Mushkin Blackline 996782 PC3 12800 2x2GB Reviewccokeman - February 2, 2010
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Many people believe that memory modules all perform the same, but this is not true. Every module overclocks and performs differently. You want to get the best for your money and there are many ways to test which memory performs best. To test the Mushkin Blackline 996782 modules, I will be running them through the OverclockersClub suite of benchmarks to see how the performance compares to that of modules that are rated at both a lower and higher rated speed, but with varying timings. These modules run at 7-9-7-20 at 1600MHz. The CPU is run at a clock speed of 200 x 16 on the Patriot modules, while the balance of the modules are run with the CPU at 160 x 20 with the memory multiplier of 10 to keep the modules at their rated 1600MHz speed. For the overclocking test, I will use a combination of voltages and timing increases while increasing the bclock on the CPU to increase the clock speed of the modules to see if they are capable of reaching higher speeds to deliver additional performance.
- CPU: Intel Core i5 750
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus III Formula
- Memory: Mushkin Blackline 996782 PC312800 2x2GB 7-9-7-24 1600MHz
- Video Card: ASUS ENGTX260 MATRIX
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800 watt Modular Power Supply
- Hard Drive: Seagate 1 TB 7200.11 SATA
- Optical Drive: Asus DVD-R
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1
- Comparison Module #1: Kingston HyperX
- Comparison Module #2: Corsair Dominator
- Comparison Module #3: Patriot Viper II Sector 5
- Comparison Module #4: OCZ Intel XMP
- Comparison Module #5: Geil Black Dragon 2x2GB DDR3 1600MHz
CPU-Z: This application shows us the settings that we have chosen in the BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings, and SPD chip information.
Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file, and processor usage.
- Processor: Intel Core i5 750 200x20
- Memory: Mushkin Blackline 2000MHz 8-10-8-24
Overclocking these modules proved to be challenging once I reached the limits of their capabilities at 7-9-7, which ended up right around 1800MHz (900MHz). At this point, bumping up the CAS latency and TRP should have provided some really healthy benefits, but a grand total of 2 MHz was gained. Upping the voltage to the memory and the memory controller did nothing for me at this point. So I pushed the CAS and TRP back to 7 and bumped the TRCD to 10. This did pay dividends with a bump in clock speed up to 1946MHz (973MHz). Bumping the CAS and TRP back to 8 allowed me to get up to 2000 MHz stable, but no amount of voltage or timings seemed to get me past the 2000MHz barrier. I could boot at 2090MHz, but could not pass Memtest 4.1 at any speed above 2020MHz with any repeatability. Voltages used to reach the 2000MHz level include 1.696v to the memory and 1.31v on the memory controller. Any higher on either voltage and I would start seeing errors in Memtest. At the stock PC3 12800 speeds, however, the modules were able to handle the timings being tightened to 6-8-6-20 with no ill effects. 1600MHz Cas 6? Not too bad! This overclock represents a 25% improvement over the stock clock speeds of 1600MHz - a level that took some work to achieve, but well worth the effort. All and all, not too shabby for a kit that retails for 130 bucks. Get More? I think so!
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.52
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- SiSoft Sandra 2009
- Left 4 Dead