Corsair Dominator GT TW3X1600C6GT Memory Reviewajmatson - July 26, 2009
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As processor speeds keep increasing to satisfy our hungry enthusiast cravings, memory needs to keep up in order for us to remain strong and competitive. Memory manufacturers have been spending time and money researching how to squeeze every bit of juice out of its modules and chips to give us the best performance available. When it comes to memory, there are two things you need to take into consideration when making your selection. The first one is the speed that the memory operates at and the data rate, such as DDR3-1333. The faster the speed, the better chance for increased memory bandwidth and overall performance. In addition to the speed of the modules, a user needs to take into account the latencies. You can have the fastest set of memory, but if your latencies are outrageously high then your bandwidth might suffer more than slower speeds and tighter timings. One of the sets that pushes boundaries to set the limits on speed and latency for AMD-based DDR3 systems is Corsair with its Dominator GT TW3X1600C6GT set of memory, designed to be optimized for AMD's Phenom-based systems. This kit is an ultra low latency kit with two matched modules that deliver speed and performance to the Phenom crowd (a crowd has been overlooked in the enthusiast market for a awhile, but are now making a comeback). This Dominator GT set runs at speeds of 1600MHz for those AM3 boards that can handle 1600MHz overclocked, such as the ASUS Crosshair III Formula and the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboards, with ultra low latencies of 6-6-6-18 at 1.65v for blistering performance on your new platform.
The modules we received came directly from the Corsair testing center after being run through the company's quality control process. To secure the contents during shipping, each module was placed in its own package to prevent damage. Corsair uses a black scheme with red or Rosso accents, as Corsair calls it. The heatspreaders are made of a thick aluminum with extruded siding designed to dissipate the heat quickly and evenly across the modules. Corsair calls this design DHX for Dual-path Heat Xchange. The reason it is a dual-path design is that not only are the chips cooled by the heatspreader attached to them on the outside of the chip, but the heatspreader is also attached to the PCB, giving heat another pathway out.
Included with the Dominator GT Phenom series is the signature Dominator Airflow fan, designed to keep your modules nice and cool when pushing the speeds to the breaking point. The Dominator GT series features the new design with the black heatspreader and red fins. The fins can be removed and you can either add larger fins or you can use the new Corsair CWCDHX Hydro H30 water cooling block or the Corsair CWCDHXTEC Ice T30 sub-ambient TEC cooling subsystem to cool your modules to a whole new level (hopefully helping you reach overclocked speeds that were not obtainable before). The fans that make up the Dominator Airflow are comprised of two larger fans than what the previous revision had, which run at a bit slower speeds. This allows more cool air to flow over the memory. The fans have no unique markings on them other then the Corsair stickers, so I could not track down any specific information on them.
Now that everything is out of the box, let's move on to the testing.