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Crucial BL3KIT25664TG1608 (Ballistix Tracer)

Crucial BL3KIT25664TG1608 memory kit is a very unusual product. It belongs to Ballistix Tracer series that differs from the regular memory by a row of LEDs installed at the top of the modules that blink during work. You can tell how heavily the DIMM modules are loaded with work by the speed of the LED blinking. This unique design feature is obviously intended primarily for the owners of system cases with transparent side panels. Moreover, visual aesthetics lovers may select a triple-channel Crucial Ballistix Tracer kits with blue, green or multi-color LEDs.

I have to say that despite the addition of an extra circuitry into the Ballistix Tracer modules that is responsible for visual effects, the modules are of standard height, so they will fit perfectly fine into systems with any type of processor cooling solution in place. However, some enthusiasts will probably complain about the fact that the heat is dissipated from the memory modules through relatively thin aluminum plates. And although these modules heat up quite significantly under serious operational load, I have to assure you that these thin heat-spreaders are more than enough for DDR3 memory working at 1.65 V voltage.

The default parameters of this DDR3-1600 kit from Crucial imply this particular voltage setting and quite traditional timings of 8-8-8-24. However, it is not only the design that makes the memory kit from this manufacturer stand out. Don’t forget that Crucial is a division of Micron that is why we can assume that one of their major trumps is special selection of Micron chips for these overclocker memory kits.

The XMP profiles of these memory modules have been filled out in a pretty unusual manner. As you can see fro the screenshot above, the manufacturer offered two profiles: the first one with standard default settings as defined by the specifications. The second one has enhanced parameters including 7-7-7-24 timings. Note that you shouldn’t be misled by the availability of this second profile – at 1.65 V voltage these settings do not work. Although the voltage for this profile is also indicated at 1.65 V, just like for the first one, in reality you can only achieve stability with 7-7-7-24 timings when the memory voltage is cranked up above this limit. And keeping in mind Intel’s official recommendations, only the riskiest overclocking fans will agree to that.

Geil GU36GB1600C7TC

Geil Company is famous for their interesting overclock memory solutions. And this time, they proved true to their fame one more time. The 1600 MHz memory modules from Ultra series offered by this manufacturer support 7-7-7-24 timings, i.e. they are superior in specifications to many competitors’ DDR3-1600 SDRAM offerings out there right from the start. However, their price is also a little different, but you got to pay to the extra speed you get. I would like to point out separately that Geil guarantees their memory kit to work at a slightly lower voltage setting than usual in the interval from 1.6 to 1.65 V.

As we can see, the enhanced parameters of the Geil memory kit did not affect the shape and design of the heat-spreaders on them. Strange as it might seem, but this high-speed solution does perfectly fine with standard stamped aluminum heat-spreaders that are stuck to the modules via special padding socked in thermal glue.

The contents of the modules SPD also looks a little too modest. There are no XMP profiles, only the “safe” settings that allow launching the memory subsystem at 1333 MHz frequency. So it is totally up to the user to correctly configure the memory modules for work in DDR3-1600 model through the BIOS Setup.

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