|Aeneon XTUNE 2GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Dual Channel Memory Kit
The Aeneon XTUNE 2GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Dual Channel Memory Kit was installed in a system with the following components for this review:
» Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Dual Core processor
» ASUS P5KC P35 ATX motherboard
» Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB hard drive
» PC Power and Cooling 750 Quad Silencer power supply
» Cooler Master iTower 930 ATX
» Windows Vista Home Premium
The module's specifications indicate default timings of 8-8-8-15 at 1333MHz, with a voltage of 1.5V. Upon first boot the test system's BIOS identified them as actually being 8-8-8-24, and I left them like that for the first boot into Windows. This type of discrepancy is not uncommon, and generally put in place for compatibility purposes.
The screenshots below were taken from CPU-Z Version 1.41, which confirms that 8-8-8-24 is actually what they were programmed for. The below right image shows the "SPD" tab which provides information about the programmed timings for other speeds, as well. While you generally get data on speeds less than the rated speed, it was nice to see that Aeneon provided data for overclocking up to 1500MHz DDR3. The information reveals that you should be able to run a 9-9-9-27 timings, and I will be sure to check on that!
After a reboot the BIOS was adjusted to the advertised timings of 8-8-8-15 and a few benchmarks and a 30 minute session of OCCT were executed. Satisfied with the default speed stability and performance, it was time to see what else this memory could do.
Overclocking and Optimizing:
1333MHz is the default bus speed of many of Intel's modern processors, including the e6850 Core 2 Duo used in this review. The combination of this memory and the e6850 makes for an excellent match at default speed, but given the processor's overclocking capabilities, it makes for a great way to see exactly how high the memory can climb. In reviews of other DDR3 memory, the system was capable of passing 1600MHz DDR3, and the processor itself runs well when overclocked from 333MHz FSB all the way up past 400MHz FSB. Any overclocking limitations found in this review should be attributable to this 1333MHz kit.
The memory was tested in a few configurations in order to check how it ran at the rated speeds/timings, how tight the timings could be run at various speeds, and how fast it could be run regardless of timings. Over the course of the review, test data was collected at a variety of speeds, and in the benchmarking section a few will be presented for comparison.
The first step was to see how tight the timings could be set while running at default speed. After several reboots to tweak things in the BIOS, I was rather impressed to see that the memory was perfectly stable at 7-7-7-15 while at 1333MHz (1.5V and 333MHz FSB).
After seeing that 1280MHz was a sweet spot for the Crucial Ballistix DDR3 that was recently reviewed, I then made adjustments to run there. The FSB was changed from 333MHz to 400MHz, the multiplier was dropped from 9 to 8, the voltage was raised from 1.5V to 1.8V for good measure, and the memory bus was changed to 1280MHz. Initial tests showed me that 1280MHz and 7-7-7-15 timings were also quite appealing with this kit, and this underclocked setting will be included in the benchmarking section.
The next step was to confirm the SPD data that this kit could run at 1500MHz and 9-9-9-27 timings. It did with ease, and with some more tweaking I found that the timings could even be kept at 8-8-8-15 while at this elevated speed. I then continued to push upward from here, and soon found the limit to be 1533MHz. Despite various adjustments in the BIOS, I could go no higher, but was relatively satisfied to get 200MHz extra out of this kit, as well as some tight timing performance at lower speeds.