Crucial Ballistix PC5300 DDR2 Memory Review

Memory by JNav89GT @ 2004-11-29

There has been alot of controversy surrounding Intel?s introduction of Socket T/775 motherboards, of which DDR2 has not escaped. However, DDR2 has been proclaimed the future memory standard by Intel, and like it or not Intel does dictate the majority of standards for our PCs. Crucial has stepped up to the enthusiest?s plate with their PC2-5300 Ballistix DDR2 memory which promises 667mhz memory speeds at timings of 4:4:4:10.

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During June of 2004 Intel introduced Socket T/775, and like it or not it's here to stay. While there were many benefits to this new socket design and chipsets introduced, DDR2 was one of the most highly anticipated technologies being implemented into these new boards, along with PCI-Express. DDR2 was the evolution of the memory standard most of us have grown to love. Some questioned whether the new standard was needed, however most will not argue that higher speed is always welcome. The question though lingering on enthusiasts minds were if the higher latencies inherent in DDR2 modules would offset the benefits of the higher speeds they allowed. I believe these debates are still a hot topic, but DDR2 is among us, and there are benefits that are real with this standard.

DDR2 offers lower operating voltage and higher frequencies of operation over DDR, improved signaling, in addition to other qualities that promise to make DDR2 a better memory in comparison to DDR. For a very comprehensive article on DDR2, has a nice write-up on the new technologies and benefits of DDR2.

In communications with Crucial regarding memory reviews, I was offered the opportunity to review these memory modules. Knowing it would give me an excuse to play with Socket 775/T, I welcomed the chance to critic this memory, and shortly after both parties agreed on the review process, the little beauties arrived.

Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

The product

As seen in the pictures above the dual channel kit I received was quite appealing in appearance. The gold spreaders on black PCB should be welcome by anyone with a case window as the color combination is very striking. The spreaders appear to be well adhered to the modules themselves, and a warning was given per the Crucial Marketing person, not to attempt to remove the spreaders for risk of damaging the memory. This is in part due to the inherent risk involved manipulating the clip off the spreaders, and then finally removing the spreaders from the modules themselves. The thermal interface material could provide enough "stick" to avulse the module from the PCB if the spreader is lifted off. Since DDR2 is no longer TSOP, but instead a BGA mount, the module may not be able to withstand this force and could pop off with the spreader, a pricey experiment to say the least. So, doing one thing I was told in my life, I left the heat spreaders well alone in that department.

Madshrimps (c)

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