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Corsair Dominator 2x2 GB DDR3 1600 Cas 8 Review

Price: $129


When the first i7 was released, it forced users to purchase DDR3 memory. The new i5s and i7s also use DDR3, but why not purchase new DDR3 memory while you're at it? That's at least what Corsair is thinking. That's right, Corsair has developped new dual-channel memory kits targeted at the new i5, and i7 CPUs. Today, we'll specifically be taking a look at the Corsair Dominator 2x2 GB DDR3 1600 Cas 8. While that name is quite a mouthful, it does give a lot of useful information. For instance, the memory runs at 1600MHz, the kit contains two 2GB sticks, and the CAS latency is 8. Plus, it makes the name longer so it sounds cooler.

Not only do these new modules have a very long name, they also utilize Corsair's innovative DHX+ memory cooling technology. Long story short, this should hopefully keep your modules cooler so you can push them further. Will Corsair's new memory perform well enough to justify an upgrade? Read on and let's find out.

Closer Look:

The Dominators were packaged in a slightly unusual way. Instead of the usual plastic packaging, the Dominators came shipped in a box. To me, this means one thing - it's much easier to open! The front of the box shows a picture of the Dominators installed on a motherboard. This gives a first hand look as to what the modules look like. As usual they have the extra fins that will help in dissipating more heat. The back of the box gives us some more information about the Dominators in six different languages. The back also gives us a brief description of how Corsair's DHX cooling works.











Opening the box reveals the Dominators protected in a plastic clamshell. Now we can see that the Dominators are slightly bigger then your average DDR3 memory modules. One of the main reasons for this is because of the massive heat spreader. This heat spreader is capable of the aforementioned DHX cooling, which stands for Dual-path Heat eXchange. I'm not entirely sure why they didn't call it "DPHE", but DHX works just fine. DHX cooling means that the heat spreader cools both the front and back of the memory ICs, and the front and back of the PCB. This makes for a very chilly set of memory. The rear end of the Dominator shows that the memory timings are 8-8-8-24, and that the Dominators run at 1.65V. This means the use of the Dominators on your X58 rig, as well as the newest P55 setups, will be where these modules shine with the voltage limit of 1.65V imposed by Intel.




Corsair has a way of making memory look cool. The Dominators follow a color scheme of black, with a touch of gold on the pins. Instead of the usual green color, the PCB is black, which matches the heatspreader quite nicely. Directly in the center of the heatspreader is Corsair's logo. Sticking out of the side of the heatspreader, you can see the DIMM's model number, which is fairly long. It also appears that the heatspreader is held together by screws rather then clips - or at least the fins appear to be attached by screws.




Taking a look at the side of the Dominators allows us to see just how large the heat spreader is. It appears to be much thicker than what you'd see on most modules. The fins also look smaller then what we usually see on Dominator-branded memory. Not to worry though, as they look like they can dissipate a massive amount of heat. We can clearly see that the fins are held in place by cap screws.




Now that we've familiarized ourselves with the modules, let's take a look at how they perform.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifcations & Features
  3. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. Testing: PcMark Vantage, Sandra 2009
  5. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  6. Conclusion
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