RelaxedTech Logo

Ballistix Elite 3466MHz DDR4 32GB Kit Review: Sturdy and Reliable

Author: HP   Date:  Manufacture: Micron   Product Name: Ballistix Elite 3466MHz DDR4 32GB   Price: $374.99   Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Introduction

Ballistix logo

Micron is well respected in the memory and storage industry and has years of experience in this field and their products are known to be reliable and well-engineered. Before we move on, I want to point out that the Ballistix brand is now independent of the Crucial brand. With that being said, the Ballistix memory line are comprised of the Elite, Sport, and Tactical series. Ballistix has sent us a sample of their Elite DDR4-3466MHz 32GB memory kit which runs at 1.35V. The Elite series is Ballistix's premium memory line and comes with speeds ranging from 2666MHz and up to 3466MHz and memory capacities from 4GB to 32GB in single to quad channel kits.

Ballistix has equipped their Elite DDR4 memory kit with a thermal sensor and you can use the Ballistix M.O.D. utility for real-time temperature monitoring. Most DDR4 memory kits don’t have thermal sensors so it’s nice to that you can monitor the temperature of your memory modules. The Ballistix Elite 3466MHz DDR4 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit retails for $374.99 and comes with a limited lifetime warranty and has a stock rated timings of 16-18-18-36. The Elite series line is aimed at gamers and enthusiasts and it features a black anodized heat spreader with aggressive militaristic styling which I really like.

Ballistix Elite DDR4

The Ballistix Elite memory is also certified for Intel XMP 2.0 for easy setup and configuration. Once you turn the Intel XMP 2.0 profile on in the BIOS, it will automatically adjust to the fastest safe speed and you'll get great, reliable performance while maintaining full data integrity. At the time of writing this review, you can find the Ballistix Elite 3466Mhz 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4 memory kit for $370 on Amazon and it seems it's not available on Newegg yet. Compared to other 32GB (4x8GB) 3466Mhz memory kits from Corsair and G.Skill that are out there, the Ballistix Elite 3466Mhz 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit is anywhere from $10 to $20 more expensive than the competition.

Specifications

Technical Specifications
Brand:Ballistix
Series:Elite
Model:BLE4K8G4D34AEEAK
Capacity:32GB (4 x 8GB)
Type:288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM
Speed/Timings:DDR4 3466 (PC4 27700) - 16-18-18-36
Cas Latency:16
Voltage:1.35V
ECC:No
Buffered/Registered:Unbuffered
Color:Black
PCB Type:10-Layer Design
Heat Spreader:Yes
Form Factor:UDIMM
Fan Included:No
Height:41 mm
Warranty:Limited Lifetime
Multi-Channel:Quad-Channel Kit
Features:Intel XMP 2.0 (Extreme Memory Profile) Ready

Packaging

Ballistix Elite DDR4 Packaging

Ballistix uses the same basic packaging on all their memories. Ballistix's packaging is composed of a clear plastic leaving the RAM on full display so you can see exactly what you are getting. On the back of the package, you will see a description of each memory series in different languages. The Elite memory kit features a sturdy design with a nice, clean, black paint which makes the memory kit very attractive. It is available only in black color so if you are into modding and are looking for other color options, you will not find that with the Ballistix Elite line.

Ballistix Elite PCB DDR4

The heatsinks are made out of aluminum and are removable which can come in handy if you are trying to install a big air CPU cooler such as the NH-D15. The memory kit stands 41 mm tall and there's four screws which you need to remove if you want to get rid of the heatsink. Removing the heatsink will give you a few more millimeters to work with when installing big air CPU coolers.

Ballistix Elite DDR4 heatsink design

Here is a close view of the aluminum heat spreader that stands approximately 10mm above the PCB. The heat-spreaders are fairly thick but they also allow for airflow to flow through. You can see that the heat spreaders don't touch each other and this is important because you want each heat spreader to cool the ICs separately and not combine the heat load.

Ballistix Elite 3466Mhz 32GB four dimms motherboard

Here's a picture of the four DIMMs installed. I'm using the Noctua NH-D15 air cooler and I was able to install the RAM without having to remove the cooler.

