Final Score: 95 out 100
Quite honestly the vast majority of the buying public is going to love what Ballistix was able to do with this new series. Owners will get the same lifetime warranty, the same capacity and frequency options, even (almost) the same lack of installation issues as the non-RGB Tactical series. The last bit is actually what took us the most by surprise as LED ram is usually a nightmare to work with. Having to worry about tidying up more cables, having to worry about where the nearest free RGB header on a motherboard is located, even worrying about if the RAM’s height will work with a chosen CPU cooler is a non-issue with the Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB series.
Ballistix was able to sidestep all these issue by not simply tacking on a RGB light bar to an existing series but actually thinking long and hard about how to create lighting that could be integrated directly into the RAM’s chassis and be powered by the DIMM slot itself. The end result is near perfection… especially when you then consider the LED lightbar is removable/replaceable and can be controlled via software that also does not require a data cable.
If this was all the new Tactical Tracer RGB series had to offer it would still be the be best value LED kit we know of. It however is only the start. On top of all these features that make it the best LED DDR4 RAM kit right now is the fact that buyers will even get an MSRP that is so close to non-LED models as to be a veritable rounding error. Put simply if the regular Ballistix Tactical series was right for a new build the Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB series will be even better.
This a great boon for system builders and the general buying public alike as now one option can replace two previous options with one. No longer will enthusiasts and system builders alike have to think about the pros and cons of LED lighting… and instead can use one kit and see if it adds anything to a build or not.
Now with all that said this kit may indeed be one of the most flexible models Ballistix has ever offered but it still is not going to be perfect for everyone… close, but not perfect for everyone. At this time maxing out at DDR4-3000 with factory timings of 16-18-18 may leave AMD Ryzen and Threadripper owners wanting even more. If Ballistix had just upped the max frequency to DDR4-3200 most AMD users would have been more than satisfied. This in conjunction with the fact that the LEDs are powered via the DIMM power bus means that overclocking to hit above DDR4-3000 is not as simple an endeavor. Basically, some of the voltage supplied to the DIMMS is going to be used for LEDs so to hit faster frequencies with tighter timings users are going to have to be willing to push more than 1.35v. In the grand scheme of things having to use a bit more voltage than you ‘think’ is needed is not that big a deal and should not deter you, but it will do precisely that to novice users.
The lack of even faster frequency options is also not that concerning… as we are sure that an ‘Elite Tracer RGB’ is in the works once Ballistix realizes what they now have created. So if you really need DDR4-3200 or above without manual overclocking we doubt you will have all that long a wait for the Elite version. In the meantime, the Ballistic Tactical Tracer RGB series is the series most of the buying public should be looking for. There really is almost no downside to it and there are so many positives that the few negatives are easily eclipsed.
Congratulations Ballistix for creating what is easily the best designed RGB LED enabled RAM series released to date. Hopefully other companies will take a page from your playbook and also start creating ‘proper’ LED DDR4 RAM series!