Corsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF
Introduction and Specifications
Over the years, Corsair has earned a solid reputation in the PC enthusiast community for consistently offering some of the best system memory kits in their respective classes. Corsair has a myriad of memory kits available in many different capacities and speeds, and virtually all of them rate well versus their competition.
Some of Corsair's most sought after modules are the "low-latency" kits in the company's XMS product line. Low-latency memory typically offers better overall performance than similarly clocked memory with higher latencies, but its not easy to produce high-speed memory kits that also have low-latencies, especially when it's DDR2 DRAM. Corsair was first to release a 2GB DDR2 memory kit that was rated for reliable CAS3 operation at DDR2-800MHz, and now the company is building upon that product with a patent-pending tweaked PCB and custom cooling solution that allowed Corsair to produce a DDR2 memory kit capable of running at 1111MHz with tighter timings than anything else currently available.
In this article, we'll be shining the spotlight on Corsair's Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF memory kit (2GB, 2x1GB DIMMs). These PC2-8888 DIMMs are high-capacity and are capable of running with a CAS Latency of 4, a RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD) of 4, a Row Precharge (tRP) of 4 and an Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS) of 4 (4-4-4-12-2T) at 555MHz (DDR2-1111MHz).
"The Dominator Series Twin2X2048-8888C4DF is a 2048 MByte matched pair of DDR2 SDRAM DIMMs built using Corsair's latest high performance heat sink with Dual-Path Heat Xchange (DHX) technology coupled with a Corsair Dominator Airflow Fan. This part delivers outstanding performance in the latest generation of dual-channel DDR2-based motherboards. It has been tested extensively in multiple DDR2 motherboards to ensure compatibility and performance at its rated speed. This memory has been verified to operate at 1111MHz at latencies of 4-4-4-12-2T at 2.4 VDIMM. The Twin2X2048-8888C4DF comes with Enhanced Performance Profiles (EPP), the open standard for performance module SPD's jointly developed by Corsair and NVIDIA. EPP SPD's on Corsair modules allow users to automatically configure EPP enabled motherboards with aggressive memory performance settings, for maximum memory and system performance."
There are two members in Corsair's initial "Dominator" product line-up, the TWIN2X2048-8500C5D and the TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF. The 2GB TWIN2X2048-8500C5D kit (1GB x 2) is rated for DDR2-1066MHz operation with 5-5-5-15-2T timings. The TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF kit, which we'll be taking a look at here, however, is rated for DDR2-1111MHz operation with tighter 4-4-4-12-2T timings, and it ships with the "Dominator" fan assembly pictured here.
The Dominator fan assembly is constructed of aluminum, with three 4cm fans. It mounts to the clips that typically hold system RAM in place and connects to a single 3-pin fan plug, so the fans can be throttled if your motherboard has the capability to control fans based on temperature. In practice, we found the Dominator fan to be easy to install and relatively quiet, but in our open-air test bench its effect on temperature was difficult to quantify. Corsair claims the Dominator fan will reduce operating temperatures by a few degrees (from 15.4oC to 11.3oC above ambient in Corsair's testing), which will increase stability and overclockability. The only issue we had with the Dominator fan is that it cannot be installed properly on motherboards where the DIMM slots are in-line with the PEG slot and a long graphics card is installed. This is a mistake fewer and fewer motherboard manufacturers are making though, so it shouldn't be an issue for many of you.