Some of the Memory received for our recent “Searching for the Memory Holy Grail — Part 2” article could not be fairly reviewed in that roundup. Since the base requirement was that memory perform at DDR500 or faster, fast memory that did not meet that requirement was eliminated from the review.

Mushkin has taken a different approach to the fast question with their Level II PC3500 2-2-2 Memory modules. Mushkin has aimed for the absolute fastest timings possible with memory more likely to be used with the 2.8 to 3.2GHz P4 processors, or AMD Bartons that will not likely see Front Side Bus Speeds greater than about DDR433. Another unique approach is Adata DDR450, a very unusual DDR rating to be sure. While Adata 450 could not quite reach our DDR500 cutoff in testing, it did turn in some of the most aggressive timings at DDR400 that we have seen, Because of these different approaches to performance, we decided to take a closer look at both the Mushkin and Adata memory.

Intel legitimized DDR400 with the 875/865 chipsets, and that is now an official JEDEC standard. In fact, the fastest memory that the Intel 875/865 and AMD Athlon/Barton are designed to run is DDR400. Anything faster than DDR400 is overclocking the memory or the system in one form or another. So, with the Mushkin and Adata, we will try to determine which memory is the best performing memory at DDR400. For those of you who do not overclock, this installment of our memory series was written for you. For those who have, or plan to get, one of the higher speed P4 CPUs or an AMD Barton, this will also be good information to help you buy the best performing memory for your system. We will also go back and pick up DDR400 performance from the 7 memories tested in Part 2 of the “Search for the Memory Holy Grail”.

So we are asking the question again — what is fast memory? We’ve seen that raw FSB speed definitely has a tremendous impact on memory performance in games and applications. But the other side of that coin is that memory timings can also greatly affect performance. So which is better: DDR500 running 3-4-4-8 or DDR400 running at 2-2-2-4?

Test Design
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  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 08, 2003 - link

    Wes, thanks for the great review!! It answered all of my questions and now I can make my purchase of the Mushkin 3500 Level II with confidence.

    Cheers,
    Wiley
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 07, 2003 - link

    Hrmm sorry for interrupting but i am running 2 pieces of pc3200 2-2-2 before i swtich to 3500 level 2.

    those are good rams.
    there is nothing like it in the market.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 07, 2003 - link

    Hey Wes, what do you think of the Mushkin PC3200 Level 2 Black? I'm seriously contemplating buying 2x512mb of that stuff. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    Wow! I clicked Post Comment only once folks! Honest! Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    Great article! I don't OC much at all and I love the Mushkin PC3500 Lvl II Black. As you can see from the system information below I run 4x512mb modules of it and love it!

    My benchmark numbers are:
    6136 3Dmark03s
    3129 Sandra Unbuffered Int
    3184 Sandra Unbuffered Float
    5002 Sandra Buffered Int
    5006 Sandra Buffered Float

    System:
    P4 3Ghz/800Mhz FSB (OC'd to 3.12Ghz/832Mhz), Gigabyte 8KNXP Motherboard w/DPS2 REMOVED (F6 Bios), 4x512mb Mushkin PC3500 Level II Black RAM (2-2-2-5@DDR416), ATI 9800 Pro 256mb (OC'd to 414/356), SB Audigy 2 Platinum, 2x WD Raptor 10kRPM SATA150 Game Drives in RAID0 off of ICH5R, IBM Deskstar GXP180 System Drive, 2x Samsung DVD/CDRW, Mitsumi Floppy, Lian-Li PC65 Window Case w/Alien Head & Blue Cold Cathode Light, Enermax 550W v1.2 PSU, Thermalright SLK-900U HSF w/AS3 and Antec 92mm Fan, 4x Sunon 39cfm 80mm Fans (2 Front Intake, 1 Rear & 1 TopExhaust), 1 PCI Slot Exhaust Fan, Vantec Fan Controller, Sony F520 21" CRT & Samsung 191T LCD Monitors, WinXP Pro SP1 w/No Paging File, DirectX 9.0b, ATI Catalyst 3.7 & Stock SB2 Drivers
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    Great article! I don't OC much at all and I love the Mushkin PC3500 Lvl II Black. As you can see from the system information below I run 4x512mb modules of it and love it!

    My benchmark numbers are:
    6136 3Dmark03s
    3129 Sandra Unbuffered Int
    3184 Sandra Unbuffered Float
    5002 Sandra Buffered Int
    5006 Sandra Buffered Float

    System:
    P4 3Ghz/800Mhz FSB (OC'd to 3.12Ghz/832Mhz), Gigabyte 8KNXP Motherboard w/DPS2 REMOVED (F6 Bios), 4x512mb Mushkin PC3500 Level II Black RAM (2-2-2-5@DDR416), ATI 9800 Pro 256mb (OC'd to 414/356), SB Audigy 2 Platinum, 2x WD Raptor 10kRPM SATA150 Game Drives in RAID0 off of ICH5R, IBM Deskstar GXP180 System Drive, 2x Samsung DVD/CDRW, Mitsumi Floppy, Lian-Li PC65 Window Case w/Alien Head & Blue Cold Cathode Light, Enermax 550W v1.2 PSU, Thermalright SLK-900U HSF w/AS3 and Antec 92mm Fan, 4x Sunon 39cfm 80mm Fans (2 Front Intake, 1 Rear & 1 TopExhaust), 1 PCI Slot Exhaust Fan, Vantec Fan Controller, Sony F520 21" CRT & Samsung 191T LCD Monitors, WinXP Pro SP1 w/No Paging File, DirectX 9.0b, ATI Catalyst 3.7 & Stock SB2 Drivers
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    Great article! I don't OC much at all and I love the Mushkin PC3500 Lvl II Black. As you can see from the system information below I run 4x512mb modules of it and love it!

