Mushkin passed along a dual-module 8GB (that is, 16GB total) kit of its Redline DDR4-2666 memory just in time for our Z370 launch. (Specifically, this kit is part number MRA4U266GHHF8GX2.) Alas, none of the boards we originally tested at the time of that launch was (by our admittedly aggressive memory-overclocker standards) “good enough” to use as a test platform. Months passed before we finally settled on a board that’s still a little shy on memory overclocking compared to the Z270 platform that preceded it. But, hey, at least we get to test with a faster Coffee Lake CPU...
Rated at DDR4-2666 with a JEDEC-beating CAS 16 latency, MRA4U266GHHF8GX2 uses Mushkin’s classic “Frostbyte”-style heat spreaders.
The full primary timing set of 16-17-17-36 beats standard DDR4-2666 CAS 17 timings while retaining industry-standard 1.20V DDR4 voltage. But those improved timings still require the builder to enable XMP mode. Without enabling XMP, the memory defaults to DDR4-2133 CAS 15. Let's get down to testing it.
Like all Mushkin DRAM, this DDR4-2666 16GB dual-channel kit is covered by its lifetime-replacement limited warranty.
Our greatest concern for fairness was to make sure the Redline 16GB DDR4-2666 would be compared to other kits in the same two-8GB-module configuration. But notice below that one thing remains different for one set: The DDR4-3000 kit has eight 512MB ICs on each side rather than eight 1024GB ICs on just one side. Eight ICs make up a 64-bit “rank,” so that for each memory channel, one “dual-rank” module performs similarly to two single-rank modules.
Intel’s memory controller works better with four ranks than with two. Because this performance difference caused confusion in a previous review, we’ve added the “dual rank” tag here for clarity.
We’re expanding outward from our Corsair DDR4-4600 review by switching to a board that supports four DIMMs. MSI’s Z370 Godlike Gaming doesn’t have any memory overclocking advantages over the smaller board used in that review, but it has similar performance scaling and can push several of our kits past DDR4-4000. We’re also holding over the hardware from that review, including our GeForce GTX 1080 and Toshiba/OCZ NVMe SSD.
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