Ballistix Tactical Tracer 16GB DDR4 2666MHz

Introduction

Micron Technology, Inc. is an American company headquartered in Boise, Idaho, founded on October 5th 1978.
The Micron products are marketed and sold under then Crucial and Ballistix brands, these products include: SDRAM type memory, DDR/2/3/4 RAM and NAND & Flash type storage chips.
In 2009, Micron was the first company to announce an SSD equipped with a SATA interface capable of 6 Gbit/s speeds. At the present time, Micron is involved in the manufacture and sale of memory chips for countless brands and product types.

Official product link:

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/blt16g4d26bft4

 

Packaging and accessories

The memory kit is packaged in a standard shallow box made out of semitransparent plastic. The packaging itself is almost identical with the one used with other kits of memory from Micron. The front side is half covered by an aluminum pattern with an added RGB strip on top, on the upper right corner there is a label with a couple of the kit’s specifications such as the memory capacity, frequency and the type.

 

On the back of the packaging the Ballistix Tactical Tracer model of memory is presented in in seven different languages. On the lower side there is a label with the serial number of the kit alongside the Ballistix by Micron brand logos.

 

The two RAM modules of the Kit are packaged in a clear plastic tray. This will offer some degree of protection in case of impacts on the edge of the packaging, this is also held closed by two push-in clips.

 

Specifications

Series: Ballistix Tactical Tracer
Model: BLT16G4D26BFT4
Capacity: 16GB kit (8GB x 2)
Color: Gunmetal gray
Memory Type: DDR4
Memory Speed: 2666MHz
DRAM Memory Timings: 16-18-18-38
Form Factor: UDIMM
Voltage: 1.2V
Memory Configuration: Dual Channel Kit
Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
Error Checking: Non-ECC
Warranty: Limited Lifetime

 

Features:

– Speeds start at 2666 MT/s
– Faster speeds and timings than Ballistix Sport DDR4
– Four channel memory architecture maximizes data rates
– Gunmetal gray heat spreader with black PCB
– Certified Intel® XMP 2.0 profiles for easy setup
– Optimized for the latest Intel X99 platforms
– Limited lifetime warranty

 

Visual inspection

The Tactical Tracer models have always been offered with integrated illumination, being the main feature of the Tracers apart from better out of the box performance and frequency. The DDR4 variants of this series are available in a gunmetal heatsink that covers the entire PCB of the modules as well as diffusing the light and color generated from the integrated RGB LEDs.

 

The overall design of the heatsink is minimalist with eight subtle raised lines on both sides alongside square perforations on the top and bottom. The perforation not only help with the passive cooling but also provide an additional design element for the RGB LEDs that are installed on the PCB.

 

As usual, two labels are applied on one side of the heatsink, these offer general information about the kit such as the serial number, the timings used from the factory and also the voltage.

 

The top of the heatsink is covered by a semitransparent white plastic cover, with the sole purpose of diffusing the light and better blend the colors of the RGB LEDs. It is a simple method of obtaining smooth color transition and tone down the light intensity of the LEDs.

 

The plastic diffuser can also be removed; it is held in place by two small plastic push-pins that can be removed from one side of the RAM stick. This feature offers the users a choice of having a diffuser or reduce the overall height of the RAM modules. The space saved by removing the plastic diffuser is approximately 4mm in height.

 

These 8GB modules are single sided, the other side being home for tracers and capacitors for filtering.

 

One similar design choice that is found in both the Tactical and Tactical Tracer kits is the placement of the Ballistix by Micron logos, these are always present in the middle of each heatsink’s side, alongside the Tactical badge in the rear corner.

 

Testing

The following system was used to test the memory kit:
– Processor: Intel i5 6600K @ 3.9GHz
– Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Professional Gaming i7
– Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition
– SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
– HDD: WD 1TB Blue
– PSU: Seasonic Snow Silent 750W Platinum
– CPU Cooler: SilverStone Tundra TD-2 E
– Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe
– OS: Windows 10 64-Bit (After April Update)

 

The RAM was tested using the CPU at its turbo frequency of 3.9 GHz. The RAM was firstly tested using the standard X.M.P frequency while the second test was done with the memory at the maximum frequency reached in Overclock. Each test was done a minimum of three times.

 

Software used for testing the RAM Kit:
– CineBench R15
– Rise of the Tomb Raider
– SuperPi 1.55 Mod
– wPrime V2.10 1024M
– AIDA64 Extreme Version: 5.98.4800 (9/19/2018)

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider

 

AIDA64 Read-Write

AIDA64 Latency

CineBench R15

SuperPi 1.55 Mod

Software

The Ballistix Tactical Tracers are also accompanied by a proprietary software called M.O.D (Memory Overview Display), that is available for download on the Crucial website.
This program has only three main windows, the starting one being the SPD Data and provides all the data about the installed Ballistix memory, frequency, timings, latency, part number, firmware running and many more.

 

The second window provides a live display of the temperature of the memory chips. Each stick of memory having its own temperature reading.

 

The third and final window is the LED Control that allows the user to fully customize the LEDs installed on the PCB in the case of the Tactical Tracer models. This includes choosing the light pattern and goes so far as to allow individual customization of each LED present on a RAM stick.

Final thoughts

The Ballistix Tactical Tracer 16GB DDR4 2666MHz is a well-balanced kit with stylish and subtle aesthetics paired with full RGB illumination that can be customized up to every single LED installed on the RAM Sticks.

The build quality is very good, the heatsinks have a subtle design and the top plastic light diffuser does its job and does not greatly affect the overall height of the RAM sticks, in fact, it increases the height by just 4mm. There is also a useful thing that this diffuser can be removed without tools.
The performance both in daily use and especially in overclocking is great, the ram kit easily reached 3066MHz with only the X.M.P and frequency settings modified, and also increasing the base 1.2V voltage up to 1.23V.

By default, this kit will run at 2666MHZ with the timings: 16-18-18-38 with or without enabling the X.M.P profile in the bios. This is a functional feature given that many kits that are rated at speeds of 2666Mhz and above will run without X.M.P enabled at 2133Mhz.
The Ballistix Tactical Tracer 16GB DDR4 2666MHz is also fully compatible with both Intel and AMD platforms, I had no issues in using the kit with both X370 and X470 chipsets as well as with the Z270 chipset.

In conclusion, the Ballistix Tactical Tracer 16GB DDR4 2666MHz offers a good overclocking headroom and will run at the advertised speed without enabling the X.M.P profile.
The overclocking potential of these kits is good, the 16-18-18-38 timings can be lowered while maintaining the factory 2666Mhz frequency, and thus, getting more performance. In terms of frequency, the 3066MHz frequency is easy to reach without going into the timings settings.
The design of the heatsink and RGB illumination is good, it achieves the desired effect while also being capable of in-depth customization. In addition, it does this without compromising on the overall height of the ram sticks, and thus, these sticks are compatible with most CPU Coolers on the market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *