Mushkin 997070 16GB & 994071 32GB Redline Memory Reviewccokeman -
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Memory capacities keep rising it seems with each new platform that comes out. Along with the increase in capacities comes an increase in speed that drives latency down and responsiveness higher. Intel's X79 platform has the ability to utilize up to 64GB of system memory in a quad channel configuration while the Z77 platform is still limited to dual channel configurations with four DIMM slots rather than the eight available on most X79 boards. Ivy Bridge processors like the Intel Third Generation Core i7 3770K can still take advantage of up to 32GB of system memory due to the incredible memory controllers they have for the most part and can use this capacity with all four DIMM slots populated. Content creation is one of the drivers for increasing capacities with some programs actually utilizing up to 64GB of system memory to process the work stream.
At CES this year I saw more than a few demos with DRAM suppliers set up to show off what kind of performance the additional capacities can provide in terms of usability and the user experience mainly in terms of content creation. Today what I have to look at are a pair of modules from Mushkin. Each of the kits part numbers 997070 and 994071 utilize 8GB DIMMs to provide the 16GB and 32GB capacities of these Redline enthusiast level kits. Both offer timings of 10-10-10-27 at 1866MHz using just 1.5v applied to reach these latencies and speeds. Both sets are equipped with the latest versions of the Frostbyte (997070) and Ridgeback (994071) heat shields to deliver excellent cooling performance in any situation. Priced competitively at $129 for the 16GB kit and $259 for the 32GB kit, Mushkin is bringing the value and performance cards to the table. Let's see what these modules have to offer in terms of memory performance and overclocking to see if we still get "More"!
Packaging for the 16GB Redline modules is a standard clamshell that securely holds the modules in place. Offering a full view of the modules, the front of the package shows the modules against the latest Mushkin messaging that includes the Mushkin Enhanced logo and "Get More" slogan. That is something that has held true in just about every set I have looked at going back several years. The back side of the packaging has a brief set of installation instructions, the part number (997070), capacity 916GB) and latencies (10-10-10-27). Basic but effective.
Starting with part number 997070 we have a 16GB kit of modules. Mushkin's 997070 16GB kit is designed to run at 1866MHz with latencies of 10-10-10-27 using just 1.5v in lieu of a more popular rating of 1.65v. This kit is equipped with Mushkin's Frostbyte heat shield that has proven so successful over the years. The sleek slim design has been a staple of Mushkin's modules. The Redline logo adorns one side with the Mushkin Enhanced logo and warranty tag on the other. The warranty tag shows the speed, latency, voltage and capacity. These module are supported with Mushkin's Lifetime Warranty in case there is ever a failure. What is interesting with these modules is that the Frostbyte heat shield design has changed with the removal of the clips that were used in the past to hold the modules together.
The packaging of the 994071 modules is a step above the clam shell design used on the 997070 kit. The package is designed to hold a "Quad Pack" or four modules. The front of the package has a window that shows the contents; in this case a quartet of Mushkin's Redline Ridgeback equipped modules. Prominently displayed on the front of the package is the Mushkin Enhanced logo and "Get More" slogan. The bottom right has the SKU tag with information about the capacity and rated speed. The rear panel has a list of attributes that include Enhanced Bandwidth, Optimized Timings, a Lifetime Warranty and that all of the Mushkin Performance modules are hand tested. That is something OCC was privileged enough to see when we visited Mushkin's facility last year. Inside the package are two clamshell packages that hold the four modules that make up this quad pack kit.
Part number 994071 is part of Mushkin's Redline lineup and is rated to run at speeds of 1866MHz using the latencies of 10-10-10-27 with 1.5v much like the 16GB 997070 kit. To reach the 32GB capacity of the kit, four 8GB modules are used instead of the two used to build up the 16GB kit. As part of the Redline lineup these modules are designed for the enthusiast. Equipped with the Ridgeback heat shield, these modules are designed to handle a higher thermal loading than the Frostbyte design. The angled fins allow the design to easily shed the thermal load of 1.5v as well as up to the 1.7v I used in my overclocking tests. The front side of the modules have the Mushkin Enhanced logo and warranty decal that provides the specifications for this kit. The opposite side has the Redline logo in bold script. A lifetime warranty is standard on this kit in case something does go wrong. Mushkin has been in business for close to 20 years and it stands behind its products.
Each of these kits is rated at 1866MHz and should provide decent performance at this speed along with the capacity to cover just about any demand.