Mushkin Ridgeback 4GB DDR3-1600 CL6
Not all memory modules offer the same performance, whether due to the rated speeds, timings, or overclocking headroom. As we saw today when we ran the Mushkin modules alongside some PNY sticks in side-by-side comparisons at identical speeds and timings, the Mushkin Ridgeback modules went toe-to-toe and came out slightly ahead when the dust settled.
However, the bonus here is that these Ridgeback modules run at a crazy low CL6 at 1600MHz. Frankly, that is outstanding. If you’re not much into overclocking, then you get rare and excellent timings at a fast speed. That is a powerful combination.
These Mushkin Ridgeback modules also offer good bit of headroom when going beyond their 1600MHz rated speeds. The tolerances and returns are smaller the higher you go in the speed department, but these modules have sufficient gas left in the tank to reach some very good numbers on your system. Running 1972MHz is nothing to scoff at. These sticks also proved to be very easy to overclock, and not touchy to voltage tweaks at all, which is always a blessing when trying to find the limits of your memory and overclock settings.
Keep in mind that memory market prices tend to fluctuate greatly, but as of this publication date, these 4GB Ridgeback modules can be found for about $135 USD. There are very few modules on the market that run 1600MHz at CL6, so competition is tight. This price is slightly on the high side when viewed against competitors but the Ridgebacks are better looking than all the others in our opinion. Add the strong overclocking headroom and you’re left with a very compelling option here with these Mushkin sticks.
The only downside here is a specific one: if you’re looking to push high overclocks, then the CL6 timings are a waste because you’ll need to loosen the timings anyways. And you’ll likely end up with a final overclock not much different than if you went with some strong CL8 or CL9 modules to begin with. So if you want to push really high clocks or do some benching, then either go for higher rated speeds or save some money and go with looser timings at this speed. You need to run these at the lower timings to really take advantage of what’s being offered here in terms of performance and value, so that’s the one caveat.
That notwithstanding, the aesthetics here are fabulous, the Ridgeback design is sleek, the performance is excellent, the timings are outstanding, overclocking headroom is very good, and it’s all backed by a lifetime warranty at a respectable price. Not much to argue with there no matter how you slice it. These Ridgeback DDR3-1600 CL6 modules are fantastic.
Mushkin Ridgeback 4GB DDR3-1600