Corsair XMS2 DOMINATOR PC2-8888 Memory Review

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Looking At The Modules

Corsair has initially launched two DOMINATOR memory kits for enthusiasts around the world. The first being the lower priced TWIN2X2048-8500C5D, which is the same exact product as their PC2-8500 speed grades, but feature DHX heat sinks and the other kit is the TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF.  We are reviewing the TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF today which come with the new heat sink design, DOMINATOR Airflow, CL 4 timings and an impressive frequency rating of 1111MHz.

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It’s hard to see the four sets of cooling fins looking straight down at the modules, but if you look at them from a decent angle you can easily see them.

Super Talent PC2-6400 IC's

As you can tell my macro shot still works and we can see the four sets of extruded aluminum heat sinks. The two silver ones on the inside are attached directly to the PCB with epoxy and the black outer heat sinks are attached to the Micron Rev B IC’s with the same type of epoxy. The end resultis the DHX modules!

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The labels on the modules tell you everything you need to know, but fail to mention the voltage required.  The label correctly shows that each module it 1024MB in size and comes rated as XMS2-8888 (1111MHz) with 4-4-4-12 timings.

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The DOMINATOR Airflow fan is designed to be matched with the DOMINATOR heat sinks and allows even more heat to be removed from the DHX XMS2 DOMINATOR modules thanks to active cooling. The fan unit contains three 40mm tachometer-controlled fans to provide impinging airflow to the memory subsystem. With the moderate RPMs required to provide adequate forced air the DOMINATOR Airflow fan is nearly silent. We tested the audio level of the DOMINATOR Airflow and found a three decibel difference with the fan running versus not. With the DOMINATOR Airflow plugged in off the modules the airflow can be felt, but it’s really not that much.  A temperature difference was noted when they were installed and not installed by simply touching the heat sinks on the modules. 

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We used the DOMINATOR Airflow on a dozen motherboards and did find that it interferes with other components on certain motherboards. When using a full size video card on an Intel D975XBX motherboard the video card and metal clip on the Dominator Airflow make contact (see picture) which is never good as something could short out. It was also noted that when using a large fan like the Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 the Airflow will not seat over all four banks correctly (see picture) on the DFI NF590SLI board for AMD AM2 processors. Overall the DOMINATOR Airflow looks like a winner to us and would make for a great active cooler for nearly any system. Corsair plans on selling the Airflow on its own for roughly $20.

Key Features:

  • Memory amount: 2 x 1024MB (2GB Total)
  • 240-pin Unbuffered DIMM 
  • IC Brand: Micron Rev B’s (64Mx8 Configuration) 
  • 1111MHz (PC2-8888) Unbuffered non-ECC DDR2 Modules
  • CAS latency: 4 clock cycles
  • RAS precharge: 4 cycles
  • RAS active to precharge: 12 cycles
  • DHX heat sinks for thermal diffusion
  • Latency: 4-4-4-12
  • Power supply:2.40 +/- 0.1V
  • Lifetime Warranty
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