Mushkin Blackline PC3-16000 3x4GB ReviewRHKCommander959 -
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As time marches forward, memory module speed and size will continue to grow. When the Intel X58 LGA 1366 socket platform hit the shelves, the first triple channel DDR3 kits emerged. DDR3 had been around for a while in single and dual channel kits for both AMD AM3 and Intel LGA 775 system, so the memory technology to develop triple channel kits wasn't ground breaking. The cost effective size was 3x1GB, the big daddy then was 3x2GB, and finally 3x4GB kits as they become more affordable.
Now that 3x4GB kits are becoming more and more available for the masses, the prices will continue to drop and speeds climb. Mushkin has provided a 12GB kit that is clocked at 2GHz using 1.65V! The Mushkin Blackline PC3-16000 3x4GB 998990 kit up for review uses the unique Frostbyte heat sink and features tCL 9 tRCD 11 tRP 9 tRAS 27 for the main timing at 2000 MHz.
Mushkin uses similar packaging for all of their memory kits, a molded plastic Clamshell container with a paper insert and a barcode sticker on the back. The front of the paper insert has the Mushkin logo and the statement "Get more." and underneath the memory is a large less than symbol "<". The rear has a brief company statement and installation instructions for the standard memory slot. Near the bottom is the company address and website.
The part number for the memory is 998990 and can be referenced at the Mushkin website. This is a triple channel kit, with each stick having a 4GB density and is designed to run at 2GHz with 9-11-9-27 main memory timings at 1.65V. The Frostbyte heat sink design works well with these modules. This memory has a lifetime warranty and are hand tested to ensure a quality product arrives. Two clips hold the heat spreaders onto the module, along with a strip of thermal tape to help attach and conduct heat away from the ICs. A sticker that identifies the memory and the basic settings also runs over one of the clips to help keep people from taking the modules apart. The PCB looks like it is a standard green 6-layer design.
With the memory unpacked and looked at, it's time to get a peek at the Specifications and Features!