Corsair Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DFIN G DDR3 Memory Kit
Introduction and Specifications
A few months ago, we rounded up some of the fastest DDR3 memory kits that were available and came away impressed by how well frequencies and performance had scaled in the short time since DDR3 had been introduced on the desktop. Since that article was published, however, not much has changed on the DDR3 front in terms of overall performance. 1800MHz kits are still the cream of the crop and the latency of the top kits hasn’t dropped below CAS 7. The landscape has changed a bit though, thanks to ever dropping prices, maturity, and some newly introduced features.
At the time our round-up was published, we praised one of Corsair’s kits in particular, the TWIN3X2048 - 1800C7D, for its strong performance, overclockability, and excellent cooling solution. In this article, we’re going to take a look at an update to that kit, the TWIN3X2048-1800C7DFIN G, that offers support for Intel’s Extreme Memory Profiles. If you’re unfamiliar with Extreme Memory Profiles, think of them as Intel’s DDR3 equivalent to NVIDIA’s EPP. With XMP, like EPP, a portion of the memory’s on-board SPD is used to store vital settings for the memory, which can be accesses and automatically configured when used with the right motherboard.
Corsair's Flagship TWIN3X2048-1800C7DFIN G DDR3-1800 Memory
"The TWIN3X2048-1800C7DFIN G is a 2048MByte kit of DDR3 SDRAM DIMMs based upon Corsair’s ultra performance DOMINATOR family of memory which includes Intel’s Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP). XMP is a JEDEC based performance specification for DDR3 memory SPD optimizations developed by Intel and its performance memory module partners. This enables a robust, profile based high performance DDR3 over-clocking solution for Intel platforms targeted for enthusiasts, gamers and overclockers who want to extract maximum performance from their platforms. Built using Corsair’s Dual-path Heat Xchange (DHX) technology coupled with a Corsair Airflow Fan, this part delivers outstanding performance with the Intel’s Extreme Series of DDR3-based motherboards and has been tested extensively to ensure compatibility and performance at its rated speed. This memory has been verified to operate at 1800MHz at latencies of 7-7-7-20 at 2.0V VDIMM."
We've talked about Corsair's Dominator memory kits and their unique cooling solution quite a few times in the past, so we'll paraphrase a bit here. Although based on DDR3 memory, the TWIN3X2048-1800C7DFIN G kit shares the same cooling technology as its DDR2-based Dominator branded counterparts. There are four key things at work in Corsair's Dominator memory kits that result in the product you see pictured above. With the Dominator series, the memory's 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 outfitted with their own dedicated, 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 included with some of Corsair's kits is the third component that aids in cooling, which in turn enhances stability, longevity, and overclockability.
In addition to DHX, Corsair is aggressively binning the memory chips used on the Dominator kits and is using only select samples th at can operate reliably at their rated latencies and frequencies. The end result of Corsair's efforts is a 2GB memory kit that's rated for operation at over 1.8GHz with 7-7-7-20 timings. We should note, however, that the TWIN3X2048-1800C7DFIN G memory requires 2.0v to operate at its rated speed whereas many other DDR3 kits require only 1.7v to 1.8v.