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Mushkin PC3700 Dual Pack Review

Date: 2005-2-15

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   All of a sudden, it seems, your socket 478 Pentium 4 or your Athlon XP just isn't that cool any more. With 939 and 775 having been available for some time now, a lot of systems- many of which a...

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Mushkin PC3700 Dual Pack Review

Overclocking

Finally, time for these modules to show us what they can do. Starting at FSB 200 (DDR 400) we starting increasing the FSB, this was done at the manufacturer recommended timings 2.5-4-3 because we figured any gains from the increased FSB would be greater than those of the decreased latencies, plus the bonus in stability would be worth it.

At stock voltage the memory ran up to FSB 233 but we could not squeeze any more out of it. At this point the computer was booting and was stable but if pushed any higher it would not pass Memtest86. We did some testing here and got improved scores from before. These included Sandra Memory scores of 4312/4325 and a Super Pi 2 million digit calculation in just 116 seconds!

The next step was to increase the voltage to 2.85V. This was the motherboard's maximum voltage so we kept our fingers crossed and waited. With the voltage to the max the Mushkin memory was able to reach FSB 252 but with limited stability once the OS had been loaded and it would not pass Memtest86. Once the memory was backed down to DDR 484 (FSB 242) it ran with full stability and even passed Memtest and Prime95. At this point we played around with the timings a bit, just to see if we could sqeak a few more megahertz from the memory, but it did not happen. It seems like the memory had reached its limit but maybe with a v-modded motherboard you could go a bit further- its hard to say.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for some new RAM its always a tough call. There are so many options, low latency, overclocking, sticks with light up with LEDs, and so on. Mushkin's memory has never been the flashiest out there but you can bank on it being solid performing and well made.

When I first heard of this memory I thought to myself that it was a little late in the game to be releasing DDR466 memory, after all, PC4000 and higher is readily available and many companies (including Mushkin) are selling low latency PC3200 that can reach DDR500! After some thought I figured this PC3700 kit would be for people looking to do a controlled amount of overclocking without having to break the bank. At about $220 this memory is pretty reasonable for high performance memory, though still expensive compared to value memory.

This kit featured average performance at stock (PC3200) levels, but that is not what it is meant for, in fact buying it just to be used at DDR400 would be quite a waste of money as Mushkin's EM series memory features a 2x512 kit for just $177.50. What you are paying for with the 3700 sticks is their ability to push your system further than value memory. Our system was able to reach DDR500+ speeds, though a bit under that with stability. This memory does not overclock quite as much as some of the other's on the market, including some of OCZ's higher end DDR466, but they are certainly not slackers. As usual Mushkin did a very nice job with these, though they do not offer the excitement or versatility of their last big release, their L2 V2 PC3200 modules.

W00t! (+)
- Solid, predicable performance
- Got up to DDR466 at stock voltage
- Really nice heatspreaders
- A reasonable price for Mushkin memory

What?! (-) 
- Not the best overclocking 3700s available
- There are a few cheaper 3700 options available (albeit with less reputable brands)

Want to learn more?? Discuss in our Forums!

** Mushkin and AMD currently have a great combo deal going on at NewEgg.com. If you buy an AMD processor you can get a bunch of money off your memory purchase. Rebates are up to $40!





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