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Corsair Dominator Memory Review - New Heatsinks and Cooling

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Memory
Manufacturer: Corsair Components
Tagged:

Overclocking Testing and Conclusions

Overclocking

The actual modules we used for our overclocking and testing were the PC2-9136 modules that are rated at 1142 MHz DDR2 memory speeds.  I ran the tests on an EVGA 680i motherboard using an Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor

Here we see the CPU-Z screens from our stock testing starting point; 2.93 GHz and DDR2-800 MHz memory speeds.  Note that at 800 MHz these modules will easily do 4-4-4-12 timings with a 1T command rate but we were relaxing the timings preparing for some memory bus increases. 

Quick bump to 900 MHz memory in the EVGA BIOS...

Then to 1000 MHz...

Note that we were using the NVIDIA SLI memory features in the EVGA BIOS and an unlinked FSB and memory speed to allow for overclocking of the memory bus without pushing the FSB past the 1066 MHz stock speeds. 

Finally, here we hit the DDR2-1200 mark with breaking a sweat at all, and with a default 2.1v memory voltage.  Corsair's Dominator modules are obviously very fast either because of the fantastic new cooling Corsair has designed or just great memory chips.  Either way, you can't argue with the results!  Getting a 1200 MHz memory overclocking without having to adjust anything more than the frequency itself in the BIOS is damn impressive. 

Dominator Models

Corsair has several options of Dominator modules listed on their website:

Part Number Speed Latency Fan
TWIN2X2048-10000C5DF 1250 MHz 5-5-5-18 Yes
TWIN2X2048-9136C5D 1142 MHz 5-5-5-15 No
TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF 1111 MHz 4-4-4-12 Yes
TWIN2X2048-8500C5D 1063 MHz 5-5-5-15 No
TWIN2X2048-6400C3DF 800 MHz 3-4-3-9 Yes
TWIN2X2048-6400C4D 800 MHz 4-4-4-12 No

All of these kits are currently in a 1GB x 2 configuration and all suppor the Corsair's co-developed EPP (extended performance profiles) and are SLI certified - if that matters. 

Pricing and Availability

If there is a caveat to all this speed and technology, its definitely got to be the cost!

Part Number Pricegrabber Price @ Newegg
TWIN2X2048-10000C5DF  

$640

TWIN2X2048-9136C5D  

$459

TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF

$784

$610

TWIN2X2048-8500C5D

$368

$371

TWIN2X2048-6400C3DF  

$463

TWIN2X2048-6400C4D

$283 (+$40 MIR)

$284

You can also just purchase the Dominator Airflow fan for $19 at Newegg.

To get the top of the line memory you are looking at a $640 investment for 2GB of DDR2 memory; something I just can't quite recommend to anyone but the most extreme enthusiast with some cash to burn.  However, the 8500 modules that come in at $371 are a much better deal and can still bring in some good overclocking results.  My next pick would be the 9136 modules for $459, even though they don't come with a fan.  You can after get one for $20!

Enthusiast memory prices have continued to climb as the contenders fight to find new technologies to differentiate themselves from the "me too" contenders that have swarmed the market.  Corsair is an innovative company that works hard to find what the enthusiast wants and then deliver on their promises. 

Final Thoughts

The new Corsair Dominator memory modules are one of the most unique cooling solutions we have seen for system memory since the first heat spreaders were added many, many moons ago.  The new heatsink technology is a step above anyone else can offer overclockers, and the memory chips themselves have been hand selected to get great overclocking speeds with low timings.  The Dominator Airflow is the icing on the cake providing a great supplemental cooling solution for low air flow cases.  The prices are definitely up there, but that old adage goes, "you get what you pay for...".

In the end, Corsair's Dominator modules, quite literally, dominate.

Be sure to use our price checking engine to find the best prices on Corsair Dominator memory, and anything else you may want to buy!

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