Mushkin XP2-8500 Memory Review

ccokeman - 2007-03-10 23:37:03 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: March 12, 2007
Mushkin
Mushkin
Price: $359.99 US

Introduction:

When you hear the name Mushkin, you think quality products. Today we will be looking at one of the top-of-the-line sets of performance memory made by Mushkin. This is a 2x1024MB kit rated at 1066MHz with 5-5-4-12 timings. Recently, Mushkin has started shipping all of its top line modules with EPP (Enhanced Performance Profile) programming for a truly plug and play experience.


Mushkin was founded in 1994 and is based out of Denver, Colorado. Mushkin is best known for its “Enhanced“ line of products for not only its memory modules but also its latest endeavor into the power supply market. Customers of the company’s products are as diverse as NASA, Apple and right on down to the enthusiast market.



Closer Look:

The packaging is your standard flip open clamshell type enclosure. The modules are a press in fit to prevent any damage during transit.


 



 
This set of modules includes features such as enhanced frequency, enhanced timings and Frostbyte Tecnology. These modules are rated at 5-5-4-12 at 1066 MHz.

 







After looking at these modules, I could not wait to see how well they would perform. Time to get them installed and see what they can do.

Installation:

Installation of these modules into an existing system is a simple process. First, make sure there is no power to the system. Then unclip the existing modules. Install the new Mushkin modules, making sure they are indexed into the DIMM sockets properly. Push down to seat them and make sure they are secured with the end clips. Now that they are installed, don’t they look good?




 




Specifications:

 

Frequency: 1066MHz    

Latency: 5-5-4-12

Parity: Unbuffered

Voltage: 2.2-2.35V

Pins: 240

Density > > > Module: 128Mx64

Chip: 64x8

EPP programming

                                           

Testing:

 

Testing Setup


To put this memory through its paces we will use several benchmarks to gauge performance against the current set of memory in this system. Included are several programs to show the settings that we are running. The set of memory that I am using is rated at 800 MHz but will match the rated speed, though not the memory timings, of the Mushkin RAM we will be testing. The benchmarks and programs we will use are as follows.


Let’s jump right in with CPU-Z.





Next up we have Windows Task Manager showing us Physical memory, Kernel memory and page file usage.


 



 

With PcMark 05 we ran the System Suite as well as the Memory benchmark.






Higher is Better

With SiSandra we ran a series of tests, which include the benches for Cache and Memory subsystems, Memory Bandwidth and Memory latency.


 



Higher is Better



Lower is Better




Higher is Better



Cachemem is another tool to benchmark memory bandwidth.




Higher is Better

Last, but not least, in our series of benchmarks is the Hardware OC Far Cry benchmark.

The settings we are using will be.

 



Here are the results.



 


 


Higher is Better

Overclocking:

Up until this point, I have not had the pleasure to work with a set of memory that has the speed capabilities I am looking for without having to lean on it until it cries for mercy. These modules made me take a second look at my choice of motherboards. Unfortunately, my current motherboard will not allow me past a memory speed of 1070MHz. I ran into the same wall on both sets of memory that I am comparing, so I used a 2:3 divider to reach the speed of 1070MHz with both sets of modules.

With the inability to push speeds any higher with the current testing setup, I cannot speak as to how well these modules overclock. In the future, I will have a motherboard capable of pushing these modules. The one thing I can show is the performance increase from these modules running better than the rated latencies at the rated speed of 1065MHz.   

 

CPU-Z





PcMark 05



 


Higher is Better


SiSandra





Higher is Better


Lower is Better

SiSandra  continued.
 


Higher is Better

Cachemem


Higher is Better


Far Cry


 


Higher Is Better



Higher Is Better


Higher Is Better

While there was not a whole lot of push over the rated speed, the Mushkin modules out-performed the comparison modules in almost every category. It seems to perform quite well.

Conclusion:


This memory performs as advertised. It ran well at the rated timings and only got better once I moved to tighten up the timings. This memory is capable of so much more than what I was able to achieve. I ran into what seems to be a chipset limitation at around 1070MHz, creating a situation where I could not test at any higher frequencies. In the near future, that problem will be addressed and I will follow up this review to reflect the changes.




Pros:



Cons: