Corsair is one of the world’s most popular manufacturers of various PC components including closed liquid coolers, casings, gaming peripherals, USB storage devices, and memory kits. When it comes to memory products, their Dominator series is well-known among ambitious overclockers and gaming enthusiasts for its excellent overclocking potential and fast speed. To meet new market demands, Corsair released Dominator Platinum series, which combines high performance with great aesthetics.
The memory kit that we are going to review today is the CMD8GX3M2A1866C9, which comprised of two 4GB modules with an operating frequency of 1866 MHz and timings of 9-10-9-27 at a voltage of 1.5V. First of all, we would like to thank our friends at CUDO Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd for providing us with the memory kit for review.
Product Link: http://www.corsair.com/en/dominator-platinum-with-corsair-link-connector-1-5v-8-gb-dual-channel-ddr3-memory-kit-cmd8gx3m2a1866c9
Suggested Retail Price: RM 575
The Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit came well packaged in a unique octagonal-shaped black coloured box with white and silver accents. There is a see-through windows on the top of the box reveals the luxury metal light bar that spans on top of each module. Here you can see a big picture of the memory module in the background along with the Corsair logo on the top left and product name on the middle of the box. The two Intel logos located on the bottom of the box indicated that the memory kit supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile 1.3 (XMP). As mentioned earlier, the memory kit is consisted of a pair of 4GB modules to make up a total of 8GB capacity.
The back of the retail packaging is still dominated by black colour. Here Corsair explains some key features of the memory kit. You can also see two transparent windows showing the labels of each memory module. You will find a Corsair Link logo on top right on the box showing that the memory kit supports Corsair Link technology for memory performance monitoring. There’s a label on the bottom indicating the part number of the memory modules (CMD8GX3M2A1866C9).
Opening the box reveals the memory modules that are well packed in a plastic blister and protective foam to prevent rattling during transportation. The package is very simple in which Corsair only included a piece of warranty manual apart from the memory modules. The warranty manual describes the duration of warranty backed by Corsair and the procedure of how to claim the warranty in the event of product failure.
Now let’s move on to the memory kit itself. The Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit looks stunning and most probably one of the best looking memory kits that we have ever seen so far. The first thing that you would notice is that the silver coloured metal light bar that’s spanning across on top of the memory modules. Next is the black coloured heat spreaders that feature Corsair’s exclusive Dual-path Heat eXchange cooling technology which pulls heat away from the modules and allows it to run at cooler temperatures. There’s a Corsair logo on the middle of the heat spreader along with a label indicating the product name (Dominator Platinum) and its operating frequency (1866MHz). The memory module also sports a black coloured PCB which looks very nice.
On the other side of the memory module you will find a label indicating the part number (CMD8GX3M2A1866C9) of the memory kit, as well as its capacity (2 X 4GB), operating frequency (1866MHz), timings (9-10-9-27), voltage (1.5V), version (ver4.13), bar code and country of origin (Made in Taiwan). The version number of 4.13 suggests that the memory module’s IC are made by Samsung.
There’s a small connector located on one end of the PCB to connect the memory kit to Corsair Link system for real-time activity and temperature monitoring.
When the computer is powered up, the LED lightbar will glow white without pulsating. The top surface of the metal light bar is imprinted with a white coloured “Dominator” word.
The light bar is removable and replaceable with other colour without voiding the warranty. To do that, you will need to unsecure the four pairs of screws and then detach the top metal heatsink covering the light bar and finally remove the heat spreaders on both sides.
Corsair employed Samsung ICs, specifically the K4B2G0846D-HCH9 chips which are known for their excellent overclocking potential and efficiency.
The latest generation of the performance legend
The new heatspreader design incorporates dual-channel DHX cooling to efficiently pull heat away from the PCB.
Corsair Dominator Platinum builds on the legacy of the world’s most awarded high-performance memory, adding a striking new industrial design and LED lighting effects. Like all Dominator memory modules, they are built using only selected memory ICs, highly-screened for performance and stability, and feature our patented DHX (Dual-path Heat eXchange) cooling technology, so you can push them to the limit.
Fanatical screening for phenomenal performance
Dominator Platinum memory modules are assembled using a “best of the best” IC screening process. Individual ICs are hand-screened to our highest performance threshold, and then the assembled modules undergo more rounds of rigorous screening and stability testing. The result is reliable performance under extreme pressure.
Cooler temperatures for better overclocking headroom
Excess heat limits overclocking potential, reduces performance, and can even lead to shorter component life. Our patented dual-channel DHX cooling system pulls heat away from the modules and allows Dominator Platinum to run at cooler temperatures than lesser memory kits.This advanced cooling technology, combined with our relentless screening, delivers phenomenal overclocking potential.
Customize your look
The integrated light bar provides a subtle downwash lighting effect that gives your system an impressive look but subtle look. Additional light bars allow you to match your system’s color scheme.
Corsair Link compatible
Add an Airflow Pro (available separately), and connect with Corsair Link system monitoring and control solutions for real-time activity and temperature monitoring.
Test Setup & Testing Methodology
All memory kits were tested by simply enabling the Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) in the BIOS after clearing the CMOS. Maximus Tweak selected was Mode 2 to help overclocking and performance. By overvolting from 1.5V to 1.65V, we’ve also overclocked the Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit to 2400MHz with timings of 10-11-11-21-1T from 1866MHz 9-10-9-27-2T. We’ll be discussing more about this in a separate chapter below. Our Intel Core i7-4790K processor was overclocked to a clock speed of 4.6GHz out of the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme motherboard. As for graphics department, our beloved ASUS ROG Matrix R9-290X Platinum graphics card was used to handle the 3D benchmarks.
CPU-Z information of Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit at 1866MHz 9-10-9-27-2T (XMP)
The game settings used are show above.
When it comes to synthetic benchmarks, generally memory kits with higher frequency and tighter timing will occupy on top of performance charts. Although the Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit is not highly clocked, it did perform well in in all of the benchmarks that we’ve conducted. When overclocked to 2400MHz 10-11-11-21-1T, the Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit showed a significant performance gain in which it beat the higher clocked G.Skill TridentX 2666MHz C10 kit in almost all of the benchmark tests. For record, the TridentX 2666MHz C10 memory kit is also based on Samsung ICs.
The game titles selected demand GPU power more than the CPU power therefore in each test the difference is rather marginal. Out of the box the Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit performed quite similar compared to other memory kits. There was no performance gain when the memory was overclocked.
The Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit is designed using highly binned memory chips, tested rigorously for stability when overclocking, and comes with Corsair’s most advanced cooling solution, so that overclockers can push it to the limit.
Overclocking on the Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit was a breeze. We managed to push the memory kit to a healthy frequency of 2133MHz 9-11-10-21-1T without touching the memory voltage (1.5V). Below are the Super Pi 32M benchmark results based upon stock voltage of 1.5V. As you can see here, overclocking the Dominator shoved around 9 seconds off from that of the factory frequency and timings. It was a huge gain in performance.
1866MHz @ 9-10-9-27-2T (XMP) – voltage 1.5V:
2133MHz @ 9-11-10-21-1T – voltage 1.5V:
We then proceed to overclock further the Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit with higher voltage. Below are the results:
2400MHz @ 10-11-11-21-1T– voltage 1.65V:
2400MHz @ 9-11-11-21-1T – voltage 1.725V:
2600MHz @ 10-12-12-21-1T– voltage 1.65V:
2666MHz @ 10-12-12-21-1T– voltage 1.85V:
To find a memory frequency which is stable for 24/7 usage, we’ve run the AIDA64 Stability Test. The end result was 2400MHz @ 10-11-11-21-1T at a voltage of 1.65V in which we didn’t get any error or whatsoever during the test therefore we can conclude that this overclock is fine for daily use.
Here are the screenshots of the BIOS settings used for the overclocked Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit at 2400MHz 10-11-11-21-1T:
Our maximum overclock frequency for Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit was 2733MHz at timings of 11-13-13-35-1T and a voltage of 2.0V. We stopped there to avoid causing any damage to the memory modules and the CPU’s integrated memory controller (IMC).
Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 OC @ 2733MHz at timings of 11-13-13-35-1T
Thoughts & Verdicts
Corsair designed the Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit based on the experience they gained from high performance memory manufacturing. The Dominator Platinum series is built using only highly memory ICs to ensure maximum performance and high degree of stability even under extreme overclocking conditions. It also features Corsair’s exclusive Dual-path Heat eXchange (DHX) cooling technology to push the memory modules to the limit.
Speaking of the appearance, the Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit looks stunning and looks to be one of best looking memory kit that we’ve ever seen so far. It features an LED light bar which glows white when the power is supplied to the memory modules. The lighting effects are definitely a good addition if you are into case modding. Best of all, Corsair allows users to dismantle the light bar and replace it with another colour of interest.
When it comes to performance aspect the Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 has proven to be a fast and stable memory kit for daily usage. The memory kit performed well in our synthetic tests, in line with other comparison memory kits. In terms of gaming performance we’d say the performance difference is negligible regardless of how high the memory frequency.
Corsair used the well-known Samsung K4B2G0846D-HCH9 chips for their Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit in pursuits for high overclocking performance without sacrificing its efficiency. In our overclocking tests, we managed to push the memory kit to a frequency of 2133MHz and timings of 9-11-10-21-1T without increasing the voltage. Pushing the memory further we obtained an overclock of 2600MHz with timings of 10-12-12-21-1T at a voltage of 1.65V which is still within the limit of Intel’s specifications. Somehow it appeared to be unstable in our stability test hence we decided to reduce the overclock to 2400MHz 10-11-11-21-1T at 1.65V and it passed our stability test without a hitch. These overclocking results are impressive in which it even beat the faster clocked G.Skill TridentX 2666MHz C10 memory kit in almost all of the benchmark tests. Our maximum overclock was 2733MHz 11-13-13-35-1T which is not really bad for a memory kit which was originally clocked at 1866MHz.
The Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 memory kit is retailing for RM 575, which is not a small figure for average buyers. But if you can find it on the market at a lower price tag, then is memory kit is worth considering.
Performance/Price Value: 4/5
+ Excellent performance
+ Outstanding overclocking ability
+ Best aesthetic looks
+ Highly selected best-of-the-best memory ICs used
+ Unique Dual-path Heat eXchange (DHX) cooling solution
+ White LED lighting effects
+ Lifetime warranty
- Price could be lower
- White colour scheme of LED lighting might not suit your rig’s theme
CORSAIR Dominator Platinum DDR3 1866MHz C9 8GB Memory Kit received Gold Award from OCDrift.com
Disclaimer: OCDrift.com gives out our own award based on the Hardware Performance, OverClocking Ability, Innovation, and Value as determined by the reviewer
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