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Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666 16GB Memory Kit Review


Ballistix M.O.D. Utility & Thermal Sensor

As we revealed in the introduction, this Ballistix Elite memory kit features thermal sensors built into every module that allows for real-time temperature monitoring via the custom Crucial Ballistix M.O.D. utility. Now this isn’t a feature that is exclusive these Ballistix Elite DDR4 models – it was actually first introduced on their Ballistix Elite DDR3 modules all the way back in 2010 – but it still a seamless and cableless capability that is unmatched by any other memory manufacturer that we know of.

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The SPD Data tab is where you can find some basic information about your Crucial modules, like capacity, model number, a look at the XMP Profile settings, and a breakdown of all of the currently approved JEDEC DDR4 specifications.

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The Temperature tab is obviously where you will find the real-time temperature readouts. Since every module has its own thermal sensor, you can monitor each module individually. As you can see, there is a noticeable different between idle and a full sixteen-thread HyperPI load. There is also a noticeable difference between some of the modules depending on airflow and proximity to heat-producing components.

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The Lights tab is not applicable to this Ballistix Elite memory kit since it doesn’t have any built-in LEDs. If and when Crucial releases Ballistix Tracer DDR4 memory then this section will certainly come in handy in order to choose colours, select between different LED patterns, adjust brightness, and even turn off the LEDs.

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The Settings tab is where you can customize the utility to your preferences, such as selecting your preferred unit of measurement, the real-time refresh rate, and it even allows you to set two temperature alarms, and tweak the taskbar temp widget.

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Last and certainly least is the About tab, which basically just tells you what version of the utility you are using, and provides a helpful link to check for any updates.

Overall though, I think this piece of software and the real-time monitoring feature in general is pretty cool. It is a natural progression since enthusiasts are information obsessed when it comes to monitoring the health and functioning of system components. Since DDR4 memory kits can cost about as much as a motherboard, graphics card or processor, it makes perfect sense to have the same monitoring capabilities as we have had on those parts for years. The one improvement that I would love to see is real-time voltage monitoring of memory modules, since there can be quite a discrepancy between each memory channel, especially on quad-channel memory platforms.

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