When it came time to start actually playing with this RAM we must admit to have a certain level of lowered expectations. After all, Ballistix’s Sport series is a line that is gear more towards the value orientated crowd. Put another way they are usually great value but usually do not have much overclocking headroom… otherwise they would be labeled as either Tactical or Elite sticks. What we found was actually surprising and did exceed our expectations. Basically, we found that you can expect to find about 10 percent boost in frequencies if you so choose or you can really, really tighten down the timings. With that said to get the absolute most out of these sticks 1.4v (or more) is going to be necessary. Otherwise you can cut your expectations in half.
First things first. This kit really was designed with the ASUS Z370 TUF gaming motherboards in mind. As this is a four-stick kit of RAM you will have to use a 2T and not 1T command rate. This is usually is what separates Elite’s (and sometimes Tactical) kits from their lower priced Sport brethren. With that being said you can easily tighten the timings and overclock to about the DDR4-3333 range. To do this will require 1.4volts and only tightening CAS latency from the default 17 to 16. We did have a slight bit more room with this kit so we were able to dial the tRAS from 38 to 36, but had to leave the other two main settings alone at stock 19 and 19. Obviously if you leave them at their ‘stock’ XMP setting of DDR4-3000 these too can be tightened a bit. If you so choose to forgo shear frequency boost for tighter timings this kit will be sure to please, and really will depend on what blend of tight timings and frequencies you are after. Of course, to get really, really tight settings (below 15) expect to have to push the voltage to 1.45 range.
While the SPORT AT series is indeed intended for mainstream Intel users those who do use Intel HEDT systems will also find this kit fairly impressive. Much like on Intel Z370 systems you can expect to hit DDR4-3333 frequencies at 1.4v and slightly tighter tRCD and tRP timings of 18 instead of stock 19. Of course, as the X299 HEDT motherboards support quad core memory you can indeed use 1T instead of 2T for the command rate. Other than these minor differences the Sport AT series will act very similarly on HEDT as it does on consumer Z370 systems.
AMD Ryzen RAM overclocking is always a bit trickier endeavor and here is where you should not expect to see a full ten percent boost in performance. Instead expect to land in DDR4-3200 frequency range. This is still very, very good for a four stick 32GB kit of RAM but obviously you will have to forego 1T command rate. But thanks to single rank ICs you can get this 32GB of RAM to hit not only its rated DDR4-3000 but do better. As an added bonus, as you will not get quite as high frequency settings you can expect to be able to slightly tighten the timings to 16-16-18. Which is not too shabby at all for Ballistix’ SPORT line-up!
Overall this is one of the easier sets of DDR4 ram we have worked with, and as long as your expectations are reasonable it will be sure to please. Equally impressive is no matter what the motherboard we used this kit on it always POST’ed the first time, every time. That is not something we can say about most 1.35v kits of RAM.