Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133Mhz 16GB Reviewccokeman - October 3, 2012
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Memory is often hard to separate between one kit and another in gaming, though when it comes to number-crunching and computing, some memory provides an extra boost in comparison. To see just what kind of performance this kit has to offer, I will be running the modules through a series of benchmarks. There will be 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB kits tested, ranging in speed from 1866 MHz - 2400 MHz, tested at native speeds as well as overclocked. Overclocking, of course, will be dependent on exactly how far the testing rig will allow, though I will push it as far as I can. The testing setup used for these benchmarks is listed below, where Turbo Boost has been disabled to eliminate uncontrolled clock changes that may skew the results. The CPU will be run at default clock speeds for baseline testing and bumped up to 4.5 GHz or as close as possible, where possible, for OC testing. All current updates and patches have been installed for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and AMD Catalyst driver version 12.6 will be used for the video card.
- Processors: Core i7 3770K
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus V Gene
- Memory:Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2133MHz
- Video Card: XFX HD 7970 Black Edition
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
- Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-ray
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- G.Skill Ripjaws X 4 x 8GBGB
- G.Skill Trident X 2 x 4GB
- Mushkin 997070 2 x 8GB
- Mushkin 994071 4 x 8GB
- Patriot Viper 3 2 x 4GB
- Mushkin 993997 4 x 4GB 2133Mhz
- Patriot Viper 3 Intel Extreme Masters 2 x 8GB 1866Mhz
CPU-Z: This application visually shows the settings that we have chosen in the BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings, and SPD chip information.
Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file, and processor usage.
- Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K 4545MHz (103.3 MHz x 44)
- Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 9-12-11-30 2481MHz
Going into the testing, you need to know that as one of Corsairs highly binned sets of memory this set should have some overclocking headroom. Indeed they did. Since Corsair sells a set of these modules rated at 2666Mhz using 1.65v I though I would start there for my overclocking. Sadly about all I could get was some SuperPi 1.5 32m stable results to show for it using 1.75v on the modules with timings of 10-12-12-31 2T. Stable enough for benchmarking but not for everyday use. To run stable enough for everyday required a latency change to 9-12-11-31 2t using 1.695v, a divider change to 2400Mhz, followed up with some bclock tuning. By tweaking the VCCSA and VCCIO voltages up a bit to 1.150 and 1.00 respectively, I was able to push the modules to 2481Mhz still keeping the cas latency at 9 with semi-tight secondary timings. While 2666Mhz would have been nice for each and every day use, the modules just would not run the number. Loosening the timings further results in a performance loss that is not offset by the speed gain. If you want to avoid as much tweaking as possible you can set the modules to run on the programmed XMP profile. By setting the profile and changing the memory divider to 2400Mhz and the voltage changed to 1.65 the modules responded with a perfectly stable boost without changing any other settings. In the end I ended up with a 15% boost in memory speed for the time and effort it took to iron out the potential of these modules.
Corsair recommends additional airflow over the modules when running over 2400Mhz. At over 2400Mhz the modules were still running at just above ambient temperatures with just normal airflow from the fans pushing air through the Corsair H100 radiator. At 1.75v with an additional fan placed to blow air over the modules they did not even get warm to the touch. That being said I could not get in between the modules for a more accurate measurement. Even so the DHX cooling seems to handle the thermal load quite well at 1.75v, the maximum voltage used in the testing. Any way you cut it the Dominator Platinum modules offer even better performance through tuning to go along with the stunning looks and impressive DHX cooling.
Maximum Memory Speed:
The maximum memory speed for each set of overclocked modules is indicative of how well the modules ran on this test system. As such, your results may differ in either a positive or negative way based upon the capabilities of your hardware. In other words, your mileage may vary!
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.61
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- PCMark 7
- Geekbench 2.1
- Super Pi 1.5
- SiSoft Sandra 2012
- AIDA64 2.50
- Metro 2033