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New Overclocker Memory Kits

Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G

Corsair Company did provide us with their DDR3-1600 modules for our earlier test, they appeared in Corsair’s product lineup relatively late. However, Corsair faster DDR3-1800 SDRAM was announced about the same time as the competitors’ solutions and we were lucky to get hold of a kit for our article.

Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G kit includes a pair of 1GB modules, each with its own part number: CM3X1024-1800C7D. The memory is designed to work at 1800MHz frequency with pretty aggressive timings of 7-7-7-20 and 2.0V voltage.

The top Corsair memory modules traditionally stand out among their competitors due to their unique looks. Each memory module from this series is equipped with 51mm tall aluminum heat-spreaders with not very deep ribbing on the front side and a comb-like top. Moreover, Dominator modules use a special PCB with an additional pair of comb-like heatsinks fastened to it at the top. Corsair engineers introduced this solution to ensure proper heat dissipation from the BGA memory chips to the PCB through their pins. This way each Dominator module features four heats-spreaders at the same time: Corsair calls this feature DHX (Dual Heat Exchange) technology.

The kit includes not only two DDR3 SDRAM modules, but also a traditional Dominator Airflow Fan cooler. This cooling device gets fastened onto the DIMM slot clips and directs the airflow to the modules installed in them preventing them from overheating. As for the design of the Dominator Airflow Fan, it combines in a single frame three 40-mm fans rotating at 5,000rpm speed. All three fans blow a stream of air directly to the memory which creates a pretty significant airflow in the corresponding area. However, it is actually a little bit excessive for DDR3 SDRAM, because this memory boasts relatively low heat dissipation.

The stickers with the manufacturer’s and product logos and technical specs are placed on both sides of the modules. Among the parameters listed are the following: individual part number of each module, its nominal frequency, capacity and supported default timings.

The official specs of Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G look as follows:

 

Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G

Memory kit capacity

2 modules 1GB each

Frequency

1800MHz

Timings

7-7-7-20

Voltage

2.0V

Chips

Micron D9GTR (BY-187E)

Cooling system

DHX heat-spreaders and Dominator Airflow Fan cooler

Note that Corsair increased the voltage to hit 1800MHz frequencies (above the nominal voltage for DDR3 SDRAM chips that equals 1.5V) by the impressive 33%. However, low heat dissipation of DDR3 micro-chips let’s them handle boosts like that pretty successfully, which allows the overclocker memory makers to provide lifetime warranty for their products.

Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G modules go through pre-production testing on Asus P5K3 Deluxe mainboard and this is exactly the board that is guaranteed to ensure flawless operation of Corsair memory.

The SPD of Corsair modules is not very exciting. They contain the info for proper start of the system equipped with this memory without increasing its voltage.

I have to point out that Corsair also has another kit in its product range: Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DFIN G that supports new SPD expansions introduced in the Intel X38 chipset called XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles). However, the technical specifications of these memory modules are exactly the same as those of the kit we are discussing today.

During our practical tests we got Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G memory to work at up to 1860MHz frequency with 2.0V voltage and 7-7-7-20 timings. In other words, the modules have a certain frequency reserve that can be increased additionally by pushing the voltage even higher. Thus, at 2.1V voltage we got the memory kit to run stably at 1872MHz.

Unfortunately, more liberal timing settings do not have any significant effect. At 8-8-8-24 timings Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G remains stable only at 1800MHz with 2.1V voltage.

It doesn’t make much sense to set the timings to even more aggressive values. If we set 6-6-6-18 and 2.0V voltage, Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G can only hit 1584MHz without losing stability.

The table below sums up the maximum frequencies we obtained during our test session when Corsair modules remained stable:

Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G

Timings

Voltage

Maximum frequency

6-6-6-18

2.0 V

1584 MHz

7-7-7-20

2.0 V

1860 MHz

7-7-7-20

2.1 V

1872 MHz

8-8-8-24

2.1 V

1880 MHz

All in all, the obtained overclocking results for Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF G kit prove totally up to our expectations. Although, some overclockers report successful attempts to hit 2000MHz with these modules. Unfortunately, we were probably not that lucky and couldn’t get even beyond 1900MHz. However, we managed to significantly improve the timings at 1800MHz. In case the voltage was set to 2.0V, our modules remained absolutely stable not only with the default 7-7-7-18 timings but also with the more aggressive 7-6-5-18 timings.

 
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