The performance of the Mushkin XP2-5300 3-3-3-10 modules was found to be on par with other brands that used Micron Rev A (Fat Body) IC’s at the same timings. This is great news for enthusiasts and gamers because we now have a replacement for the no longer available Micron Rev A IC’s. While the benchmarking numbers were nearly identical the Elipda IC’s that Mushkin uses are by far better overclockers at tight timings than any Micron Rev A IC’s that we have seen. Mushkin told Legit Reviews that they should have a steady supply of these IC’s and should for some time. It looks like Mushkin has done their homework this time around and plans on getting these parts out for enthusiasts, but they aren’t the only company.
With the launch of these modules consumers now have two brands of low latency PC2-5300 to pick from. Just weeks ago the only 2GB low latency PC2-5300 memory kit on the market was Crucial’s Ballistix kit (BL2KIT12864AA663) which features Micron IC’s. Crucial and Mushkin are the only two memory company that have a part on the market that can run 1GB modules at 3-3-3 timings in the PC2-5300 speed grade. Mushkin was able to beat the other enthusiast memory companies out the door with a high end part that turned out to be an awesome overclocker at tight timings. Mushkin didn’t copy these IC’s from another company, which means they are out looking for the best IC’s to use. Wait a few weeks after this review is published and you might see some memory companies copy their IC/PCB selection! In the end these modules are great news for all those on Intel DDR2 systems, but even better news for AMD fans since AMD’s DDR2 platforms are just around the corner. These modules provide the highest performance possible performance for Intel DDR2 motherboard applications, and will eventually for AMD socket AM2 when platforms are released later this year.
With DDR2 prices increasing and IC choices limited these modules should be on the short list of those to buy for your next gaming system. Mushkin priced these modules under Crucial’s equivalent, which makes this kit the lowest priced kit like it. In terms of pricing the Mushkin 2GB XP2-5300 (3-3-3) can be found at $324 directly from Mushkin, which is down nearly $50 from when they were launched. We knew about the price drops and waited to publish our review because of it! Yes, we love you that much!
In recent months we have noticed a change in Mushkin Memory and their objectives. Now that Mushkin is a private company with owners that know what gamers/enthusiasts want it seems that they are starting to become a key player in the memory market. With the launch of a new website, redesigned heat spreaders, and some new enthusiast memory lines Mushkin looks to be moving in a positive direction. We look forward to seeing what Mushkin has up their sleeves for 2006 and will be sure to tell you about it when we figure it out ourselves.
Legit Bottom Line: Mushkin Memory has brought low timings back to high density memory and the XP2-5300 modules feature the best price versus performance for any kit like it. We like these modules so much they get our first Editor’s Choice Award for 2006 and should be on the top of the list when you go DDR2 shopping!