Aeneon XTune DDR3 1333 2 x 1GB PC-10666 Review

ccokeman - 2007-09-19 18:54:25 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: January 4, 2008
Price: $400.00 +

Introduction:

As processor bus speeds increase, the need for performance memory to take advantage of this leap in processor speed becomes a necessity. For an enthusiast, just any memory will not do. We expect better than average performance from the products we purchase. Qimonda is the parent company of Aeneon. The brand is well known overseas but is making an entry into the U.S. market. The Aeneon XTune DDR3 1333MHz 2 x 1GB set of modules are directly marketed to the enthusiast community and feature latencies of 8-8-8-15 with a rated speed of 1333MHz. Will the XTune modules be able to keep up the speed and performance as I push to see just how well it performs, or will it fail to exceed the expectations of this enthusiast? Let's find out!

 

Closer Look:

The Aeneon XTune modules are inside a standard sealed retail plastic enclosure but not the usual clamshell style assembly that memory modules normally come in. The XTune modules are displayed front and center. The rear view of the package gives a small amount of information about the modules, and discusses the lifetime warranty as well as the company information. Once the modules are out of the packaging, the ad card happens to be an installation and product information guide in several languages.

 

 

 

 

The Aeneon XTune branded modules are designed to perform at DDR3 1333 speeds with latencies of 8-8-8-15 using 1.5 volts. The modules use a low profile non-vented type of heatspreader that features the Flashy XTune logo, as well as the Aeneon brand name. The XTune logo identifies these modules as the high performance parts in Aeneon's memory lineup.

 

 

Specifications:

Parameter
Standard
Average Clock Period tCK with CL=8; CWL=7
1.5 ns (min.) / 1.875 ns (max.)
Activate to read/write delay tRCD
12 ns (min.)
Row cycle time tRC  
48 ns (min.)
Refresh row cycle time tRFC
90 ns (min.)
Row active time tRAS  
36 ns (min.) / 70200 ns (max.)
Single power supply VDD = VDDQ  
1.5 V ± 0.075 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.)

 

Features:

Testing:

The 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 will be the memory timings and voltages when overclocking. The comparison modules will be run at the manufacturer specified timings and voltages at 1333MHz. In order to reach 1333MHz, the processor used in the test setup will have a slight overclock from 266MHz to 333MHz. All of the comparison modules were run with this scenario.

Testing Setup:

 

 

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 (%).

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

The XTune modules do not have the best latencies to begin with, but what they lack in timings they almost makes up for in speed. The maximum speed attained by this set was DDR3 1692, just a hair short of 1700MHz. 846 FSB using a 1:2 divider was all the modules would yield at 1.9 volts with timings of 9-9-9-20. Any higher with the volts or tighter on the timings and the modules would start showing errors. 180 FSB worth of overclocking headroom was achievable. By comparison, the OCZ modules were able to garner a 274 FSB increase, the Mushkin modules had an increase of just under 100 FSB, while the P5K3 Premium modules were able to achieve a 133 FSB increase. Headroom for overclocking is a nice bonus on any set of modules. It really is a luck of the draw as to what you will get. If these Aeneon modules are a fair representation of their capabilities than they should have a promising future.

As an enthusiast community, we tend to push our hardware to the maximum 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 used in this review include the following programs.

Benchmarks:

 

Testing:

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 DDR3 1333 and the highest achievable speeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Sporting the loosest timings of the modules tested, performance was expected to be lower than the other test modules. In the memory latency test, this expectation was realized. In the balance of the testing, the XTune modules were surprisingly game and kept up with and sometimes surpassed the other modules.

 

Far Cry: For this game test, we will use the following settings and run the Hardware OC 1.8 benchmark utility. The measure for this benchmark will be in FPS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

The Qimonda Xtune finished neither first or last in this gaming benchmark. The scores fall within the realm of run-to-run variance. The looser timings really do not impact performance as much as one would expect. Bonus!

 

Conclusion:

The Aeneon XTune modules were a surprise. Even with the looser latencies the modules were competitive in many of the benchmarks, even taking the top score in PCMark Vantage. At the stock 1.5 volts required to run 8-8-8-15 latencies, the modules were capable of running tighter latencies. At 1333MHz I was able to reduce the timings to 8-7-6-15 and gain some memory performance in the benchmarks I ran. At the reduced latencies the memory performance was on par with the other modules tested. Once the memory speeds started to climb, the timings had to be loosened up. But voltage could be kept lower as well to prevent overheating the XTune modules. After not responding to increased voltage, the vdimm was kept to a respectable 1.7 volts. The final frontside bus speed achievable in this testing was 846 FSB. This represents a 180 FSB increase over the rated speeds. Pretty solid if you ask me! The only set of modules in this test that were able to best the headroom achieved by the Aeneon XTune were the ReaperX by OCZ.

For a company moving into the U.S. market making a splash that can be seen is a way to get the attention of the enthusiast. This Aeneon has done with the XTune DDR3 2 x 1GB PC-10666 memory modules. Offering competitive performance at lower volts, albeit looser timings, I think the splash has been seen. If you need a set of DDR3 modules for a motherboard or system upgrade, you should keep Aeneon's DDR3 XTune modules on your short list when it comes time to spend your hard earned dollars. You won't be disappointed.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: