Mushkin Redline XP4000

Mushkin has been providing High Performance memory modules since 1994. While they earned their reputation as an on-line retailer, today, you can buy Mushkin memory from many well-known retailers such as NewEgg, NCIX, AxionTech and many other sources. You can also buy Mushkin memory at their web site, where you will also find a wealth of information about Mushkin memory products.

The Mushkin Redline XP4000 modules were supplied as a matched pair of 512MB DIMMs with red heatspreaders. In addition to the DDR500 speed (PC4000), Redline is available as DDR433 (PC3500) parts. Both memory speeds are available as single DIMMs or as a 1GB matched pair of 512MB DIMMs.

It appears that Mushkin uses Winbond CH-die for their Redline memory, the same as OCZ. We say "appears" because most manufacturers using the Winbond UTT chips buy them as blanks and bin them for their speed ratings, so it is very difficult to identify exactly the chips used for the finished product. You can also find BH blanks on the market as well, and the finished product in either CH or BH depends mostly on the "speed-binning" capabilities of the memory manufacturer.

There was some confusion when Mushkin first announced the Redline series regarding the warranty coverage that would be provided, but Mushkin now clearly stands behind their Redline products with the same Lifetime Warranty that they provide for other Mushkin memory. However, Mushkin states that Active Memory cooling must be used with Redline modules for overclocking, and we agree.

In our own test bed, we mount a 90mm fan over the DIMMs for extra cooling. With the extra voltage required for best performance with Mushkin Redline or OCZ VX, you will find the memory erroring after about 5 minutes unless you provide additional cooling.

Mushkin provides some very sane advice in their Warranty for would-be overclockers of Redline memory:

Active Cooling Required *----Due to the extreme speed of these modules along with the added voltages used, Mushkin requires end users to Actively cool their memory modules. Modules that are not properly cooled will/may not meet rated timings and speeds, and may become susceptible to premature failure. We generally recommend 15-25cfm of direct airflow over the ram modules which can be easily accomplished with one 60mm or 80mm low rpm fan. This will insure increased stability and lifespan of your Redline modules.

Recommended Platforms--- Mushkin tests all Redline memory modules on Athlon64 platforms. Furthermore, when running two modules, only Socket 939 platforms are validated to run at rated specifications/timings. We currently recommend and validate the Redline memory series on the DFI LanP arty UT NForce4 Ultra-D, DFI LanP arty UT NForce4 SLI-DR, and DFI LanP arty NForce4 SLI-DR boards as they provide the best combination of voltage options and compatibility for the Redline Series. Other motherboards may work, but may require modification for adequate voltages, and may not produce optimal results. Single Channel Athlon64 systems may have a hard time running 2x512mb dimms at rated speeds due to memory load on the single channel memory controller. Pentium4 and AthlonXP systems generally will not obtain rated specifications secondary to motherboard/memory controller limitations. These modules are compatible with most motherboards for Pentium4/AthlonXP CPUs, however end users are advised that lower frequencies achieved."

Mushkin Redline XP4000 Specifications

 Mushkin Redline XP4000 Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
Total Memory
512 MB
Rated Timings 2-2-2-6 at DDR500 at 3.3-3.5V
SPD (Auto) Timings 3-3-3-8 (Default 2.6V)
Rated Voltage 3.3V to 3.5V

With Intel's introduction last summer of the 915/925X chipsets with support for DDR2 memory, the primary market for DDR memory has become the excellent AMD Athlon 64 platform. This has been reinforced with the recent 945/955x Intel chipsets, which also use DDR2 memory. It is true that some 915 boards also support DDR, and the continuing Intel Socket 478 also supports DDR memory, but the primary market for DDR memory is now the AMD Athlon 64 platform.

It is worth noting that Mushkin warrants Redline performance only for AMD Athlon 64 socket 939 motherboards. Mushkin tells us that the Redline memory may work fine in Intel motherboards at lower voltages, but it is not tested or specified for Intel DDR platforms. In addition, the only unmodified motherboard that can supply the voltages required for top Redline performance is the DFI nForce4 motherboard. For these reasons, Mushkin Redline memory was only tested on the DFI LANParty nF4 SLI-DR Athlon 64 Socket 939 test bed.

