Mushkin 6GB (3x2GB) XP series DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz Kit

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup

For today's testing we will be using the Gigabyte EX-58 UD5, a mid-range Core i7 motherboard from Gigabyte that will allow us to push the memory on test to its absolute limit. Here's a breakdown of the rest of the components:
Intel Core i7 920 'Nehalem' @ 2.66Ghz

Gigabyte EX58-UD5

Mushkin 6GB (3x2GB) XP series DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz Kit 7-8-7-20
Patriot 6GB DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz Viper Series Low Latency Kit 8-8-8-24
Corsair CL8 1600MHz 8-8-8-24 3x2GB kit

Graphics Card
Nvidia 280GTX

GeForce 180.60

Gigabyte Odin 1200w

Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit SP1 + Updates
For testing the memory we used a number of synthetic benchmarks and games:
Synthetic Benchmarks
  • Lavalys Everest 4.10
  • SuperPI mod_1.5
  • Sisoft Sandra 2009
3D Benchmarks
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • Far Cry 2
For the run of benchmarks, we will be comparing the Mushkin 1600MHz 6GB Patriot kit to the1600MHz 6GB Patriot Viper and Corsair Dominator kit.

Starting from scratch we disabled on the settings that may affect the overclocked settings such as Intel Speed Step as well as disabling the C-State settings which may also affect some of the results in the benchmark testing phase of the review. Here's how the sticks look at stock speed:
stock cpu stock memory

Overclocking the ram was a relatively steady affair as the Mushkin seemed happy to exceed its stock values and would happily run lower latencies than specification @ 7-7-7-20 instead of the stock 7-8-7-20. I didn't manage to get the timings any lower than this and didn't try lowering the frequency as that would negate buying 1600MHz memory in the first place.

I had better success in raising the frequency despite my initial disappoint of the kit not pushing any higher with the stock latencies. Even dropping the latencies to 8-8-8-24 resulted in a very mild overclock topping out at 1712MHz. Dropping the Latency to CAS9 gave a small increase again to 1800MHz so we decided to go for broke and slackened the timings right back to 10-10-10-27 and this is where the memory seemed to come alive, breaking 2100MHz! Any higher and we encountered various forms of instability and not wanting to corrupt yet another Vista install I decided 2100MHz was plenty to show the Mushkins performance possibilities. No doubt with higher voltages, the timings could be tightened but with the risk of damaging the modules and the memory controller.
7-7-7- 2100 
Returning the settings back to stock I set about seeing how the Mushkin XP series triple kit performed against our recently reviewed 1600MHz kits by Corsair and Patriot. Let's see how it went...
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Most Recent Comments

10-03-2009, 07:02:28

Good review and very interesting kit... 500MHz overclock by loosening the timings quite a lot. It's pretty much been proven that generally more MHz is better than tighter timings so I'm sure at 2100MHz the kit would fly. Did ya get any benchmarks of the kit overclocked?

I think I'll seriously consider this kit when I decide to upgrade to i7 providing nothing better is available by then.

Also one lil thing in the first paragraph:

Hailing from the base of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado, USA, Muskin have long been known as producers of high performance memory for the worldwide enthusiast market. Including products such as memory upgrades for

Mushkin spelt wrong Quote

10-03-2009, 07:09:26

Not too bad a OC there! Fantastic review as aways. God I missed this site. Quote

10-03-2009, 12:10:10

Tox... Where you been hiding mate?Quote

10-03-2009, 14:31:20

lol, Under a huge pile of coursework/life. Quote

10-03-2009, 15:22:10

I did bench the kit but only for stability (SuperPI). I didn't display them as the CPU was not really overclocked too much. I didn't want to stress the memory controller as well as the memory as it would then be hard to distinguish exactly where the failings were so took the CPU out of the equation which inevitably has a skew on benchmark results and wouldn't be a fair representation of the benefits gained i.e a 14 second SuperPI run is not as impressive as a sub 10 second one. Alot of people just look at results and miss what is actually being tested .Quote

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