It's high time to publish some memory reviews so let's start
This review contains three sets o Mushkin memory. One mainstream (Mushkin EM2 PC6400 5-5-5-12 2x2 GB) and two models of highend (Mushkin XP2 PC6400 4-4-4-12 2x2 GB & Mushkin Redline PC8000 5-5-5-15 2x2 GB). These kits are from new supply in Europe and are retail samples, no handpicking!
As you see on EM2 model I wasn't too careful and I void my warranty
What is strange, not on all Mushkin samples are those warranty traps, even from the same supply (or, thinking in other order, they don't work well :ROTF
. All models are based on Powerchip (PSC) chips, which are very common nowadays. They are good clockers, reliable and quiet cheap (especially contra Microns ICs). Every part is based on different stepping.
From my experience (but there is no rule actually, please study results of Mushkin
), (and please, trust me, I had lots of memory in my hands :up: ), ICs starting from "x" are the best. They prefer lower vdimm and clocks very high. Next are "r", which are in the middle of this branch. They like high voltages (up to 2.35v, they even boot on 2.4v, when "x" or "t" series stop booting at all). And the last one which I possessed ever (mind 2x2 GB sets) where "t" and they clocked acceptably and prefer low vdimm (about 2.15v). But today, I hadn't any "t" series in da house.
Asus Blitz Formula (latest beta BIOS)
Hitachi 500 GB SATA2
Pentagram 1050W ES
Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit (to allocate whole memory)
Tests with CAS3 I skipped as minding 2x2 GB sets it is utter nonsense. CAS4 is much more common, but only XP2 (which are at default 4-4-4-12) where capable of achieving 800+ MHz DDR. Redline and EM2 series don't like CAS4 (yes, it's very common that even PC8000 set's are not capable of working on CAS4), from my experience - it's more easy to overclock memory up to 1000 MHz DDR on relaxed timings (I refer to 2x2 kits only!) than 800 MHz DDR on CL4. I had even a set of Exceleram memory, PC6400 4-4-4-12 (EX2-4800P2-SW), which don't do their stock, but achieved almost 1100 MHz 5-5-5-15 stable! Ok, I am dull now, so lets overclock something
Mushkin EM2 PC6400 5-5-5-12
5-5-5-15-55 @ 2.24v -> settings in bios
This result is not astonishing. From the beginning of 2x2 GB craziness every set of Mushkin SP2+ or EM2 did at least 1040 MHz.
It's time to overclock legend
- Mushkin Redline (red devils?
) legends. As we all now, Redline is the most blessing, the most high end line. They should overclock like devils. And this 2x2 Redline are very cheap!
5-5-5-15-55 @ 2.24v -> settings in bios
1040 MHz... it's not bad but not good. I used to know, that when I push Redline PC8000 2x2 GB in my computer I shall get at least 1066 MHz DDR. I was a bit disappointed.
The last battle against the beast.
Mushkin XP2 PC6400 4-4-4-12 (white)
5-5-5-15-55 @ 2.32v -> settings in bios
Yes! That's what I wanted to see. Really good overclocking from 2x2 set by Mushkin. But it was strange to me that XP2 are better than Redline. I turned with this to Mushkin and I was told that it's the fact that Redline are worse now but they are relatively very cheap, much cheaper than XP2 series.
Overclocking 2x2 GB is not so easy as 2x1 GB, the most important thing is motherboard. DFI LP P35 UT is very good, but in my opinion Asus Blitz Formula is better. DFI Blood Iron stopped overclocking beyond 1066 MHz DDR. MSI P35 Neo2 has limit at about 1100 MHz DDR. Very good are also Gigabyte P35 series, I achieved 1130 MHz DDR on good old Mushkin Redline PC8000 2x2
Memory now is extremely cheap and that's the reason RAM memory overclocks worse and worse (manufactures are saving as much as they could). But a bit more expensive memory is still very good for us - overclockers. And I must say, that this Mushkin XP2 PC6400 set is very nice, in overclocking and is also good looking. Those white heatsinks makes my eye feels better :up:
I hope you enjoyed
By the way,
Don't think that only Mushkin lowered their overclocking potencial in budget series, all brands did a step "back", especially, concerning new PC8500 & PC9200 models, which are very slowly and carefully handpicked from our cheap stuff