Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 6GB DDR3-1600
We’ve seen enough memory modules to know that performance differences are minor when running rated speeds, and to a modest degree, tighter timings. Greater differences typically haven’t been seen until we pushed them on the bench with some heavy overclocking. And unless a set of memory modules can be run at one whole speed level higher than their rated specification, overclocking will be more memory-dependent unless you drop the multiplier. As a result, it appears the best course of action is to get a kit at the highest speed and lowest latency that fits within your budget and not worry about overclocking headroom.
In terms of aesthetics, these Smart Tracer modules are sleek, and would look fabulous in just about any motherboard of any colour scheme. That being said, the primary appeal here is the lighting effects. Quite simply, you will not find another product on the market that will mezmerize LAN party-goers or friends such as these.
In terms of performance, the Ballistix modules ran very well, scaling as expected as we moved up the speed scale. The real measured performance increase ranged from about 1.5 to 3% on the whole, not unsurprising, but respectable overall.
The thermal monitoring capabilities of the Ballistix modules might be more on the gimmick side of things, but it is innovative, no question. It’s not for everyone, but it is unique. But with the new Crucial M.O.D software, the options are very flexible and impressive, if you’re into the outrageous and flashy sort of thing.
The price for either the Smart Tracer kits are competitive with other "fancy" modules on the market, so it really comes down to whether you want to pay a modest premium for something that will set you apart from the crowd at your next LAN party. The aesthetics are unique, the performance is great, the overclocking headroom is respectable, and the price is competitive. That all adds up to a solid combination for consumers that want memory modules that look unlike any other.
The Pure Point: Outrageous aesthetics and innovative features round out a solid memory kit that caters to enthusiasts and gamers looking for something unique.