5000 “MHz” is known to be the new sound barrier in the RAM market, which many manufacturers are already promoting in the XMP profile with specially tailored kits at the end of the DDR4 era. But even older DDR4 kits can still be helped to impressive heights on modern platforms. One such kit is Crucial’s 2x 16GB Ballistix MAX with RGB lighting 4400c19 variant, which we’ll take a look at in today’s review.
Crucial as the house brand of the memory manufacturer Micron exclusively uses their ICs. And while the entry-level Ballistix kits usually use the smaller 8 Gbit RevE IC’s, the high-end kits get the larger and more modern 16 Gbit RevB chips. Accordingly, this results in a single-rank topology even with 16 GB modules, which is particularly important for achieving high clock rates. And even if I would like to say in advance that it is definitely not a budget RAM, it could be a real insider tip at least on paper, if you don’t want to make any compromises in capacity and speed.
Packaging and first impressions
The product name of today’s test object is BLM2K16G44C19U4BL, where the XMP profile of DDR4-4400 19-19-19-43 at 1.4 V can also be seen. There is also a slightly more conservative XMP variant with DDR4-4000 18-19-19-39 at 1.35V, as well as kits with and without RGB lighting – see the “L” for Lighting at the end of the product number.
The outer box is simple and functional, but still of high quality. The magnetic flap on the front already allows a view through a window onto the modules, which are merely still in a carrier frame made of transparent plastic, with reflective stickers to indicate the RGB variant. The minimalist style continues on the back. Only the product number and “Limited Lifetime Warranty” are listed again here, along with a reference to the manufacturer’s website if you want to know more.
The modules themselves are also kept quite simple with heatsinks made of black anodized aluminum and a gray “Ballistix MAX” lettering on both sides. While below on one side still the XMP specifications and the product number of the individual module BLM16G44C19U4BL.M8FB1 are attached with a sticker, the other side is only decorated with a “Crucial by Micron” logo.
From the top you can clearly see the RGB light element, which also has a gray Ballistix MAX lettering and is inserted between the two heatsink halves. It is also noticeable here that the modules with a width of 9 mm do not leave much space to the neighbouring module. At least in theory, this should mean more heat capacity at the expense of airflow.
From below you can already see the 8 relatively large memory chips on only one PCB side. On the other side, as usual, a black foam strip serves as a spacer between the board and the heat sink. Furthermore, it can be seen from here that the heat sinks on both sides consist of two aluminum plates that were glued together. This could also become an interesting factor for the heat tests later on.
Personally, I really like the design of the heatspreaders and even when turned off, the milky RGB light element is positively eye-catching. And the Ballistix MAX modules should also integrate almost seamlessly into the design language of most motherboards, whether with or without RGB.