Review: Corsair Dominator Platinum 4x4GB DDR3-2666 MHz CL10
Category : DDR3
Published by Christian Ney on 16.11.12
Today we're going to have a closer look to the next memory kit. This time it's not two 8GB sticks but four 4GB modules from Corsair. The Dominator Platinum series is Corsair's new ultra-high-performance DDR3 memory. They feature a new heatsink design, LED lighting with special effects as well as cherry-picked ICs. The one we are reviewing today is the second fastest of the line clocked at DDR3-2666 MHz and Corsair does this at CL10 timings. Spoiler: They can easily do DDR3-2800 MHz CL10.




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Below you will find the specifiations of the kit we tested.

Manufacturer Corsair
Series Dominator Platinum
Part Number CMD16GX3M4A2666C10
Type DDR3
Capacity 16 GB (4 x 4GB)
Frequency 2'666 MHz
Timings 10-12-12-31
VDIMM 1.65 Volt
Registred/Unbuffered Unbuffered
ECC No
Cooling Passive Heatspreader
Waranty Lifetime warranty
Package Type Boxed




Corsair has been in the business with high-end memory modules since quite a long time and with their flagship modules Corsair is back in the game. Until today G.Skill was dominating the enthusiast space with their TridentX series. If you were looking for the fastest memory kits you had to go for G.Skill, GeIL or TeamGroup.
The Dominator Platinum aren't just some Dominator GT or GTX, it is an entirely new product. Looking at the specs and the design we can indeed confirm that. Rated at DDR3-2'666 MHz CL10 and 1.65v that's really not shy. This is some serious frequency at tight timings for nowadays memory chips.
It's not even the fastest kit of their line-up. Corsair also has DDR3-2800 MHz CL11 and CL12 kits in their portfolio. Enough talking, let's have a closer look on the following pages.
 

Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Closer Look

The Corsair Dominator Platinum kit comes in a very nice box. In fact there are two boxes attached to one another. In each box there are two modules which are packed in another plastic blister and placed in some soft foam. That's the best memory package we have ever come across. Unboxing the kit is like unboxing an Apple product, you get the same feeling. There is one minor flaw though: The specs aren't written on the box. There is just a sticker with the part number on it.





The design is very cool and futuristic. It's a nice improvement over the past Dominators that had almost the same design.
The one thing, which is very special about the these modules is the PCB. Usually the PCB of memory modules measures three centimeters. Corsair is using a PCB which measures four centimeters in height, where the additional centimeter has been made from copper almost entirely. As a result you get improved heat conductivity which leads to lower temperatures.
On one side of the modules you can find a sticker where you find the product name and on the flip side there is another sticker with the exact specs. Compared to other manufacturers you can find way more information about the modules than you usually do. There is the part number, the capacity of the module/kit, the rated frequency, timings, voltage, revision and the serial number. That's really everything you need to know. A silver Corsair logo is also present on both sides.
On top of this you find an aluminium bar with integrated LEDs. Replacement light bars to change the colour of the light aren't yet available.
The kit also features Corsair's Link interface.





With heatspreaders out of the way we see that Corsair chose to make use of Samsung's memory chips, the K4B2G0846D HCH9.




The SPD reading tells us more about the memory itself like the capacity, the name of the manufacturer, the JEDEC profiles stored which are in 3 accompanied with one XMP profile and the week of production. The part number is also displayed, awesome!
The SPD has been well recognized by the BIOS of our motherboard as well as by CPU-Z.




Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]




  






  



  



Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Testing Method & Test Setup

Knowing about Samsung K4B2G0846D HCH9's capabilities from recent G.Skill TridentX 8GB review, we armed ourselves with an Ivy Bridge testing platform that should allow our memory to show every last bit of its overclocking potential.
To make sure that our figures represent the sort of stability safe to use ever day, we are going to run each setting until we get a 150% pass of eight 750MB instances of HCI Memtest that is considered one of the toughest memory stress-tests around.

Motherboard ASUS Maximus V Gene (BIOS 1204)
CPU Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.0 GHz
Graphic card ASUS GTX 580
Memory Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD16GX3M4A2666C10
HDD Intel SSD 330 120 GB
PSU Seasonic Platinum 1000 Watts
OS Windows 7, 64 bit SP1


Results


Our processor's IMC isn't HCI Memtest stable above 1'330 MHz (DDR3-2660) on the memory. Therefore we stopped the testing at 1'330 MHz.




Do I really need to describe? I mean seriously ... This memory kit is beyond awesomeness.
First of all it achieves specs at only 1.55v and looking at the curve I would say that at 1.65v the kit is stable around 1'410 MHz (DDR3-2820) CL10.
I mean hello? Even Corsair's fastest kit is rated DDR3-2800 CL11/12-14-14 and this one does DDR3-2800 CL10-12-12 HCI Memtest stable.
For Samsung chips that's quite an achievement, usually DDR3-2600+ rated memory kits use Hynix CFR chips. There is some serious binning going behind the curtain.
With a better IMC, this memory kit will fly at CL11 and CL12. Below a screenshot showing the memory kit passing SuperPi32M computation at 1'400 MHz CL10 1.65v.






Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Conclusion

Using geizhals as our price research tool, we find that offers for 4x4GB sets of 2666C10 Dominator Platinum Series start at 418 Euros excluding shipping across the EU. Finding another kit, which shares the same specs, turns out to be quite difficult. In fact, there is only one kit from G.Skill, that features the same clocks and timings. If you then compare prices you're going to see that G.Skill sells their kit for 100 Euro less. Furthermore there are three other kits, which share the same clocks but feature looser timings (CL11). The Avexir Core for 200 Euros, the G.Skill TridentX for 300 Euros and the Avexir Core MPower Edition for 350 Euros.
Compared to competing products the price is very high but is there really competition when it comes to such a kit? I mean the overclocking headroom is beyond awesomeness. It's made by Corsair (aka a very high manufacturing quality). And when you open the package it makes you feel like you open an Apple product. In the end you get what you paid for, even tough it's hilariously expensive.
Corsair managed to do a come back in the ultra high-end memory market where G.Skill took the lead. This kit is better, faster and stronger than everything we tested so far. Pro:
  • Design
  • Manufacturing quality
  • Overclocking headroom
  • IC quality is way better than the specs
  • LEDs
  • Apple effect
  • Made by Corsair


  • Con:
  • Height (5.5cm)
  • Price


  • Rating

    The Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD16GX3M4A2666C10 kit receives the rating of 5 out of five stars.





    Author: Christian Ney c.ney@ocaholic.ch


    Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Results
    Page 2 - Closer Look Page 5 - Conclusion
    Page 3 - Photo Gallery  


    Discuss this article in the forums

    Author: Christian Ney c.ney@ocaholic.ch