Mushkin XP2 PC2-5300 DDR2: Test Setup

AnandTech utilized the stable ASUS P5WD2-Premium motherboard, in conjunction with an Intel Pentium 955 Extreme Edition CPU - a 1066MHz FSB dual core solution containing 2MB of L2 cache onboard. You can read the full Asus P5WD2-E Premium review here.

Asus advertises this particular motherboard in their February 2006 product information spreadsheet, claiming it as their flagship 955 dual core motherboard with native DDR2 800 support. The chart below shows the variety of memory options at different front side bus speeds available with this particular mainboard. The asterisks indicate settings provided for overclocking purposes only.

Here is a basic formula for working out your 1:1, 3:4, 2:3, 3:5 and 1:2 memory ratios, such as those offered on the Asus P5WD2-E Premium motherboard.
Ratio=FSB/Ratio numerator (x) Ratio denominator (x) 2= DRAM Frequency
This works best when the last digit in the FSB (CPU Frequency) is an even number.

Example of 1:1 Ratio 250 FSB (CPU Frequency):
1:1=250/1 = 250x1 = 250x2 = 500 Mem Frequency

Example of 2:3 Ratio 250 FSB (CPU Frequency):
2:3=250/2 = 125x3 = 375x2 = 750 Mem Frequency

Example of 3:4 Ratio at 250 FSB (CPU Frequency):
3:4=250/3 = 83x4 = 332x2 = 664 Mem Frequency

There is a 1:2 Ratio available from 200 to 220 FSB. Above 221 FSB, the fifth option in the BIOS becomes a 2:3 ratio.

 FSB  Memory Configuration Options/ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard
   Auto  DDR2-400  DDR2-533  DDR2-667  DDR2-711*  DDR2-800*  DDR2-889*  DDR2-1067*
FSB 1066 X X X X X X X X
FSB 800 X X X X X
FSB 533 X X X

Our test bench features the following components:

Processor: Intel 955 Extreme Edition at 13X Ratio
(3.46 GHZ dual core 65nm CPU)
RAM: Mushkin XP2 DDR2 PC2-5300 (2 x 1024 MB)
Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400
Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300
OCZ Platinum EB PC2-4200
Hard Drives: Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 160 GB ATA/133 - 8 MB Cache
Seagate 7200.9 ST3500641AS SATA NCQ - 16 MB Cache
Video Card: EVGA 7800 GTX KO 256MB
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare Release 80/Version: 84.21
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Turbo-Cool 850-SSI
Operating System(s): Windows XP Professional SP2
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Motherboard: ASUS P5WD2-Premium
BIOS: AMI version 0304 February 22, 2006

It is important to point out that all three of the memories compared to the Mushkin PC2-5300 are based on the now discontinued Micron fat-body D chips. The OCZ is based on early Micron DDR2 chips, while both Crucial Ballistix memories are based on later fat-body D versions.

Micron has also recently released a new DDR2 memory chip. It appeared the new Micron chips were used in our recently reviewed Crucial Ballistix memory. However, we have since learned that the Ballistix modules were also based on older fat-body D chips, which are discontinued or EOL at all memory vendors. We will be testing a new OCZ memory in the next week, which is the first production memory to feature the new Micron memory chips.

A Closer Look Mushkin XP2 PC2-5300 DDR2: Stock Memory Performance
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  • rallyhard - Friday, June 23, 2006 - link

    Under "Anandtech Deals" at the top of each page of the review, there is a link called " Mushkin 2 x 1 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 RAM". This link will take you to Mushkin part #991382 memory, which that page will tell you has 4-4-4 timings. Newegg will tell you this RAM has 5-5-5 timings. In any case, the RAM this link refers to is not the same stuff that they reviewed. The reviewed RAM is 3-3-3 timings, which I'm assuming must be Mushkin part #991512.
  • artifex - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    Wow, last time I had a warranty return at Mushkin, I just emailed them their serials and they shipped me replacements overnight with my credit card as collateral for the return. Of course, I bought from their website, not from a retail store... but there was no talk of packaging. What packaging? :)

    Has Mushkin changed owners?
  • bldckstark - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    On page 7 you show the Mushkin memory at the top of the graph with 65.1 and all other memories have lower times. To be consistent with all of your other graphs the rankings are apparently reversed since the super pi results are "lower is better", and the Mushkin should have finished last, not first and be on the bottom of the graph, not the top. Unless I forgot to take my medicine today, again, and I am reading the article upside down, again.

    Nice article. I'll keep waiting for the latencies to come down so that we might see some life out of AM2 against Conroe.
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    The Super Pi chart is now in Ascending order as it should be. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
  • Pirks - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    I recall buying some Mushkin stuff a long time ago. A HUGE price AFAIR and then one DDR stick died and they replaced it no questions asked. But now, after checking out their prices and seeing noname 2 GB DDR sticks for $200 CAN TOTAL (!) in my local store... well, guess which way I went. Now 2GB with the same price as Mushkin's EXTRADUPERFAST 512MB is soo sweet, no swap in XP and stuff... not saying Mushkin is bad, it's just so nice to spend $$$ on the AMOUNT of memory, not the speed. Sometime I'll get 4GB of noname sticks and make myself a hefty RAM disk and outrun those Raptor boasting kids, hehe :))
  • artifex - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    Pirks, spend a little more for name brand, even if not high-performance. That $20 or so you save up front isn't going to look so good if you ever have a memory glitch that causes you to lose data.

    I buy Mushkin, but only for machines that I'm going to be building at the margins of their rated specs, intend to overclock, etc. I feel like Mushkin sticks might be just a little more solid for that.

    I don't overclock all my stuff, though, and for just regular performance that is solid, like in my Mac Mini, I use Crucial. I wouldn't go with a no-name. And I never, ever, would buy loose sticks from a place like Fry's. :)
  • Pirks - Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - link


    I wouldn't go with a no-name. And I never, ever, would buy loose sticks from a place like Fry's

    That's because you don't know what is :P
  • Inkjammer - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    I've not seen enough of a performance boost from the "elite" memory to justify the price. Now, I say this, and I have 2GB of Kingston HyperX memory in my system. I swapped it out for 2GB of regular Kingston Value RAM and the performance difference was minor at best. If I weren't running a benchmark on it via SANDRA I'd never have even noticed.

    It seems to be geared to overclockers primarily, or people who just wanna pimp their rig. I think you could take the extra $200 for 2GB and invest in a beefier CPU or graphics card and really, REALLY see a performance difference.
  • WxChaser - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    Mushkin was the first memory company to produce enthusiast memory using the Elpida chips, allowing them to overclock very well at tight timings for DDR2. These modules will provide excellent performance for Intel DDR2 motherboards, and migrate quite well to the AMD socket AM2 when those platforms are released later this year.

    Please note that Mushkin has revamped their main web presence recently, and markets to 3 main target groups now. These are enhanced performance, high performance, and extreme performance. The XP2 PC2-5300 modules we tested were the extreme performance category - in other words aimed at the overclocking and gaming niche markets primarily.

  • Inkjammer - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    I'd still love to see a comparison on RAM between standard and enthusiast and stock speeds. I know that the built in spreaders are fantastic for heat dissapation, but how much added performance is gained for the extra money?

    Granted, I have enthusiast RAM, so... don't think of me as a hypocrit, but I still ponder just how much better this RAM is if you're not overclocking to the MAX.

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