Corsair Dominator Platinum Dual-Channel DDR3 Memory Kits (Part 5)

5/4/2013 3:33:41 PM


As presented in our special review of the memory controller in the modern CPU LGA1155, it is the operating frequency of the dual-channel memory kits that has the greatest impact on the performance of the platform. Therefore, increasing it above standard levels is the key feature of overclocker-friendly memory kits that helps ensure performance boost increased more.

Corsair’s Dominator Platinum series seems to be full of promise in this field since they have high quality chips and efficient cooling. In fact, Corsair is known for offering a large safety margin. Therefore, we are able to expect the Dominator Platinum series that can work at higher frequencies compared to their evaluated products.

This is our algorithm of testing the overclocking capacity of DDR3 SDRAM:

·         Increasing memory voltage to 1.65 volts, according to Intel, this is the maximum value that does not lead to a reduction in operating of memory controller. We also increase the VCCSA voltage to 1.0 volts, which in theory will have a positive impact on the stability of the memory controller

·         Failsafe timings of 11-13-13-31-2N are chosen to find out the highest frequency that the memory kit gains stability

·         Using the maximum frequency we have found, then, we seek for the most aggressive timings at which the memory kit remains stable

The stability of the memory subsystem is ascertained by 10 runs of Linx 0.6.4 AVX Edition using the entire memory capacity and an extra 1-hour-long test with Memtest86 + v4.20..

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC3-12800 C9 2x4 GB (CMD8GX3M2A1600C9)

DDR3-1600, Dominator Platinum products are rated the simplest in this review, which turns out to have no overclocking capacity. It cannot be stable even at 1800 MHz. The best thing we were able to do with CMD8GX3M2A1600C9 was that improved its timings from 9-9-9-24-2T to 9-8-7-24-1T. The clock rate was unable to be increased.



Thus, the DDR3-1600 Dominator Platinum kit is not really a matter to overclockers. It just might be impressed for modding and ability to monitor. If you want better performance, you should seek for the more expensive and faster memory kits.

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC3-15000 C9 2x4 GB (CMD8GX3M2A1866C9)

The DDR3-1866 Dominator Platinum kit is not as slow as the DDR3 -1600 in the same series. It can be overclocked to DDR3-2000, but unfortunately, it is not the DDR3-2133 mode.



What’s more, overclocking the CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 kit to 2000 MHz is known as a significant reduction in the timings. In its default mode, this memory contains aggressive timings with a CAS Latency of 9, but in DDR3-2000 DDR3 mode, it remains only stable with timings of 11-11-10-31-1T and the increased voltage to 1.65 volts. It seems that the manufacturers choose chips carefully for the Dominator Platinum series not only to ensure that they are completely stable in the prescribed operation mode. The chips appear to be filtered out in such a way that the best components are only used in the most expensive products.

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC3-17066 C9 2x4 GB (CMD8GX3M2A2133C9)

We had some special hopes on the CMD8GX3M2A2133C9 kit including two 4GB DDR3-2133 modules. This high-speed memory is associated with positive timings and a voltage of 1.5 volts. Based on fully promising Samsung chips, it appeared to require a higher voltage and relaxed timings to achieve higher clock speeds. However, we were really disappointed. This kit was unable to work at 2400 MHz, so we had to be satisfied with DDR3-2200 mode.



Of course, the 66 MHz increase in frequency is not high, so there is no surprise that this kit is stable in DDR3-2200 mode with timings of 9-10-10-27-1T which is better than the other prescribed ones. However, we must admit that the fundamental products of the Dominator Platinum series products do not overclock well. The high-speed memory is more expensive and Corsair has no way for overclockers to save money.

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC-19200 C10 2x8 GB (CMD16GX3M2A2400C10)

If the fundamental models of the Dominator Platinum series are not very good at overclocking, we are impossible to expect the leading products to be better than anything. They work best even at their default settings. The CMD16GX3M2A2400C10 illustrates this fact very well. We were unable to overclock the DDR3-2400 kit at all.



The prescribed settings are actually the best ones that this kit has stability at. It is not due to the fact that it includes the 8GB modules. In our previous reviews, we could recognize that overclocking of dual-channel 16GB kits was not worse than their 8GB counterparts.

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC 21300 C11 2x4 GB (CMD8GX3M2A2666C11)

The fastest memory kit of this review, CMD8GX3M2A2666C11, is the same as the CMD16GX3M2A2400C10, has zero overclocking capacity. We were unable to overclock this 2x4GB DDR3-2666 kit above its frequency speed.



Therefore, we reduced one of the basic timings, RAS # Pre-charge Delay, from 13 to 12, but this is unlikely to have a significant impact on performance. The lack of any overclocking capability can be expected because the DDR3-2666 modules and similar modules are best overclocked. Each high-speed DDR3 module will operate like that.

The results of our overclocking experiments are summarized as follows:

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC3-12800 C9, 2x4 GB (CMD8Gx3M2A1600C9)

·         Nominal mode: DDR3-1600, 9-9-9-28-2N

·         Maximum overclocking: DDR3-1600, 9-8-7-24-1N

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC3-15000 C9, 2x4 GB (CMD8Gx3M2A1866C9)

·         Nominal mode: DDR3-1866, 9-10-9-27-2N

·         Maximum overclocking: DDR3-2000, 11-11-10-31-1N

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC3-17066 C9, 2x4 GB (CMD8Gx3M2A2133C9)

·         Nominal mode: DDR3-2133, 9-11-10-27-2N

·         Maximum overclocking: DDR3-2200, 9-10-10-27-1N

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC-19200 C10, 2x8 GB (CMD16Gx3M2A2400C10)

·         Nominal mode: DDR3-2400, 10-12-12-31-2N

·         Maximum overclocking: DDR3-2400, 10-12-12-31-1N

Corsair Dominator Platinum PC-21300 C11, 2x4 GB (CMD8Gx3M2A2666C11)

·         Nominal mode: DDR3-2666, 11-13-13-35-2N

·         Maximum overclocking: DDR3-2666, 11-13-12-35-1N

Therefore, the Dominator Platinum series do not overclock well. The memory kits are great in the prescribed modes, but will not work if you increase much more their frequency or improve their timings than its specs.

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