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Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP DDR3-1600 2x8GB (BLS2K8G3D1609ES2LX0)

This second kit of low-profile Ballistix memory is referred to as Sport. It is positioned lower than the Ballistix Tactical LP series. However, the Ballistic Sport VLP turns out to be even more exciting because the VLP abbreviation stands for Very Low Profile. The extremely compact memory offered by Crucial in the Sports series has no alternatives from this or other manufacturers.

Our dual-channel DDR3-1600 kit consisting of two 8GB modules is packaged like the Ballistix Tactical LP series. It is shipped in a unified blister wrap which has a lot of free space left. The memory sticks are firmly fixed inside, though.

Some similarity can be traced to the Ballistix Tactical LP series in the appearance of these modules. In both cases we have a compact PCB which is a mere 20 mm in height but the Tactical LP series is taller due to the heatsink. The Sport VLP series has simpler cooling and its heatsink doesn’t increase the overall height of the module. As a result, each module is no higher than 20 mm. In fact, such modules are going to be somewhat lower than the DIMM slot latches when installed.

The heatsinks are surely less efficient than those of the Tactical LP series. In fact, they are nothing more but slim bars of aluminum. Black-anodized, they are shaped intricately and feature a shining edging and a logo with series name right in the center. So their main purpose seems to make the Ballistix Sport VLP modules look like a premium product for discerning users.

As a matter of fact, modules of this type do not call for dedicated cooling. Besides the rather low clock rate of DDR3-1600, they work at reduced voltage. Like the Tactical LP, the Sport VLP complies with the DDR3L standard and thus can work at 1.35 volts.

The heatsink is not the only point of difference between the two series, though. The Ballistix Sport VLP DDR3-1600 2x8GB kit is designed for a different operating mode as described in its specs:

  • Dual-channel kit consists of two memory modules, 8 GB each;
  • Nominal frequency: 1600 MHz;
  • Timings: 9-9-9-24-2T;
  • Supports XMP;
  • Voltage: 1.35 V or 1.5 V.

The Sport VLP has relaxed timings with a CAS Latency of 9 whereas the Tactical LP has a CAS Latency of 8. Otherwise, the modules are identical in their specs as well as in their XMP profiles.

The XMP profiles describe two operating modes with voltages of 1.35 and 1.5 volts. From the manufacturer’s point of view, both low-profile memory kits perform identically in DDR3L and DDR3 modes. The former mode is preferable in practical terms as it helps reduce power consumption. The other XMP profile is an invitation to overclocking. It guarantees that if you increase the voltage of your Ballistix Sport VLP (or Tactical LP) modules, they won’t be damaged.

Besides the two XMP profiles, there is an SPD profile describing DDR3-1333 mode to ensure compatibility with a vast majority of existing computer platforms.

As for chips employed, we cannot say anything specific again. They lack their original marking. The only thing we know about them is that their manufacturer is Micron.

By the way, the Ballistix Sport VLP and Tactical LP modules have the same PCB design and only differ in the color of the PCB. We suspect that both are identical in terms of hardware, being differentiated by the exterior design, XMP profiles and official specs. Let’s check this out in practical tests, though.

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