Mushkin 2GB Redline XP4000

Mushkin is a very well-known brand of Enthusiast memory. Most computer hobbyists know Mushkin for their web-based direct memory sales, based in Denver, CO. Direct sales have always been a large part of Mushkin's business, but today, you can buy Mushkin memory at Newegg and other web e-tailers as well.

Several months ago, Mushkin introduced their new Redline heatspreader. With large slots in the top of the heatspreader, it was designed to better dissipate heat than the older closed heatspreaders, which often caused higher temperatures than no heatspreader at all.

There's no mistaking that this is REDline memory; the fire engine red heatspreaders announce this loudly. Under the heatspreaders, you will find Infineon memory chips again, just like almost all the other memories in this roundup. Rated at DDR500, the memory chips used in the Mushkin Redline 2GB kit are Infineon C die, which has a wider overclocking range than B die.

Specifications

Mushkin rates their DDR500 2GB Redline kit at 3-3-2 timings at DDR500. Those are exactly the timings that we would expect with Infineon C die memory.

Mushkin 2GB Redline XP4000 Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size
Total Memory
1GB
2GB
Rated Timings 3-3-2-8 at DDR500
Rated Voltage Standard (2.6V) Voltage
SPD 3-3-2-8

Voltage is rated at standard 2.6V, so you will not need a board with super high vCore to get the most from these memory chips.

Test Results

Mushkin 2GB Redline XP4000 (DDR500) - 2x1GB Double-Bank
CPU Ratio at 2.4GHz Memory
Speed
Memory Timings
& Voltage
Quake3
fps
Sandra UNBuffered Sandra Standard
Buffered
Super PI 2M places
(time in sec)
Wolfenstein - Radar - Enemy Territory fps
12x200 400DDR 2-3-2-7
2.5V
538.5 INT 2516
FLT 2658
INT 6027
FLT 6027
82 117.5
11x218 436DDR 2-3-2-7
2.7V
545.0 INT 2687
FLT 2831
INT 6448
FLT 6375
81 118.5
10x240 480DDR 2.5-3-2-7
2.6V
549.0 INT 2852
FLT 3017
INT 6721
FLT 6651
80 119.6
9x267 533DDR 3-3-2-7
2.7V
557.3 INT 3090
FLT 3165
INT 7005
FLT 6923
80 120.8
9x293
(2.64GHz)
Highest Mem Speed
DDR 586
3-3-2-7
2.8V
593.0 INT 3299
FLT 3536
INT 7658
FLT 7548
73 129.6
To be considered stable for test purposes, Quake3 benchmark, UT2003 Demo, Super PI, Aquamark 3, and Comanche 4 had to complete without incident. Any of these, and in particular Super PI, will crash a less-than stable memory configuration.

The performance of the Mushkin Redline was typically Infineon C, except it was always at the better end of expected C die performance. Mushkin managed DDR436 at CAS2, where some other Infineon chip memory requires CAS2.5. Even at the very top, the Redline ran with complete stability at 3-3-2 timings and never required more than 2.8V for best performance.

The highest overclock with Mushkin Redline was an outstanding DDR586 - the highest overclock of any Infineon based 2GB kit in this review. In fact, only the impossible to buy Crucial Ballistix could reach further. All-in-all, Mushkin Redline was a top performer, achieving the kind of performance and overclocking that will likely satisfy even the most jaded new user of 1 GB DIMMs. Mushkin, like OCZ in Part 1 of the 2GB kit roundup, makes the most of the memory chips used in their memory kits. Effective binning and good quality assurance pay off in a consistent, high-performing 2GB memory kit.

