by Rob Williams on July 28, 2006 in Miscellaneous
With C2D and AM2 out, many are looking for the right DDR2 kit to choose. If you are on a budget, then you will want to check out the Mushkin EM6400, which retail for around $200. Though they are surrounded with a ‘value’ cloak, they deliver surprising overclock-ability.
Because these are value modules, they include value specifications. We have DDR2-800 speeds, with 5-5-5-12 timings. Yes, they are very loose for this speed, however it’s not uncommon by any means. I am unsure of the chips used, but for the sake of them being value, I will assume they are some Elpida variant.
Overclocking these modules proved to be a huge pain at first… they were going nowhere. I first tried 4-4-4 and even at 2.4v, they were not stable at -all-. After a little bit of tweaking, I quickly found out that the main problem was the tRCD. Once I loosened it back to 5, I was able to go with a 4-5-4-12 timing set. After it’s all said in done, here are my stable overclocks:
- 400MHz 200FSB 1.9v 5-5-5-12
- 400MHz 200FSB 1.9v 4-5-4-12
- 400MHz 240FSB 1.9v 4-5-4-12
- 400MHz 266FSB 1.9v 4-5-4-12
- 420MHz 280FSB 1.9v 4-5-4-12
- 450MHz 270FSB 2.2v 5-5-5-12
- 450MHz 270FSB 2.2v 4-5-4-12
I have to say, these modules impressed me. I had the mind set that these value were going to go nowhere, but upping the stock by 50MHz and tightening the timings is great. Before we get into benchmarks, please review our benchmarking methodology.
Throughout all of our benchmarks regardless of what we are reviewing, testing is done in a clean and stand-alone version of Windows XP Professional with SP2. Prior to testing, these conditions are met:
- Desktop and scrap files are cleaned up, including emptying of recycle bin.
- No virus scanner or firewall is installed in the stand-alone installation.
- The stand-alone installation drive is completely defragged using Diskeeper 10 Pro Premier.
- All unnecessary programs are closed, so that Windows should have no more than 15 active processes running.
- Computer has proper airflow.
If you are interested in using the same benchmarks as us, feel free to visit the developers website:
The testing rig used for today’s benchmarking is as follows:
- CPU: Pentium D 820 (2.8GHz – 3.92GHz)
- Motherboard: ASUS P5WD2-E Premium w/ 401 BIOS
- Memory: Mushkin EM6400 2GB
- Video: BFG 6800GT OC 256MB PCI-E
- Sound: Realtek HD Audio
- Storage: WD 200GB 7200 8MB
- Etcetera: Windows XP Professional w/ SP2, NVIDIA 81.98 Drivers
- Cooling: Corsair Nautilus 500