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  1. #1
    Member M Diddy's Avatar
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    Ballistix RMA... Makes me wonder....

    Long story short, I had to RMA one set of my PC6400 Ballistix due to them starting to go downhill. I purcahsed the 2 2x1GB sets from the Egg about 2 months ago and all 4 came with the "new" heatspreaders with no clamps on the top (they're simply stuck on the side of the chips).

    I got my RMA'd set yesterday and the kit Crucial sent me has the "old" type heatspreaders (the one's that clamp on top of the chip). Not sure what the difference is here with the RAM but speeds are the same and they seem to be performing just fine. Any reason for me to be worried? Also, I'm wondering if anyone has any idea just what the difference is and why Crucial did the heatspreader change. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Old Member rainless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Diddy View Post
    Long story short, I had to RMA one set of my PC6400 Ballistix due to them starting to go downhill. I purcahsed the 2 2x1GB sets from the Egg about 2 months ago and all 4 came with the "new" heatspreaders with no clamps on the top (they're simply stuck on the side of the chips).

    I got my RMA'd set yesterday and the kit Crucial sent me has the "old" type heatspreaders (the one's that clamp on top of the chip). Not sure what the difference is here with the RAM but speeds are the same and they seem to be performing just fine. Any reason for me to be worried? Also, I'm wondering if anyone has any idea just what the difference is and why Crucial did the heatspreader change. Thanks!
    I just got my ram back tuesday. Looks identicle to the ram I had before (so probably the "old" ballistix.) I'm not anticipating any problems. I really think that the problem, in both our cases, was simply that the ram had not been properly tested. That's the only thing that explains it.

    And I'm not talking about "memtest" or a quick run through superPI 1M... but the kind of tests they're supposed to do in the factory.

    As far as the heatspreader... that's probably just an attempt to save money.
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  3. #3
    Member M Diddy's Avatar
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    One weird thing I noticed though is that the number on the "new" spreader is 16D05 while the "old" spreaders I just got has 16D03. Not sure what that has to do with anything.

    Personally, I think I'd rather have the "old" spreader as it actually feels much more solid to me.
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  4. #4
    DRAM Guru Senior Reefa_Madness's Avatar
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    According to some of the posts and reviews that I've seen, the new style heatspreaders are "glued" to the chips (obvious, right?), so the TIM used with these "clipless" must also have adhesive qualities. I have seen comments made that this new style seems to make better contact along the entire PCB, as opposed to the old "clip" style where there were cases of the heatsink not touching the chips in some places.

    Since the old style spreaders were held in place by the clips, and not glued, one could conclude then that if nothing else, a change in the actual TIM used came along with the new style heat spreaders. Whether this was done as an improvement to the thermals of the product, or as a cost savings is open to debate.

    What I would like to note is that in another current thread by one of our members, Eldonko, Mushkin appears to have returned to the use of clips in their latest Redline product.

    http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=545514

    Any significance to this?

    It will be interesting to see if Mushkin returns to this approach across their entire product line and whether or not Crucial also returns to using clips.

    I personally like the use of clips because I simply don't like my spreaders glued on.
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  5. #5
    Member th3's Avatar
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    Old type BallistiX HS was also glued, and strong glue i might add.

    First hand experience:
    http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=525915

  6. #6
    DRAM Guru Senior Reefa_Madness's Avatar
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    While I realize that the old style stuff was sticky...the spreaders could be removed, if done carefully. Many spreaders have been pulled off Ballistix and your own linked pics show that some of the ICs did not get pulled off, indicating that there wasn't a bond between them and the TIM.

    I'm not quite convinced that the old stuff was an "adhesive", as much as just very sticky, once it had been subjected to heat.

    Then again, I may be wrong on this and am only expressing an opinion, as I've not compared the two.
    In memory of Gracie, my sweet, sweet wife and mother of my children. Darling, we will miss you dearly. May you rest in peace (born to this world on March 30, 1976; went to her Heavenly Father on Good Friday, April 22, 2011).

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  7. #7
    Official Corsair Tech Support Yellowbeard XMS's Avatar
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    IMO, adhesive is superior. In general, and not just from Crucial, the sinks pulling away from the ICs is bad.

