Corsair Dominator Platinum Series
Corsair is one of the oldest developers of overclocker-friendly memory with a record going back to 1994. The company has implemented dozens innovations in its memory module designs. Some of them were the industry's firsts while others remained exclusive. For example, Corsair was among the first companies to use tall heatsinks with a large surface area. It was the first to put activity indicators on the memory module’s top edge and wire the PCB in such a way as to remove heat off the memory chips via their pins. Corsair can also be credited with developing memory modules with extended monitoring options via software tools or hardware indicators. It can really take us quite long just to name all of the company’s technical achievements.
The new Dominator Platinum series can be said to carry the glorious traditions on. The product is remarkable in implementing three types of original solutions: 1) technologies that help improve the frequency potential, 2) exterior design solutions, and 3) extra monitoring capabilities for system memory. It is the combination of these three factors that make the Dominator Platinum series so special.
Let’s first discuss the looks. After all, the exterior design is the first thing you notice about the Dominator Platinum.
The modules look stylish and solid. The manufacturer’s hasn’t tried to save on the heatsinks which are made of thick and robust black-anodized ruffled aluminum bars. Their fins are not tall, but there is a third heatsink at the top of each module which is undoubtedly capable of dissipating the heat effectively. The last touch to the whole arrangement, making it even more robust and complete, is the shiny bracket with the engraved Dominator logo.
Tall heatsinks are prone to cause certain problems, though. Each Dominator Platinum module is 55 mm tall and also 7.5 mm thick, making it incompatible with large CPU coolers. We guess such modules can only be installed together with narrow tower-design coolers like the Thermalright Archon or with liquid cooling solutions which have been growing in popularity among enthusiasts.
As opposed to many other products of this class, Corsair’s new modules are much more solid. There is no flimsy detail in them. Instead of dual-sided heat-conductive scotch, the heatsinks are tightly secured with four screws, making the module virtually monolithic.
The modules have one more special feature. The shiny bracket in the top part of the module has an integrated light pipe which is highlighted with two bright white LEDs from both sides. The diffused light from them is directed downward, towards the DIMM slots, producing a beautiful white halo in a working computer. The manufacturer promises interchangeable versions of this highlighting, so modders will be able to choose from several variants.
Of course, the cooling system of the Dominator Platinum combines the nice looks with high efficiency. Besides being massive and finned, the heatsinks employ Corsair’s Dual-path Heat Xchange technology. Its point is in cooling the DDR3 SDRAM chips and the PCB concurrently in two different ways. Some heat is removed in the conventional way – with heatsinks attached to the surface of the chips. And the remaining heat is removed from the chips via their pins and transferred to a metalized plate in the top part of the PCB. That plate has contact with the comb-shaped heatsink below the steel bracket. This solution ensures efficient cooling and, consequently, stable operation of the DDR3 SDRAM chips at high frequencies and heavy loads.
This claim can be easily checked out in practice, by the way, as the Dominator Platinum series is endowed with monitoring capabilities. Each module has a special connector to connect to a Corsair Link controller. The Corsair Link infrastructure combines hardware and software components that help you monitor and regulate parameters of your PSU, cooling and highlighting systems. Now system memory can be integrated into it as well. If you’ve got a Corsair Link controller (which is purchased separately), you can keep track of temperature and load level of each Dominator Platinum module via the Corsair Link Dashboard utility.
Unfortunately, monitoring Dominator Platinum modules is only supported via the Corsair Link interface. Although each module carries all the necessary circuitry and the SPD standard supports thermal sensors, the latter cannot be accessed without Corsair Link. Corsair is just trying to promote its proprietary solution to attract users to Corsair’s own components.
The Corsair Dominator Platinum series includes a lot of products with different specs: dual-channel and quad-channel kits with rated speed ranging from DDR3-1600 to DDR-2800 and a combined capacity of 8, 16 or, in some cases, 32 gigabytes. Some kits include an extra fan you can set to blow at the modules from above.