Mushkin Blackline PC3-16000 3x4GB ReviewRHKCommander959 - September 27, 2011
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The Mushkin Blackline 12GB kit definitely exceeded my expectations! These sticks didn't even feel warm in use and felt like they had much more headroom for overclocking than my CPU could keep up with. Most home users will not need 12GB of memory yet, but power users will enjoy the headroom. For less than $150, you could have enough memory to run a home server easily. The Frostbyte heat sink design has been around since at least when DDR memory was out and is small enough that there shouldn't be a problem running them with a large heat sink (though it may come close) or populating every slot. This design keeps the modules small and lightweight, but is still sufficient to keep the memory running cool.
With the large capacity, I was expecting them to be finicky, run warm, and not provide much headroom for overclocking. Well, I was wrong on all counts! The only problem I ever ran into was that I required more voltage than the XMP profile suggested for QPI voltage. Bumping that up to 1.45V from 1.40V quickly fixed the 124 BSOD that is indicative of low QPI voltage. At stock, the memory was willing to tighten up a little bit to 9-9-9-27, but for CAS 8 I was able to run around 1805 MHz with 8-9-8-27 and up to 1850 MHz before stability issues. Overclocking the RAM to 2105 and higher didn't require any additional memory voltage really, just QPI to keep the CPU IMC happy. I feel that there was more headroom to overclock this kit if only the IMC could have handled it. This kit also has a lifetime warranty to protect end users, which is always a great bonus when looking at hardware. Mushkin also hand tests their memory so the chances of getting a DOA stick should be very low. In the end, if you need or want a high speed 12GB kit, the Mushkin Blackline 998990 is a great choice!
- Overclocking headroom
- Effective Heatspreader design
- Good Looks
- Lifetime Warranty
- Low Cost
- Need applications to take advantage of the capacity