Overclockers go Ballistix (sp)

Every now and again that all important item pops up,  some call it a gadget, while others describe it as an extremely important part of the system.  Today we have a look at Crucial’s Ballistix Active DIMM Cooler that hit the streets at the end of November 2010.  

There are a few of these important parts available already on the market – some by other famous manufacturers, others by less well known.  Crucial wanted  to stay ahead of the game and always attempts to maintain its lead over its competitors.  We all strive to maintain a quiet and cool system that we get our money worth from before taking the leap up in getting a whole new system.  So can a simple £20 peripheral ensure longevity in our memory modules?   

Technical specs for the Crucial Ballistix Active Cooling Fan are listed below:

·    Dimensions: 155mm x 77.6mm x 71.6mm
·    Fan size: 2 x 60mm fans
·    Voltage: 12VDC
·    Fan speed: 3000 RPM +/- 10%
·    Noise: 25dBA (28max)
·    Airflow: 15CFM
·    Weight: 200g
·    Connection: 3-pin power connector (4-pin adapter included)

In order to test this new ingenious piece of equipment at its fullest capabilities we took our new Sandy Bridge system build along with Crucial’s all singing and dancing Ballistix, DDR3 PC3-17000 (2133MHz) memory as our choice.  This would certainly stretch the Ballistix DIMM Cooler.   Therefore our system build for this test is as follows

It’s important to keep it simple but also to maintain what an average modern high-end system would look like.   There is plenty of room for the overclocker here but in order to see what the stock values would return we maintained the system at stock with the only exception of changing the memory module speeds to their default of 2133MHz to gain optimal performance from the system and in turn get accurate results.


Test Environment
Maintaining an average room temperature of 22C we firstly ran the system without the Ballistix DIMM Cooler for 3 hours flat out covering all sorts of GPU and Memory intensive tests to try and “heat up” the system.  Results below show clearly an efficacy of both the stand alone system cooling and the new Ballistix memory modules fin cooling array.

Three hours running without the Ballistix Cooler


Moving up a gear we placed on top of the memory modules the new Crucial Ballistix Active Cooling Fan array.  We placed the fan array at the very top setting so that minimal interference with the memories own cooling fin array and that air would be distributed evenly and precisely across the full array of memory modules

Running for three hours



While maintaining the ambient room temperate at 22C the following day we then ran a further set of GPU and Memory intensive scripted tests over a 12 hour period.



The results show that Crucial’s Ballistix Active DIMM Cooler does do what is claimed on the package.   For £20 you see a significant reduction in heat generation from the memory DIMMS and remember these are no ordinary memory modules.

Crucial has done a YouTube thang with a cheery lassie who you can find here.

The video demonstration does give you a good idea on how airflow transits the system and how the Ballistix Active DIMM Cooler works in the environment.

As always one of the biggest questions asked is about noise.  From the enclosed test system we had set-up not a peep was to be heard.   You can’t ask for more than that.

Our results show an on average of 8 – 10C drop in temperature with the Ballistix Cooler in place which is an impressive performance.  Therefore as a final point of note when spending huge sums of monies on such expensive DIMMS – possibly even a new system build for an extra £20; you can for that minor outlay increase the longevity of your precious memory modules and good system stability.  The figures speak clearly for themselves.