Micron has a great reputation in the memory and storage industry and its consumer products are marketed under the brands Crucial and Ballistix. 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. The Elite series is Ballistix's premium memory line while the Tactical series is more of their mainstream line and the Sport series is their entry-level memory line.
Ballistix recently released the Tactical Tracer DDR4 memory which features programmable RGB LEDs via the Ballistix M.O.D utility. Design-wise, the Tactical Tracer DDR4 memory comes with 16 LEDs in 8 lighting zones to the top of each DRAM module. Ballistix allows you to modify the memory’s look with different light bar options. By default, you get a diffused look with the Ballistix-labeled light bar but you can also remove the light bar for maximum brightness and you can even 3D print your own light bar. Head over to the Ballistix website to download their 3D file to design your own light bar.
The Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 memory comes with speeds ranging from 2666 MHz and 3000 MHz and capacities from 8GB to 16GB in dual and quad channel kit. Ballistix has sent us a sample of their Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit that runs at 1.2V and has a stock rated timings of 16-18-18-36. Ballistix has equipped their Tactical Tracer DDR4 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 Tactical Tracer DDR4 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.
The Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit comes with a limited lifetime warranty and retails for $440 on Crucial's store page. At the time of writing this review, you can find the Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit for around $410 on Newegg and about $430 on Amazon. Compared to other 32GB (4x8GB) 2666 MHz memory kits from Corsair and G.Skill that are out there, the Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit is anywhere from $20 to $30 more expensive than the competition but the competition lacks RGB lighting.
|Capacity:||32GB (4 x 8GB)|
|Type:||288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM|
|Speed/Timings:||DDR4 2666 (PC4 21300) - 16-18-18-36|
|PCB Type:||10-Layer Design|
|Features:||Intel XMP 2.0 (Extreme Memory Profile) Ready|
Ballistix has packaged the Tactical Tracer DDR4 memory in a basic plastic box with clear sections to see the modules. On the front you will see the capacity, speed and voltage listed while on the back you will see a description of each memory series in different languages.
The Tactical Tracer DDR4 memory kit features a sleek design with a gray brushed aluminum heat spreaders and a black PCB which makes the memory kit very attractive. It is available only in a gray color so if you are into modding and are looking for other color options, you will not find that with the Tactical Tracer DDR4 line.
The light bar is held in place with two small pins at the top of the heatsink and it is removable which can come in handy if you are trying to install a big air CPU cooler such as the Noctua NH-D15. The memory kit stands 40 mm tall including the light bar but you can lower the height to 35 mm when you remove the light bar. Removing the light bar will give you a few more millimeters to work with when installing big air CPU coolers.
Here is a close view of the light bar that stands approximately 5 mm 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.
I'm very impressed with the RGB lighting of the Tactical Tracer DDR4 memory and Ballistix has done a great job with the implementation of the LEDs.
|Processor:||AMD Ryzen 7 1700X|
|Motherboard:||MSI X370 Gaming xPower Titanium (BIOS v1E)|
|RAM:||Ballistix Tactical Tracer 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4-2666 MHz|
Patriot Viper LED 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3000 MHz
Ballistix Elite 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3466 MHz
Ballistix Elite 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3000 MHz
Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2666 MHz
Kingston HyperX Savage 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2666 MHz
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3000 MHz
|Graphics Card:||Nvidia GTX 1070|
|Storage:||Crucial MX300 1TB|
|Power Supply:||Seasonic Focus Plus 750W|
|OS:||Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit|
|Thermal Compound:||Noctua NT-H1|
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 using the MSI X370 Gaming xPower Titanium motherboard with the latest BIOS installed. I went into the BIOS and loaded the A-XMP profile and it worked without any issues. 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.
Looking at the AIDA64 memory benchmark, we can see that the Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz memory performed well in this test.
In the AIDA64 latency benchmark, the Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz memory also performed good.
Looking at the HyperPi 32M benchmark, the Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz once again offered good performance.
Moving on to the Cinebench R15 benchmark, we see the Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz delivered good results.
Here we are testing Battlefield 1 at 1440p and the Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz offered acceptable performance.
In conclusion, the Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit offers fantastic RGB lighting, good performance, and has an excellent build quality. Price-wise, the Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz 32GB memory kit retails for around $410 on Newegg which is definitely not cheap compared to the competition but if you are in the market for a DDR4 memory with a high quality RGB lighting, the Tactical Tracer DDR4 memory might be what you need.
The brushed 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 2666 MHz by keeping the temperatures down. The light bar extends to about 5 mm above the
PCB so you don't have to worry about interfering it with large air CPU coolers.
+ Solid Performance
+ Lifetime Warranty
+ Great RGB Lighting
+ Programmable LEDs
+ Ballistix M.O.D Utility
+ Removable Light Bar
Out of the box, the Tactical Tracer DDR4 memory has a diffused look but you can easily remove the light bar to get the maximum brightness. Also, I like the idea of giving users the ability to design their own light bar so if you have a 3D printer, go to the Ballistix's website to download the 3D printing files to customize your own light bar. Overall, I believe the Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR4 2666 MHz 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit deserves our recommended award.
Final Score 9.0