Value and Conclusions
The Corsair XMS2 TwinX4096-6400C5DHX we tested is over £40 cheaper
than the Crucial Ballistix Tracer Red 4GB
, but the Crucial is also rated to 4-4-4-12 versus 5-5-5-18. If you don’t care about the redness, you can save £11.75
by going for the standard black option.
We happen to prefer the black over red so it seems like a choice worth making. You’ll still be splashing out some £31.79 more than the Corsair, but the black Ballistix Tracer still features the same enhanced 4-4-4-12 timings and should therefore achieve a similar overclock to the 1,100MHz+ we’ve witnessed here.
The Corsair wouldn’t overclock quite as far – but the next step up is the XMS2 TwinX4096-8500C5DHX
however Corsair also do a 800MHz C4 4GB DHX kit for just £75.95
that's even cheaper than the Crucial Ballistix Tracer black 4GB. Since they are both rated at 1,066MHz CAS-4 at 2.1V, both should perform and overclock similarly.
If you’re looking for super-cheap 4GB kits, then there’s some Super Talent sticks also available for even less money than the Corsair TwinX4096-6400C5DHX – so if you don’t care for fancy heat spreaders, you can buy a 4GB kit for under £60
Obviously if you’re considering the Ballistix Tracer memory you’re after some bling, so we also found a 4GB kit of OCZ Reaper X HPC that’s rated at 800MHz, but at super fast 4-4-3-15 timings with an equivalent price to the Crucial of £94.59
. Or if you can live with the older Reaper styling you can save about £20
for essentially the same thing. Or, the slightly slower rated 800MHz, 5-4-4-15 OCZ SLI Ready 4GB kit is just £67
And finally – the G-Skill 800MHz 4GB kit with 4-4-4-12 timings identical to the Crucial Ballistix Tracer is just £87.42
. It has basic heatspreaders like the Crucial, but lacks the lights.
In the past, we’ve found Crucial memory to be a bit more expensive regardless of the type you buy, and even though you get free delivery when you buy from Crucial direct, it’s often difficult to find a comparison elsewhere because there are few other stores stocking it. You are paying for the "extra technology" of the lights and looks, which some people will want to pay, but can this really compare to the design of the more obvious DHX, Reaper (HPC) or FlexXLC heatsinks for example?
There are also a lot
of modules available in the market for 4GB kits now, however very few are rated to CAS-4 and, from our tests here, we've found the Crucial Ballistix Tracer has the potential to do some pretty awesome overclocks for what is a pair of DIMMs rated at just 800MHz.
While the market has moved in such a way that makes the red version we’ve reviewed here a premium just not worth paying, the standard Ballistix Tracer 4GB in black competes with a few of the funkier OCZ modules linked above, that have a similar set of enhanced timings for around the same price. Overall then, if you’re after a bit of bling, the latest Crucial Ballistix Tracer modules shouldn't leave you disappointed.
What do these scores mean?
We just found Overclockers UK are today selling these modules on a "This Week Only" special for £84.58
- significantly cheaper and far better value than is available from Crucial directly.