A Closer Look

Mushkin ships this product in a simple, plastic clamshell package, which you can see in the image below.

Once the package is opened from the 3 plastic dimples located on the top and side, you can see the information card plus the actual memory modules. The stark black aluminum heat spreaders are quite attractive and the Mushkin name is certainly hard to miss.

Should you ever have any type of warranty or RMA claim, you will need the product information card, as Mushkin requires all the original packaging for returns.

A closer view of the memory modules shows a sparse product information label, with no timing information provided. This particular review sample was labeled correctly as part number 991512, in a 2 GB dual pack.

Click to enlarge.

Zooming in on the label shows how little information is provided to consumers by Mushkin on this product.

Looking down at the new heat spreader, you can easily see the scalloped open design at the top of each module – allowing for much better airflow with the top of the heat spreader extended upwards, as seen in the image below.

From a top to bottom aspect, we can take another look at the module design and come to our own conclusions.

Finally, let us examine in detail how the module appears when flash is used to expose more detail in the image below. You will note the thermal tape that is being used by Mushkin in this newer heat spreader design and the overall open design of the actual heat spreader itself.

Index Mushkin XP2 PC2-5300 DDR2: Test Setup
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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 www.memtest.org 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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