Mushkin 996523 XP2-6400 DDR2
Mushkin Company has also decided to participate in our extensive DDR2-800 testing this time and offered us their 996523 memory kit. Mushkin is a very well-known manufacturer of overclocking-friendly memory solutions with a long history and we will do our best to get more products from them reviewed on our site in the future. This company was founded in 1994. It is a daughter venture of the Ramtron International Corporation, which name is appearing on the New more and more often in relation to ferroelectric memory (FRAM).
Mushkin 996523 XP2-6400 DDR2 kit includes two DDR2 SDRAM DIMMs of 1GB each. This memory is designed to work at 800MHz with 4-4-3-10 timing settings and Vdimm between 1.9V and 2.1V. Here I would like to point out right away that, these memory modules have the most aggressive timings settings in the official specs than any other testing participants of our today’s roundup. And it seems to be not the common trick most manufacturers use these days, namely the increase in the memory voltage.
One of the greatest distinguishing features of Mushkin 996523 XP2-6400 DDR2 memory modules is their brand-name heat-spreader design known as FrostByte. Although I have to say that at a closer look it is none other but two stamped aluminum plates fastened to the chips with metal clips. Their only unique peculiarity is slightly unusual configuration that can hardly ensure much more efficient heat dissipation procedure than any of the competitors’ heat-spreaders.
There is a color manufacturer logo and a sticker with some DIMM specs on the black heat-spreader surface. The sticker contains the part numbers of the modules, their default frequencies and timing settings.
So, the differences between the nominal specifications of Mushkin 996523 XP2-6400 DDR2 modules and their competitors should probably be explained by the special chip selection at production stage. By the way, these memory modules are built using excellent Micron chips, the same as the ones used in the best Corsair and Crucial products.
The SPD of Mushkin 996523 XP2-6400 DDR2 memory DIMMs is quite standard for overclocking-friendly products:
It stores information about the memory work modes at 667MHz and 800MHz frequencies that are required for proper compatibility.
Mushkin 996523 XP2-6400 DDR2 proved very efficient during our test session. They remained fully stable all the way through and ran at just a tiny bit below 1GHz speed. They looked great even against the background of their rivals built with the same Micron chips, not to mention the solutions using slower Elpida chips. The chart below demonstrates the actual results obtained at 2.1V Vdimm.
With the timings set at 4-4-4-12, Mushkin 996523 XP2-6400 DDR2 worked stable at almost 1GHz frequency. However, when we reset the timings to 5-5-5-15, Mushkin memory went well beyond 1.1GHz speed. As a result, we can place this 2GB memory kit among the best DDR2-800 SDRAM kits out there these days.