Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866MHz DDR3 Review

Author: Roger Cantwell
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/corsair_dominator_platinum_ddr3_1866_16gb/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Today Neoseeker will be looking at Corsair's latest offering the Dominator Platinum line of memory, specifically the quad-channel 16GB DDR3-1866 (PC3-15000) kit. The Dominator Platinum series is available in 8, 16, 32 and 64GB kits with speeds ranging from 1600 to 2666MHz.

Corsair is one of the most innovative companies on the market today, especially when it comes to manufacturing some of the highest quality memory available. Corsair is extremely selective when it comes to the IC chips used in their memory; the IC's are tested for extreme performance and stability needed to make them worthy of being used in Dominator memory modules.

Corsair's Dominator Platinum memory is packaged in a black a silver box. The front contains a photo of the memory itself along with a brief listing of the specifications. Along the top of the box is a small clear window that partially shows off the heatsink. Flipping the box over to the back, you will find a listing containing more information regarding the Platinum series translated into multiple languages. Opening the flap reveals each individual memory module's sticker which lists the timings, rated voltage and speed of the memory.

Model
CMD16GX3M4A1866C9
Size
16GB Kit (4 x 4GB)
Performance Profile
XMP
Fan Included
No
Heat Spreader
Platinum
Memory Configuration
Dual Channel
Memory Type
DDR3
Package - Memory Pin
240
Package - Memory Format
DIMM
Tested Voltage
1.5
SPD Voltage
1.5
Speed Rating
PC3-15000 (1866MHz)
SPD Speed
1333MHz
Tested Speed
1866Mhz
Tested Latency
9-10-9-27
SPD Latency
9-9-9-24

Now for the fun part! Corsair did an outstanding job in packaging the memory itself by using an extremely soft foam that fits around the clear plastic that holds each individual module. With the memory out of the case we can give them a closer inspection.

Corsair's Dominator Platinum series is compatible with their new Link kits that allow you to monitor your system in real-time, as well as control lighting and fan speeds. The Dominator Platinum uses a custom designed heatspreader that utilizes dual channel DHX cooling technology. The new design increases cooling efficiency and helps to maximize performance.

On the front side of the memory you can see Corsair's name in the middle of the heatspreader as well as Dominator Platinum in the upper right hand corner. Flipping the memory around you will find a sticker listing the kit size, in our case 16GB (4x4GB), rated speed, timings and voltage.

The Dominator Platinum series features an integrated "light bar" spanning on top of each module that offers a subtle lighting effect. Corsair plans on offering additional bars in the future, making it easier to match the look and style of your system.

Corsair's Platinum series 16GB kit will be put to the test on our benchmarking system featuring the following hardware configuration. Please take note that the comparison kits have a higher speed ratings than that of Corsair's Dominator Platinum series 1866MHz kit. Please remember to keep this in mind when comparing the benchmark results.

Test Setup:

Benchmarks:

Comparison Kits:

Overclocking

Overclocking the Dominator Platinum series was easy enough. To start, I immediately set the XMP profile which in turn clocked the memory to 1866MHz. I then began increasing the BCLK until the system would not boot (BCLK 103.5). At this point I tweaked the timings to set them at 10-10-10-27, with no adjustments made to the voltages yet, rebooted and had a successful post. Looking for more boost, I set the BCLK to 104 and rebooted to another successful post. We managed to fine tune the final BCLK to 106 with a memory speed of 1979MHz and timings set at 11-12-11-29 2T. This required a voltage setting of 1.73V, which is a little more juice than I prefer. This translated into a 113MHz increase over the stock speed, which was just the about the highest level we could hit while remaining stable.

Battlefield 3 is an intense FPS with massive battles that utilize the Frostbite 2 engine for features like Dynamic Global illumination along with deferred shading, adding unmatched realism to the game and enabling it to accurately render destroyed buildings, burnt-out cars and highly populated areas.

Corsair's new Dominator Platinum kit tied with the G.Skill Ripjaws Z 2133MHz series for firt place. The kit seemed to struggle a little at the higher resolution setting of 5760x1080.

DiRT 3 takes full advantage of Directx 11's latest features, making it one of the most visually impressive entries to the series yet thanks to tessellation and SM5.

The Dominator Platinum kit really pulled through in DiRT 3, overtaking the competition to land first in at both 1920x1080 and 5760x1080.

SiSoftware Sandra 2012 is a benchmark that stresses every component in a PC. For today's tests I will utilize the Memory Bandwidth, Cache/Memory Bandwidth and the Memory Latency tests.

The Dominator Platinum kit's performance wasn't quite what I had expected this time around. I do however need to note that the Corsair Dominator Platinum is rated at 1866MHz, while the other kits are rated between 2000MHz and 2133MHz.

PCMark Vantage is another all-in-one benchmark. Some of the featured tests include graphics, gaming and web browsing.

The Dominator Platinum memory's performance proved exceptional once again in PCMark Vantage.

Released as an open source application, Handbrake is used to transcode video and media files to various formats with support for both Mpeg-4 and Mpeg-2. Audio support includes AC3, AC-3 and DTS-HD.

Taking just 44 seconds to transcode our custom file, the Dominator Platinum memory was in line with the comparison kits tested.

Winrar is a file compression utility with support for multiple file extensions. In the following tests I will be using 100, 500 and 1000mb files. File compression will be timed with the results displayed in seconds.

Here the Dominator Platinum kit took a little longer creating the archive file.

Corsair's Dominator Platinum series has an impressive look, feel and weight to them, all of which are factors I take into account when choosing memory. The performance for this particular kit was on the money. As mentioned before the kit I tested was rated at 1866MHz and I was able to manage a 113MHz increase over the stock settings by relaxing the timings. However, this kit is capable of still higher overclocks with the right combination of hardware.

The custom DHX heatspreaders did their job extremely well given the fact that I had to push 1.73V through the memory to maintain a stable overclock, and kept the memory modules cool to the touch. Corsair has previously introduced what is called the Corsair Link kits which allow you to monitor you system, and adjust lighting and fan speeds. The Dominator Platinum series takes full advantage of this, as they are Corsair Link compatible.

Corsair memory never fails to leave an impression, and overall the Dominator Platinum memory's performance was outstanding for a kit rated at 1866MHz. The custom designed heatspreader with Dominator stenciled across the leading edge, along with the black and chrome finish, gives the Dominator Platinum a very distinctive look that should fit in well most setups. With prices for the Dominator Platinum 16GB 1866MHz kit starting at $154.99, you are going to be hard pressed to find a better value.

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