The latest memory kit to arrive for review purposes is part of Muskin’s Blackline Ridgeback range. The sample we received opts for a 16GB capacity, 2400MHz speed and timings of 15-15-15-35. This is achieved with a very respectable voltage rating of 1.2V and showcases the modules’ efficiency. Mushkin is a pioneering memory manufacturer formed in 1994 and continues to release new DIMMs sporting unique designs at a very competitive price point. Unlike their competitors, Mushkin assembles and hand tests each memory kit in the USA while strictly monitoring their production line.
This results in exceptional reliability and minimizes the potential for customer returns. The company also selects low latency modules to find a suitable balance between raw frequency and operating latency. On another note, every Mushkin memory kit is backed with a lifetime warranty and approachable customer service team. Given their reputation in the industry, I expect the memory kit to perform admirably at stock values and have some good overclocking headroom. Let’s see how it compares to other dual channel alternatives!
Packaging and Accessories
The product comes in a traditional blister pack, and adopts the slogan, “Gamers take notice, rivals take notes.” I quite like the background design which looks rather striking and adds a dash of colour.
On the rear, there’s a very detailed installation guide containing extremely clear diagrams. Inserting the modules into position is a very simple process, but it’s always good to include instructions for newcomers without any previous system building experience.
A Closer Look
The DIMMs convey a professional look via the neutral colour scheme and should suit a wide range of system builds. Additionally, the angled heat spreaders provide a distinctive appearance without straying too far from the sophisticated, understated design. I’m also really keen on the silver accents, which adds some visual flair. Sadly, the green PCB spoils the black theme somewhat and ruins the overall level of synergy. Although once the modules are installed, you shouldn’t notice the green PCB from a distance. Thankfully, there are some SKUs which already have the same heat spreader design and black PCB to complement it perfectly. Overall, Mushkin has done a commendable job in the product’s aesthetics and ensured it appeals to the core gaming demographic.
Mushkin originally unveiled their DDR4 Ridgeback memory modules in the Blackline and Redline versions back at CES 2015 and now they’ve finally been released to the market and are available. The new modules are optimized for both the Intel X99 platform as well as the just released Skylake.
The Ridgeback heatsink is cut from aircraft-grade anodized aluminium that improves the heat dissipation that can give the user that extra bit of headroom or stability. The DDR4 modules are loaded with XMP 2.0 profiles for easy setup and reliable overclocking.
Muskin’s memory modules are built with hand-screened DRAM and undergo rigorous testing in the US-based facilities before leaving on route to shops and distributors before finally arriving in your home.
The new modules are currently available as single modules, dual kits, and four-piece kits with 8GB modules. The speed ranges from 2133MHz to 2400MHz with 12-12-12-35 and 15-15-15-35 timings. More versions with different capacities, module amount, and speeds are bound to come later on.
Both the red and black heat spreaders look so great that it’s almost a shame that Mushkin didn’t go for a black PCB on these modules. It could have given them that little bit of extra wow effect, but on the other hand, you won’t see much of it once they are plugged into your motherboard.
Most manufacturers just adapted their old and proven heatsink design to their new DDR 4 memory, but not so Mushkin. They have created the new and elegant looking Ridgeback heatsink for the Blackline and Redline memory modules.
The new heatsinks are cut from aircraft-grade aluminium and each module is hand tested and validated on motherboards from all major manufacturers. The Ridgeback DDR4 modules naturally feature XMP 2.0 profiles for easy setup with Intel X99 platforms and the latest Core i7 processors.
Seen below is the current Redline design that while being efficient, isn’t the most beautiful to look at. The new design is a welcome addition to otherwise great memory modules.
The new Ridgeback DDR4 modules are officially scheduled to launch within Q1 2015.
Thanks to Muskin for providing us with this information