DDR2 has finally taken over DDR1. With both Intel and AMD embracing the platform, the need for cpu-memory synchronicity has paved the way for faster DDR2 modules to emerge. Manufacturer’s of enthusiast and high performance memory modules are always on the race to produce the fastest DDR2.
The XP2-8500 dual pack consists of 2 x 1GB modules rated at 1066MHz with timings of 5-5-4-12. This kit promises to deliver outstanding performance to complement the latest crop of processors out there. It is designed to take advantage of the latest generation motherboards for asynchronous and synchronous memory settings. Note that this type of memory is also backward compatible to DDR2 systems using 800MHz like AMD’s current AM2 platform, thus, giving overclockers and enthusiasts with more room to work with when pushing their systems to the limit.
Mushkin’s XP2-8500 modules are built with sixteen 64×8 bit chips in a dual bank, double sided configuration. They are mounted on a green PCB using Micron D9GMH chips. These modules are designed for use on any DDR2 board using 400MHz, 533MHz, 667MHz, 800MHz and 1066MHz memory bus. SPD is programmed at 5-5-4-12 latency values at 1066MHz. Note that the lower the frequency, the tighter timings you can apply. For example, we found that we can run these modules as tight as 3-3-4-9 timings at 800MHz.
The memory is equipped with Mushkin’s FrostByte custom-designed black aluminum heatspreaders. Aesthetic wise, they do look very good. They are attached to the memory chips via thermal pads. Note that tampering with the heatspreaders will VOID your warranty.
ABIT Fatal1ty AN9 supplied by IWAY
AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+ AM2 Processor
Leadtek PX7600GT TDH 256MB DDR3 Dual DVI x 2 in SLI supplied by ifocus
Western Digital 74Gb Raptor 10000 rpm SATA
Western Digital 80Gb 7200rpm IDE
Corsair HX620W PSU supplied by Corsair
Windows XP Professional SP2
Nvidia Forceware 91.47
Direct X 9.0c
The Mushkin XP2-8500 2GB kit was tested at DDR800 using the timings below. The memory was set to run at 1:1 synchronous with the CPU at a default voltage of 2.2v in dual channel configuration. For comparison, we compared it to another PC2-8500 2GB kit, the Corsair Twin2X2048-8500C5. Both have a memory speed of 800Mhz and 4-4-4-12 (2T) latency.
From the above results, we can clearly see that both Mushkin and Corsair performed almost exactly the same. In the gaming tests, all results came back identical. We repeated the testing procedure a few times and it made no difference on the result.
For the overclocking test, we were able to push these modules up to a rock solid 561MHz (DDR2-1122) at CL 5-5-5-15 2T. Note that we used a vDIMM of 2.2v running in Dual Channel mode.
Mushkin has done very well with their DDR2-1066Mhz offering. Its performance is up to par with the other high performance modules we tested it with. It performed as advertised and ran flawlessly over its rated spec. We never had any stability issues at all during the entire testing. Mushkin has a solid reputation when it comes to producing stable DDR/DDR2 ram, and their XP2-8500 didn’t disappoint us.
Overclocked, these modules can run up to 1122Mhz at default voltages, making it a great choice for either the latest AMD or Intel system out there. With that extra MHz, you get decent headroom when overclocking your system.
Pricewise, a quick look at Newegg shows that the Mushkin XP2-8500 2GB Dual Pack is about US$30-40 cheaper than the next manufacturer. Very good savings considering you get premium ram that performs at the top level from a highly reputable manufacturer. So if you’re in the market for a fast DDR2 memory, these Mushkin DDR2 memory not only fits the bill but fits the pocket as well. Highly recommended.