  8. #8
    Old Member rainless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowbeard XMS View Post
    IMO, adhesive is superior. In general, and not just from Crucial, the sinks pulling away from the ICs is bad.
    Could've been what killed the ram of the op and myself. I did note that the stick that died had one hot portion in the middle. Could be the heat spreader wasn't making contact.

    Again: I blame Crucial's quality control.
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  9. #9
    Revolutionary Mule Eldonko's Avatar
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    I like the clips myself, just seems like it would hold better than adhesive alone.
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  10. #10
    Official Corsair Tech Support Yellowbeard XMS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldonko View Post
    I like the clips myself, just seems like it would hold better than adhesive alone.
    Depending on the spreader design and quality (ie-how straight or true the spreader is, etc) you may be right. My point was that I would greatly prefer an adhesive over TIM tape.

  11. #11
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    How long did the RMA process take for you guys? Looks like I'm going to have to RMA mine. Gonna run some more tests but everything points to memory crapping out (BSODs, memtest errors, windows problems)
    #1: C2D e6750@3.4, 1.41v with Ultima-90; GA-P35-DS3R; Crucial Ballistix 2GB; eVGA 8800GT 711/1750/975; Corsair HX520; X-Fi XtremeGamer; CM 690.

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  12. #12
    Old Member rainless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnrealAlex View Post
    How long did the RMA process take for you guys? Looks like I'm going to have to RMA mine. Gonna run some more tests but everything points to memory crapping out (BSODs, memtest errors, windows problems)
    Another winner! The RMA was actually pretty fast. I sent it on a Friday, got confirmation it was received that Tuesday, got it back the following tuesday.

    The guy on the phone said it would be 10 days and it was about that.
    Core 4 Q9550 @4003mhz 1.30v
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    Core 2 Duo E6400 @ 3.8ghz 1.525v
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  13. #13
    Member M Diddy's Avatar
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    I actually paid for the Cross-ship option and got mine in 5 days.
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  14. #14
    Old Member rainless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Diddy View Post
    I actually paid for the Cross-ship option and got mine in 5 days.
    Yeah. It wasn't really worth it they sent it so fast. I had forgotten I had RAM coming in the mail and next thing you know there's a UPS sticker on my door.

    They wanted me to pay the full price of the ram ($99) to do a cross-ship. THAT... is a horrible policy.

    Maxtor, EVGA, anybody else would either have you pay $3-12 to cross ship or they would ship it for free. It's kind of absurd to be expected to pay the full price for a product. I can understand them asking for a credit card number, then if you don't send the product they charge you the full price. But to charge you before you even HAVE the damned product?

    That's the worst cross-shipment policy I've seen in the industry.
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  15. #15
    I had a set of my Tracers go bad also. Like most bad ones they were purchased last August. The RMA process took less than 10 days and I did not do the cross-ship. I figured I could make do with 2 gig for a while. I had the old spreaders and the replacements have the new style. Only thing I have found different is I have had to bump my MCH voltage up one notch to get it stable again. Woke up yesterday Am to the POST screen and a reboot got a BSOD. This AM I bumped the voltage and ran the Vista Memory program and then 5 passes of Memtest and all seems back to normal. I run my 4 sticks @ 2.1. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    [edit]
    I posted too soon. I kept having little glitches on and off. Thought it might be an Nvidia beta driver so played with those some. Tonight I started getting BSOD again first saying a problem with "winFsf.sys". The next BSOD said something about memory management. I ran Vista's diagnostic again and it errored almost immediately. Took out the 2 new sticks and no errors. Put the new sticks in the slots the old ones were in and BAM. I stopped the counter at about 80,000 errors and it was still climbing. Back to 2 gig and solid as a rock. So much for Crucials QC.
    Last edited by Pntgrd; 02-11-08 at 09:43 PM. Reason: UPDATE
    Motherboard ------- Asus Rampage Extreme
    CPU ---------------- QX9650
    Memory -------------Crucial Ballistix
    Harddrives --------- 300g Velociraptor, WD6400AAKSx2 Matrix Raid, 74g Raptor, 7200.10 500g
    Graphics Card ----- Sapphire HD4870 CF
    Soundcard ----------X-Fi Platinum
    Case --------------- HSPC Top-Deck
    PowerSupply ------- Corsair TX750
    Cooling -------------Watercooled

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