OC Report :: Crucial Ballistix 2x1GB PC3-16000 CL9
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May 17, 2008, 06:55 PM
Hardware Canucks Reviewer
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Edmonton, AB
Specifications, Features, & Pricing
I think the majority of users here are more than familiar with DDR3 specifications and likely already know the details about this kit. So I wills imply present those specs for you and not dummy it down with an explanation.
Like I said, this memory simply stated is rated for DDR3-2000 or 1000MHz @ 9-9-9-28 w/1.90v. Now it doesn't say anywhere on the Crucial web site which chipsets these ratings are for so we are left to assume that this would be for any chipset. Unfortunately I highly doubt that to be correct. For sure this memory is rated for 1000MHz operation on NVIDIA 7 series chipset based motherboards due to the EPP2.0 profile or in marketing terms 'SLI-Ready' when in fact it has nothing to do with SLI. It simply means NVIDIA based motherboards can read the EPP profile and adjust settings accordingly to the specifications, including voltage. This is very much the same as the Intel XMP profiles. Here is a look at the SPD table as well as the default timings when the EPP2.0 profile is enabled. Which, by the way, works perfectly on the EVGA 790i NVIDA reference motherboard with timings, memory ratio, and voltages being adjust correctly.
The EPP2.0 profile sets the secondary timing tRAS at 28, tRC at 50, Command Rate to 2T, and tRFC at 110. All of these timings are extremely loose, as are the main timing sets of 9-9-9. This will ensure that the memory can run at 1000MHz with only 1.9v but it will also all but kill performance on the 790i chipset because my testing has found that tighter secondary/primary timings will usually beat out higher frequencies a lot of time...the frequency really needs a big jump to overcome loose timings. Of course this is based on SPi 32M testing but since SPi relies heavily on the memory sub-system, it seems the most logical test. Bandwidth doesn't seem to be effected as much by the loose secondary timings though so real world difference in programs other than SPi may or may not show a huge disadvantage.
In a few moments we are going to look at the modules and what we will find is that the ICs populating these modules are Micron D9GTS (MT41J128M8BY-15E). These ICs are the big brother, if you will, of the famous Micron D9GTR ICs that have been populating PC3-14400 CL7 kits for months now. The family part number is MT41J128M8BY and encompasses both D9GTR and D9GTS ICs. Digi-Key no longer has any MT41J128M8BY parts listed on their site, only Arrow electronics does but I find their prices to be highly inflated. For example, on D9JNL which both Arrow and Digi-Key stock, the price difference is nearly $9USD/unit higher at Arrow. With that as our reference, D9GTS should be selling for about $10USD/unit because Arrow has it listed for $18USD/unit. This could be way off though as we can't find any IC supplier selling D9GTS aside from Arrow at this point. Of course, Crucials cost is going to be lower because their parent company Micron is the producer. This puts the IC cost of each module at approximately $80USD (based on my quasi math which may be completely off as D9GTS might be closer to the $18USD/IC that Arrow lists), so when considering two modules per kit, we are up to $160USD. That doesn't include binning costs, PCB costs, or the cost to manufacture; which isn't exactly cheap but doesn't exactly justify the price when you consider kits of D9JNL binned for 1000MHz for $240USD or $270CND from OCZ.
Either way, here are the full specifications outlined, the information has been pulled straight from the Micron web site:
Part Status: Production
Pin Count: 86-ball
Clock Rate: 667 MHz
Cycle Time: 1.5ns
Op. Temp.: 0C to +85C
CL: CL = 9
Data Rate: DDR3-1333
The only difference in the listed specs of D9GTS and D9GTR is the difference in rated frequency and the CL at that frequency at 1.5v. This D9GTS is rated for operation at 667MHz with a CL9 @ 1.5v while D9GTR is rated for operation at 533MHz with a CL7 @ 1.5v. This is very similar to the difference between D9GMH and D9GKX in the DDR2 world. It would make sense then that D9GTR is normally found on PC3-12800/PC3-14400 CL7 kits of memory and this D9GTS is on the PC3-16000 CL9 kit because of these ratings. Other manufacturers who have PC3-16000 kits aren't using these IC's though. It has been reported that a number of manufacturers are using D9JNL for their DDR3-2000 kits so it was a bit of a surprise to find D9GTS on these modules. Here now is a list of retail outlets and their prices where this memory can be purchased at the time of posting:
At this point, the pricing on this kit is un-acceptable to be honest. Any on-line outlet that has this memory available has this kit priced at well over $600 and weren't even worth posting, I simply listed NCIX.com as a reference for Canadian users. I understand this is a highly rated kit of DDR3 but OCZ has a similar binned kit, likely using different D9JNL ICs but still binned for DDR3-2000 CL9, for $270CND/$240USD. It would be impossible to recommend the Ballistix over the OCZ because the difference between the ICs is so minimal that the cost offsets those differences quite easily. It is hard to say if all PC3-16000 kits coming from Crucial are D9GTS or will be going forward but I have a hunch we will see a price drop and a change to D9JNL/D9JNM/D9JZF for this kit in the future.
My System Specs
Intel i5 660 - Clarkbar Power
4 x 4GB GSkill & OCZ mixing and matching
X800 GTO old school passive power
Who cares about anything else, I have a 10GB RAM drive.
Win 7 x64
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