Articles: Memory

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Testing Participants

We’ve got five dual-channel Dominator Platinum kits for our tests. With a combined capacity of 8 and 16 GB, they are optimized for LGA1155 platforms with Ivy Bridge CPUs:

The colorful cardboard box the modules are shipped in is shaped like an octagonal prism. The cutouts in the packaging let you see stickers with product information and the top part of the heatsinks. The box itself also carries stickers with information about the included memory modules.


The modules are packed into individual blister wraps, fixed in a thick bar of foam rubber. There are no accessories included with the modules.

Now let’s take a closer look at each product.

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

The junior product in this review isn’t really special. The clock rate of DDR3-1600 is often specified for regular DDR3 modules. However, the CMD8GX3M2A1600C9 modules sport all the special Dominator Platinum features, including the unique cooling system, highlighting and monitoring capabilities.

The manufacturer’s selecting best chips and testing the modules prior to their release mustn’t be forgotten, either. When it comes to reliability and warranty, the DDR3-1600 modules from the Dominator Platinum series are obviously superior to products with lower pedigree. As for components, the CMD8GX3M2A1600C9 employs Elpida chips. You don’t even have to remove the heatsinks to know that. Unlike other makers of overclocker-friendly memory, Corsair doesn’t keep the origin of its chips secret. You can learn this information from the sticker where the version number indicates the chip brand. The following table shows the correspondence between version number and chip maker:

It must be noted that the stickers on Corsair memory are very informative. Besides part number, they tell you the capacity and number of memory modules in the kit, their timings, recommended voltage and the above-mentioned version number.

Even though the chips of the CMD8GX3M2A1600C9 modules are no secret, Corsair has rebranded them but the initial letters “EL” point at Elpida unequivocally.

The XMP profile provides information about the specs and features of the CMD8GX3M2A1600C9 kit, like with the rest of the Dominator Platinum series products. Each of them supports XMP version 1.3.

The XMP profile contains information about the single specified mode: DDR3-1600 with timings of 9-9-9-24-2T. The modules are designed for the standard DDR3 voltage of 1.5 volts, which is not surprising considering the relatively low rated frequency of the CMD8GX3M2A1600C9 kit. Besides XMP, the modules have an SPD profile. The latter containing relaxed timings and lower frequency, the kit won’t provoke any compatibility problems.

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