Some say success is in the details. For competitive overclockers and hardcore gamers looking at RAM, success comes from the die inside. But not all die is created equal. Crucial® RAM is built with Micron® die. Crucial is vertically integrated with Micron and is the only gaming brand that manufactures its own die. Crucial is specific in tailoring what we know about gaming, in memory applications, and applying that to Ballistix and Ballistix MAX.
Micron engineering + Crucial tuning
Die is the small block of semiconducting material used for integrated circuits. High quality die cut from wafers of electronic-grade silicon are the beating heart of RAM modules. Many companies buy their die in lots. They then test the die, selecting those that perform within a certain range for use in their RAM. This is known as the binning process. The problem with this process is when lots are purchased, die from different companies is often mixed, each have strengths and weaknesses. This is referred to as the silicon lottery; you have no way of knowing what you have or how it will perform until you try it. If you buy separate modules, different die from different manufacturers could be inside and they may not perform as expected.
Crucial is different. We bin at the wafer level before the die is even cut. Micron manufactures the wafers—our engineers find die candidates and tune and test to ensure consistent performance for gaming applications. There is no silicon lottery, only consistent die built for speed. No one else does this—Crucial Ballistix and Ballistix MAX are truly engineered from sand to silicon with performance in mind for gaming and overclocking.
Legendary RAM for hardcore overclockers and gamers
Die matters to competitive overclockers and hardcore gamers who constantly push the speeds of their RAM. Stavros Savvopoulos and Phil Strecker from Overclocked Game Systems (generally seen as OGS on the leaderboards), set numerous world records in 2019 and 2020 using Crucial Ballistix gaming RAM. “The pressure is insane,” Savvopoulos said. “You don’t know the limits of the hardware. It gets really, really intense.”
The pressure is insane. You don't know the limits of the hardware. It gets really, really intense. Stravopoulus
From a hardware perspective, records were possible because of the engineering process and standards of the high-quality Micron die used in Crucial Ballistix and Ballistix MAX modules. Micron die scales to high memory frequencies with appropriate timings at moderate voltage, which makes it particularly well-suited to overclocking in both competition and consumer applications. "We started testing a lot of Micron E-die back in the day" said Savvopoulos, "We started realizing that Crucial memory is really good at saving high frequency. "
We started testing a lot of Micron E-die back in the day. We started realizing that Crucial memory is really good at saving high frequency. Savvopoulos
Overclockers want performance. Without additional cooling during extreme overclocking, component temperatures climb until failing, sometimes with visible damage from the heat. When fans, heat sinks, liquid cooling, or thermoelectric cooling won’t do the job, overclockers turn to liquid nitrogen — which is -321 degrees Fahrenheit or colder — to get the job done. When part temperatures fall too low for optimal performance, overclockers use gas torches to warm them up. “We had no issues, we ran more than four hours on 6GHz. Nothing died, everything was cool, and everything is still alive to this day,” Savvopoulos said.
Gamers push their rigs. Efficiently overclocked memory modules with low latency sub-timings can boost extra frames per second (FPS) to PC video games, often resulting in a smoother gameplay experience. “There comes a point where you want to get more performance out of your parts. You get something for free.” Savvopoulos said. “The gamer wants to do that because maybe they don't have the budget or something better. They want to gain the extra performance so they can run smoother graphics and set on high frame rate.”
There’s always a modicum of risk anytime hobbyists fuss with BIOS settings. “There’s enough beginner guides on platforms such as YouTube, Reddit, and enthusiast websites that basic overclocking is fairly routine,” Savvopoulos said. That’s especially true in the gaming community. “You just do some research on YouTube and you gain free performance,” he said.
Crucial Ballistix and Ballistix MAX offer lower latencies, effortless overclocking, real-time temperature monitoring, and premium Micron die—all engineered inside an aggressive heat spreader. Those add up to a noticeable difference in your competitive overclocking and hardcore gaming.