Qimonda-Aeneon PC12800 "X-Tune"
The second test candidate comes from a giant in the memory industry, which rides upon rough weather lately: Qimonda
. We can only hope they can sail through it to safe harbor. Here are some facts about one of the world's leading memory manufacturers:
Headquarters : Qimonda is headquartered in Munich (Germany)
Market Position World leading DRAM company, one of the broadest product portfolios in the DRAM industry. Pioneer in 300mm manufacturing: Almost 90% of the DRAM bits shipped are manufactured on 300mm
Employees :about 13,500 employees worldwide (status: December 31, 2007)
Financials : 3.61 billion EUR net sales in Financial Year 2007, 32 percent of Qimonda’s revenues derived in North America, 16 percent in Europe, 40 percent in Asia Pacific and 12 percent in Japan
Research and Development : about 2,500 employees in R&D with more than 1,100 engineers in product development (status: December 31, 2007)
Six major R&D facilities worldwide: Munich, Dresden (Germany), Padua (Italy) Raleigh (USA), Tokyo (Japan) and Xi'an (China)
In comparison to these numbers, most "enthusiast" memory manufacturers are dwarfed. Qimonda is not that well known in the enthusiast community, so we're very glad they decided to participate in our roundup. The kit they sent us comes from the "X-Tune" lineup, which is part of the Aeneon brand "manufactured by Qimonda". Have a look at the box :
The X-Tune kit comes in a quite large, and well manufactured case. Another "see-through" design, this one makes use of the modules to create the box branding. Nicely done. Inside is a new kind of blister, which I hadn't seen before : the modules are slightly stacked in it, creating a thicker (and possibly a little smaller) package.
Packaging, backside, blister
This is how the modules look up close :
(click for larger version)
The modules are, just like the GeIL competition, equipped with standard height heatspreaders. In this case, they come with a nice black, matte finish, featuring the X-Tune logo and the Aeneon name. Like many other modules, the back is more sober. The design idea is the same, but without the X-tune logo, and with the specifications and warranty sticker applied. All in all, a very nice package, again not the most eye-catching design for the case-modder, but certainly more than classy enough for anyone else.
More module images
These are the specs Qimonda gives in their spec sheet (.pdf)
:1600MHz DDR3 (PC12800)
Latencies : 9-9-9-28-2T (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS-CR)
Operating voltage : 1.5 Volts
Support for Intel XMP profiles as well as nVidia's EPP 2.0
Parity : Unbuffered
Memory size : 3x 2048Mb
It might not be immediately visible from the basic specifications, but Qimonda uses a different production process than other manufacturers, resulting in very different behavior when it comes to voltage and latency control. Their modules scale even beyond cas 9 (as is shown in the spec sheet) and sometimes I got the feeling that the latencies were not completely comparable to other modules running the same timings. Have a look at the performance results and you'll know what I mean. Although the "cas 9" label predicts a hard time for this kit when compared to the others, they might find their spot in the lower midrange market, depending on the price of course.
Overclocking these modules was a bit of a disappointment at first, until I realized that they behave very differently from the other kits. Our stable results were "only" 680Mhz (1360 DDR) for cas 7, so barely above the 1333 or PC10600 Mark. For cas 8 we got up to 760Mhz, cas 9 gave us 840Mhz, or only 5% additional headroom above the guaranteed speed of 1600Mhz DDR. Overclocking did not pose many problems though, and the results were very linear up to failure at 846Mhz.
Finally, we tried a cas 10 setting as well, 10-10-10-30-2T to be exact, which is the next speed grade that Aeneon advertises. As a matter of fact, the modules provide a JEDEC spec out of the box for 833Mhz at only 1.5V, at the given latencies. These are also the only modules in our roundup that do not scale with additional voltage : whether it's 1.5V or 1.65V, the modules do not show additional headroom and function best at 1.5V. The modules did not have any problem with 900Mhz this way, and were not even pushed hard to reach this speed.
Maximum Overclock cas 7, 8 and 9, cas 10-2T
Onto Patriot now >>>