Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) 2GB Kit Page: 1
Introduction & Specifications
 
Ask any enthusiast to name five of the top memory manufacturers and you're sure to get an answer something along the lines of "OCZ, Corsair, Crucial, Patriot and Kingston". All of these brands have been around long enough to establish a reputation among overclockers and gamers, with many having their own dedicated followers who stick with their preferred brand through thick and thin. So when we was contacted a few weeks ago from a company called Aeneon with an offering to test their latest DDR3 kit, the first question to run through our minds was "Who are you??".
 
While the name Aeneon may invoke a similar response from many other enthusiasts reading this review, the name of their parent company Qimonda is likely to trigger a few more positive responses. After all, Qimonda are responsible for a lot of the GDDR2, GDDR3 and even GDDR5 ram found on some of the most recent graphics cards and even "CellularRAM" used inside mobile phones and other handheld devices. Here's what Qimonda have to say:
 
Qimonda in a nutshell
Qimonda is a leading global memory supplier with a broad diversified DRAM product portfolio. The company generated net sales of €3.61 billion in its 2007 financial year and has approximately 13,500 employees worldwide. Qimonda has access to five 300mm manufacturing sites on three continents and operates six major R&D facilities. The company provides DRAM products for a wide variety of applications, including in the computing, infrastructure, graphics, mobile and consumer areas, using its power saving technologies and designs.
 
Xtune Kit
 
For those of us with a thirst for knowledge, more information about Qimonda can be found on their website. However, chatting about Qimonda's life story is not the reason were here today - so let's cut the small talk and take a look at the specs of the DDR3 kit that arrived on the OC3D doorstep:
 
Description
The 1GB single module can be organized as 64M x 64-bit DDR2-1066 based on 8 components 64M x 8-bit DDR2 FBGA components.
The single module is tested to run at DDR3-1333 at a latency timing of 8-8-8-15 at the standard DDR3 voltage value of 1.5 V.
The Dual Channel Kit is coming with two identical modules tested together in DUAL CHANNEL MODE at DDR3-1333 at a latency timing of 8-8-8-15 on several platforms.

Features
* 2 x 1GB Memory Modules in Dual Channel Kit
* 240-Pin Dual Inline Memory Module (DIMM) with Gold Contact
* Highest Quality Heat Spreader for preventing critical operating temperatures
 
Probably the most interesting feature of Aeneon's DDR3-1333 kit is the JEDEC standard 1.5v requirement to get the modules running at their stock settings. If the IC's used on the modules scale well with extra voltage, we should hopefully be able to obtain some reasonable overclocking results with this significant amount of headroom.
 
One area not covered in the specs is the warranty provided with the modules. While this information should be readily available in the module specs, a quick re-tracing of our footsteps through the Aeneon website eventually led us to the goods. In short, Aeneon provide a 10yr warranty with all memory kits providing that they have been purchased inside the European Union. Further information can be found here.


Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) 2GB Kit Page: 2
Packaging & Appearance
 
An area I often moan about on memory kits is the over-use of the plastic blister style packaging. Sure it allows the modules contained within to be seen in their full glory when placed on retailers shelves, but it offers very little in the way of protection during shipping and takes away some of the excitement when unpacking your latest purchase.
 
While it would appear that Aeneon have followed suit with their latest Xtune kit, it's good to see that they've gone to the additional trouble of sealing the packaging together on all corners. This should help prevent the memory from getting "fingered" by customers while on retailers shelves, and certainly forced us to reach for the scissors in order to gain access to the modules for this review.
 
Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Packaging
 
Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Packaging Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Packaging
 
Very little information about the kit is provided to potential buyers, with the back and front of the packaging only containing the most basic of details. While it certainly would have been good to get a full specs list somewhere on the packaging, Aeneon probably opted for the "generic" approach so the paper inserts can easily be used with future memory kits.
 
Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Memory Front Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Memory Back
 
Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Xtune Logo Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Specs Sticker
 
The kit itself is a fairly simplistic affair, with black aluminium heatspreaders encircling each of the memory modules. While the heatspreaders certainly aren't as flashy as some of the offerings from OCZ, Patriot or Cellshock, the embossed/painted Xtune logo on the front of the kit goes a fair way to sprucing them up.
 
Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Double Sided Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Heatspreaders Removed
 
Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Memory Naked! Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 Memory IC's
 
Unlike many of the Micron-based DDR3 2GB memory kits, the Aeneon kit is actually double-sided. This could possibly work in favour of the Xtune kit, as it means that the heat produced by the IC's is evenly spread over each side of the heatspreader.
 
Normally at this point we'd also discuss the choice of memory IC's used on the modules, but with little experience of anything outside the realms of Micron's D9 chips, the best we can do is provide you with the model number printed on the IC's  for conducting your own investigation: FSS25638.


Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) 2GB Kit Page: 3
Test Setup
 
 
AenEon Xtune PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) 2GB Kit
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Quad Q6600 "G0" 2.4GHz 2x4MB
MotherboardAsus P5K3 Deluxe
Graphics Card  Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro 256mb PCI-E
Hard Disk Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM 8mb
CPU Cooling Stock Intel Aluminium Cooler
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (Latest Updates)
Graphics Drivers ATI Catalyst 7.4.44981
Motherboard Drivers Intel INF 8.300.1013
 
To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities will be used:

Synthetic Memory Subsystem
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• Lavalys Everest 4.0

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark05
• 3DMark06

3D Games
• Quake 4
• Bioshock
• F.E.A.R
 
 
Settings & Overclocking
 
As with all memory reviews on Overclock3D the Aeneon Xtune modules were subjected to a series of benchmark tests under several different configurations. The configurations used tested the memory's ability to run at high frequencies with stock timings, high frequencies with loosened timings and also ensured that that the modules could run with 100% stability at their advertised speed, latency and voltage settings.
  
Stock Frequency & Timings
DDR3-1333 / 8-8-8-15 / 1.5v
Stock CPU-Z Stock CPU-Z
 
Being naturally sceptical of almost every product that passes through the Overclock3D labs, I was almost certain that I'd have problems getting the Xtune modules to run at their stock settings with only 1.5v. However, I'm pleased to say that Aeneon proved me totally wrong, with the kit managing to run OCCT stable for several hours at DDR3-1333 / 8-8-8-15 on our P5K testbed.
 
 
Highest Frequency @ Stock Timings
DDR3-1524 / 8-8-8-15 / 1.85v
Highest Frequency @ Stock Timings - CPU-Z Highest Frequency @ Stock Timings - CPU-Z
 
While some DDR3 kits we've tested recently thrive on anything up to 2.0v, the Xtune modules seemed to hit their sweet spot at around 1.85v. This certainly didn't impede our overclocking experiences though, with the modules managing to hit DDR3-1524 on the stock 8-8-8-15 timings.
 
 
Highest Frequency @ Relaxed Timings
DDR3-1700 / 9-9-9-15 / 1.85v
Highest Frequency @ Relaxed Timings - CPU-Z Highest Frequency @ Relaxed Timings - CPU-Z
 
Relaxing the memory timings to 9-9-9-15 allowed for some staggering results, with the kit managing full OCCT stability at up to DDR3-1700. This is a full 184mhz (or DDR3-368) overclock from the stock speed of the modules, and puts the Aeneon kit in the number 1 spot with the highest percentage overclock of any DDR3 kit we've tested to date!
 
In addition to this, the kit also managed to complete 3DMark06 and all game benchmarks at up to DDR3-1732, but wasn't stable enough to complete 3DMark05 or any OCCT stress testing.


Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) 2GB Kit Page: 4
Sisoft Sandra

Sisoft Sandra is a synthetic benchmark utility capable of reporting and benchmarking a wide range of system components. As the focus of this review is around the performance of the Memory subsystem (rather than overall system performance), only the Memory Bandwidth and Memory Latency benchmarks are utilised.
 
