Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Reviewccokeman -
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Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Introduction:
With each new architecture it seems the memory subsystems are becoming more and more robust. Case in point would be Intel's latest Fourth Generation Core i7 4770, which has the ability right out of the box to run memory clock speeds of 3000MHz and beyond with modules binned that high. Part of the problem in finding and using kits rated up to 3000MHz is purely supply and demand driven. Just the raw manpower hours needed to test and validate the modules is almost cost prohibitive. With each new launch we get a plethora of memory modules designed to take advantage of the latest architecture that feature increased speeds and looser timings. That leads us to the Mushkin 997123R 2400MHz Blackline modules, which are designed for high performance and reliability when you do not want to step up to the Redline series. Featuring XMP 1.3 profiles that run the 997123R modules at 11-13-13-31 using 1.65v at 2400MHz, we get a speed bin that is not quite as lofty, but should still deliver excellent performance. Our 997123R kit does not use Mushkin's Frostbyte cooling technology, but rather Mushkin's Ridgeback cooling solution; a much more robust design that uses design elements from the company's "Get More" slogan. Currently priced at $139, this set of modules is one of, if not the lowest priced high performance kit, offering value and performance as part of Mushkin's Get More strategy. Each of these modules is designed, assembled and hand-tested in the US and have been since the company's inception in 1994. Let's take a closer look to see what Mushkin has to offer.
Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Closer Look:
With rare exceptions, Mushkin's modules come in a retail plastic clamshell that both securely holds the modules in place during transit, as well as providing the visual pop that sets them apart from others on the shelf. On the front face, we see the Blackline 997123R modules through the clear plastic with the Ridgeback and Mushkin logos against a black and green background. On the back face are installation instructions, just in case you truly do not understand the installation process. When you follow the steps, you get the thumbs up! Along the bottom of the ad card is the "Get More" logo, which has been the company philosophy for some time now and it really is a culture instilled in each of its employees.
Mushkin part number 997123R boils down to a pair of 8GB Blackline modules equipped with Mushkin's proprietary Ridgeback heat sink and running at 2400MHz with timings of 11-13-13-31 using 1.65v. The front and back view are identical, with the exception of the serial number/warranty sticker that contains the operating characteristics of the 997123R kit. The robust Ridgeback heat sink assembly is not just clipped on, but rather screwed together for a better fit. The ridges across the top of the modules hang out into the air stream that goes to and from the CPU heat sink. A set of fins, or ridges, are on each side of the modules, with the Mushkin logo located in between so you get the brand out in the open and visible when your chassis has a clear window.
We know what the modules look like and how they should perform, but it's the testing that really determines if Mushkin put the right parts under the hood. Let's get on with it.