Corsair, G.Skill, Mushkin, and Patriot X79 Quad-Channel Memory Reviewccokeman -
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Mushkin's mission statement of "Get More" is a way of life for this company that prides itself on delivering a memory solution for every need from notebooks to high end desktops. Mushkin's Redline memory is one of the standards for enthusiast memory modules, offering enhanced latencies and plenty of overhead that allows overclockers the freedom to, as they say, "Get More" from their computer. This set of memory is designed to work with Intel's latest Sandy Bridge Extreme processors and X79-based motherboards that utilize a quad-channel memory controller for added bandwidth and memory performance. As they do for just about every new product launch, Mushkin is bringing out a series of quad-channel kits to meet the demand for Intel’s new platform. The kit I have today is rated to run at 2133 MHz using latencies of 9-11-10-28 and 1.65 volts. They feature Mushkin’s own Ridgeback heat shields along with their excellent lifetime warranty.
Mushkin has gotten away from the standard retail blister pack and delivers their latest products with a retail box is true to the Mushkin black, white, and green color scheme – a welcomed upgrade to the packaging. The front has a window that shows off one part number, 993997, of the Mushkin Redline Ridgeback modules. The Mushkin logo and trade slogan take center stage beside the photo of the module. The back side of the package lists the benefits of Mushkin memory – enhanced bandwidth through higher frequencies, optimized timings for improved efficiency and improved response time, hand-testing to ensure that the modules live up to the Mushkin reputation, and the confidence in their product to offer a lifetime warranty. Inside the package, the four modules of this 16 GB quad channel kit are held in a pair of plastic clamshell enclosures.
Pulled from the new packaging, the Redline modules stand out with a brilliant red coloring that looks great in boards with a red and black theme, such as those from ASUS's ROG line. One side has the Mushkin "Redline" branding, while the other has a small Mushkin logo with the information tag. This tag displays the module specifications, such as the 16 GB capacity, PC3-17000 speeds, and latencies of 9-11-10-28 using 1.65 V.
A few years back, Mushkin moved from the well-performing Frostbyte technology heat shield and came out with an improved design using a beefier Ridgeback design. This allows the modules to shed a higher heat load due to the angled fins or “Ridges” if you will. At the center of the Ridge is a strategically-placed Mushkin logo, so one knows exactly what you are running. The Ridgeback heat shield measures just over 1.5 inches tall, putting the fins right in the airflow path to and from the CPU cooling solution for more effective cooling. The whole assembly is screwed together rather than being just clipped on – a much more secure design and a massive step forward, aesthetically.
Rated on the higher end of the scale, these modules should have some additional headroom left in them, just based on prior experience with modules similar to these that were used on our Sandy Bridge socket 1155 platform. Offering additional cooling capabilities, they may stand some voltage "tuning".