Kingston KHX3200AK2/2G Team XTreem TXDR 1024M400HC2
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  • JarredWalton - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    I don't anticipate DDR1 prices changing much, and once AM2 comes out I expect prices to start climbing as DDR1 productions halts. DDR1 prices seem to have hit bottom about 6 months ago, and they're already starting to rise - at least on the budget parts. Reply
  • Thor86 - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    Did I miss this in the review? If not, it would help if you told us what memory settings used in the DFI bios for these sticks reviewed. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - link

    I used the 7/06 BIOS, which is basically the Bigtoe BIOS. I have found this BIOS to be remarkably compatible with a wide range of memory. All memory settings were left at default except the 4 reported memory timings (CAS to TRAS) and memory voltage in testing all the memory. We did not do any special tweaking, which is another reason we reran tests with the 3 2GB kits tested earlier. You can definitely achieve better bandwidth and higher scores than we did by tweaking memory in the DFI BIOS. Reply
  • keldog7 - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    I was surprised to find your review stating the Corsair 3500LL could only reach 492 MHz...especially when out of the box, I clocked mine to 500 MHz. This required no special tweaking of the other timings, other than what's listed below. Any careful research on this memory, using the many online reviews of it, show that the RAM runs fine (at slightly relaxed timings), well into 500Mhz territory, and beyond.
    In my case, I've got it on an A8N32SLI, at 2.7V, running 2.5-3-2-7 1T with a 1:1 divider at 250Mhz. In my case, this has been verfied to be Memtest86+ stable for at least 12 hours (last run was 90 hours...then I had to stop it to actually get some work done!)
    I wonder if the motherboard used in your review has biased your overclocking results?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    According to my review notes, the Corsair 3500LL Pro cloked to almost 260 (DDR520) on Super Pi and Sandra memory tests, but the highest we could do with stability on 3D tests was 246 (DDR492). There is always varaition in memory results.

    Since you criticize my results as being too low for your memory and another reader criticized my results as being too high for his memory, it is likely my results are typical of the range of results readers might achieve. Some will do better than my results and some will do worse. Overclocking results do vary among memory samples.
    Reply
  • wildstaroct - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    Unless Anandtech got really good batches of Infineon ICs, I don't buy the analysis. There have been numerous reports of 3D instability issues...I've experienced them myself with the Redlines. They are primex2 and memtest stable at fairly high speeds (270) but only 3D stable near spec (250ish). Reply
  • entrecote - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    Neither do i buy it.

    I invested in a pair of the mentioned 2GB Mushkin Redline PC4000 memory. I´ve stubbornly been trying to tweak them on my DFI Lanparty + X2 Toledo processor for two months. This Redline kit of mine refuses to surpass 252MHz / DDR504. One module does 256MHz / DDR512, the other one does 252MHz / DDR504 regardless of timings. Trust me, I´ve tried all combinations of different drive strenghts, Trefs and so on. My case is not isolated, I have the same symptoms as the perhaps majority of 2x1GB Redline owners, "3D instability".

    My thoughts on the matter is that Mushkin was aware of this bad batch of theirs, possibly due to quality fluctuations of infineon modules. Then they quickly began to separate a few review samples for marketing puposes. I went through the same dissapointment one year ago when buying PC3200 Ballistixs after quickly reading through among other reviews anadtechs infamous "Ballistix cherry pick" DDR roundup.

    I put great trust in anandtech, please do me a favor in the future to only review retail samples of memory. Some of these mentioned brands purposefully send special samples to rewievers.





    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    We reported what we found, and 3D tests are part of our benchmarking. The OCZ for example was Super Pi and memtest stable to 290, but 3D dropped the stability to 275 (DDR550) which we reported. The Redline went well over 300 on memtest and Super Pi, but 293 (DDR586) was our highest 3D stable.

    What memory controller revision are you using with the Infineons? Our tests are with a Rev. E, and we have seen lower performance on the older clawhammer memory controllers with the 1GB dimms.
    Reply
  • wildstaroct - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    I have a rev E6 Opteron 170. Perhaps I just got an unlucky set of sticks, but the forums are loaded w/ people with similar issues, particularly around 3D. Reply
  • Duonger - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    the mushkin parts have been back in stock for over a week now and is available (if not sold out already) on Newegg and on Mushkin`s Site.

    Wes- the ocz parts u compared. those are 2x512mb kits. why did u include it on this 2gig round up?
    Reply

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