And finally, here we have several images of how the modules look when installed on a motherboard. The Mushkin Ridgeback modules installed on the GA-X58A-UD7 test board look very sleek, from any angle you can see the Mushkin logo and the awesome looks of the Ridgeback design. These would look fantastic on any motherboard!
Hardware used in tests:
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD7 1366 Motherboard
Intel i7-965 EX ES Quad-Core CPU
Intel i7-980X EX ES Hexa-Core CPU
Mushkin Ridgeback 998826 6GB 1600Mhz (PC3-12800) 6-8-6-24 Triple Channel DDR3 Memory Kit
Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black WD1001FALS
GIGABYTE 5870 SOC GV-R587SO-1GD 1GB Graphics Card
Ultra X3 ULT40312 850W Power Supply
The Mushkin Ridgebacks come pre-programmed with XMP settings for use in non-overclocking situations, here are the SPD/XMP programmed settings.
It is very difficult to keep the CPU speed at the same range for all tests, but I did try to keep things within the closest range possible 3.95-4.24Ghz. Uncore, as you will read more about below, is also hard to keep the same frequency at times, I did so when possible. I kept the memory voltage within 1.6-1.74 actual, depending on what timings and speeds were used. Something to take note of with these modules is that you should not always assume more voltage is needing when pushing them and running into errors. There can be times that a higher voltage will hurt your overclocks, and in actuality a much lower voltage than you would expect turns out to be what you really needed instead.
The following are the CPU and memory speeds for each test, and my testing result images. Images are presented in the same order as the text list from L to R, top to bottom
3.99Ghz - 1480Mhz - 5-7-5-18
4.19Ghz - 1600Mhz - 6-8-6-24 @ Spec
4.14Ghz - 1713Mhz - 6-8-6-24 @ Spec
4.07Ghz - 1812Mhz - 6-9-6-24
4.03Ghz - 1920Mhz - 7-9-7-24
4.17Ghz - 2000Mhz - 7-10-7-24
4.24Ghz - 1573Mhz - 5-8-5-18
4.20Ghz - 1600Mhz - 6-8-6-20
4.20Ghz - 2000Mhz - 7-10-7-24
3.95Ghz - 2049Mhz - 7-10-7-24
4.00Ghz - 2240Mhz - 8-11-8-26
4.10Ghz - 2300Mhz - 9-12-9-29
Programs used for testing:
Each set of speeds and timings in the graphed results below were tested with the following programs/methods and considered to be stable.
This is a common DOS based memory test, and should be a part of every overclocker's arsenal. Tests using this program were ran from 50 passes per set, or up to 100 passes, depending on the time I had each day for testing. An hour or so using test #5 is generally considered stable in my book, and is about 50 passes when using test #5 with 6GB, which is what I use for memory testing in reviews. Tests #5 and #7 are the more complex tests, and thus create the most heat, making it easier to find if there is instability.
Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool
Memtest HCI Design 3.6 (Used older version due to the smaller window size)
This is a great little program, unlike Memtest86+, this program can be run within windows and in multiple instances. My testing methods with this program vary, depending on time allotted, memory amounts used in each instance, and how many instances are used. Normally, I use 3-6 instances with 600MB or more to 1024MB, depending on memory free at the time, and again the time I have to let the tests run. Passing 200-300% with zero errors, using 3-4GB testing total, usually takes about an hour. If more time is available, I sometimes test until 500-750% or above. If you are stable past 200% using 3-4GB, you are normally good to go.
MemTest: RAM reliability tester for Windows
Everest Ultimate V. 5.50.2100
This also is a great program, everyone should have a copy. It is not so much a testing tool for our purposes, but it provides multiple stability tests, various bandwidth test, and in-depth system hardware information. For this review it will only be used to provide simple bandwidth and latency test results at each frequency.
Computer Diagnostics & Network Audits Software | Lavalys.com
RightMark Memory Analyzer V. 3.80
Same applies here as above, a great tool for quick bandwidth and latency tests, but also offers other information and tests.
RightMark Memory Analyzer. Products. CPU Rightmark
MaxxMEM² Preview V. 1.82
Similar to the above two programs, this tool provides memory bandwidth and latency tests.
MaxxPI² - Download (MaxxMEM² - PreView)
Winrar Benchmark tool (V. 3.80 used)
This test compresses data, but is affected by other hardware, and will be used as a general comparison in the results below. At the following link you can find more information about this tool, one way to use it, what hardware it tests and what affects it.
WinRAR Compression Test
WinRAR download and support. WinRAR is a powerful Windows tool to compress and decompress zip, rar and many other formats: Download now