    My benchmark numbers are:
    6136 3Dmark03s
    3129 Sandra Unbuffered Int
    3184 Sandra Unbuffered Float
    5002 Sandra Buffered Int
    5006 Sandra Buffered Float

    System:
    P4 3Ghz/800Mhz FSB (OC'd to 3.12Ghz/832Mhz), Gigabyte 8KNXP Motherboard w/DPS2 REMOVED (F6 Bios), 4x512mb Mushkin PC3500 Level II Black RAM (2-2-2-5@DDR416), ATI 9800 Pro 256mb (OC'd to 414/356), SB Audigy 2 Platinum, 2x WD Raptor 10kRPM SATA150 Game Drives in RAID0 off of ICH5R, IBM Deskstar GXP180 System Drive, 2x Samsung DVD/CDRW, Mitsumi Floppy, Lian-Li PC65 Window Case w/Alien Head & Blue Cold Cathode Light, Enermax 550W v1.2 PSU, Thermalright SLK-900U HSF w/AS3 and Antec 92mm Fan, 4x Sunon 39cfm 80mm Fans (2 Front Intake, 1 Rear & 1 TopExhaust), 1 PCI Slot Exhaust Fan, Vantec Fan Controller, Sony F520 21" CRT & Samsung 191T LCD Monitors, WinXP Pro SP1 w/No Paging File, DirectX 9.0b, ATI Catalyst 3.7 & Stock SB2 Drivers
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    Great article! I don't OC much at all and I love the Mushkin PC3500 Lvl II Black. As you can see from the system information below I run 4x512mb modules of it and love it!

    My benchmark numbers are:
    6136 3Dmark03s
    3129 Sandra Unbuffered Int
    3184 Sandra Unbuffered Float
    5002 Sandra Buffered Int
    5006 Sandra Buffered Float

    System:
    P4 3Ghz/800Mhz FSB (OC'd to 3.12Ghz/832Mhz), Gigabyte 8KNXP Motherboard w/DPS2 REMOVED (F6 Bios), 4x512mb Mushkin PC3500 Level II Black RAM (2-2-2-5@DDR416), ATI 9800 Pro 256mb (OC'd to 414/356), SB Audigy 2 Platinum, 2x WD Raptor 10kRPM SATA150 Game Drives in RAID0 off of ICH5R, IBM Deskstar GXP180 System Drive, 2x Samsung DVD/CDRW, Mitsumi Floppy, Lian-Li PC65 Window Case w/Alien Head & Blue Cold Cathode Light, Enermax 550W v1.2 PSU, Thermalright SLK-900U HSF w/AS3 and Antec 92mm Fan, 4x Sunon 39cfm 80mm Fans (2 Front Intake, 1 Rear & 1 TopExhaust), 1 PCI Slot Exhaust Fan, Vantec Fan Controller, Sony F520 21" CRT & Samsung 191T LCD Monitors, WinXP Pro SP1 w/No Paging File, DirectX 9.0b, ATI Catalyst 3.7 & Stock SB2 Drivers
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 06, 2003 - link

    Great article! I don't OC much at all and I love the Mushkin PC3500 Lvl II Black. As you can see from the system information below I run 4x512mb modules of it and love it!

    My benchmark numbers are:
    6136 3Dmark03s
    3129 Sandra Unbuffered Int
    3184 Sandra Unbuffered Float
    5002 Sandra Buffered Int
    5006 Sandra Buffered Float

    System:
    P4 3Ghz/800Mhz FSB (OC'd to 3.12Ghz/832Mhz), Gigabyte 8KNXP Motherboard w/DPS2 REMOVED (F6 Bios), 4x512mb Mushkin PC3500 Level II Black RAM (2-2-2-5@DDR416), ATI 9800 Pro 256mb (OC'd to 414/356), SB Audigy 2 Platinum, 2x WD Raptor 10kRPM SATA150 Game Drives in RAID0 off of ICH5R, IBM Deskstar GXP180 System Drive, 2x Samsung DVD/CDRW, Mitsumi Floppy, Lian-Li PC65 Window Case w/Alien Head & Blue Cold Cathode Light, Enermax 550W v1.2 PSU, Thermalright SLK-900U HSF w/AS3 and Antec 92mm Fan, 4x Sunon 39cfm 80mm Fans (2 Front Intake, 1 Rear & 1 TopExhaust), 1 PCI Slot Exhaust Fan, Vantec Fan Controller, Sony F520 21" CRT & Samsung 191T LCD Monitors, WinXP Pro SP1 w/No Paging File, DirectX 9.0b, ATI Catalyst 3.7 & Stock SB2 Drivers
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - link

    Cool, Thanks. I take back what I took back , and give it up to you ! :D

    Retrospooty
    Reply

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