 Sisoft Sandra Memory Bandwidth
 
Sisoft Memory Bandwidth
 
Sisoft Memory Latency
 
 
Everest

Everest is in many ways similar to Sisoft Sandra. Focusing mainly on Software and Hardware information reporting, Everest also comes with a benchmark utility suitable for testing the read, write and latency performance of the memory subsystem.
 
Everest Memory Read
 
Everest Memory Write
 
Everest Memory Latency


Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) 2GB Kit Page: 5
ViMark

ViMark is the latest addition to the OC3D testing process and a relatively new benchmarking application in general. Designed to take the inaccuracies and guesswork out of measuring the time taken to encode video files, ViMark produces easily comparable and consistent results for encoding Windows Media, Quicktime, AVI and Gif files.
 
ViMark - Windows Media
 
ViMark - Apple Quicktime
 
ViMark - AVI
 
ViMark - GIF
 
 
7-Zip

7-Zip is an open source winzip-style file compression utility that has the ability to compress and decompress many file formats including it's own .7z compression scheme. 7-Zip also comes complete with its own benchmarking utility for gauging the compression and decompression speed of the system that it is installed on.
 
7-Zip Compression
 
7-Zip Decompression


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CineBench
 
Cinebench 10 is a benchmarking tool based on the powerful 3D software Cinema 4D. Consequently, the results of tests conducted using Cinebench carry significant weight when analysing a computer’s performance in everyday use.
 
Cinebench Rendering
 
Cinebench Rendering
 
Cinebench OpenGL
 
 
3DMark053DMark06
 
3DMark is a popular synthetic gaming benchmark used by many gamers and overclockers to gauge the performance of their PC's. All 3DMark runs were performed using the default configurations and with AA / AF disabled.
 
3DMark05
 
3DMark06


Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) 2GB Kit Page: 7
Quake4
 
Quake 4 is a game built on the Doom 3 engine. Benchmarking was performed using Quake4Bench and a custom timedemo recording along with 0xAA, 0xAF settings at a resolution of 1024x768.
 
Quake4
 
 
F.E.A.R
 
F.E.A.R. is a game based on the Lithtech Jupiter EX engine. It has volumetric lighting, soft shadows, parallax mapping and particle effects. Included in the game is a benchmark facility that taxes the entire PC system.
 
F.E.A.R
 
 
UT3
 
Unreal Tournament 3 is the highly anticipated game from Epic Games and Midway. The game uses the latest Unreal engine which combines fast gameplay along with high quality textures and lighting effects. All benchmarks were performed using UTbench (Bots/DM-BioHazard).
 
Unreal Tournament 3


Aeneon Xtune PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) 2GB Kit Page: 8
Conclusion
 Aeneon Xtune
Being a memory kit that uses Qimonda's memory IC's rather than the "overclockers favourite" Micron D9, I was totally expecting to get to this part of the review and tell you about how the modules were no better than "average" in every respect. HOWEVER, (and yes that's a big one!) the Aeneon Xtune kit has totally taken me off guard by managing to reach speeds of DDR3-1700 on 1.85v with the timings relaxed to CAS9.
 
Unfortunately, after searching the internet extensively over the past few days we haven't been able to find a single retailer who stocks this particular kit. This makes it extremely hard to come to any kind of conclusion over whether the Xtune modules are actually good value for money, or simply a high-end memory kit downclocked to generate a bit of media excitement.
 
 
The Good
• Managed to clock all the way up to DDR3-1700 (a 22% overclock from stock).
• Rock solid operation at DDR3-1333 with only 1.5v
• Backed by a 10yr warranty.
 
The Mediocre
•  Didn't respond well to tightening timings.
•  Performance deterioration over 1.85v
 
The Bad
• Impossible to find anywhere that stocks it!
 
 

 
Thanks to Aeneon for making this review possible. Discuss this review in our forums.