Crucial Ballistix DDR3 PC3-12800 Memory

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Module performance and utility functionality

For my testing environment, I grabbed my Asus P7P55D motherboard, paired it to a i7 processor, popped on a Swiftech GT-Z CPU waterblock, and broke out the Asus overclocking application to see what could be mustered as an overclock. While the machine ran it’s tools, I attempted to run the Crucial application in the background, logging temperatures (easier said than done since the Asus app has a fun habit of rebooting the computer while it is looking for the overclock! ;) ), and while that was running, I attached an Exatech Multimeter that has integrated contact and non-contact thermometers. I chose the contact thermometer and positioned it in the middle of the DIMM, from the top, burrying it into the DIMM as close as I could safely put it near the SPD chip. 


Crucial DDR

During my testing the temperature variance was never more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit difference between my multimeter and the reported DIMM temperature from the software, with the software reporting higher. Seeing as I had the thermometer in the DIMM and not actually attached to the DIMM, I find these readings to be a good representation of the accuracy of the utility. I expected my tool to be close on the low side since I did not have the thermal probe directly attached to the surface that was at the SPD EPROM. I fully expected the Crucial software thermal reporting utility to show a higher temperature than what I was capturing with my physical unit. 

The actual utility shows a line graph for each DIMM representing the thermal loading of the location. The screen shot below was taken during product installation, and you can see the graphs in the background. 

Crucial DDR3


The utility is broken into 4 component screens: SPD Data, Temperature, Settings, and an Informational “About” section.

The SPD section allows you to break out and display the info *per DIMM*:

The awesome temperature section allows for specified interval logging, which is an awesome way to graph out thermal progression while testing:

I don’t think you are going to get lost in the settings section of this app. This is where you control whether you are recording in Fahrenheit or Celsius, how often the chart/graph updates, and how often you want to capture your log file data: 

Finally, if you were curious about the app, you have this page:

The option to save it to a log file and track loading is a nice touch and will allow you to import it into a spreadsheet and graph it overtime is a nice step to helping to track and manage your thermal stability. It’s just one more reason to like Crucial memory offerings. 

As an added bonus, the awesome folks over @ CPU ID have integrated this thermal reporting into their HWMonitor application! You will note in the picture below, just past the Core i7 section, just past its power readings, there are 2 sections… one for each DIMM. 

I’m going to spend some more time learning how to specifically overclock memory and best leverage this utility. But Crucial is lifting the mysterious veil on what is memory overclocking. I can remember people talking about how hot their DIMMs got during overclocking, but there has not been a conclusive was to easily quantify the memory DIMM’s thermal data…. until now! 

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Craig Tate

Craig began modding many years ago. He has been featured in domestic and international print and web, has become a contributor to CPU Magazine, as well as participated/instructed at live modding workshops and enthusiast conventions.

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