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Crucial Ballistix PC4000 DDR RAM Review

Crucial Ballistix PC4000 DDR RAM Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Trying to find the "right" memory for one's PC is a difficult task, what with all the different brands and speeds to choose from for both Intel and AMD platforms.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Memory Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Crucial Oct 06 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Memory > Crucial Ballistix PC4000

Testing the Crucial Memory

PCStats Test System Specs:
Processor:

AMD Athlon64 4000+

Clock Speed:

12 x 200 MHz = 2.4 GHz
9 x 273 MHz = 2.46 GHz

Motherboards:

DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR (NF4-SLI)

Videocard:

MSI NX7800GTX-V2D256E

Memory:

2x 512MB Patriot PDC1G5600ELK
2x 512MB Corsair TwinX1024-3200XL Pro
2x 512MB Centon GEMiNi PC3200
2x 512MB Crucial Ballistix PC4000

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor
CDROM: Gigabyte GO-W0808A DVD Burner
PowerSupply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Athlon64 4000+ Reference Heatsink
Software Setup

WindowsXP
Forceware NF4 6.53
Forceware 77.77

Benchmarks

Business Winstone 2004
SiSoft Sandra 2005
PCMark04
PCMark05
3DMark2001SE
3DMark05
UT2003
UT2004
Doom 3

PCSTATS Test Methodology

PCSTATS tests DDR memory on AMD Athlon64 systems only because Intel has effectively made the transition to DDR2. Enthusiasts usually keep to the bleeding edge, so fast DDR memory is useless for the Intel overclocker looking for more juice.

On AMD test systems we're only interested in seeing how high we can go with the memory running 1:1, as running with other dividers puts the overclocking bottleneck elsewhere, not with the system memory. We usually run DDR RAM latency at 2-2-2-5, or the memory's tightest possible timings, as quick access is important to the CPU design. However in cases where memory is built to run at high speeds with lax memory timings, we will run the benchmark tests at the manufacturer specified timings. Not doing so would put high speed DIMMs at a disadvantage since the memory may not be designed to run at tighter memory timings.

As we move into the benchmarks a quick explanation is in order as to why the results will show minor performance gains due to the faster memory speeds we're testing. With previous platforms, increasing memory speed often meant also increasing the bus speed between the processor and memory. Since the memory controller is integrated into the Athlon64 processor, overclocking memory does not increase the speed of data moving to and from the processor any further, since there is no bus. To really get the most from your memory overclocking, you must also increase the CPU speed so it can handle the increased memory bandwidth. The reason why we do not do this during testing is because CPU speed will affect the benchmarks and that would not allow the results to be directly comparable to previous tests. By keeping the processor at approximately the same speed for all tests, we are seeing the real world benefit from the increased memory frequency alone.

Overclocking Athlon64s is a bit different since there is no more bus between the memory and CPU. On your system, make sure you increase the speed of your processor so you can get the most out of both the memory and CPUs!

With that out of the way, let's get started with the benchmarks!

Winstone 2004 Source: Zdnet

Business Winstone 2004 runs real applications through a series of scripted activities and uses the time a PC takes to complete these activities to produce its performance scores.

Business Winstone 2004
Memory: Points Ranking
2x 512MB Patriot PEP5125600ELK PC5600 (200/400) 31.7
2x 512MB Corsair TwinX1024-3200XL PRO (200/400) 31.5
2x 512MB Centon GEMiNi PC3200 (200/400) 32.3
2x 512MB Crucial Ballistix PC4000 (200/400) 32.1
2x 512MB Crucial Ballistix PC4000 (273/546) 33.6

At stock speeds, the Crucial Ballistix PC4000 DIMMs perform the same as the competition. When overclocked we see a slight boost in performance but not much.

SiSoft Sandra 2005 Source:Sandra

Sandra is designed to test the theoretical power of a complete system as well as the individual components. The results are also purely theoretical and may not represent real world performance.

Sisoft Sandra 2005 Benchmark Results
Memory Integer SSE2: Float SSE2:

2x 512MB Patriot PDC1G5600ELK PC5600 (200/400)

6066 6018
2x 512MB Corsair TwinX1024-3200XL PRO (200/400) 6057 6026
2x 512MB Centon GEMiNi PC3200 (200/400) 6058 6026
2x 512MB Crucial Ballistix PC4000 (200/400) 6063 6013
2x 512MB Crucial Ballistix PC4000 (273/546) 6841 6833

It should be no surprise that the memory bandwidth for all DIMMs at stock speeds is about the same. All memory is running the same speed with the same timings.

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Contents of Article: Crucial Ballistix PC4000
 Pg 1.  Crucial Ballistix PC4000 DDR RAM Review
 Pg 2.  — Testing the Crucial Memory
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, PCMark05, 3DMark2001
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, UT2003, UT2004
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Doom 3 and Max OC

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