The next benchmark we’ll look at is PerformanceTest 7.0, a no-frills suite that gives you a quick look at your system’s performance numbers.
The Memory Mark group provides some quick numbers on performance with random datasets. The small block allocation bench delivered fairly solid performance, at 5,532.7 MB/sec. The small block read benchmarks came in somewhat slower, with 2396.0 MB/sec cached and 2283.6 MB/sec uncached. Small block write performance came in close behind read, at 2219.7 MB/sec. The curiously named Large RAM bench tests raw IOPS, where the Ballistix Tactical kit came in at 4107.6.
Cache and memory latency were pretty much on-par for a Sandy Bridge chip; no unexplained delays or unexpected speedups provided by the ram here.
The cache/memory bandwidth test is as much about the CPU and RAM controller as the memory itself; here our test system is pulling about even with the other Sandy Bridge i5’s.
Here in the memory bandwidth test, the individual differences between ram kits starts to show; our test rig pulled ahead of all but one of the reference systems, and that one was operating at a memory clock of 2133MT/sec—a full 333MT/sec faster than our test system.
Thoughts and Conclusion
RAM is one of the less glamorous components in a computer, but it is also one of the most critical. Good, fast RAM will make the whole system faster and more responsive, while defective or slow RAM will bog it down. For those who want good, high performance memory without the flash and hassle that comes with large, obtrusive heat spreaders, the Ballistix Tactical kit from Crucial fits the bill nicely. It isn’t going to set any land-speed records, but neither is it going to slow you down—or break the bank. With an average online price of $54 at time of publication, this kit fills that middle ground quite nicely.
- Solid performance
- Competitive price
- Low-profile heat spreaders won’t interfere with your CPU cooler
- Short heat spreaders won’t help with extra heat from overvolting
- 1800MT/sec transfer rate might be too slow for some
- Lack of color choice might discourage the picky