Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP DDR3-1600 2x8GB (BLT2K8G3D1608ET3LX0)
All enthusiast-grade memory currently offered by Crucial is marketed under the Ballistix brand. Such products feature high speeds and heatsinks for cooling. The heatsinks may vary in shape and exterior design and currently exist in three modifications called Sport, Tactical and Elite. The Sport series is targeted at simple configurations, the Tactical series supports XMP and the Elite series includes top-speed DDR3 SDRAM with massive heatsinks and temperature monitoring. The Tactical modules are also available in the Tracer version with LED indicators of activity.
Recently, the nomenclature has been extended so there are now Low Profile (LP) modules in the Sport and Tactical series. Crucial means that such sticks are at least 15% smaller than standard and can be used in configurations with hard-to-access DIMM slots. As a matter of fact, products of this kind have long been available in stores but we haven’t yet seen overclocker-friendly low-profile modules with heatsinks. That’s why the Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP kit is quite an original view.
It is shipped in a blister wrap which seems to be designed for standard-size DDR3 modules. So you can easily see how slim the Ballistix Tactical LP really is.
The low-profile modules with heatsinks look funny on closer inspection. Even though the heat-spreading plates rise above the PCB by a few millimeters, the total height is only 26 mm. Thus, they are lower than ordinary heatsink-less DIMMs that have a typical height of 30 mm. And, of course, the Ballistix Tactical LP is far more compact in comparison with heatsink-equipped memory for enthusiasts.
Crucial has tried to endow these modules with everything peculiar to overclocker-friendly products. The Ballistix Tactical LP features eye-catching and efficient heatsinks that cover the chips and are fastened to them with heat-conductive dual-sided adhesive tape. The steel bars are perforated at the top to improve the air flow and serve as an aesthetic element. Their appearance is also enlivened by the yellow plastic stickers that go along each heatsink and carry a black-painted name of the series. Of course, this cooling system cannot compete with the heavier heatsinks of conventional full-size modules, but the Ballistix Tactical LP doesn't actually produce that much heat.
Why? Because this memory complies with the DDR3L standard which ensures reduced power consumption and heat dissipation by means of lowering voltage by 10% (to 1.35 volts). Crucial notes that the memory can also work at the standard voltage of 1.5 volts.
The official specs of the Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP DDR3-1600 2x8GB memory kit (BLT2K8G3D1608ET3LX0) are as follows:
- Dual-channel kit consists of two memory modules, 8 GB each;
- Nominal frequency: 1600 MHz;
- Timings: 8-8-8-24-2T;
- Supports XMP;
- Voltage: 1.35 V or 1.5 V.
It must be noted that even though the Ballistix Tactical LP DDR3-1600 is marketed as an overclocker-friendly product, it doesn’t offer anything exceptional in terms of specs. 1600 MHz is rather a standard frequency now and the aggressive memory timings can’t change that. However, the manufacturer has implied to us that the high potential of this product is going to show up in practical tests.
You can usually get a good notion of that potential by checking out the components a memory module is made of. The heatsinks of the Ballistix Tactical LP cover an austere-looking black PCB with chips from Micron, Crucial’s parent company.
Unfortunately, the chips have been rebranded with a Ballistix logo and do not reveal anything about the modules.
The two XMP profiles are more informative. One configuration refers to 1.35 volts and the other, to 1.5 volts. The timings are identical in both cases, suggesting that this memory is rather indifferent towards voltage. That’s good for overclocking. You don’t have to bother about unpleasant consequences of your increasing the voltage above the default level.
Crucial provides a lifetime warranty for all its memory modules for enthusiasts. All of them undergo presale testing. Besides, compatibility is ensured by checking out each new memory series with a large number of different mainboards.