Mushkin Ridgeback 996902 PC3 16000 2 x 2GB Memory Reviewjlqrb - May 13, 2010
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Even after reducing the memory bandwidth by 200MHz for the review, the Mushkin Ridgeback kit managed to perform at a very impressive level. This really showed the additional performance gains by not only higher bandwidth, but also tighter timings. At 1800MHz, this set was still able to use timings of 8-8-8-24 with a command rate of 1T, and did so within the 1.65V requirement. This is shy of the default speed, but it was still an improvement over the standard 1600MHz DDR3 memory that the majority of us use. However, for those using the AM3 platform, this might not be enough to want to purchase a set of memory that cannot be used at the default speed. This is understandable, but if you are interested in the Ridgeback design, Mushkin does also offer a kit from the same series at 1600MHz, with timings of 8-8-8-24. Furthermore, with the recent release of the 890FX chipset from AMD, there are now a few AM3 motherboards available that do support 2000MHz (O.C) DDR3 memory or higher, but even if the board can reach 2000MHz, it does not necessarily mean that the memory controller on the AMD procoessor will go that high. Even, with these limitations though, you should still be able to push this kit to the 1800+ mark rather easily. This only applys to AMD users and If you are using Intel's 1156 socket and not AM3, this kit will run at the default speed of 2000MHz with timings of 7-10-8-24 and possibly even scale well beyond the 2000+ mark.
With this kit being part of the new Ridgeback line, it utilizes Mushkin's new cooling solution that has a very well designed heatspreader with a finned array at the top to dispense excess heat. This design works flawlessly and, during the review, the memory never ran hot. With this new design though, does come an extra premium and at $189.99, this is not the cheapest kit of 2000MHz DDR3 available. Nevertheless, they do come with tighter timings than most and also have the Ridgeback heatspreader. Really, when you are buying this kit of memory, you are getting an extremely high quality product that even when limited by certain motherboards, still performs very well and would perform even better when paired with an Intel system (which we will test shortly) or possibly a 890FX motherboard with 2000MHz (O.C) support.
- Tight timings
- Ridgeback design
- Liftime warranty
- 2000MHz speeds will be very hard to obtain on some AM3 systems
*Note* Check back for our testing of these modules on Intel's socket 1156 platform.