Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 Memory Review :: Performance

09-08-2005 · Category: Hardware - Memory

By Tulatin

Test Bed

  • Intel Pentium 4 530J (Clocked to 233*15 for the Overclocked Portion)
  • NVIDIA C19-CRB Motherboard
  • 2x512MB Modules of PC2-6400 Crucial Ballistix
  • Ultra 600W PSU
  • Open Air Chassis

Perhaps the most interesting part to measuring the performance of DDR 2 is just how dependant it is on the FSB. No matter how fast the memory can go, or how low its latencies can get, it will be forever limited by the constrictions of the Front Side bus. Thus, we do four tests versus the conventional two. We test the ram at stock, then overclocked speeds on a non-overclocked CPU, then we ratchet up the FSB, and re-do the tests. Read on to find out the results - you may just be surprised. As for those concerned about how we're going to represent the new set in comparison to the set past, look for the white coloured bar to represent the new set of memory.

Stock CPU

Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 Memory Review

As we've seen in our DDR2 testing before, higher speed ram just doesn't make sense when coupled with a chip of relatively low FSB. Memory such as this would shine on a semi-rare 1066 FSB chip, where it would have free run to the vast bandwidth available. Yet, with the chips still limited by the relatively low 800MHz FSB, which has been with us since the late Northwood days, memory such as this will only come in handy when Overclocking is in mind. Aside from that, their appeals are quite limited, apart from the fact that they can be easily slowed to DDR2-667, and then continue to operate with impressive latencies from that point onward.

Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 Memory Review

Overclocked CPU:

Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 Memory Review

Opening the floodgates a little bit for the FSB has helped the memory out to some degree, but again its potential is quite limited by the remainder of the constriction the bus offers. Essentially, the only lead this memory manages to commandeer during the testing is thanks to its slightly lower latencies, which are unfortunately hindered by the higher tRAS value. Normally this has little effect on bandwidth, but when working with such small differences, a gap such as this becomes paramount. Considering that this memory had troubles budging about the 800MHz mark, and even dropping latencies at the 800MHz mark, it seems that it's ill suited for the task of keeping up with a heavily overclocked system, rather, these modules are more suited to running with the FSB, providing stable and fast communications.

Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 Memory Review