Up Close and Personal
At first glance, Corsair's new flagship memory looks much the company's "Pro" branded products minus the activity LEDs, but the Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF kit is actually quite different than anything previously offered by Corsair.
There are four key things at work in Corsair's Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF memory kit that result in the product you see pictured above. As we mentioned earlier, this memory is based on the same PCB used in Corsair's low-latency TWIN2X2038-6400C3 memory kit. With the Dominator series, however, the PCB has been heightened and there are thermally conductive vias and traces running through the PCB and connected to the ground plane, to help dissipate heat from within the board itself. Heatsinks are then bonded to both sides of the upper portion of the PCB to further aid in heat dissipation.
The memory chips on both sides of the PCB are also outfitted with their own dedicated, newly designed, oversized heatsinks to help cool the chips as well. Having two paths from which heat can be drawn out of the modules is what Corsair is calling DHX technology, or Dual-Path Heat Xchange. And the Dominator fan featured on the previous page is the third component that aids in cooling, which in turn enhances stability, longevity, and overclockability.
In addition to DHX, Corsair is meticulously binning the memory chips used on the Dominator kits and is using only select samples that can operate reliably with low-latencies and higher clocks. The culmination of Corsair's efforts is a 2GB memory kit that's rated for operation at over 1.1GHz. We should note, however, that the TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF memory requires 2.4v to operate at its rated speed. That's a lot of voltage, and many motherboards don't offer DDR2 voltages quite that high.
Lastly, we should mention that the Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF memory is equipped with EPP, or Enhanced Performance Profiles. Enhanced Performance Profiles can increase performance by taking advantage of additional memory parameters added to the unused portion of a standard JEDEC Serial Presence Detect, or SPD ROM. The JEDEC specification only calls for small amount of data to be stored in a standard SPD, which leaves a significant amount of unused space. EPP takes advantage of this space to store specific information about the modules, like their maximum supported frequencies and timings.
Although the Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF memory has four distinct heatsinks and a taller-than-usual PCB, the DIMMs aren't all that much bigger than more traditional DIMMs, as you can see. Of course, the Dominator DIMMs are taller then most others, but they're actually a little thinner than memory with typical heat spreaders. We don't think clearance will be an issue in any standard system, SFF user's however, may want to ensure you've got the room in your chassis.