While it certainly is true that not every build requires lighting as the finishing touch… a lot do. A little bit of color can indeed make a good build into a great one. This is why motherboards, video cards and even RAM now come equipped with LEDs for custom light effects. Unfortunately, when it comes to RAM getting LEDS on to the extremely small form-factor DDR4 standard has not be without its numerous issues and downsides. G.Skill and their Evo-X series is probably one of the best examples of this, as while pretty they are a pretty big pain in the backside to integrate into a custom system build. Worries about CPU cooler clearance issues, having to snake a secondary cable across the motherboard to control the LEDS, even having to plug in a secondary power connector. All are typical issues that any system builder runs into when trying to integrate LEDs into the RAM area… and big reason why many choose to not include light enabled RAM in all but their most uber-expensive custom builds.
That is until today. For the first time a RAM manufacture has actually thought about the implications of adding LED lights to their product and spent a lot of time and effort in making it as easy to use as non-LED equipped models. The end result of this (pardon the pun) enlightened thinking is the all new Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB DDR4 Gaming Memory series. Yes that is a long name, but as we will show you in this review it easily justifies its length name… and then some.
Just as with the non-Tracer versions the new Tactical Tracer RGB series (as we are going to call it for brevity’s sake) comes in a variety of frequency and capacity options – with everything from 8GB single rank DDR4-2666 1.2volt options all the way to 16GB dual rank DDR4-3000 1.35 volt options. Better still these new DDR4 memory modules are offered in two and four-piece kits and have reasonable price tags that range from as little as $130(USD) for a 16GB kit to a relatively reasonable 1K for a monster 64GB kit. In between these two extremes is where todays review sample of the 4x8GB DDR4-3000 version of this new series resides with a relatively reasonable $523(USD) MSRP.
As time goes by we are sure that Ballistix will added even more options but with everything from 16GB to 64GB kits offered this certainly is the way to launch an entirely new series – as the vast majority of the buying public will find a LED enabled kit that is right for them and their budget. With that all said, if you are like any experienced system builder these specifications may raise a red-flag or two. Namely the MSRP is within a few dollars of what the original Ballistix Tactical non-LED enabled options retail for. For instance, the focus of this review – the $523(USD) 4x8GB DDR4-3000 kit – is literally only eight dollars more than the non-LED equipped option. That is darn near a rounding error in a system budget.
This obviously raises the question on how Ballistix was able to do all this and charge such a little premium. Fear not. We are going to go over all the pros and cons of this new series, show what it can do on everything from AMD’s Ryzen to Intel’s monster HEDT systems. Then with all the data you can make your own decision… but we do have a sneaking suspicion that you will come to the same conclusion we did.