Mushkin & Adata: 2 for the Fast-Timings Laneby Wesley Fink on September 1, 2003 11:18 PM EST
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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?