AM2 has now hit our shores, effectively making DDR-2 the primary memory type for all PC enthusiasts, be they fans of either Intel or AMD. Top of the range X2 and FX chips are able to make full use of DDR2-800, also known as PC2-6400. We recently looked at Mushkin’s XP2-5400 and found it to be the best DDR2 tested here at BSR so far, but today in the labs we have their latest XP2 product, the 6400 variant. Whilst AM2 is fully compatible with PC2-5400, for the highest possible performance users should be looking for 800MHz DDR2 alone.
Most DDR2-800 has to run at quite relaxed timings to remain stable at such a high speed, and is therefore qualified only at 5-5-5 timings. As usual for its low latency XP series, Mushkin has greatly reduced this latency, and the XP2-6400 is qualified for use at timings normally only available on much slower memory; 4-4-3-10. This has been done before on 1GB dual channel kits, but it is a much more impressive feat for a 2 x 1024MB 2GB dual channel kit. As we have already established in a number of reviews, the benefits of 2GB of ram over 1GB is as much as 30% in the most demanding titles like Battlefield 2, FEAR and Oblivion, so this is the new memory capacity of choice for those running ultra-high-end gaming rigs.
Mushkin has once again used its excellent Frostbite aluminium heat spreaders which supposedly offer better thermal characteristics than regular designs. The Mushkin XP2-6400 is available for €251.00 + VAT from www.memory-configurator.com.