Aeneon 2x2GB XTune DDR3-1600 (AXH860UD20-16H)Jul 22nd, 2008 | By Simon
Aeneon 2x2GB XTune DDR3-1600 (AXH860UD20-16H)
: 07/22/08 – 04:57:08 AM
Page 1 : Index
When Aeneon first contacted Overclockers Online to review their
4GB Aeneon XTune DDR3 1600
, I must admit that their name did not ring as large of a bell as it should have. Aeneon products are offered for the channel and retail markets by Qimonda. Qimonda is a world leading memory company, one that most of us have heard of. They are a popular choice by many manufacturers when it comes to desktop RAM and graphics card memory.
There is not a whole lot on the Aeneon website but they claim to be renowned for ‘excellence in product quality, high performance and early availability, Aeneon products are based on leading-edge German technology and reliability.’
The focus of today's article will solely be on the Aeneon XTune DDR3-1600 kit. This is Aeneon's highest end product and while it isn't the fastest on the market, it boasts a hefty 4GB which makes it perfect for the memory hogging Windows Vista now that XP is no longer available on the retail market.
Page 2 : Package & Contents
The Aeneon XTune DDR3-1600 came in the standard blister package that we've all grown accustomed to. The clear packaging gives customers at the retail shop a close-up look at the product. However, how often do you really purchase in-store? Online sales have grown and I believe it's time every company stepped up with more eco-friendly and shipping friendly packages. Do away with plastic and go back to simple cardboard.
The only problem with going back to cardboard is that we would no longer be able to read the details of the kit and this package section will become fairly redundant. So working with what we have, the back of the Aeneon package highlights a few of the features and product UPC code.
The front cardboard insert details the EPP and XMP compliance, dual channel mode verified, low voltage requirement and lifetime warranty.
Once the package is opened, you can pull out a Guarantee and Installation booklet hidden between the insert. For anyone new to building computers, this will be a very handy guide as it details the step by step process.
Pulling the kit out of the package we immediately see that Aeneon did not ‘bling’ up the heatspreader with aluminum fins or any fancy decoration. They have stuck with the tried, tested, and true heatspreader we have seen since the days of DDR1.
The label clearly identifies the size, frequency, timing, model number, assembly location and warranty information of the stick.
There are a number of markings around the PCB but none of them resolve to anything on Google.
We'll see in the installation section that this kit takes up next to no room. The heatspreaders are no taller than the module itself and no wider than the DIMM socket.
Page 3 : Specifications
Numbers say a lot when it comes to product performance. Proper marketing can make a sub-par product sound like gold but with Aenoen's simple approach, they have let the numbers do all the talking. Here's
on their product page:
4 GByte (2x2GB) Kit, DDR3-1600, CL9, 240-pin UDIMM
XTUNE DDR3 series is the AENEON solution for the latest DDR3 platforms addressing the highest performance providing fast, stable and reliable system operation.
- 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 aluminum heat spreader to ensure cooler operating temperature
- Supports Intel XMP: Extreme Memory Profile on Intel X38/X48 platforms
- Supports EPP2.0 – Enhance Performance Profile on NVIDIA SLI platforms
The Dual Channel Kit comes with two identical modules tested together in DUAL CHANNEL MODE at 1600MHz at a latency timing of 9-9-9-28 on several platforms.
Supports XMP – Extreme Memory Profile on Intel X38/X48 platforms and EPP2.0 – Enhanced Performance Profile on the latest NVIDIA SLI platforms.
AXH860UD20-16H comes as dual channel kit with the following part number:
Removing the heat spreader is not an easy task because they are connected at the top. I don't like this method because it usually means the bottom portion of the IC doesn't get great contact with the thermal tape and heat spreader. After lifting half of the heat spreader off, I'm able to see that the IC used is in fact by Qimonda. The serial number is IDSH1G-03A1F1C-16H FSS12108. It was manufactured in week 12 of 2008.
You can download a copy of the datasheet here.
Page 4 : Installation & Operating Temperature
The installation secion is going to be fairly dry. As stated earlier in the review, the AXH860UD20-16H uses a low profile heatsink so there should be no compatibility issues. This is a huge plus as many manufacturers tend to enjoy creating elaborate heatsinks that are suppose to improve performance. With an operating voltage of only 1.5V, this is hardly necessary.
In the test setup, the Asus P3E5 and Thermalright HR-01, the memory clearly lives in its own world. There is plenty of room around the modules and heatsink or motherboard removal is not necessary.
To monitor the temperature of the modules, I mounted to thermal probes. One directly on top of the IC and another on the face of the heat spreader.
Under idle conditions Windows XP x64 used up approximately 500MB of RAM and the temperature on the IC was 36.6C and 35.3 on the heat spreader. Under full load condition with Prime 95 and three instances of MemTestPro running for 1 hour the IC temperature was 44.6C and the heat spreader was 40.8C. The memory was running at 1820Mhz 10-10-10-30 1T at 1.5V. The ambient case temperature was 27.5C.
Page 5 : Test Setup & Overclocking
It's been a few months since I've done some serious benchmarking on my machine. The parts are slightly dated but provide ample performance and are typical of what most of you probably have.
