Corsair XMS2 DOMINATOR PC2-8888 Memory ReviewFri, Sep 15, 2006 - 12:00 AM
Corsair – Still Innovative After All These Years
For years now Corsair Memory has been one of the innovators of the memory industry with features that have captured the hearts and minds of enthusiasts around the world. When Corsair launched their XMS2 Pro series they introduced the first set of functional activity LED lights on memory modules. The XMS2 Pro series took off and anyone with a window in their case wanted some. Corsair rode the success of their XMS2 Pro series and tried to do one better with their XMS2 XPERT series, which happened to be the world’s first memory module with a programmable LED display that monitors module real-time parametric data including current frequency, voltage and temperature. You could even program your own personal message that scrolls across the display saying whatever you wanted. With the XMS2 Pro and XMS2 XPERT series taking all the headlines it seemed for a while that Corsair was focused more on the case modders than the die hard overclockers that made the brand name Corsair what it is today ? a living legend.
It was around this time that the memory market started going heat spreader crazy. First it was Mushkin Memory with their FrostByte heat spreader in July of 2005 and then OCZ Technology followed close behind and in October 2005 launched XTC heat spreaders. Corsair on the other hand did some research in the labs against the OCZ XTC heat spreaders and published a report that their XMS Pro heat spreaders were basically superior to all others and didn’t need a redesign.
We are pleased to inform you that Corsair has not forgotten about their overclocking roots and with the launch of the XMS2 DOMINATOR series Corsair proves they are still a powerhouse in the memory business. While other memory companies have designed new heat spreaders and sent them out to be manufactured, Corsair was busy at work trying to find the best method to whisk heat away from the memory IC’s. They came up with a radical design that lengthens the PCB and exposes two (one on each side) unbroken ground planes in the PCB so a real heat sink can be attached to the exposed metal layers. They then designed a standard heat spreader with ‘fins’ on the top to fit on the memory IC’s like any other heat spreader. You would think that four layers of cooling ‘fins’ would be more than enough for today’s memory, but Corsair didn’t stop there. They added an optional fan unit called the Corsair AIRFLOW that uses a combination of three 40mm fans to blow air across fins to better cool the module. By using their new radical design Corsair has been able to push the limits of memory by launching PC2-8888 memory, which means it runs 1111MHz at respectable timings of 4-4-4-12 2T.
The Corsair XMS2 Dominator series are said to be the first production DDR2 modules that feature true heat sinks. Having a standard heat spreader on your module to dissipate the heat is no longer the optimal way for heat to escape from a memory module now that Corsair has designed their slick new Dual-path Heat Xchange (DHX) design.
Since we already have done an article on the DHX technology we will cut to the chase and move on to the modules that we are looking at today.