Silicon-Power Xpower DDR3 1600 Dual Channel Kit- Review

Abdullah Saad
Posted Oct 22, 2010
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Silicon Power is a Taiwan based company specializing in Flash Memory Cards, USB flash drives, DRAM modules and other consumer electronic devices. Products from the company include SSD’s, RAM modules and Kits, USB Flash drives, Card Readers and Portable Harddrives.

Today we shall be looking at the Silicon Power Xpower series  DDR3 Dual Channel RAM Kit provided by Silicon power.

A closer Look on the XPower DDR3 1600 PC3 12800 Dual Channel Kit

The Xpower is the mainstream RAM product from the company, capable of over clocking and available in DDR2 and DDR3 and in Dual and Triple Channel Kits. We were provided the Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1600 series for testing by the company.

The RAM comes in a neat and minimalistic box packaging, with the Ram sticks visible on the front side. From the outer looks, the ram sticks look really impressive, boasting thick aluminium fins on the top edge.

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On the back side, specifications are displayed in a couple of languages.

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The packing is simple, neat and meant to keep the rams sturdy.

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According to Silicon Power, the Heatsink is specifically designed to improve the heat exchange by improving the airflow around the top edge of the ram stick, making the rams run cool.

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The heatsink itself is built of Aluminum like material, and boasts a smei polished finish, but looks real nice once installed.

Features

  • DDR3 functionality and operations supported as defined in the component data sheet
  • 240-pin, unbuffered dual in-line memory module (UDIMM)
  • Fast data transfer rates: PC3-12800, PC3-14400, PC3-16000, PC3-17066
  • 2GB (256 Meg x 64)
  • VDD = VDDQ = +1.65V
  • VDDSPD = +3.0V to +3.6V
  • Reset pin for improved system stability
  • Nominal and dynamic on-die termination (ODT) for data, strobe, and mask signals
  • Dual rank
  • Fixed burst chop (BC) of 4 and burst length (BL) of 8 via the mode register set (MRS)
  • Adjustable data-output drive strength
  • Serial presence-detect (SPD) EEPROM
  • Gold edge contacts
  • Pb-free
  • Fly-by topology
  • Terminated control, command, and address bus

Module Specifications:

Test Setup

The system used to test is as follows:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-860 (Stock Clock 2.8GHz)
  • Motherboard: Asus P7P55D
  • Graphics Card: XFX GTX-295 (Stock clocks)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Softwares Used in the Test

The testing included the following software:

  • CPU-Z
  • Everest Ultimate Edition
  • PassMark Performance Scores
  • Sandra latency, memory bandwidth

Lavalys Everest Ultimate Edition

Lavalys EVEREST is a system diagnostics and benchmarking utility that provides system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities, including tests for the memory subsystem. Here the utility runs the benchmark and records the read and write bandwidths, as well as the latency.

The rams  showed variable performance everytime the test was run. This was quite interesting and annoying at the same time, but the scores did show inconsistency, as is evident in the pictures below.

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After a lot of tries, the best scores that we could gather were as follows:

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Even then, these scores were not that impressive even if compared to Kingston Value Select RAM’s, running at 1333Mhz which were also tested. The scores of the Xpower Rams sometimes dropped below the scores, which was a disappointment to say the least from mainstream memory sticks running at 1600. (For comparison’s sake, these were the scores of the stock Kingston Value Select Ram at 1333Mhz.

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PassMark Performance Tests

PassMark PerformanceTest is an award winning PC hardware benchmark utility that allows everybody to quickly assess the performance of their computer and compare it to a number of standard ‘baseline’ computer systems. The Advanced Memory Test is part of the PerformanceTest application, and it is designed to test several factors which affect the speed of which data is accessed in PC memory, and was thus used in this review.

The scores are not that impressive unfortunately, with the scores showing lower than expected values. Interesting to note are the Block Read and Write graphs respectively, which show some strange behavior with speeds dropping drastically.

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SiSoftware Sandra: Cache and Memory Tests

Once again, well let the figures and the numbers do the talking. And the results are very clear unfortunately…

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Summary

The ram being the mainstream product of Silicon power did take a lot of thrashing, but somehow it failed to impress. We contacted Silicon Power with the preliminary results, and according tho their engineers, the scores were ok when compared to the likes of Kingston and Gskill. The company was more interested in the Ram’s stability and compatibility, which we are happy to say were good! The rams were stable, and never had a hiccup during any of the benchmarks or during the two odd weeks they were run overclocked and under full gaming stress.

We hope that if the errors were due to some minor glitch, Silicon Power may be interested to send us a fresh piece, so that maybe we can be happy to say that the rams are great deals. Till then, all we can say is hard luck Silicon Power…

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