DDR3 memory has been around well over a year, and its development has gone pretty far, considering it has reached speeds of DDR3-2000 with decent timings, and lower speeds have attained timings as tight as the latest motherboard chipsets will allow. Prices have fallen considerably, you can pick up a decent 4GB DDR3 kit for just under $250. I suppose it isn't shocking that the memory manufacturers are still creating new DDR2 models, considering that AMD chose to go the DDR2 route with the Phenom, to draw new AMD purchasers towards their products.
Though it is surprising to me that the motherboard companies are still producing new models of Intel motherboards utilizing DDR2 modules. In the past few weeks I have received three newly released Intel motherboards that utilize DDR2 memory. And these aren't from the econo-board companies, they are from the top two motherboard manufacturers in the world.
What does that say about DDR3? Yes, DDR2 is still a viable platform, and still suits well over half of the enthusiast community just fine. But to put it bluntly, in the past, the PC industry has had no problem creating a new technology, and making the old obsolete, regardless of how we, the enthusiasts, feel about it. Yet here we are, over a year into DDR3, and we steadily are seeing new DDR2 memory and motherboards. By the same token, we are over two years into Vista, and Microsoft has just released XP's SP3. I dunno, maybe the major manufacturers are finally paying attention to enthusiasts.
Today I will be looking at Crucial's latest DDR2 modules, the Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800 4 gig kit. Besides a capability of 4-4-4-12 timings, in a market that has seen DDR2 4GB kits for quite some time, what can Crucial do to make a PC2-6400 memory kit interesting enough for us to take notice? Read on to see!
Though I have owned Crucial memory in the past, it was a long time ago. When I received the Ballistix Tracer, I assumed that the box it came in was some kind of OEM packaging, and retail versions came in some kind of blisterpak. But no, Crucial ships their memory in a recyclable cardboard box, giving it more protection than I guess any memory I've seen. The modules inside are in static-free sealed sleeves.