Mushkin Ridgeback 996991 PC3-16000 8GB Reviewccokeman -
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To find out just what kind of performance the Mushkin Ridgeback PC3 16000 8GB set of memory will deliver, I will be running it through a series of benchmarks to see how they compare. Both 4GB and 8GB kits that range in speed from 1600MHz to 2133MHz will be tested at their native speeds as well as overclocked as far as the test platform and CPU will allow. Overclocking on the Intel P67 series platform is very BCLK limited so most of your speed gains will come from adjusting the memory multiplier and working the timings down to a more respectable level if possible in an effort to improve performance. The test setup used for this evaluation is listed below. Turbo Boost has been disabled to eliminate an uncontrolled clock speed increase which could skew the results. The operating system is Windows 7 Pro 64bit with all current patches installed at the time of testing. The video drivers are the AMD Catalyst 11.2.
- Processors: Core i7 2600K @ 3.4GHz 100 x 34
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme
- Memory: Mushkin 996991 PC3 16000 9-11-9-28 8GB
- Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD5870
- Power Supply: Mushkin 1000W Joule Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray
- Case: Cooler Master HAF 932
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- Comparison Module #1: Mushkin Redline 996805 6-8-6-24 1600MHz 2 x 2GB
- Comparison Module #2: Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 9-9-9-24 2 x 4GB
- Comparison Module #3: G.Skill [ Ripjaws-X ] F3-17000CL9D-8GBXLD 9-11-9-28 2 x 4GB
- Comparison Module #4: Kingston Special Edition Grey KHX2133C9AD3X2K2/4GX 9-11-9-27 2 x 2GB
- Comparison Module #5: Patriot Division 2 PXD38G1866ELK 9-11-9-27 2 x 4GB
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.
Corsair Overclocked settings:
- Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K
- Memory:Mushkin Ridgeback PC3 16000 8GB 9-11-10-28 2250MHz
Overclocking memory involves a little bit of give and take with higher speeds usually coming at the cost of increased latency and/or voltage. This set of memory from Mushkin is rated for operation at 2000Mhz with timings of 9-11-9-28. Unfortunately for testing purposes on the P67 test platform, the memory multipliers and bclock tuning are limited. So, right out of the box I ran this Ridgeback set of memory at 133Mhz (2133MHz) higher than the rated specification with the same timings. To reach higher speeds than 2133MHz I had to use a combination of timings, voltage and blcock tuning to reach the final clock speed of 2252MHz or 252MHz over the rated frequency. For voltage, I had to push 1.69v through the modules to get 2252MHz stable. Tightening the CAS latency any more than 9 at this level resulted in the computer not posting. To reach a CAS latency of 8 with sane voltages. I had to drop to the 1866 multiplier and increase the bclock so that I could run just over 1900MHz at 8-9-8-27. CAS 7 took another reduction in frequency to to around 1684MHz at 7-8-7-24. Even when the CPU multiplier was increased to run the CPU at a higher speed to increase overall bandwidth, I did not see a significant increase in memory bandwidth from 3.4GHz to 4.7-4.8GHz in SiSoft Sandra 2011's memory bandwidth test. In the end, a 12.5% increase in clock speed offers up performance improvements but are tempered by the fact that the CPU is overclocked at the same time.
I ran a set of tests with the CPU and memory overclocked to see how Super Pi times would be impacted by the change in the CPU/memory multiplier relationship. Each multiplier was tested with a comparable processor and multiplier to get as close as I could in each test. Below are the results and show that the 4.7GHz CPU clock speed and 1120MHz memory speed offered the best Super Pi time.
The maximum memory speed for each set of modules when overclocked is a measure of how well the modules ran on this test system. As such, your results may differ in either a positive or negative way based on the capabilities of your hardware. That said, your mileage may vary!
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.54
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- Geekbench 2.1
- Super Pi 1.5
- SiSoft Sandra 2011
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