Ballistix Elite Samsung B-Die

Above is a screenshot from Thaiphoon Burner showing more details and as you can see, the memory IC used here is based on the Samsung B-die. Samsung B-die's are known for high overclocking and normally respond better when you increase the voltage and can also tolerate much tighter timings and higher temperatures. The B-die has a superior lithography compared to the competition which explains why it's in high demand from enthusiasts.

Test Methodology

Test Setup
Processor:AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
Motherboard:MSI X370 Gaming xPower Titanium
RAM:Ballistix Elite 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4-3466Mhz
Ballistix Elite 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3000Mhz
Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2666Mhz
Kingston HyperX Savage 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2666Mhz
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3000Mhz
Graphics Card:Nvidia GTX 1070
Storage:Crucial MX300 1TB
Power Supply:SilverStone ST80F-TI
Heatsink:Noctua NH-D15
OS:Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
Thermal Compound:Noctua NT-H1
Case:Corsair 400C

The testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 64-bit. We made sure there were as few processes running as possible during the testing. We'll be using the AMD Ryzen 7 1700X CPU that will run on stock settings and we are also using the MSI X370 Gaming xPower Titanium motherboard with the latest BIOS version 1.74 beta. XMP profile worked without any issues and as far as Ryzen processors go, if you are using memory that is based on the Samsung b-die, you can expect up to 3466 MHz on AGESA 1.0.0.6 or up to 2933MHz with Samsung D/E/S-die on AGESA 1.0.0.5. Most Hynix A/M-die are working at 2933MHz with AGESA 1.0.0.5+.

Each memory kit will be tested at default speed and timings. As far as benchmarking software goes, we'll be using AIDA64 (Read, Write, Copy, Latency), HyperPi 32M, Cinebench R15 and Battlefield 1.

Results

Ballistix Elite AIDA64 Memory Benchmark
Looking at the AIDA64 memory benchmark, we can see that the Ballistix Elite DDR4 3466Mhz memory performed exceptionally well in this test.

Ballistix Elite AIDA64 Latency
In the AIDA64 latency benchmark, we once again see the same thing. The Ballistix Elite memory performed the same as the Ballistix Tactical.

Ballistix Elite HyperPi 32M
Looking at the HyperPi 32M benchmark, the Ballistix Elite DDR4 3466Mhz once again offered the best performance.

Ballistix Elite Cinebench R15
The Ballistix Elite DDR4 3466Mhz performed the best in Cinebench R15.

Ballistix Elite Battlefield 1
Here we are testing Battlefield 1 at 1440p and the Ballistix Elite DDR4 3466Mhz came on top with the highest FPS.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Ballistix Elite 3466Mhz DDR4 32GB (4x8GB) memory offers fantastic speed, top-notch build quality, and is certainly aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. This memory kit is definitely not cheap but if you are in the market for a high performance memory with an excellent build quality, then the Ballistix Elite 3466Mhz DDR4 memory might be what you need. The aluminum heat spreaders make the RAM look very sleek and sturdy and will definitely come in handy if you decide to overclock the RAM above 3466Mhz. Not only that, but it will also help with the temperatures. The aluminum heat spreaders extend to about 10mm above the PCB so you don't have to worry about interfering it with large air CPU coolers.

Pros:
+ Fantastic Performance
+ Aesthetic Design
+ Removable Heatsink
+ Sturdy
+ 10-Layer PCB

Cons:
- Price

Going back to the build quality, I do have to admit that I have never seen a memory module as aesthetic as the Ballistix Elite. The Ballistix Elite memory is easily one of the most well-engineered DDR4 memory stick on the market. Another thing that I want to mention is that after playing around with the timings in the BIOS, I managed to lower the timings down to 15-16-16-34 1T and it was fully stable at 3466Mhz. Overall, I believe the Ballistix Elite 3466Mhz 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4 memory kit deserves our gold award.

Final Score9.5

RelaxedTech Recommended


comments powered by Disqus