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Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D

Well, it is absolutely evident that the majority of computer enthusiasts building an LGA1366 platform will go for the special DDR3-1600 memory kits. And today we are going to check out one of the solutions currently offered by one of the leaders in the overclocker memory field – Corsair Company. For our first encounter we got a Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D memory kit that is widely available in retail these days. It includes three DDR3 SDRAM modules, 2GB each that are designed to work at 1600MHz frequency.

The modules ship in a very roomy plain cardboard box without any attractive design on it:

Each of the three memory DIMMs inside the box is wrapped into its own individual blister bag. However, it is not the packaging thatches our eye, but the unique heat-spreaders on the modules:

We would like to remind you that Dominator series from Corsair has been using taller heat-spreaders for a few years already. They cool not only the actual memory chips, but also the printed circuit board that receives a substantial amount of heat from the memory chips. First generation Corsair Dominator modules are equipped with four comb-shaped heatsink arrays: the external pair of these heatsinks contacts the actual memory chips, while the internal pair is mounted onto the PCB surface and serves to dissipate the PCB heat.

New Dominator modules designed by Corsair engineers for Core i7 systems boast a slightly different design. No, the difference is not in the geometrical dimensions of the modules. Dominator modules are still pretty tall, which may make it difficult to use them in systems with large CPU coolers and DIMM slots close to the processor socket. This time, however, Corsair uses heat-spreaders made of three aluminum parts instead of four. A pair of rigged heat-spreaders covers the DIMM surface and contacts the chips and the PCB at the same time.

However, unlike the previous generation Dominator modules, the contact between the new heat-spreaders and the chips has become pretty relative, which you can very well see if you look at the modules from the side. The heat-spreaders are about half a millimeter away from the top of the chips and the gap is filled pretty carelessly with some thermal glue, which doesn’t cover even half of the chips surface.

The top comb-shaped part of the heat-spreaders has also changed. Now it is a separate part that is attached to the heat-spreader contacting the memory chips plates with screws.

The design has definitely been changed for a reason. A removable heatsink at the top suggests that there might be something else installed instead of it. For example, it could be a heatsink of different shape and color, like in the Dominator GT series:

It could also be a water block that Corsair is going to offer a little later:

According to the manufacturer, the specifications of the Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D kit look as follows:

  • 3 DDR3 SDRAM modules, each 2GB in capacity;
  • 1600MHz frequency;
  • CAS Latency 8, 8-8-8-24 timings;
  • 1.65V voltage.

I have to say that these were the fastest DDR3-1600 memory modules from Corsair for Core i7 systems at the time of the review. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any Corsair memory kits with more aggressive timings, unlike Corsair immediate competitors, who have quite a few to offer.

Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D memory supports Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP 1.2), which is absolutely logical considering that it is designed for Core i7 systems. The profiles supported within this technology contain settings for the nominal DDR3-1600 mode with the default 8-8-8-24 timings as well as for low-frequency DDR3-1200 mode with 6-6-6-18 timings. Both profiles require voltage increase to 1.65V.

In addition to the supported operational modes declared in XMP, the modules SPD contains a few other “lite” profiles that should ensure compatibility with a variety of mainboards.

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