Generally speaking, when it comes to RAM, we usually divide all the possibilities into two broad categories: RAM, and known good RAM. Any old RAM will do in most budgets builds at low frequencies, but only known good goes into our custom builds. Unlike the Sport LT, Sport AT, or even Tactical Tracer RGB series’, the new DDR4-3600 Ballistix Elite does not fall into either category. Instead, it has forced us to create a third category: known great RAM. Simply put, if you want the absolute best of the best, and can afford the best… this new addition to the Elite line is what you want to be paying close attention to. What it lacks in ‘wow’ factor or color options, it more than makes up for in sheer performance.
Quite literally the new DDR4-3600 Ballistix Elite models are everything we look for in a series. Excellent construction, beefy heat spreaders that actually do more than look good, great performance… even arguably great value. That last addition is what surprised us the most. After all, the Elite line is Ballistix ‘best of the best of the best’ models. We expected them to perform like a bat out of hell. We expected them to laugh at voltages that are ‘iffy’ for lesser models. What we did not expect was it to literally be better than the Integrated Memory controller on our thousand dollar CPU. Even when using an 8700K with an extremely good IMC we are not positive we actually found the RAM’s limits and rather just found the limits of the Intel CPU’s we have. That is not going all the way to insanity… that is pushing things all the way to plaid.
With such massive overclocking potential, it is a crying shame to only run these at ‘stock’ speeds of 1800Mhz / DDR4-3600. Instead they all but demand you crank the dial to 11 and find the limitations of your CPU. Better still this is downright easy to do. This new Elite kit was the best-behaved, high-performance RAM we have seen in a long while. As such it is almost not fair to compare them to similarly spec’ed DDR4-3600 kits. Instead of this really is a 3866 or 4000 or maybe even high kit of RAM that has been ultra-conservatively labeled as DDR4-3600. When you look at the asking price of $400 (USD) versus what other manufacturers are demanding for 3866 or 4000 kits of this capacity… well, the Elite goes and becomes a veritable bargain.
Of course, their ‘value’ is going to be variable as we can think of a few scenarios, let alone builds, that actually ‘need’ DDR4-4000 performance levels… but if you are the type of person who has a real need for speed the Elite DDR4-3600 models demand to be on your short, short list. They will exceed your expectations.
The only minor nitpick we have with this new Elite addition is the fact that they are not as versatile (in the aesthetics department) as Ballistix’s own Tactical Tracer RGB series. Honestly, if this kit came with the Tracer RGB’s light diffuser/spreader bar and integrated LEDs it would be ‘perfect’. Hopefully one day the Elite series will get the Tracer RGB treatment… and we will be first in line to say ‘shut up and take my money’. Until that day, the Elite is the series you want for performance, the Tactical Tracer RGB series is the one you want for ‘pretty builds’… and either the Sport LT or Sport AT is still the best for ‘budget with style’ builds. So while the Elite can actually justify its asking price, not everyone will find its Siren Song as compelling. Choose based on your needs, your wants, and your budget. If the Elite makes sense, it will provide years (and numerous build upgrades) of enjoyment.
Ballistix Elite DDR4-3600
Ballistix has once again exceeded our expectations with their latest Elite refresh. Everything from great overclocking to hassle-free setup and configuration, this kit has you covered.
Ease of Use
Build Quality & Warranty