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Mushkin HP3 12800 3x2GB Review

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When it comes time to purchase your new memory modules, most people look to review sites to get a good idea on the performance capabilities of the memory they want to buy. Why, you ask? So they don't have to go through the endless buy it and return or sell it routine to find the set of their dreams. Hey, we do it for you! How? By testing the memory with a series of benchmarks that show some of the capabilities of the system memory. Synthetic benchmarks as well as real gameplay are used to show the capabilities. Also, there are comparisons to other performance modules, just so that this is not a one-sided affair. That just would not do, and offers up only the knowledge of what the featured product can do.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Modules:


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.



Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 Extreme 965 180x21
  • Memory: Mushkin HP3 12800 10-9-9-28 900 MHz 1.62 volts

The stock latencies are 9-9-9-24. The first thing to do was to tighten the latencies up at both the 1333MHz level as well as the 1600MHz level. The Mushkin modules easily ran at 1333Mhz with the latencies at 7-7-7-20 using 1.5 volts. Try as I might, setting the CAS latency to 8 at the 1600MHz level would not allow successful completion of memtest version 2.1. At 1600, the lowest I could reduce the timings to was 9-8-7-20 1t. This was done with 1.58 volts still under the 1.65 volt max. Dropping the command rate to 2t still did not give me the love I was looking for, with a reduction of the CAS latency to 8, so 1t is where the command rate stayed. Next up was to see just how high I could take the HP3 12800 modules. The highest I was able to get the modules to successfully complete memtest and load windows was at 1800MHz at latencies of 10-9-9-28 2t. The modules gave up a 100MHz increase from the 1600MHz (800MHz) rating allowing for an increase in performance with the modules. To get to the 1600MHz level, the memory divider was increased while keeping the CPU at its default speed. To get the memory oveclocked, I used a combination of increasing the baseclock and the memory divider, as well as using the voltages that were available in the P6T bios. The QPI or memory controller voltage, plays a significant part in raising the memory speed and it was adjust in increments up to 1.45 volts to try and gain some additional stability above the 1800MHz level.



The benchmarks used in this review include the following:


  • CPU-Z Version 1.49
  • Windows Task Manager
  • PCMark Vantage
  • SiSoft Sandra 2009
  • Left For Dead

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing: (Setup, Cpu-Z, Task Manager,Overclocking)
  4. Testing: PCMark Vantage, Sandra 2009
  5. Testing: Left For Dead
  6. Conclusion
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