- CPU: Intel C2D Q6600 (G0 SLACR L731B434)
- CPU Cooling: Thermalright HR-01 w/ 120 mm Antec Tri-Cool Fan
- MB: Asus P5E3-Dlx Wifi-AP Edition
- PWM Cooling: Stock
- NB Cooling: Stock
- SB Cooling: Stock
- CPU: BFG NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT OC2 512MB
- PSU: Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850W
- HD: Seagate SATA 250 GB 8MB NCQ
- OS: Windows XP Professional SP2
Aneon 2x2048MB DDR3-1600 (AXH860UD20-16H)
Stability testing memory is a commonly asked question in the computer forums and very seldom do you ever hear the right answer. Okay, so there is no real right answer but you never hear the correct logic for an answer. A lot of people like to pick an application and hang their hat on it. If it passes a certain application's stability test, then it is stable to them. I have personally tested so many kits of memory that I know enough to never trust a single program. Instead, I like to rely on an entire suite of memory stability tests in order to fully deem a kit of memory, overclock, or setup; stable. This type of stability would be for 24/7 daily use or in a system crunching for a distributed computing program like F@H, Rosetta, or WCG.The following is what constitutes stable to me for a 4GB kit of memory:
- Multiple loops of 3DMark 06 (5 loops of tests each)
- Dual 32M runs of SuperPi Mod 1.5 (ran at the same time using HyperPi 0.99b)
- 2 hours of quad Prime95 using Prime95 v2.55 on blend mode
- 2 hours of quad MemTest Pro in Windows using 500MB/instance for seven and the eighth using all available memory
As mentioned, this is not the end all say all for memory stability but Overclockers Online has used this menu for a long time now through DDR2 and DDR3 with very good success in finding a completely stable setup.
The screenshots below outlines what this memory was capable of at 1.5V with the outlined testing above. The graph just below is indicative of performance capable and takes into consideration all of the programs above. Some higher frequencies were possible, but often at the cost of Prime95 leading to errors.
After increasing the voltage to 1.6V and subsequently 1.7V and 1.8V, I was not able to stably squeeze any more power our of this kit. It simply does not respond well to the higher voltages.
Here's a stability screenshot at the maximum overclock I achived: 1820Mhz 10-10-10-30 1T with 1.5V.
Page 6 : Memory Benchmarks
We start off with our benchmarks with a look at a few bandwidth and memory latency benchmarks. For all of our benchmarks today, the versions are listed on each graph and the results are averaged to the same decimal point they are achieved in. So if the benchmark does not provide a score with a decimal place, the results will reflect this. All benchmarks are run three times. Here is a chart of the various timing sets we used for the benchmarks and their settings.
Memory Bandwidth – Lavalys Everest Ultimate 07 v4.50
Memory Bandwidth – Sisoft Sandra XIIc
Memory Bandwidth – Performance Test v6.1
Right from the get go we're seeing things where we would expect them. There are no real anomalies in the data. FSB controls a lot of the performance and when it's the same we see how timings have an influence on performance. The looser the timing (e.g., CAS 10)the lower the performance relative to a tighter timing, an example being CAS 9.
Memory Latency – Lavalys Everest Ultimate 07 v4.50 & Sisoft Sandra XIIc
The latency results have the same pattern as the memory bandwidth numbers.
Page 7 : System Benchmarks
The system benchmarks will rely more on the entire system and not just the memory sub-system. The memory will still have a substantial impact on results in some benchmarks but other factors are also going to play a role in how things shake out.
FutureMark PCMark 2005
PC Mark has been a standard for determining overall PC performance and we can see that the higher the memory speed and thus CPU speed, the higher the performance.
SuperPi Mod v/1.5 – 1M
SuperPi Mod v/1.5 – 32M
SuperPi is probably regarded as a simple must for overclockers. I would say one out of every three overclocker has done some kind of SuperPi benchmarking and performance ranking. We again see a similar pattern to the SuperPi results as we saw in the memory bandwidth numbers. The overclocked DDR3-1820 takes a clear lead over the remaining settings.
WinRAR 500MB Benchmark
WinRAR relies heavily on the memory sub-system for performance and higher bandwidth has always resulted in better times. We really see how performance is greatly affected by memory timing as three tenths of a second can be shaved by tightening your memory. This gain, of course, can only be achieved if your memory has that kind of headroom.
Page 8 : 3-D & Gaming Benchmarks
Futuremark 3DMark 03/05/06
No benchmark is complete without some gaming results, isn't that why we build these expensive beasts? Maybe not, but regardless, we all know that FutureMark is king when it comes to benchmarks. It's a number so universal that you could write down the digits and show another person from halfway around the world and they can estimate how well your rig performs.
Once again the results once again show the same pattern. 3D Mark doesn't heavily focus on memory performance so we'll move onto some games.
Gaming Benchmarks – Crysis Demo – CPU (Average) & World in Conflict – GPU (1920×1200)
Crysis shows very little advantage when it comes to running on tighter timings and system speed is king here. Any small improvement you can gain on your overall CPU speed will reflect in your FPS. Unfortunately we don't see the same results in World in Conflict. Running at 1920×1200, GPU is probably the biggest bottleneck in this field.
Page 9 : Conclusion
So after collecting hundreds of data points, where do we stand? Aeneon is somewhat of a new name when it comes to selling memory modules on the retail market but I'm impressed with what they have to offer. The low voltage still allowed for good overclocking but I was disappointed I couldn't get any more. We'll certainly be seeing more from these fine folks in the future.
The performance was where we'd expect a DDR3-1600 kit to fall. My PC feels snappier and more responsible. I don't have the pesky lagging issues because Photoshop has chewed up more memory than my old 2GB system could provide. If you're building a new machine and DDR3 is the way you're heading, I would consider picking up the Aeneon XTune DDR3-1600 4GB package. It may cost more but with Windows XP on the way out and Vista being the primary Microsoft OS, you'll want the extra bit of memory.
- Low voltage
- Low profile, no compatibility issues foreseeable
- Overclocking headroom at all timings
- Overall system performance increases
- No overclocking response to additional voltage
- Hard to find
Overclockers Online would like to think Aeneon for making this review possible.
- Multiple loops of 3DMark 06 (5 loops of tests each)