Lately the emphasis has been faster memory speeds over lower latencies. And as we can see here, the lower (tighter) latencies do help, but if you want to overclock your FSB to get the CPU into the equation as well, you are going to need some high clocking RAM. That is unless you are using a motherboard chipset designed for overclockers like nVidia's nForce 680i which allows unlinked overclocking of the CPU FSB and memory clock speeds. If you're using a motherboard which uses something like the Intel P965 or 975X, you'll need some DDR-2 memory which can keep up with the CPU FSB for obtaining your CPU overclock.
Crucial has been in overclocking for some time now, and the Ballistix modules do show the best of what Crucial has managed to engineer. While it's not as good as high-end modules from companies like OCZ and Corsair, it is still pretty good and managed to produce quite a decent overclock during our testing.
When we start to consider the value side of things, both cost around the same each for the 2GB kits with Crucial only being a little more expensive. This tends to make the Corsair XMS PC-8500 memory a better choice as it's rated for 1066MHz DDR (PC-8500) operation from factory whereas the Crucial is only rated to 1000MHz DDR (PC-8000) and with the extra clock speed obtained from the Corsair when overclocking, it's looking like a more attractive option in our opinion.
Overall Crucial has put its nose into the high-end memory market and have given a great product that is very worthy for the 680i series chipset but if you look into a little deeper, you might find other memory modules which are a little better value for money. Although, we still recommend the Crucial Ballistix memory because, as always, we had no issues at all with stability and customer service is always very good at Crucial.
Fast, rock solid and looks good
Does tight timings at 800MHz whereas Corsair doesn't like it as much
Supports EPP for nForce motherboards
Overclocking up to 1102MHz at 2.4 volts
Slightly overpriced, price / MHz higher than Corsair XMS PC-8500
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Rating - 8.5 out of 10
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