Mushkin PC12800 6GB Ridgeback Review
The Little Secret
So what makes these Mushkin Redline Ridgebacks so special? Their size. Or rather, their smallness.
Here they are compared to the Corsair Dominator GT, and as you can see they are considerably smaller in height.
The benefit this has cannot be overstated. "Why?" I hear you ask. Because they fit underneath our heatsink of choice, the Noctua NH-D14. The sheer size of this means that your choice is normally limited between lower-end RAM, or a lower performing heatsink. Not so with the Mushkin.
With the Ridgeback being 1600MHz CAS6, we were hopeful that with some loosening of the timings we could get towards 2000MHz. A lot has to be tweaked to get such an incredibly low latency, so normally you lose out in the high MHz end of the spectrum to obtain the tight timings.
However, thanks to some slackening of the timings and some very overclock happy RAM, we easily hit the 2000MHz marker that makes overclocking the rest of the system so easy. 200x20 is the most comfortable overclock for everything and allows either 10x or 9x multiplier for the RAM, dependant upon your preference for timings or pure speed.
But if you consider that 2000MHz at CAS8 is about the speed of much pricier RAM than this, you can see that already this Mushkin kit is shaping up to be quite the bargain. On paper at least.
The only thing to note is that on our test Rampage III Extreme, the board doesn't read the Read to Precharge Time (tRTP) properly and so you have to manually set it to 8 to obtain the necessary stability to hit 2GHz.
We couldn't leave it quite there and managed to obtain, with some further slackening of the timings to 9, 2100MHz. Not amazingly stable, but if you're willing to overvolt your memory then it could easily do it. We always stick within recommended limits though, and so 2000MHz will be the speed used for our testing.