Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The Ballistix Active Cooling Fan is what is going to do most of the work here in keeping the DDR3 temperatures at bay. Crucial is offering two 60mm clear fans surrounded in a completely black nickel plated frame. The frame has an elegant "sweeping curve" to the top, so it isn't just an ordinary looking box with fans in it. Adjustable height legs allow users to get the fan closer to modules that don't have spreaders as tall as the Ballistix modules that Crucial supplied. These spreaders are pretty tall, so the fan should cover most tall spreaders with the exception of those with additional coolers like the OCZ Reapers. The fans produce up to 15 CFM with a maximum sound level of 28 dB. These ratings are with 12V going through the fan via the 3-pin fan connector.
Now, not everyone has a thermometer to dedicate to the memory, and the finger test is only so accurate, so Crucial devised their own solution. The memory they supplied with the fan are a newly released design of heat spreaders with a bit of new technology implemented onto the PCB. To be specific, it is PC3-17000 with 9-10-9-24 timings and an I2C chip. With the use of an I2C chip, the modules are able to read a hex code and send that code through the system and then readable via software. This software translates a hex code and offers users a temperature for the hottest module in use. The setup is slightly different in how Crucial is presenting the information, and offers another take on how to bring such information to the end user abusing these products.
The memory modules are really fresh to the market and I can only locate them being sold in five locations. Of them, buying direct from Crucial is the best deal at $143.99. I'm sure as Crucial gets more of these modules the 4GB kit will turn up in more locations. As of right now Newegg.com only sells single 2GB sticks of this exact memory, but I expect the 4GB kit to be in stock very soon. The Ballistix Active Cooling Fan can be purchased from Newegg.com for $23.99, or while you are at Crucial getting the kit, you can add the fan there for $24.99. That leaves us one little bit of software. Crucial doesn't charge you for this. You can go to their site and download the Ballistix MOD Utility for free in 32 bit or 64 bit versions. As compared to the Corsair kit, the setup from Crucial is cheaper. This kit is a more refined version of the same concept. I say we open this kit up, get some images, and add in some abuse and see what this trio has to offer.