First of all I’m impressed with how well these modules performed. Many of the other 3200Mhz kits I have tested before would top out at 3600Mhz and that was it. Having these Ballistix Sport modules go to 3700Mhz without any timing adjustments is excellent in my opinion.
To go faster I needed to make some timing adjustments. There is a relationship between timings and frequency and typically higher frequency with lower timings means you have good modules. By lowering the timings this allowed me to increase the frequency and helps to stretch the available bandwidth. With both kits I found going to CL18 gave me the best results, CL17 was only good for ~100Mhz while CL19 didn’t increase performance.
This is where things got interesting. With the 32GB kit the performance numbers peaked at 3800Mhz. With timing adjustments I could run the modules faster however the performance numbers didn’t really scale enough to matter and what gains there were was due to the faster CPU clock. Basically there was a performance curve that the memory liked and its apex was at 3800Mhz.
Of course both kits ran over 4000Mhz and while this is impressive you need to take into account performance scaling and if the modules stop scaling then you have a problem. For instance I was able to run the 16GB kit up to 4533 @ CL19 and recorded benchmarks at 4266Mhz. Between the two speeds both Sandra and Firestrike showed 0% improvement.
The modules had simply stopped scaling.
At this point is important to note that even at 4266Mhz the 16GB kit was noticeably slower than the 32GB kit and if you look at the bandwidth numbers the 16GB kit clocked higher overall but stopped scaling completely at 3733Mhz. This coincided with me having to make timing adjustments to increase the frequency and matches what happened with the 32GB kit. Sure there were slight changes in the synthetic tests but when it came to Firestrike the performance was flat.
I hope you enjoyed this deviation from my standard memory review, I found it extremely fun to do. Of course this was a performance test of the new Ballistix Sport 3200Mhz memory modules by Crucial. Both kits offered excellent performance and if you were looking to experiment with overclocking or simply want to increase system performance the 32GB kit is the way to go.