Test Setup and Benchmarks
|Processor||Intel Core i7-7700K (Retail)|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U12S|
|Power Supply||Silverstone Strider 750W Platinum|
|Memory||*see table below|
|Storage||OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD (OS)|
|Graphics||Integrated CPU Graphics, Gigabyte GTX 960 Windforce 3x OC|
|Drivers||Intel 10.1.1.7 (Z170), Intel 10.0.2.1 (Z97), NVIDIA 353.62 WHQL (Discrete)|
|Motherboard(s)||Gigabyte Z270X-Gaming 5|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro x64 (Creators Update)|
DDR4 Memory Module Kits tested (Default):
|Manufacturer||Name||Memory IC||Capacity (per module)||XMP Settings||Default XMP Timings|
|Crucial||Ballistix Sport LT||Micron D9TGJ||8GB||2666||16-18-18-38 2T 1.20V|
|HyperX (Kingston)||Fury||Hynix H5AN4G8NMFR||8GB||2666||15-17-17-35 2T 1.20V|
|Patriot||Viper Elite||Samsung K4A8G085WB||8GB||3200||16-16-16-36 2T 1.35V|
|Corsair||Dominator Platinum||Samsung K4A8G085WE||8GB||3200||16-18-18-36 2T 1.35V|
|Corsair||Vengeance LP||Hynix H5AN8G8NAFR||8GB||3000||15-17-17-35 2T 1.35V|
|GEIL||EVO X||Samsung K4A8G085WB||8GB||3200||16-18-18-36-2T 1.35V|
- The comparison RAM modules were clocked to match for apples-to-apples direct comparison of 2666MHz CL15 in dual-channel mode.
- The comparison modules include MFR and AFR Hynix modules, as well as Samsung B and E modules. The only Micron representative is the D9 from the Ballistix Sport LT.
- CPU multiplier clock locked at 45, BCLK locked at 100 and cache frequency locked. Turbo boost disabled. The goal here to is to observe behaviour and get consistent result, not to shoot for high benchmark numbers for the sake of shooting for higher benchmark numbers.
- Latest working BIOS and drivers were used at the time of the review. Each test was conducted at least three times for accuracy.
- Each kits were run on HCIMemtest and AIDA64 stability prior to testing to ensure that they are in working order.
Benchmark Programs Used
- AIDA64 Engineer Edition 5.90
- Passmark Performance Test 8.0 (build 1051)
- SiSoft Sandra
- RoG RealBench 2.44
- 7-Zip 16
- 3DMark TimeSpy
AIDA64 Memory Benchmarks
AIDA64 is a very versatile program that we use here at Modders-Inc for our CPU cooler, storage as well as CPU reviews but it also has a built-in synthetic memory benchmark that measures the Copy, Read, and Write speeds of the DRAM installed in Megabytes-per-second (higher is better). It also measures total latency in nano-second (lower is better).
PassMark Performance Test Memory Benchmarks
Like AIDA64, Passmark’s Performance Test 8.0 suite is also a very versatile program with a different set of benchmarks per component and has a suite of memory tests of its own. The read, read uncached and write speeds are used (measured in synthetic scores, higher is better) as well as the built-in memory latency test in nano-seconds (lower is better).
SiSoft Sandra Memory Benchmarks
Sandra LITE is a free version of SiSoft’s Sandra testing suite. Similar to AIDA64 and PassMark Performance Test, Sandra Lite is a synthetic benchmark program that has its own set of system memory specific benchmarks. Aggregated scores of the Memory bandwidth performance in Gigabyte-per-second and Memory Transactional Throughput in total throughput-per-second are measured (higher is better). Memory latency is also measured in nano-second (lower is better).
ASUS RoG Realbench Image Editing Benchmark
ASUS Republic of Gamers’ RealBench is a semi-synthetic testing suite that collects four different programs and can perform controlled runs of each related to image editing (GIMP), video encoding (Handbrake H.264), OpenCL (Luxmark) and Heavy Multitasking (Combination of all three at the same time). Only the image editing part is used as GIMP uses up to SSE4.2 CPU extensions and focuses on single threaded CPU and memory performance that is frequency and timing sensitive. The controlled aspect of this otherwise “real-world” test makes it semi-synthetic.
7-Zip Compression Benchmark
For compression, 7-zip is used which is an open source (GNU) compression program utilizing LZMA method as the default. This is a real-world program with a built-in benchmark measuring compression, decompression and total speed in million instruction per second (MIPS).
3DMark Skydiver Benchmark
Futuremark’s 3DMark is a semi-synthetic gaming benchmark that calculates both graphics and CPU-bound physics in a controlled series of tests and provides scores that can be compared with other gaming platforms. The physics benchmark of the Skydiver suite for mainstream gaming PCs is used.
As far as mainstream DRAM modules go, the Crucial Ballistix Sport LT is an attractive option. Not just aesthetically with its digital camo and three-color option, but affordability as well. In terms of price, it is on the affordable end and competitive compared to others in a similar price range. Its closest rivals would be the HyperX Fury which is similarly priced and the Corsair Vengeance LP which is a bit more pricier for the same speed. They also all offer multi-color options, although the white Ballistix Sport LT is the only one that comes in a white PCB.
The heatspreader is functional with its passive design, and it is not unnecessarily tall like most other modules. The 2666MHz speed is just about right for most applications as well. It is offers quite a bit more than the 2133MHz standard on older DDR4 platforms and provides a balanced price-performance ratio compared to more expensive kits approaching 3000MHz or higher. The 2666MHz speed also makes it much more compatible on more platforms than higher-end kits so for those who are looking to just build without much hassle, the Crucial Ballistix Sport LT will do nicely.