Mushkin HP2 5300 (2x1GB) DDR2 667 Ram Review

Admin - 2007-03-25 22:35:37 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: October 16, 2006
Mushkin
Mushkin
Price: $200 USD

Introduction
A major component of all computers is the memory. Without it, today's bigger, better, stronger, faster computers would be nonexistent. Computers utilize two types of memory, Main and RAM. You can think of main memory as a box that can hold a single byte of information. So if your computer has one megabyte of memory, it can hold one million bytes of information. Today, our focus will be on RAM (Random Access Memory), or read and write memory. RAM permits you to both read and write data to it. So basically, RAM needs a steady flow of electricity to contain its contents, meaning that once the power is turned off, all stored memory will be lost. So in order to work, RAM needs a steady flow of information or it will forget what it is holding.

Why is RAM such an important part of a computer system? Basically, with more RAM, your computer can hold more information that can be relayed back to you, which in turn allows for you to give more information to your computer.

Let's get ready to look at 'Big Blue'. I'm referring to the Mushkin HP2 5300 (2x1GB) DDR2 667 RAM.

Mushkin was founded in 1994 and is best known for producing Enhanced Memory Modules. It's headquarters is located in Denver, Colorado and provide performance enhanced computer products worldwide. Some of Mushkin's customers include Apple Computer and N.A.S.A. along with gamers and home users. Mushkin prides itself on quality, customer support and enhanced performance.

No more waiting lets look at these ram modules and put them to the OCC test.

Closer Look
The Mushkin HP2 5300 DDR2 RAM came delivered in a normal express mail package and was surprised to see that Mushkin has changed its design and is now shipping the RAM in a retail package from the factory. I have purchased RAM from Mushkin before and it came shipped in what I would call an 'air splint'


After taking the RAM out of its packaging, we can now see that this is a Dual Channel set of RAM consisting of two 1GB sticks.


Mushkin's Frostbyte heat spreader, to ensure performance and reliability, also enhances this RAM.

Installation
Installation was no big deal. Find what DIMM slots to use from your Mainboard's manual, then just snap and click the RAM right in.

Specifications
Frequency: 667MHz
Latency: 4-4-4-10
Parity: Unbuffered Voltage: 1.9V
Pins: 240
Density > > > Module: 128Mx64
Chip: 64Mx8

Testing
Testing Setup:

Benchmarks and Apps:

The results below are at stock speeds without any overclock. Stock speeds for this RAM are DDR2 667 with the timings of 4-4-4-10.

Our first application is CPU-z, which gathers information on some of the main devices of your system. We will be using this to show the frequency and timings of the Mushkin RAM.


Task Manager
Task Manager will be used to show the performance of the RAM: Physical memory, Kernel memory, Page file usage etc.

 

Si Sandra, Pcmark05 and Cachemem
Sandra benchmarks used were Cache and Memory, Memory Bandwidth and Memory Latency. Let's see how our system faired.

Cache and Memory ----- combined index of 15131 mb/s and Speed Factor of 37.2
Memory Bandwidth ------Bandwidth Int SSE2 of 4972 mb/s and Bandwidth Float SSE2 of 4980 mb/s
Memory Latency ------ Random Access of 121ns and Speed Factor of 82.0


Pcmark05 benchmark was used to calculate the amount of points accrued using the Mushkin RAM in the system. Total Points were 4407

Cachemem was used to average the MB/s of the RAM itself according to its read and write speeds.


Far Cry: Hardware OC (Ubisoft Volcano)
Settings:




The video benchmark is to see if there will be any changes in Frames per Second between the normal Speed of the RAM @ 667 and our maximum overclock.



Overclocking
Definition: Overclocking is an art of tweaking your hardware settings in the Motherboard BIOS to extract more juice from your CPU & RAM. "More Juice" means more CPU & RAM Speeds.
Disclaimer: Overclocking can harm your computer and its components; this can void any warranty on your computer components. If you wish to overclock, proceed at your own risk.

Overclocking RAM. Basically, when you overclock RAM, you are looking for a specific speed that your RAM can run at and still be stable, or figure out what speed it is running at and what speed it is meant for. RAM speed is synchronous to FSB speed. In this situation, all you have to do to overclock RAM is raise the FSB speed. So what if your motherboard can't run a high FSB, but the memory you have can? You could change the ratio so that your RAM is overclocked highly while still staying within the parameters that your motherboard's FSB can handle.

Here is an example,

200MHz FSB speed with 100% or 1:1 FSB: Memory ratio results in 200MHz memory speed (DDR400)

200MHz FSB speed with 120% or 5:6 FSB: Memory ratio results in 240MHz memory speed (DDR480)

250MHz FSB speed with 80% or 5:4 FSB: Memory ratio results in 200MHz memory speed (DDR400)



So without having to totally write a new tutorial, please check our guide to overclocking if you are still somewhat confused.

Unfortunately, the motherboard used for this review, although being of good quality, is not known for its overclocking ability. So when trying to find the maximum overclock for our Mushkin HP2 5300 (2x1GB) DDR2 667 RAM, I was not able to get stable results with anything more than DDR2 720.

So, as anyone else would, I did a little research and found that, so far, most people who have this motherboard had many problems getting any stability from any DDR2 667 RAM over DDR@ 700. So I am very happy that the Mushkin RAM was able to reach the overclocking results that I achieved. In the future, when I am able to acquire another motherboard that will allow me to reach a better overclock, it excites me to find out what this RAM can really do.

So let's look at how this RAM performed at its maximum overclock.

CPU-z

Si Sandra, Pcmark05 and Cachemem

SiSandra

Cache and Memory ----- combined index of 5436 mb/s and Speed Factor of 35.6 mb/s
Memory Bandwidth ------Bandwidth Int SSE2 of 5008 mb/s and Bandwidth Float SSE2 of 5008 mb/s
Memory Latency ------ Random Access of 118 ns and Speed Factor of 80.8


PcMark05 Total points 4417

Cachemem
FarCry

You can clearly see that, even with just a slight overclock, this RAM can boost your system's performance. In the case of our Far Cry benchmark, the one frame per second difference is minimal, but in our other three tests, there was a significant increase.

Conclusion
Overall I am very happy with the performance of the Mushkin HP2 5300 (2x1GB) DDR2 667 RAM, from its heatsinks to the way that it performs in my computer. While doing this review, I had the opportunity to speak with Mushkin technical support, and their technicians answered many of my questions quickly. It seems that they have a very knowledgeable staff. I have spoken with other RAM manufacturers and I always felt that they were reading out of a book; with Mushkin, this was not the case. One thing that struck me odd though, is that they were really interested in what speeds I achieved on my overclocks. Hmm, do they truly condone a taboo that other manufactures shun away from? I quite possibly might have to update this review in the future when I can acquire a motherboard that will allow me to reach better overclocks. It seems that the speeds achieved did this RAM an injustice.

Pros

Cons