Mushkin PC10666 Low Voltage RAM Review
The Mushkin PC10666 Low Voltage kit is definitely a little schitzophrenic thanks to two polar-opposite XMP profiles.
The primary profile, the one that you're buying the kit for, XMP1 1333MHz @ 1.5v 7-7-7-20 timings is fantastic. Don't let the 1333MHz aspect of it fool you as the low timings mean it beats the very popular Dominator 1600MHz in pretty much every test.
There is a tendancy with PC hardware to always feel that faster must equal better. We've tested low latency vs speed a few times before and normally the pure speed wins out thanks to the enormous bandwidth available, but this Mushkin kit flies in the face of that convention and at only 1.5v.
Curiously though that's not the only convention it flies in the face of. Rather than having a second XMP profile that is around 1600MHz and letting us overclock it, Mushkin have kindly got it all done for us by providing a CAS8 2000MHz profile for us. Initially this seemed to be a great thing as our synthetic benchmarks showed that this could be a kit that provided all things to all men.
Once we'd got out of the synthetic world and into some real-world benchmarking though it quickly crumbled. Sometimes even being out-performed by the XMP1 profile. Rendering tests in particular were woeful.
As I said above, this is schitzophrenic though because once the CPU is overclocked, but with the Mushkin at the same XMP2 settings, it suddenly became a beast, dominating every chart comfortably.
So what do we conclude from all this? Well if you want a nice low voltage kit, you can't do much better than this Mushkin Blackline Ridgeback kit. If you think the opportunity to get a 2000MHz kit on the cheap is too much to pass up, you need to be willing to tweak your CPU and raise your BCLK to get the most from it. You just need to decide what you want it for and judge accordingly.