Before we share our first impressions from this memory kit let’s take a closer look at it:
Corsair Dominator TW3X4G1800C8DF G kit consists of two 2GB modules, each marked as CM3X2048-1800C8D. The memory is designed to work at 1800MHz with 8-8-8-24 timings and 1.8V nominal voltage.
I would lie to say right away that the specifications of this kit are not quite common: they are very much different from what a typical 2GB DDR3-1800 SDRAM kits would have to offer. The first thing that catches your eye is their relatively low voltage, which is only 0.3V higher than the voltage according to JEDEC specification. The timings are also not quite standard: typical overclocker DDR3-1800 modules with 1GB capacity usually support slightly better timings settings.
In fact, all this can be very easily explained. While 1GB DDR3 nodules for overclockers were built using Micron chips, Corsair selected Samsung chips for their DDR3-1800 DIMMs of twice the capacity. By the way, these chips have never been used before for overclocker memory modules. However, now that new Gigabit DDR3 chips on D-die appeared, the situation has changed, and Corsair Dominator TW3X4G1800C8DF G is living proof of that.
The different components base, however, didn’t affect the looks of Corsair Dominator TW3X4G1800C8DF G modules. Each memory module in the Dominator series features 51mm tall aluminum heat-spreader with shallow ribs on the front and comb-shaped ribbing at the top. Moreover, these modules use a special PCB with an additional pair of comb-shaped heat-spreaders attached to its top edge. Corsair engineers used this solution to ensure proper dissipation of heat BGA memory chips transfer to the PCB via their pins. So, each Dominator module features four heat-spreaders at the same time: Corsair calls this feature DHX (Dual Heat Exchange).
There are stickers with the company and product logos on the front and back sides of the memory modules as well as stickers with the module specifications, including individual product part number, its nominal clock frequency, capacity and timings.
The nominal specifications of our today’s testing participants look as follows:
Corsair Dominator TW3X4G1800C8DF G
2 modules 2GB each
Aluminum DHX heat-spreaders
Here I would like to add that before getting to you, Corsair Dominator TW3X4G1800C8DF G modules are being tested in-house on ASUS P5E3 Premium based on Intel X48 chipset. However, this kit will certainly operate on a much broader range of mainboards built around Intel and Nvidia chipsets.
Nevertheless, unlike the overclocker DDR3 memory kits we have reviewed before, this one is a double-sided one. That is why it loads the memory controller and may cause certain compatibility issues. For example, these modules will only work in black DIMM slots on ASUS mainboards. On Gigabyte mainboards they will also remain stable only when installed into the DIMM slots located farther from the chipset and processor socket.
Moreover, during our tests we discovered that this kit would not work at its default frequency in certain individual ASUS and Gigabyte mainboard samples. For example, we failed to get this kit to work in ASUS P5E3 Premium sample that we had in our lab at the time of tests. In other words, TW3X4G1800C8DF G kit set very high requirements to mainboard quality and far not all the units actually meet them 100%.
Corsair Dominator TW3X4G1800C8DF G modules support Extreme Memory Profile technology: their SPD contains extended profile with the settings for 1800MHz:
The profile provides the timings settings recommended for these memory modules when running in overclocker mode.