DDR3 memory still has some work to do in order to dethrone DDR2, but it is making great strides. The number of motherboards supporting it continues to grow, the prices are slowly coming down, and the speeds and timings are getting to levels that really make it perform like the next generation technology it is supposed to be. Overclockers are now able to run their memory at over 2GHz with ease, and several manufacturers offer kits rated for these speeds at their stock settings.
Despite the advances to extremely high frequencies, the speed which seems to be the current sweet spot for performance, compatibility, and price is PC3-12800, or 1600MHz DDR3. Most memory manufacturers have at least one kit rated for this speed, and many motherboards now offer support for it (some stock, some requiring overclocking). We've looked at a couple 1600MHz kits over the past several months, and this review is going to kick off a new series taking a look at a few more.
This time around we are going to take a look at a 2GB PC3-12800 (1600MHz) kit from Aeneon's XTune line up rated for 9-9-9-28 timings and 1.5V. Before taking a look at the kit provided for review, let's look at some of the published data taken from the product page on the Aeneon website...
Features and Specifications:
» Kit Part Number: AXH760UD20-16H
» 2x1GB Memory Modules
» Speed Grade DDR3-1600, 9-9-9-28, 1.5 V
» 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
Of interest, at least to me, is that there are both XMP and EPP 2.0 profiles programmed into these modules. I may be out of the loop, but conversations with other manufacturers late last year indicated that kits would be XMP or EPP 2.0, not both. I think it is great that there is just one kit that has to be produced to support both platforms, and it seems that manufacturers would have to be all for stocking one part number, too.
The images below show the front and back of the plastic case that these Aeneon XTune modules are sold in. You get a clear view of the product, as well as information regarding the lifetime warranty, 1.5V operating voltage, and that the kit features XMP and EPP 2.0 profiles.
Zooming in on the back of the package reveals something pretty cool; acknowledgment of the "Recommended" award given to the 1333MHz DDR3 kit reviewed in November 2007. Hopefully this kit manages to be equally impressive and can earn an award of its own.