Mushkin HP2-6400 DDR2 800 Mhz (2 x 2GB) Ram

ccokeman - 2007-04-15 14:20:38 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: April 21, 2007
Mushkin
Mushkin
Price: $485.00

Introduction:

So you have been thinking about that next upgrade, wondering which component will help you over your next performance hurdle. How about 4 gigabytes of system memory? I know what you are thinking, though. You are thinking that nobody has a good set of 2x2GB modules available and that you don't want four 1GB modules. Well think again. Today we will be looking at Mushkin's newest 4 gigabyte set of memory. This kit features 2 x 2GB modules, DDR2 800 speeds, 5-4-4-12 timings and EPP programming to help you reach your performance goals. The phrase on the packaging states "Get More". Let’s see just how much "more" we can get.

Mushkin was founded in 1994 and have headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Mushkin is known as one of the top-tier suppliers for performance-enhanced computer products. Mushkin has a memory module to suit just about everyone, from the basic desktop system upgrade, to the all-out performance of the Redline series. Included in the product line-up, is a series of performance enhanced power supplies. The list of customers that rely on Mushkin products ranges from Joe six-pack, all the way up to Apple, NASA and many more in-between.


Closer Look:

The memory comes in a standard clamshell design enclosure. The modules are kept secure in transit with this enclosure method and were still tightly gripped in the enclosure. The product card that helps to hold the modules in place contains the Mushkin logo on the front, troubleshooting tips and installation instructions on the rear. 


These modules feature timings of 5-4-4-12 at DDR2 800 speeds. EPP programming is now an added feature on all HP, XP and Redline modules.


Mushkin uses what is called ‘Frostbyte’ technology on the heat-spreaders for their performance modules. The thermal tape used to hold the heat-spreaders on, seems to make good contact and keeps the heat-spreaders in contact with the modules underneath.

Installation:

To get these modules installed, you will first need to make sure you have all power removed from the motherboard. Next up, remove your old modules by pushing the retaining clips away from the memory, so that the modules can be pulled out. Now for the fun! Guide the modules into the DIMM sockets and push down until the retaining clips swing back into position. Verify that the modules are seated and retaining clips are securely locked into position. Reconnect the interactive devices and power the rig back up, to see what kind of performance these modules are capable of.

Houston we have a problem! Upon restart, I was greeted with a C1 error from the motherboard. Not good! I tested each of the modules one at a time and they worked great. I found that I needed to install one module, then go into the BIOS and enable the EPP settings and reboot. Then I could reboot successfully with both modules in place and see the defined settings for the EPP profile. This was a minor glitch, but nothing too overwhelming. Now we are ready for testing.


If you have a motherboard capable of recognizing EPP profiles, you should see that the memory is detected as SLI ready.


Specifications:

Brand
Mushkin
  Series
HP2
Model
996564
Type
240Pin DDR2 SDRAM
Capacity
4GB(2x2GB)
Speed
DDR2 800(PC6400)
Cas Latency
5
Timings
5-4-4-12
Voltage
 
Modules
256Mx64
 

Features:

Testing:

Today we will put this memory through a series of benchmarks, which are designed to gauge its performance. I will be making a comparison of performance at default timings (5-4-4-12), speed of DDR2 800 and then performance at DDR2 1000. EPP will be enabled and all timing adjustments will be locked at the EPP defined parameters, to eliminate the variable that the auto setting creates. The benchmarks and system applications we will be using are listed below.

Benchmarks:

Testing Setup:


CPU-Z: This application shows us the settings we have chosen in BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings and SPD chip information. Shown below are the two settings we will test this memory with.


Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file usage and processor usage (%).You will notice that only about 3GB of memory shows in the picture below. This appears to be a Windows 32bit operating system limitation, even though the Windows literature says that Windows XP supports its use.

Testing:

PcMark05: With this benchmark, we will be running the system suite, as well as the memory test suite. The measure for the System suite will be total score. The measure for memory performance is the total memory score. A comparison will be made of the performance at DDR2 800 and DDR2 1000 speeds.


 


Higher is Better

Higher is Better


Sisoft Sandra XI: The benchmarks we will use include Cache and Memory performance, Memory Bandwidth and last but not least, Memory Latency. A comparison will be made for the performance at DDR2 800 and DDR2 1000 speeds.

Higher is Better

Higher is Better

Higher is Better

Lower is Better


As you can see, this memory scales nicely as you ramp up the clock speed.

Testing:

CacheMem: This benchmark is another tool we use to gauge memory read-write performance.


 


Higher is Better

Higher is Better


Far Cry: For this game test, we will use the following settings and run the Hardware OC 1.7 benchmark utility. The measure for this benchmark will be in FPS.


Higher is Better

Higher is Better

Higher is Better

Again, the performance increase is pretty dramatic!

Overclocking:

As you can see from the previous results, these modules easily run to DDR2 1000. Pretty huge for 2x2GB sticks! An amazing increase at stock latencies and low (2.2v) volts - who says that 2GB sticks can't overclock? For this section, I wanted to show what these modules can do without insane voltages. This means clock speeds that can be run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without any fear of cooking your modules. I am simply amazed at how well they scale up to DDR2 1000. Now we will see how far they can go within these narrow constraints.

My motherboard has an array of dividers that sometimes escalate in huge increases. I figured that if I was going to push these modules on low volts, I would shoot for the moon. DDR2 1113(556 FSB) would boot and fail Memtest 1.70. The next stop down was DDR2 1072(536 FSB). Bingo! It looks like we have a winner! This is the point from where I will show the results.

In the absence of another 4GB set of memory, I will compare the performance against Mushkins 2x1GB XP2 9200 set of memory, to see how much of an advantage 4GB of memory can be. I will run the same Benchmark suite that I have run in the earlier part of this review. Let's see how they do!

CPU-Z:  536 MHZ at 5-4-4-12 latencies.


PcMark05: Here are the results of our comparison.

Higher is Better

Higher is Better

Pretty close considering the 40mhz difference in clock speed

Overclocking:

Sandra XI:


 


Higher is Better

Higher is Better

Higher is Better

Lower is Better


Again, it looks like the 4GB kit pulls out the win!

Overclocking:

CacheMem:

 



Higher is Better

Higher is Better


Far Cry: We will once again use the Hardware OC 1.7 benchmark utility.The settings used on this benchmark are listed below.

 

Higher is Better

Higher is Better

Higher is Better

Conclusion:

Wow! The performance is on par with, or slightly better than, the XP2 9200 2x1GB kit, with real world voltages and timings. This kit thoroughly amazed me. I was expecting at most around DDR2 900 from this set, but what I got was well above my expectations at DDR2 1072. This performance was almost too easy to get. It just kept scaling upwards until I finally hit a wall at 556 FSB. This wall was reached because of the testing I did, not the modules themselves. With more people migrating to Windows Vista, more system memory may well be the solution to the amount of resources consumed by this new operating system. Mushkin has the quote on the packaging of their modules stating, "Get More". After testing these modules, I agree that you really do get more. I would have to say that, if you need 4GB of system memory, put these on your shopping list - they are a must-have!


Pros:

 

Cons: