Sunday, 26 August 2018 23:34

Review – Ballistix Sport AT Gaming RAM

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Whether making a new build or giving your computer a new lease of life, gaming RAM manufacturer Ballistix has you covered with its Sport AT range, giving competitive players a real edge.

Ballistix is the gaming-focused brand of Micron Technology, which also sells RAM optimised for other purposes under its Crucial and Micron brands. The Sport AT range offers memory densities up to 16GB, speeds up to 3000MT/s, a lifetime warranty, and a new heat spreader.

It doesn’t include RGB lighting — you can look to Ballistix’ Tactical Tracer RGB line for that — but does provide a style and colour which visually complements other products in the TUF Gaming Alliance range such as those by ASUS and Cooler Master, among others.

iTWire tested a Ballistix Sport AT 32GB RAM kit, which included four 8GB DDR4 UDIMMs. As always, it’s important to check whether your motherboard supports DDR4 RAM in the first place, and also that it supports the RAM’s speed, to make sure you can fully exploit it.

Your motherboard manual contains this information, but who keeps that? Instead, two great free utilities will do the trick: CPU-Z and Belarc Advisor. Use these to verify your motherboard model, RAM slots, your current RAM type and timing, and other related hardware specs. Use these before replacing your RAM so you know what you’re working with, then again after to confirm the new RAM is installed and detected as you expect. 

BallistixSport3

Installing the Sport AT RAM is reasonably simple, though you have to exercise care whenever working inside your computer. Be sure the power is disconnected and you are fully discharged of any static electricity. Be careful about what you touch and work cautiously and carefully. Find your RAM, unclip it and remove it, then insert the new RAM being sure to line up the notches correctly. Apply pressure evenly and test it is locked into place at both top and bottom.

BallistixSport2

iTWire found the test computer responded with alacrity, happily embracing the additional memory. Modern titles like Far Cry 5 and Overwatch purred, while the perennial memory hog Minecraft gladly ate up RAM, rendering a vast build effortlessly and with buttery smoothness. However, you do need to manually edit the Minecraft launcher’s advanced settings to permit the Java virtual machine to use more memory. By default, the -Xm flag limits Minecraft to 1GB of RAM. With 32GB available, you can afford to up this lots.

Benchmarking tools gave results of up to 30.6GB/s multi-core transfers. Measuring performance when we’re talking nanoseconds is difficult, but Ballistix explained to iTWire that competitive professional gamers really could feel the difference. “Latency matters in competitive gaming and everything you do to improve responsiveness increases your performance,” a spokesperson said. It’s for this reason Ballistix dubs the Sport AT “the gaming force multiplier” and if you want enhanced gaming performance, this series of RAM is definitely something you need to look at.

BallistixSport4

The Ballistix Sport AT 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM gaming memory kit has a retail price of US$403.99, and comes in other configurations of 8GB and 16GB, DDR4-2666 and DDR4-3000 combinations.

First-timer building a PC or looking for tips? Ballistix gives its top 10 tips here

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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