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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  • PrinceGaz - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    "... 2GB also makes sense for the OS future. With Vista coming and 2GB, the new memory recommendation for the new OS, you will be set for Vista."

    I was under the impression that the minimum is expected to be 512MB, and that 1GB will be recommended for good responsiveness under normal use. Having said that, I would personally choose 2GB for any new system as pairs of 1GB DDR (and of course DDR2) modules are now readily available and competitively priced. Unfortunately most big-name OEM systems are still shipping with either 512MB, or if you're lucky 1GB.
    Reply
  • bigtoe36 - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    Being honest we have had some supply issues, and some issues regarding supply that are out of our control. We do have stock and will have more real soon.

    ocztony
    Reply
  • bigtoe36 - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    This was to counter any moans about availability before they were posted. Reply
  • emilyek - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    You guys tested the worst GSKILL kit.

    Their pc4000 2 gig kit (speed-binned version of that kit) is the same price as the 2-3-2-5 chip ($200) and will do DDR580

    Their $250 kit 2-3-2-5 would contend with the Mushkin and the Crucial at a much lower cost.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    The Silver Editors Choice Corsair 4000PT, and the OCZ PC4000 Gold and PC4000GX XTC, also based on UCCC chips, are all in the $205 to $230 price range for the 2GB kit from e-tailers. So $250 for a UCCC kit seems in line but hardly a bargain.

    As for testing the worst G. Skill, we asked all the memory manufacturers to supply their "best" 2GB kit for our roundup. The manufacturers decided what to supply, and we expect Enthusiast memory makers to know what is best in their line.
    Reply
  • irev210 - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    The crucial memory is amazing memory.


    I was able to get it stable at 3-3-3-8 @ 300mhz, but you really need to spend some time on the settings, it is VERY picky memory. Both tras and drive strength play huge factory in memory stability.

    Yes, it is suspected that due to really high RMA they discontinued, however what anandtech doesnt report is what actually happens to the memory.

    Even at 2.8vcore or less PLUS active cooling, 1 2 or 3 months down the line your memory will just start dying.

    Thinks like memtest86 will check out fine, but then while gaming, your rig will just lock up. Random bluescreens, random lockups...


    There is a big story to these ballistix, it is too bad they simply have a HUGE rate of failure. Do a ddr2 roundup, then you will see how many people use micron fatbodies for their high performance ddr2 memory. You dont see that with the high density memory, and obviously i suspect due to stability issues.

    My advice for memory is the g.skill F1-4000USU2-2GBHZ based on samsung ram, it has been doing well, and g.skill has awesome customer service.



    I personally am going to wait for ddr2 before going with 1gb sticks, then ballistix 2gb set is on my list. But that is just me.
    Reply
  • Bull Dog - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    I'm another Ballistix memory user here. I ran mine at 2.75v the whole time and they just died after a while. Screw you Crucial/Micron. I will NEVER buy your products AGAIN. (I don't care if they have zero problems eitehr. Reply
  • gooser - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    Now what about the tracers?? I just purchased the 2 GB tracers last week knowing about the issues with the regular ballistix after a couple of months. I have read that the tracers use a higher quality power modulator, thus dont have the same problem. Anyone? Reply
  • lopri - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    Lots of work and outstanding comments. Thanks. This review, along with the Part I, is significant in that it puts an end to the 1GB system memory standard. It's declaring that an *era* of 2GB system memory is finally here.

    However, with these super high-clocking 1G sticks (512MB sticks also for that matter), there is one *realer* question that's haunting my mind. With the current crop of DDR memory reaching speed of DDR550~DDR600, one has to wonder - What's the good if CPUs can't handle the speed of memory?

    Yes, I'm questioning the capability of A64/Opteron's memory controller. Because even the best current AMD CPUs often fail to keep up with the speed of memory. You've got a PC4800 DDR memory? Good luck, pray your CPU can run it at that speed. This issue is, at least for me, very real. I just don't see the point of high-clocking memory when the truth is CPUs' memory controllers are the limit. (And to some extent motherboards, of course)

    In the light of this, would it be possible for you to test the quality of each revision of AMD CPUs' memory controllers? Preferably with recent cores - namely, Venice, San Diego, Toledo, Manchester and their Opteron equivalents. The more detailed, the better. Rev E3, E6, E4, and even the steppings.

    While reading this excellent review, I couldn't shake the issue of memory controller off my head. These days a stick of RAM seems only as good as the CPU's memory controller it relies on. Unless one is just happy to see her/his RAM passing memtest @DDR600 all day long.

    Again, thanks for your hard work on this review, Wesley. However, I'd really like to hear from you about the issue that I'm bringing here. I'd much appreciate it.

    lop
    Reply
  • dlerious - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    If my CPU can't keep up with my RAM, I just drop the multiplier (and/or divider) down until I find the point where both run as high as possible at the voltage and temps I'm comfortable with.

    Reply

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