Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 2 x 1GB Review
Reviewed by: gotdamojo06
Reviewed on: May 26, 2008
Have you been looking for a good way to speed up your computer but don't want to buy a new processor? Maybe you've overclocked your processor as far as you can and you're still not getting the performance that you want or need? That is where picking up a new set of DDR3 RAM could come in. Aeneon has come out with a new two gigabyte kit of its DDR3 line, XTune, that claims 1600MHz speeds. I will be taking a close look at what these sticks not only look at, but also how the Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 sticks are able to perform against a few other DDR3 two gigabyte kits. Well, enough talking about them, let's see what they look like.
When you first look at the package for the Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600, you can see all of the advertising that is incorporated on the package, showing off why you should pick this product over some of the other kits out there. The first thing that I see on the front of the XTune DDR3 1600 package is that it is a two gigabyte kit, which nowadays is just about the standard, and with Microsoft Windows Vista out, just about the bare minimum to have a good experience with this operating system. The next thing that I noticed is that the Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 sticks only need 1.5 volts to operate, which is another great feature of the kit, as less voltage means less heat being produced, which will result in lower temperatures overall. Below the 1.5v tag you are able to see that the Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 two gigabyte kit comes with a lifetime warranty, which is again great. When you take a look at the other side of the package, you are able to see some of the features that Aeneon decided were the most important to display on its package. At the bottom of the package is where there are a few awards that have been given to Aeneon products. If you look closely, you just might see the OverclockersClub logo.
When you get the two sticks of Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 out of the package, you can see that they are completely black except for the Aeneon logo in the top right hand corner and the XTune logo across the bottom of the modules' heat spreaders. The PFC board of the XTune DDR3 1600 sticks are a brightly colored blue, which will attract some eyes when looking at them. On the other side of the sticks, the heat spreaders are still all black with the gray bar continuing on the back, and again in the upper right hand corner you can see Aeneon's logo.
Now that we know what they look like, we need to take a look at what these sticks are made of.
Clock cycle time tCK for CL9 (min)
Row cycle time tRC (min)
Refresh row cycle time tRFC (min)
Activate to read/write delay tRCD (min)
Row active time tRAS (min)
Single power supply VDD = VDDQ
1.5 V ± 0.1 V
Module dimensions L x W x H
133.35 mm x 30.0 mm x 4.0 mm (max.)
5.25" x 1.18" x 0.16" (max.)
- Dual channel kits are pair-tested on latest platforms
- Enhanced performance modes included in EPP2.0 and XMP profiles
- 240-Pin Dual Inline Memory Module (DIMM) with gold contacts
- High quality aluminium heat spreader to ensure cooler operating temperature
- Supports Intel XMP – Extreme Performance Profile on Intel X38/X48 platforms
- Supports Nvidia EPP2.0 - Enhance Performace Profile on Nvidia SLI platforms
The best way to verify that one set of memory modules is better than another is to run a series of benchmarks to put down some basic comparison data. When all things are equal and the only variable is the module being tested, the results are a great way to compare performance, good or bad. In order to eliminate the variables, the only settings that will be manipulated are the memory timings and voltages when overclocking. The comparison modules will be run at the manufacturer specified timings and voltages at 1333MHz.. The Xtune will be tested at 1333MHz ,1600MHz and the highest possible overclcock. All of the comparison modules were run with this scenario.
- CPU:Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad 333 x 8
- Motherboard: Asus Maximus Extreme
- Memory: Qimonda Aeneon DDR3 1600 2 x 1GB
- Video Card(s): VisionTek HD3850
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800watt Modular Power supply
- Hard Drive: Western Digital 500GB 16MB cache SATA
- Opticals: LiteOn DVD-RW
- O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate
- Comparison: Aeneon XTune DDR3 1333 2 x 1GB @ 8-8-8-24 1.5V
- Comparison: G.Skill DDR3 1333 2 x 1GB @ 8-8-8-21 1.65V
CPU-Z: This application shows us the settings that we have chosen in the BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings and SPD chip information.
Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file usage and processor usage (%).
- Processor: Intel Q9450 @ 423x6 with 1.325 volts
- Memory: Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 @ 1692 with 10-10-10-29 and 1.98 volts
When taking a look at what you have to start with, the Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 modules are rated to have 9-9-9-27 for their timings when running 1.5 volts through them at 1600MHz. These are not the best timings out on the market, though with the 1600MHz clock speed and low voltage required to run at this speed, you can't knock them. However, the raw speed of the sticks should make up where the timings let off. I was not able to get the sticks to overclock much higher than the rated 1600MHz, but when you think about it, 1.6GHz RAM clock speeds are a lot higher than some of the other sticks that are out on the market.
As an enthusiast community, we tend to push our hardware to the max all the time. At OverclockersClub, we do not condone running your hardware outside of the parameters set by the manufacturer and will not be responsible for any damage to your hardware while trying to duplicate the results of our testing. With that out of the way, let the testing begin.
The benchmarks that will be used in this review include the following programs.
- CPU-Z Version 1.45
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- SiSoft Sandra XII
- Company of Heros
PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite as well as the memory test suite. The measure for the system suite will be the total score. The measure for memory performance is the total memory score. A comparison will be made of the performance at what the Aeneon XTune DDR3 kit can do at 1333MHz, 1600MHz, as well as the highest achievable speeds compared against the scores achieved at 1333MHz for the other kits.
SiSoftware Sandra XII: In this program, I will be doing the following benchmarks: Cache and Memory, Memory Bandwidth, and Memory Latency. Again, I'll be comparing the sticks at DDR2 800 speed and then the DDR3 will be shown at its native FSB of 1333. Higher is better in all tests except for Memory Latency, where lower is better.
The Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 2x 1GB kit of memory was able to outperform the other two kits that it was put up against at its rated speeds and while it was overclocked, and even when it was underclocked down to the 1333MHz settings. The only tests that this kit of desktop memory was unable to outperform the comparison modules was when underclocked during the Vantage Memory and Sandra Memory bandwidth testing.
Company of Heroes is a real time strategy game set during World War II. The object is to occupy and control the ground you capture, while forcing the opponents to capitulate. We will use the in-game performance test to measure the performance of the system.
The settings used in this test are listed below:
- All settings to maximum
Higher is Better
The Aeneon DDR3 1600 2 x 1GB kit of RAM was able to outperform all of the other kits that it was put up against, again not only at the stock 1600MHz settings, but at the overclocked settings as well. I was very surprised that when they were underclocked they were able to stay very close, within 1-2 FPS, of the other kits.
The Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600 2 x 1GB kit of desktop memory is not only a great looking kit of memory that you can proudly display in your rig, but the sticks are also able to perform very well. This kit of 2x1GB memory is able to operate at 1600MHz with only 1.5 volts being pushed through it. This is one of the advantages of DDR3 memory over DDR2 memory; the kits are able to perform at higher speeds with lower volts without sacrificing the timings that need to be set. The timings of this kit were, at stock, not very low to begin with, but not quite as high as I have seen in the past. When you begin to overclock the memory, you do need to loosen the timings beyond what I would like to set them at, though it does pay off with the higher clock speeds. The voltages that this kit of memory took, 1.5 volts, will help in reducing the overall temperatures inside of your case as the memory sticks are not heating up quite as warm as others. I was not very impressed by how much I was able to overclock the actual speed of the memory because I was only able to gain 92MHz from the rated speeds and did have to loosen the timings. I was impressed at the performance that the XTune DDR3 1600 kit was able to produce at all of the speeds that I tested it at, 1333MHz, 1600MHz and 1692MHz. Even when the memory was underclocked to 1333MHz, it was able to stay very close to the other kits that it was compared against. I would recommend this kit of memory to anyone who is looking to get into the DDR3 scene as it is going to give you some headroom when overclocking your processor when it is set between 1333MHz and 1600MHz.
- Heat spreader looks
- High stock speeds
- Low stock voltages