Crucial Ballistix DDR4 Laptop RAM Review
SODIMM RAM Running at 3200 MHz (PC4-25600) at 1.2V – 1.35V
Priced at the Time of Review on Amazon: $80.00 for 2x 8 GB
After careful research, testing and consideration, we were actually surprised that our own methodology would place Crucial Ballistix as the #1 DDR4 SODIMM RAM for laptops on the market today. Normally Corsair, Kingston or G.Skill would take this place.
But right now given the performance and price, Crucial, a massive underdog in the fight for enthusiast computer equipment, actually beat out the Goliaths.
Part of the reason for this is the ease that Crucial Ballistix DDR4 SODIMM customers can go above the standards specified by JEDEC. DDR4 was only approved to run up to 2666 MHz based on the standards put forth.
Crucial was smart about it and put out this chip that starts at a standard 2666 MHz. But they provide software to easily set XMP settings to 3200 MHz, drastically improving the performance of this amazing piece of hardware.
What we like about Crucial Ballistix DDR4 Laptop RAM:
- Highest Frequency Rating (3200 MHz) without ‘overclocking’
While it is necessary to set the XMP on your laptop to achieve the 3200 MHz, since this unit comes at a default of 2666 MHz, it’s still only a ‘sort of overclocking’. What we mean by this is this chip can go above the company specs. Some users have set this chip to function at 3890 MHz. So it can be overclocked in the normal sense of the term.
Technically even just editing the XMP within the manufacturer specs could be considered overclocking, but in reality since you are dealing within the manufacturers suggestions, it doesn’t carry the risk that normal overclocking implies.
- Quality build
Normally Crucial produces RAM units that are pretty standard. That’s to say Crucial laptop memory tends to be on the lower end of build quality. However with Crucial Ballistix DDR4 RAM for laptops, the company really went all out in producing a product that is both sturdy in the hand, as well as beautifully designed. The Aluminium head distribution fins not only add style but also keep your RAM running at it’s maximum potential.
- Excellent Value
Sure you could buy Vengeance DDR4 RAM that comes stock at 3200 MHz, but that costs way more and has a bunch of limitations of it’s own. At $80 for 16GB you are getting the best deal on the market as of the time of this review. We personally tend to like Corsair, Kingston and G.Skills for offering lifetime warranties, but overall very few people actually use such a warranty.
What we don’t like about this RAM:
There’s a few things we’d prefer be different about this excellent piece of computer hardware:
- Compatibility Issues
First off, not all laptops provide users with access to XMP from the Bios. So users who have this restriction should absolutely avoid Crucial’s hardware. We’ve heard that these memory units work well with Alienware, HP and Lenovo laptops. Unfortunately we’ve heard not so great compatibility reviews with Asus laptops.
- Non Stock 3200 MHz
We love it when hardware is running stock at the highest non-risky potential that the manufacturer has deemed appropriate. We wished these chip sets were shipped at the 3200 MHz frequency instead of shipping at 2666 MHz it currently does. Yes, the upgrade process is safe, but it can be an extra step many users don’t want to take.