Crucial PC2-5300 DDR2-667 Ballistix Memory Review :: Packaging, Aesthetics, Specifications

08-08-2005 · Category: Hardware - Memory

By Tulatin

Crucial PC2-5300 DDR2-667 Ballistix Memory Review

Crucial's DDR 2 Ballistix modules came to us in small cardboard boxes, which held the two modules (wrapped again in anti-static bags) within form fitting slots along with the manual. While uninspired, the packaging serves its purpose well, and will no doubt keep the memory within safe, no matter to where in the world it must travel.

After carefully opening the box and slitting the packaging, we found memory that looked surprisingly similar to the original Ballistix line, and rightfully so, after all it features the same attractive and unmistakable gold heat spreaders straddling a jet black PCB as the DDR1 modules featured. While the function of heat spreaders has been debated over time (even more so now with how cool DDR2 runs), we still like that little extra bit of flair it adds to already sexy modules. Unfortunately, due to the nature of DDR2 chips, this heat spreader is a permanent, as trying to pry the spreader off will more than likely result in a memory chip coming with it - definitely not a good way to start your morning.

When turned on their side, the method for affixing the heat spreader shows itself - garden variety thermal tape, which leaves half of the end chips uncovered. While this would be suicide with garden variety DDR, DDR2 runs cool enough for this lack of coverage to be meaningless. Moving from how they look to what they can do, Crucial has rated these modules for 4-4-4-10 at 1.9V. Now, while most of you may be thinking that these are horrible latencies, keep in mind that to DDR2, lower latencies seem to provide but a nominal performance boost, with the loss of speed from the latency being amply compensated for by the excessive speed of the memory. Interestingly enough however, while the modules are rated for these speeds on the website, they are SPD programmed much more conservatively - to the tune of 5-5-5-15. We suppose that crucial chose to program such high latencies to compensate for motherboards that do not have voltage adjustments, granted, 1.9V isn't such a hard amount to supply.