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Mushkin Ridgeback 998827 PC3 12800 3x2GB Review




Memory can often be an overlooked part of a computer, with many users buying the more cost effective memory instead of the most effective memory. For the average consumer, this usually works, but for the enthusiast market, being held back due to memory can be a major hindrance in achieving optimal system performance. This sadly is the case with many promising sets of memory on the market today. So far, I have been impressed with the build quality and design of The Mushkin Ridgeback kit of memory, but now we get to put them through some stress testing and see how well they hold up against the competition. I will be using a series of benchmarking programs to test the performance of the memory both at stock and overclocked speeds.

Testing Setup:

  • CPU: Intel Core I7 920
  • Motherboard: MSI X58 Platinum
  • Memory: Memory: Mushkin Ridgeback PC3 12800 3x2GB
  • Video Card(s): Nvidia GTX 260-216
  • Power Supply: Zalman 750 Watt modular power supply
  • Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 7200.11 750GB SATA w/ 32MB Cache
  • Opticals:Liteon DVD-R
  • O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1

Comparison Modules:


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.



Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core I7 920 170x20
  • Memory: Mushkin Ridgeback 9-10-9-29 1024MHz 1.68 volts

When it came to overclocking the Mushkin Ridgeback set of memory, I was astounded in the end result, I mean not every set of memory can reach an extra 449MHz, which is an increase of 28%. This end result was accomplished with by loosening the standard and sub-timings a bit, but I was able to keep the CAS at 8 the whole time. While overclocking, the memory climbed extremely well all the way up to around DDR3 1875, which I was able to run with timings of 8-9-8-25 and the voltage at the default 1.65, completely stable. After that point though the kit started getting a little touchy, needing quite a bit of fine tuning to reach the maximum of DDR3 2049, with the voltage bumped up to 1.68. This is an additional 449MHz on the memory which should yield extra performance, increasing the frame rate in games and making all programs run smoother. Also, if you prefer to run your memory in 1T and not the 2T shown, there is good news for you, as I was able to reach around 1980MHz with a CAS latency of 8, using the 1T command rate.


The benchmarks used in this review include the following:


  • CPU-Z Version 1.53
  • Windows Task Manager
  • PCMark Vantage
  • SiSoft Sandra 2010
  • Left For Dead

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing: Setup, CPU-Z, Task Manager, Overclocking
  4. Testing: PCMark Vantage, SiSoft Sandra 2009
  5. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  6. Conclusion
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