Silicon Power, founded in 2003, is a flash memory cards, USB flash drives, card readers, DRAM modules, solid state disks, and portable hard drives. Their main aim is to provide high quality products and top notch customer service. Silicon Power is the first among its worldwide competitors to offer Lifetime Warranty Service both for the Flash Memory Card and for USB Flash Drive products. They were as Taiwan’s No. 1 semi-conductor manufacturer in 2009.
Today, we’ll be having a look at their Silicon-Power XPower DDR3 1600MHz 4GB Dual Channel Kit. It belongs to their XPower memory products line-up. They are offering memory with up to 2133MHz speed.
Packaging and the Memory:
XPower DDR3 1600MHz 4GB Dual Channel comes in a nice black box with blue accents. Front of the box has an arrow shaped window with chrome borders. These borders really make the box stand among others. Windows gives you a nice look of memory modules topped up with sturdy and thick golden aluminum fins.
Back of the box explains main features of the memory in quite a number of languages. It also has a little diagram showing the innovative heatsink design.
Memory modules come packed in a black plastic shell with white top. It isn’t sturdy enough to provide protection to modules in case of any handling mishap.
XPower memory comes equipped with bulky golden colored aluminum heat spreaders. Silicon-Power’s XPower DDR3 logo is etched on front of the modules. There is a small sticker on left side which states the serial number and other handy information about the memory like speed, timings and voltage.
Being a 4GB Dual Channel kit, each modules comprises 2GB of memory running at 1600MHz with CL9 (9-9-9-24) timings at 1.65v.
The other side of modules isn’t so different, the sticker is missing but there are two screws which are holding the head spreaders together.
Silicon-Power has designed these heat spreaders to provide best possible cooling to the memory chips. They have groves on upper side to provide maximum contact area for air. Memory modules are pretty heavy due to these bulky aluminum heat spreaders.
They have used 6 layered green PCB which is really killing the looks. Black would have looked a lot better with golden heat spreaders.
Overclocking and Testing:
Memory overclocking is a very difficult task. There are a lot of things you have to keep in mind to get the most out of it. There are many settings and you need to find the best possible combination. Increasing memory speed will not give you enough boost until you fine tune your timings too and other way around. Timings play a vital role in your memory performance. Then voltage comes into play, you can’t keep on increasing memory voltage especially with X58 and P55 chipset as memory controller (IMC) is located on your processor and too much voltage can damage it. To achieve higher memory clocks increasing memory voltage only will not help, you’ll need to increase IMC voltage as well. Overall, it’s a very complicated and time consuming process.
To lessen our problems a bit, Intel introduced Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) for DDR3 memory. XMP is, actually, a pre-configured overclock profile in your memory. All you need to do is enable it through your BIOS and your memory will be overclocked to a safe level. Here is a shot of CPUz showing XMP of this particular memory kit.
Today, we’ll overclock Silicon-Power XPower DDR3 1600MHz 4GB kit far ahead of XMP’s pre-defined speeds in a couple of different scenarios.
We’ll try to reach maximum stable speed on following timings with voltage fixed at 1.65 all the time:
• CL6 (6-6-6-18 )
• CL7 (7-7-7-21)
• CL8 (8-8-8-24)
• CL9 (9-9-9-24)
In the end we’ll try to reach maximum possible speed at 1.65 Volts keeping timings in reasonable limit.
As most of you know that memory is linked with base clock. We need to change base clock in order to change memory speed hence it changes overall speed of processor but we’ll try to keep processor clock near 4.0GHz by changing multiplier when needed.
Memory stability will be tested with MemTest, it’s a small but very handy tool to test your memory.
We’ll test the memory modules in Dual Channel mode at 1.65 Volts.
XPower DDR3 kit proved to be a great overclocker, let’s have a look at what we were able to achieve:
We were able to achieve rated speeds of 1600MHz with only CL7 timings instead of stock CL9, that’s truly marvelous. The maximum we were able to pull out was 2064MHz. Silicon-Power could have easily rated it at 2000MHz with CL9 but they didn’t, they might want to give customers some overclocking headroom.
After tweaking timings a bit, we were able to pull out 2200MHz at 9-11-9-27 timings, which is pretty darn amazing for such a memory kit.
Let’s move on to some performance testing now, we’ll test our overclocked memory with a couple of different softwares.
- Lavalys Everest:
Lavalys created and developed market leading computer diagnostics, hardware monitoring, network audit, and benchmarking software solutions based on our proven, award-winning EVEREST technology.
We used Lavalys Everest Memory Benchmark tool to test read, write and copy speeds. Furthermore we also tested Latency.
- MaxxMEM Preview:
It tests your computer’s raw memory performance, combining copy, read, write and latency tests into one global score. It contains the same Memory benchmark routine as MaxxPI does. So your reached results will be comparable to Memory / Latency benchmarks done by MaxxPI.
Silicon-Power XPower DDR3 1600MHz 4GB Kit, I wasn’t expecting much from it but it turned out to be pretty good. It reached its rated speed at only CL7 as compared to stock CL9 which is pretty impressive. It did 2064 MHz on stock CL9 which is again pretty impressive. They could have easily rated it for 2000 MHz CL9.
If we talk about aesthetics, its one ‘awesome’ looking memory. Golden Heatsinks look amazing. Silicon-Power has really gone ahead with Aluminum heatsinks. These heavy, golden, beefy heatsinks look amazing.
I spent like 15 minutes on Google trying to find out the price of this kit but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Availability is one big issue with Silicon-Power products. If they become easily available I am sure that they can compete with some big names in this
Silicon-Power is offering life time warranty upon registration of this kit.
• Great overclockability
• Amazing looks
• Life time warranty
• Loose timings on stock
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