If you consider yourself an enthusiast and have been building computers for years you’ve like certainly heard of heard of Corsair. Corsair started out building enthusiast memory kits and have become known as one of, if not the very best, markers of all things DRAM. When Intel released the X99 Platform it also introduced of DDR4 memory and Corsair was right there on launch day with dozens of different kits of DDR4 memory. Corsair currently has 16 different DDR4 memory kits available in the mainstream Vengeance overclocking line and also the high-end Dominator Platinum series. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at what Corsair has to offer in the Dominator Platinum series. This series features hand-screened DDR4 IC’s, DHX (Dual-path Heat Exchange) heat spreaders, Dominator Airflow Platinum LED fans and the Corsair Link interface that allows you to monitor IC temperatures, voltages along with the fan speeds and colors if you are running the fans.
Corsair Dominator Platinum Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4 Lineup:
Corsair Dominator Platinum Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4 Lineup:
Corsair is extremely proud of the Dominator Platinum Series and you’ll be paying a price premium for hand-picked ICs and to have the peace of mind that your kit should work flawlessly. The lowest priced Corsair Dominator 16GB memory kit will run you just over $429.99 for a 2666MHz kit with CL16 timings. If you want to step up to a 2666MHz kit with CL15 timings it will cost you an extra $30 or about 7% to have a kit that is guaranteed for life to be able to run with CL15 timings on the X99 platform. To step up to a 2800MHz kit you are looking at $40, then another $125 to go up to 3000MHz, $125 to move up again to 3200MHz and then $140 to move up to the flagship 3300MHz memory kit. If you want a 32GB kit of memory you better be ready to dig deep as a 2666MHz kit ranges from $720 to $850 depending on if you want C16 or C15 timings. The fastest 32GB kit is a 2800MHz kit with CL16 timings that runs a mind numbing $1079.99. DDR4 memory kits are still very new and the volume is low, so right now the prices are about as high as we ever expect them to be.
Corsair sent over the Dominator Platinum 16GB (4 x 4GB) 3200MHz DDR4 desktop memory kit that is sold under part number CMD16GX4M4B3200C16. This memory kit runs at 3200MHz with 16-18-18-36 2T timings at 1.35V. We got one of the very first packages of this memory kit, so our retail box is unlike the one you’ll see online or at your local computer shop. Can you see what is wrong?
Corsair goofed up and used some old packaging and sent out the initial batch of Dominator Platinum kits with a single Dominator Airflow Platinum LED fan. That doesn’t do much good when it comes to quad-channel Intel X99 motherboards where the DDR4 slots are broken up into pairs and placed on either side of the CPU socket. Corsair caught this rather amusing mistake before they shipped the retail kits to market, so all retail kits will come with four modules and two Corsair Dominator Airflow Platinum LED fans. The Dominator Airflow Platinum fans work with Corsair Link. This means you can install the Corsair Link software, which gives you the ability to control PWM fan speed directly from your Windows desktop, change the built-in LEDs from their default red to any of 16.8 million colors to indicate fan speed, ambient system temperature, or something along those lines.
Both sides of the Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 memory modules are the same with the exception of the sticker that is on the side of the module. One side has the specifics on the kit and the other side just shows the series name along with the type and speed of the module.
The labels on the back side of the module lists the capacity, timings, voltage, clock speed, part number, version number and the kits serial number. This might come in handy down the road when you have several kits and need to make sure you have the right modules together. We won’t be taking these modules apart, but we have been told by Corsair that they are using SKhynix H5AN4G8NMFR DDR4 memory IC’s for this memory kit due to how well they overclock to high clock speeds.
All Corsair Dominator Platinum Series DDR4 memory kits come with one or two Intel XMP 2.0 memory profiles. This just means that you need to go into the UEFI and enable the XMP profile to get your memory kit up and running with the factory settings. Once you enable the Intel XMP 2.0 setting, the motherboard will automatically make all the needed changes for the memory kit for it to run at the advertised speeds. If you don’t do this you’ll be running at JEDEC default speeds, which isn’t what you want to do with an enthusiast overclocking memory kit. You can also set everything up manually if you are comfortable going into the UEFI and finding what settings to change and making the appropriate modifications.
Here is a closer look at the Intel XMP 2.0 settings on the Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 memory kit as seen from the ASUS SPD Tool on the ASUS X99 Deluxe motherboard we used for testing. The kit has 2133MHz clock speed on the JEDEC profile and then 3200MHz settings on the XMP #1 profile. Corsair did not program an XMP #2 profile on this memory kit, so those values are blank. It should be noted that Corsair does set the CPU ratio to 35 and the cache/uncore ratio to 31 with this particular memory kit. The BCLK was not changed, so it was left untouched at 100MHz.
Now that we know the basics about this memory kit we can take it for a test drive and overclock it to see how much faster and tighter we can get it.