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Happy New Year and welcome to the year of memory at Overclockers Online. I start off my 2007 with a bang and a very nice looking set of DDRII modules from the Crucial Ballistix line of memory. 2GB of PC5300 goodness await inside.
Crucial Ballistix 2x1GB PC2-5300
Written By:   On 01/5/07 - 01:12:40 AM
Modify : Delete

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Like all of our reviews here at Overclockers Online, we start off with a quick look at the package that the product has come in.

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Despite this being my first kit of Crucial memory, I did know what to expect as far as a package goes as I have see photos in forums. I absolutely love the fact that Crucial ships memory in a cardboard package and not a blister pack. Every other manufacturer has gone the way of the clear plastic blister pack but not Crucial.

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Looking inside the cardboard package we can see that the modules are held in place in an upright position. Each module is also sealed in an anti-static bag. I received my sample directly from the Crucial retail department and all they had to do was put this box in a UPS shipping bag. Obviously the package arrived in perfect condition indicating that this type of package is designed extremely well.

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As we take a closer look inside the package, it is clear that a simple cardboard piece is used to hold the modules in place. The dimensions of the box provide a very secure environment for the modules tucked inside. Again, I love this packaging as it doesn't require double boxing or a very large package at all for shipping.

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The only contents of the package are the two individually sealed modules and a small leaflet with handling and installation instructions.

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Each anti-static bag is labeled on one side and as I mentioned before, each modules is packed individually and sealed. Crucial is the only manufacturer that I have come across that still sells modules in a static protection bag. That again goes back to the industry wide use of the plastic blister pack.

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I have pulled the modules from their protective bags and my first impression of these modules can be summed up in one word...wow. I do not think the photos will do these modules justice for you readers but I will try my best to convey just how nice they are.

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Each side of the modules have the Ballistix label and one side also has a sticker with the batch number and part number of the module.

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These heatspreaders really are a work of art. The black PCB of the module combined with the sharp orange color on the heatspreader sets these pieces off. If you look closely you will see that the exposed aluminum edge of the heatspreader is actually raised from the orange surface. This adds a whole new level of depth to the modules.

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This close up gives us a good look at the construction of the modules and reveals a thick thermal pad between the aluminum heatspreader and the ICs on the module. The interlock at the top of the module indicates a two piece design to the heatspreader.

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The top of the module has plenty of gaps for hot air to rise out and away from the PCB and ICs. The two heatspreader pieces are secured together with silver clips. I can't say this enough, these modules look simply amazing with these heatspreaders. Esthetics isnít important for memory but it never hurts to look good.

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The only markings on the PCB that indicate the manufacturer are on the lower tip near the contacts. Levin 63201P is the model and manufacturer of these PCBs. I tried to find some more info on the PCBs but extensive Google searching didn't bring up any information on the Levin brand aside from Crucial seemingly being the sole user of this PCB. I was hoping for Brain Power PCBs as I know they handle voltage quite well so we will have to wait for the testing section to see how these Levin PCBs do at higher voltage. The only thing left to do is pop the heatspreaders to confirm the ICs that are hiding underneath. I do not recommend any users doing this as your Warranty is voided shortly after you do so and the possibility for damaging the sticks in the process is great.

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The heatspreaders didn't come off that easily which is a good sign that the thermal tape between the ICs and heatspreaders has a good firm grip on both. Hopefully that means that thermal conductivity will be good to help keep these ICs cool under stress. I won't go into details about the ICs used just yet, you can find that information on the next page in the Specifications section.


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