micron chips perform, we understand why OCZ EB, based on the same family Micron chips, performs so well. We have seen reports of some variability in the performance of the Ballistix memory, and overclocking results are never guaranteed. However, our results with another pair of Ballistix DIMMs were very similar.

It looks like Crucial has a winner with their new Ballistix PC3200. What's more, Ballistix 3200 is also one of the more reasonable DDR400 memories in the roundup, which spells value in capital letters.

Test Results: Corsair 3200XL PRO Test Results: Kingston HyperX PC3200 Low-Latency
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  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    #12 and #13 - Both Crucial Ballistix PC3200 and OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2 are available in the market. Crucial is a direct marketer as you have discovered.

    #14 - In your situation I would shop for price for DDR400 2-2-2. The XP boards respond best to Latency as low as you can feed them, but you are not likley to reach OC levels that will be a concern with any decent DDR400 2-2-2 memory. None of the DDR500 will have latencies like 2-2-2 at DDR400.

    #15 - There is just one DDR400 Crucial Ballistix (PC3200) - but it is available as 256MB Single-Sided or 512MB Double-Sided dimms as mentioned in the review.
    Reply
  • bigtoe33 - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    Wesley comments the OCZ was the best from the TCCD modules tested with incredible headroom, so much so it was decided top homours would be shared.

    Also going by comments already seen here many feel the Crucial modules were very cherry picked.
    I know on many forums the 3200 and 4000 is not doing quite so well as the samples seen here.

    I do trust Wesleys's testing though, if his modules hit these speeds, they did hit it...

    Its always best to get good reviews like this one and then go search for results on forums.
    Reply
  • Potem - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    #11 - Thanks had not thought to go directt from Crucial. That is such a good price compared to the alternatives I am worried if is right stuff but description matches. Wesley did not give a part number. Crucial list part number BL6464Z402.
    Reply
  • bupkus - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    I have a 2500+ Barton on an epox 8RDA+ so I'm happy with a fsb frequency of 200. Is my best option to target some PC3200 with low timings or should I think about some hyperX PC4000 on sale? Reply
  • drewintheav - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    Is it possible that you were sent a version of the Crucial Ballistix memory that is not indicative of what someone can really buy? Also, it seems like you said that Crucial Ballistix pc3200 was the best overall so why does OSZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2 also get a gold editors choice? Reply
  • Potem - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    The question is what is the availablity of either of the Gold Editors Choice recommendations? The MSI K8N Neo2 was recommended over a month ago and is still not available in the US (though is fianlly expected to change any day or hour now). I have searched indivdual stores and done both price watch and PriceGrabber searches for both OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2 and Crucial Ballistix 3200 and have come up empty. In the case of OCZ 3700EB it does sell but the stores often sell out and OCZ having troubles keeping up with demand. Reply
  • rjm55 - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    I was all set to buy the Corsair 3200XL and bitching about the high price when I saw this roundup. Thanks for making my life easier. The Crucial is $267 for 2x512MB direct from Crucial and the Corsair is $361 for the same thing at New Egg. Thanks for helping me save a cool $100.

    Is there any way to tell if the OCZ is the latest Rev. 2 stuff? I noticed the package in the picture is new. Do you look for the new package to be sure you're getting the latest stuff?
    Reply
  • bigtoe33 - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    Another GREAT review from the FINKSTER....;-)

    Commenting on G die micron, yield is VERY up and down so i do feel they were choice cut's, EB does pretty much the same speeds with 95%+ of all customers ram running well above rated timings and speed anyway.You guys with the 4000 balistix should have looked at the 3500 and 3700EB ;-)

    Thanks again Wes.

    Tony
    Reply
  • ThePlagiarmaster - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    Wesley, it sounds like you need to ask MSI for a new bios to get their board more compatible with these new samsung chips? Maybe all manufacturers will need to release a bios update to take full advantage of these new samsung chips?

    Just a thought.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, August 5, 2004 - link

    #5 - We used the same benchmarks in our DDR2 roundup and tested the DDR2 to DDR2-686. That should give you a better idea of comparative performance between DDR and DDR2. We also compared DDR and DDR2 performance in that review, and fast DDR400 performs about like DDR2-533. Just dlick the 'Memory' tab at the top of the page and you will find the DDR2 roundup.

    #7 - It will be a few weeks, but we DO have some OCZ DDR2 EB modules with better timings that will be included in an upcoming DDR2-667 roundup. Many of the DDR2 modules in last month's roundup ran fine at 3-3-3 timings - much better than the rated timings.
    Reply

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