Corsair Dominator Memory Review - New Heatsinks and Cooling
Overclocking Testing and Conclusions
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.
Corsair has several options of Dominator modules listed on their website:
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|
$283 (+$40 MIR)
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.
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.
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