I admit that when it comes to computer memory, I don’t know much about it.
All that matters to me is that it makes all my programs run faster. However, last summer I was having trouble with my computer. With the old PC100 memory I had installed, I was having trouble getting my brand new Athlon 700 to run properly. Seems that every time I tried to run Windows 98, that hideous blue screen of death greeted me.
Fortunately, Colorado-based Mushkin Enhanced Memory Systems came to my aid. Providing me with one of their new PC150 HSDRAM memory chip, I was able to give my new computer a second chance at life. Starting off with a reformat of my system hard drive, I was able to reinstall Windows 98, and eventually Windows ME, without a crash, lockup, or blue screen holding me back. Not only that, but I also noticed a considerable boost of speed to my standard applications.
However, when I started installing my games back onto my computer, the boost was carried much further. Before, Unreal Tournament used to lock up for a second while weapons were being loaded. Not anymore, as weapons are switched on the fly without messing up gameplay.
What is it about this memory that makes it so good? Could it be the fact that it’s running at a low-latency 150 MHz, compared to 100 or 133 MHz that other memory DIMMs are known for? Maybe it’s the lightning fast 4.5 ns clock access time that makes it so great. Whatever it is, you can rest assured that this is some of the best memory I have ever used, and will definitely go back to them should I wish to upgrade.
Mushkin was on display at E3 last May, where they displayed what they called their "Freak Machine." With this new memory, the Freak was running an Athlon-based PC at a previously unheard of 964 MHz. Benchmarks of Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, and Incoming all had frame rates in the triple digits! Now I know my Athlon 700 will not come anywhere near these levels, but I have noticed a considerable speed boost in my games. Unreal Tournament now runs near constant at 60 at 1024×768 resolution, and Quake 3 does the same at 800×600.
A strip of 128 MB PC150 memory runs for $119 (as of writing this review), and it’s definitely worth it. They can be found at www.mushkin.com.