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Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Review


Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Testing:

Memory is often hard to separate from one kit to another in gaming, but when it comes to number crunching and computing, some memory provides an extra boost in comparison. To see just what kind of performance this kit has to offer, I will be running the modules through a series of benches to see just how they compare. There will be 8GB and 16GB kits ranging in speed from 2133MHz to 2400MHz, tested at native speeds as well as overclocked. Overclocking of course will be dependent on exactly how far the testing rig will allow, but I'll push it as far as I can. The testing setup used for these benchmarks is listed below, where Turbo Boost has been disabled to eliminate uncontrolled clock changes that may skew the results. The CPU will be run with default Boost clock speed of 3.9GHz for baseline testing and bumped up to 4.2GHz for OC testing (or as close as possible to that speed). All current updates and patches are installed for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and the latest driver for the NVIDIA GTX 770 will be used.


Testing Setup:


Comparison Modules:


CPU-Z: This application visually shows 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.

Task Manager



Overclocking on Intel Haswell processors is quite a bit different from what we are used to in the last few generations, where the CPU clock speeds did not influence the clock speed the memory controller could handle. Entry to Haswell memory overclocking 101 shows that while the CPU may handle a nice overclock of 4.7GHz to 5.0GHz, the memory may not scale up past 1866MHz or 2133MHz at those CPU clock speeds, even though the memory modules are rated much higher. What I found on both of my CPUs was that anything greater than around 4250MHz on the CPU would not run the memory at 2600MHz or higher. That being said, keeping the CPU as close to 4200MHz was imperative for pushing the limits on the memory I am testing.

Overclocking this set of memory from Mushkin was akin to finding and pulling chicken's teeth; something I am not used to seeing with either the Blackline or Redline kits. No matter the route I chose, the modules just would not boot outside the 2400MHz rating with up to 1.75v and even 1.8v, with the timings loosened up as far as realistically possible. As a last ditch effort, I was able to boost the bclock up from within Windows by using ASUS lightweight TurboV application to at least see some kind of increase in clock speed on these modules. I was able to increase the bclock to get a boost up to 2448MHz from the default 2400MHz. A small gain, but a gain nonetheless. Not what I would normally expect from these modules, but it will have to do with the time I have invested. As far as how well the Ridgeback heat sink performs, it does a great job of shedding the thermal load imparted by the memory ICs.



Maximum Memory Speed:

The maximum memory speed for each set of overclocked modules is indicative 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. In other words, your mileage may vary!


The benchmarks used in this review include the following:


  • PCMark 8
  • Geekbench 2.1
  • Hyper  Pi 0.99
  • SiSoft Sandra 2013
  • X.264 
  • AIDA64
  • Metro: Last Light

  1. Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Specifications & Features
  3. Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Testing: PCMark 8, Geekbench, Hyper Pi
  5. Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Testing: Sandra 2013, X.264, AIDA64
  6. Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Testing: Metro: Last Light
  7. Mushkin Blackline 997123R 16GB Conclusion
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