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  • Joepublic2 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    #30, I don't know. You could probably get an anwser if you asked at
  • fitten - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    #29 Is it exhaustive? Does it check for the 'bad' values for sin, cos, tan, atan, div, sqrt, etc? Or does it just check against the operations and data required for Prime95 to do its thing?
  • Joepublic2 - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    #28, prime95 explicitly tests for rounding errors of the nature you described. It ensures that all 80 bits of the floating point value that are returned are equal to the precalculated value in the program's database.
  • fitten - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    #20 and #26, yes, those programs can give you *some* sense of security but neither are exhaustive tests. As #26 says, even parts running at their rated/spec'd speed can have problems that just weren't detected by the manufacturor (but this is really rare). You don't necessarily need registered modules, btw... just ECC ones. Registered modules deal with other problems (having enough drive on the bus to operate the modules properly, for example).

    As far as returning bad results, some errors can be purely data related. An oversimplified example is that the CPU adds 2+2 and gets 5 (not that this particular example will happen, but there are circuit timings inside the CPU that are data related). Odds are, if you are playing a game, the screen gets a pixel the wrong color or some geometry isn't quite right for a frame but both are too fast to notice. Just remember that 'distance' is the operating parameter of the CPU clock speed. The longest path through the CPU (in a clock driven circuit - which most CPUs are) determines the maximum clock speed. Only one path through one pipeline stage in the whole CPU has to be too long to run at your overclocked speed for the thing to be unstable when that one data+execution occurs.

    Anyway, to each his own. Overclock if it gives you pleasure, just don't recommend it as something for someone else to do without giving plenty of disclaimers about it. As I said before, I used to overclock everything but then I decided it really wasn't worth it. Bragging rights just became a non-issue for me and if I needed a faster CPU that bad, I could just buy it and not have to worry about it (nearly as much).
  • Zebo - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    I wonder if they'll sued by redline? I used to have redline bikes as a kid.
  • PrinceGaz - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    #17- if stability is paramount to you, then you should be using a system with registered parity memory modules as they pretty much guarantee you won't get any errors from them. That's why they are almost invariably used by businesses in mission-critical servers. Anyone who uses unbuffered non-parity modules runs the risk of data corruption very occasionally even if they don't overclock.

    Myself, I've used unbuffered non-parity modules for many years because they're cheaper and faster and as far as I know they have never caused me any problems, apart from an incident last year when a memory stick went bad and corrupted lots of important data before the system crashed with a by then all but unrecoverable hard-drive. I hope it won't happen again as it was a nightmare at the time, and I wasn't even overvolting the module (a stick of Crucial/Micron) which went bad.

    The only way to be truly safe is with registered parity modules.
  • Zebo - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    Ballistix is better than TCCD under 255Mhz.. TCCD above that. IMO both are more desirable in that they run low volts any mobo can push.

    If you want to talk about discount UTT this is where its at:

    Only $60 a stick. See here for performance.
  • xsilver - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    zebo's comments are VERY pertinent, also consider
    ocz value vx (OCZ4001024WV3DC-K) can still be tempting, considering almost half the price -- the dfi is also a must as most people haven't tested limits of it using max voltage levels of other boards (2.8v?)

    also are ballistix cheaper than any available TCCD's ?? -- are ballistix > TCCD or TCCD > Ballistix ??
  • Zebo - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    In all fairness Barkuti, he is testing the memory max capabilites at the highend which is impossible to do w/o some processor variance due to memory variations. i.e. all memory clocks to different levels.

    But in general I agree it paints a picture of highend ram as a "have to have" to realize these performance increases when in fact processor speed is playing a more signifigant part.
  • Barkuti - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    Nice memory review Wesley. However, there's something "flawed" on it, like in all past memory reviews.

    Your measurements for highest CPU/memory performance aren't done right, because you should try to minimize CPU/LDT clockspeed differences between the tested memory platforms - I mean, use the damn memory dividers. There's still a lot of misinformed people about the issue, but you should all know, THERE'S NO PERFORMANCE PENALTY FOR USING MEMORY DIVIDERS ON Athlon 64.

    For example, on your past "OCZ VX Revisited: DDR Updates on DFI nForce4" memory review, you settled for 318 MHz on OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2 modules. At 9x multiplier ratio (1:1 LDT/MEM), that translates into approximately 2862 MHz CPU clockspeed. That was compared to 10x267 MHz for the 4000 VX Gold, which translates into a much lower value of 2670 MHz CPU clockspeed. Despite the incredible disadvantage the VX memory still got a superb result.
    But if you had used some dividers to equalize CPU clockspeed, you could have set, assuming 2862 MHz as the absolute top clockspeed for the CPU, the same LDT frecuency and CPU multiplier for the VX modules, and a RAM divider of 5/6; that would have translated into 265 MHz RAM clockspeed, close enough to the max.
    The combination of increases in CPU and LDT clockspeeds would have rendered a noticeable increase in top performance for the VX platform, leaving TCCD memory in the dust.

    A retest for the not that high clockspeed modules would be nice.


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