Crucial has just released a 2 GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) memory module. Let’s see what makes the Ballistix Smart Tracer memory module so special.

In most cases, reviewing standard memory modules make no sense anymore, as you won’t see any statistically significant performance difference between them and, even when you do, an increase in memory performance is not necessarily reflected on the overall system performance. This is the main reason we stopped reviewing memory modules. The exception is, of course, if you are an overclocker: in this case you will probably want memory modules that officially support higher clock rates in order to push your system to the limit.

From some time now, manufacturers have being creating “premium” memory modules with activity LEDs or even complete displays where you can write things on for users that can’t stand having plain memory modules in their systems. The Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer is one of these products.

It is a 2 GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) memory module with 8-8-8-25 timings requiring 1.65 V, with 10 bicolor LEDs on its top edge and eight bicolor LEDs on its bottom edge. Each module is sold with two color options for the LEDs: blue and orange, or red and green. This way you can better match the color of the rest of the lightning system you have on your PC.

Like competing products, the LEDs can be used to monitor memory activity. What makes the Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer a different animal is that you can manually configure how and when the LEDs will turn on, through a program called MOD (Memory Overview Display).

In the pictures below, you see the memory modules and their LEDs.

Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer memoryFigure 1: Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer memory modules

Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer memoryFigure 2: Bottom LEDs (there are another four LEDs on the other side of the printed circuit board)

Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer memoryFigure 3: Top LEDs


Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.