Mushkin 1GB PC2-4200 DDR-2 Memory Review
Overclockers and enthusiasts as a group
are gaining more influence in the computer world. After all, the majority of computer products these days come to the
market integrated with overclocking/tweaking options. No need to modify components or hack a BIOS anymore!
It makes a
lot of sense for manufacturers to produce overclocker-friendly products like DDR-2 right away, since computer enthusiasts are the ones who are most likely to adopt the new technologies first, and recommend it to their non-techie friends and family later.
review, PCStats will be testing a set of new 512MB Mushkin PC2-4200
DDR-2 RAM modules, for a total of 1GB. These green single-sided DIMMs are wrapped in black aluminum heatspreaders, and fall into the PC4200 class. They are rated to run at 266 MHz with 4-4-4-12 memory timings, at 1.8V. The memory runs a bit conservatively
considering it's Mushkin, but then again it seems like most memory manufacturers are
being cautious right now.
||Mushkin PC2-4200 DDR2
have thought that this was a pretty obvious 'no-no,' but I've heard a few
stories about people who have tried to install a DDR-2 RAM module in first
generation DDR RAM slots - as they were not aware of the differences. Though physically the same
size, DDR2 DIMMs have more pins (240 vs 184 for DDR) and run on a
lower voltage. If you were somehow able to force a DDR-2 module into a DDR slot you can
pretty much kiss both the memory, and motherboard goodbye, so don't do
Now getting back to
the review, as we mentioned Mushkin is a bit conservative with their PC2-4200
DIMMs. They're rated to run at 266 MHz with 4-4-4-12 memory timings, but it
seems like memory timings are playing less of a role in overall system performance with Pentium
4 processors, so don't be upset if your DIMM's can only run with loose
Testing Methodology and
PCstats tests DDR-2 memory on
an Intel Pentium 4 platform, since DDR2 has not yet been introduced into the AMD world.
While we do test to see how high memory can go with
aggressive 3-3-3-9 memory timings and the 3/4 memory divider enabled, we also loosen things up
to see how fast the memory can go at higher timings.
is, Pentium 4 systems are not as reliant on latency timings as AMD systems, and having a
higher clock speed can counteract the negative effect of higher timings.
Mushkin and overclocking go together like Canada and hockey.
Yes, they're that close. Of course, with DDR-2 still in its infancy, I wasn't about to push the
memory very hard.
Starting at 200 MHz FSB, the first thing I tried was
running the memory at 3-3-3-10 memory timings. I was pleased to see that the memory
didn't have a single problem with this, although we couldn't overclock very high at these timings
of course. Still, it's nice to know that if you're at stock speed you can get this memory
to run aggressively.
Changing the memory timings back to 4-4-4-12, we
onward with the overclocking tests. Mushkins PC2-4200 easily passed the old 216 MHz mark the Socket
775 motherboard used to limit us to, and climbed to 223 MHz. At that speed a
voltage increase to 2V was necessary. Continuing to 228 MHz, we again ran into memory related
issues, and again a slightly higher voltage was the fix.
PC2-4200 DDR-2 memory finally topped out at 231 MHz. Which means at 231 MHz FSB
with the 2.66x multiplier enabled, the memory was operating at a 614 MHz
|PCStats Test System Specs:|
Intel Pentium 4 540
16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz
16 x 247 MHz = 3.95 GHz
Gigabyte GA-8ANXP-D (i925X)
2x 512MB Crucial Ballistix PC5300
2x 512MB PQI
2x 512MB Mushkin PC4200
||40GB Western Digital Special Ed|
||MSI X48 DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive|
||Vantec 400B iON|
WindowsXP Build 2600
Intel INF 6.00.1045
Business Winstone 2004