by Rob Williams on December 13, 2006 in Memory
It’s been a few months since we’ve had the opportunity to play with a Mushkin kit, but we now have their XP2-8500 on the hotseat. We compare its performance to Super Talents and Kingstons top kits to see who comes out on top.
Who produces the best memory kit out there? It’s useless to even mention a name, since within days another company will come out and stomp that one to the ground and regain the crown. That said, Mushkin is right up there with the rest, although they fall slightly behind OCZ and Corsair in regards to top offerings. However, the kit we are taking a look at today offers some incredible speed with reasonable timings.
Like all other memory kits available with 8000 speeds and beyond, you can expect to slap over at least $400USD for these. Checking out a popular e-tailer, the $399 price tag fits right in between everything else, so it’s not overpriced. Corsair offers an 8500 kit for $10 less, but has 5-5-5 timings as opposed to Mushkins 5-5-4. This is not a big deal regardless. My recent favorite kit, the Kingston 8000 also has 5-5-5 timings but retails for around $435. That said, Mushkin is comfortably sitting in the middle price-wise, but has the best timings of the bunch.
We’ve only taken a look at Mushkins value line-up in the past, so I was interested to see how their XP2s stacked up to the other kits I’ve recently looked at. Is this kit worth your cash in the end? You won’t find out until after we’ve taken a closer look.
Since Mushkin performed a redesign a few months ago, their packaging has benefited… it looks far better now. Clean white background in a plastic blister pack that keeps your modules safe during travel. Despite the photo looking blue, it actually is a bright white background.
The modules themselves are pure black, which to me is the best possible color. It’s only too bad that the PCB weren’t also black… that would be one pimp looking module. These are the “FrostByte” heatspreaders which Mushkin introduced a while ago. The top is completely opened for better air circulation. Functionality aside, these are straight out some of the best looking modules on the market. Nothing flashy, but there doesn’t need to be.
The sticker here tells you absolutely everything you need to know, except for required voltages. I hate these stickers, but they are needed for warranty reasons, so it’s understandable. At least Mushkin designed the stickers to be reasonably good looking.
Here is a better, albeit dark, look at the rings atop the modules. There is plenty of breathing room here, but the rings look better than nothing at all.
If you are drooling, you can stop because it’s time for the technical details and then some benchmarking.