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Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF Memory Review

Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF Memory Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: DDR2 memory has come a long way from its humble beginnings as just a few DRAM chips on a sliver of green PCB. Now, memory isn't memory unless it has extravagant cooling systems and reaches insane clock speeds.
 89% Rating:   
Filed under: Memory Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Corsair Feb 20 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Memory > Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF

DOMINATOR Overclocking

PCSTATS Test Methodology: On Intel Socket 775 Core 2 Duo test systems, we're only interested in seeing how high we can go with the DDR-2 memory running 1:1, as running with other dividers puts the overclocking bottleneck elsewhere and not with the system memory. The DDR-2 RAM latency must run at its lowest possible setting, as quick access is more important to the CPU design. Just for arguments sake, we will also be conducting overclocking tests to see how high the memory will go with lax timings (5-5-5-15), although we will only benchmark the system with the tight memory timings mentioned above. Let's get started!

Overclocking Results:
4-4-4-12 5-5-5-15
Memory Speed:

1244 MHz

1244 MHz


If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

The Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF memory has very specific users in mind, someone who's looking for a relatively high clock speed with the ability to run memory at tight timings. Oh, and you pretty much have to be running a 680i motherboard.

Teamed up with an ECS PN2 SLI2+ (NF680i) motherboard and an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor, the DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF would have its chance to shine.

Starting at DDR2-800 speeds with 4-4-4-12 memory timings and 2.4V, the memory frequency was increased in 20 MHz increments. To say the Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF was ready for overclocking is an understatement!

Going up from 800 MHz, the memory easily reached 1111 MHz. This is the stock rated speed of these Dominator modules. The name of the game now is how much farther we can go with tight CAS latency timings? Continuing on, we were quite impressed that the Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF memory actually reached 1200 MHz with 4-4-4-12 memory timings!

A few more minutes of overclocking later, and the Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF achieved a blisteringly fast speed of 1244 MHz, while running with 4-4-4-12 memory timings! The system BSOD'd when the memory was pushed any further, and memory voltage on the motherboard topped out at 2.5V. So 1244MHz is where things remained.

Not only is the Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF faster than any other DDR-2 RAM PCSTATS has tested to day, it is also able to do so with tight timings! To our surprise, loosening up the memory timings to 5-5-5-15 did not yield higher speeds for the DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF. PCSTATS tried pushing it further with CAS 5-5-5-15, but the test PC system just reset when booting into WindowsXP. No matter what memory tricks we tried, the Dominator wouldn't budge a MHz past 1200MHz.

Overclocking Update!

Overclocking Results:
4-4-4-12 5-5-5-15
Memory Speed:

1260 MHz

1300 MHz


If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

Since we've moved our memory test platform to the Asus P5N32-SLI Plus from the ECS PN2 SLI2+, we decided to update the overclocking section of this review. The Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF was already one of the best overclocking memory modules tested, how would it perform on the faster platform?

Starting from 800 MHz and with 4-4-4-12 memory timings, the memory frequency was increased in 20 MHz increments. At 960 MHz the Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF required a little voltage increase to 2.0V to stabilize things. A voltage of 2.2V allowed the DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF to reach its officially rated stock speed of 1111 MHz, not bad 0.2V under stock voltage. ;-)

At 1160 MHz the memory started to give us problems again and the voltage had to be increased to 2.3V. That allowed the memory to clear 1200 MHz which is quite a milestone but we're aiming for 1244 MHz at least as that's what the memory would run with the other motherboard. To reach 1245MHz required 2.4V but alas we reached our goal of cracking the old mark.

The maximum speed the memory would run at was 1260 MHz anything higher and the system would crash back to desktop while running 3D benchmarks.

Next up would be to see how fast the Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF memory would run with looser 5-5-5-15 timings. Starting from 1260 MHz the Corsair memory hit a maximum speed of 1300 MHz with 2.4V. I'm not sure if it was the Corsair memory or motherboard maxing out but damn 1300 MHz is a very nice number indeed! =D

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF memory test system was configured for benchmarking, including the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this pair of PC2-8888 DDR-2 memory is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System
Processor:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600

Clock Speed:

9 x 266 MHz = 2.4 GHz

Motherboards:

ECS PN2 SLI2+ (NF 680i)

Videocard:

MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E

Memory: 2GB Kit Patriot PDC22G8000+XBLK
2GB Kit Corsair Twin2X1024-6400C4
2GB Kit OCZ PC2-7200 Platinum XTC SLI Ready
2GB Kit Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-9136C5D
2GB Kit Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF
Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Intel Reference
Software Setup:

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
nVIDIA Forceware NF4 9.34
nVIDIA Forceware 91.27

Benchmarks:

Business Winstone 2004
Content Creation 2004
SiSoft Sandra 2005
PCMark05
3DMark05
Doom 3
Quake 4

Office Productivity Source: Zdnet

Business Winstone 2004 runs real applications through a series of scripted activities and uses the time a PC takes to complete these activities to produce its performance scores.

Content Creation Winstone 2004 is a system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running top, Windows-based, 32-bit, content creation applications in Windows XP.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportOffice Productivity
Business Winstone 2004: Points Ranking
2GB Kit Patriot PDC22G800+XBLK (200/800) 30.2
2GB Kit Corsair Twin2X1024-6400C4 (200/800) 30.3
2GB Kit OCZ PC2-7200 Platinum SLI (200/800) 30.1
2GB Kit Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-9136C5D (200/800) 30.1
2GB Kit Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF (200/800) 30.5
2GB Kit Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF (200/1244) 33.6
Content Creation 2004: Points Ranking
2GB Kit Patriot PDC22G800+XBLK (200/800) 41.5
2GB Kit Corsair Twin2X1024-6400C4 (200/800) 41.6
2GB Kit OCZ PC2-7200 Platinum SLI (200/800) 41.8
2GB Kit Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-9136C5D (200/800) 41.8
2GB Kit Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF (200/800) 42.1
2GB Kit Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF (200/1244) 43.4

Even at stock speeds the Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF memory kicks some major butt. When the memory is overclocked, it performs very nicely compared to the reference DDR2-800 memory in this office oriented content creation benchmark.

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Contents of Article: Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF
 Pg 1.  Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-8888C4DF Memory Review
 Pg 2.  DOMINATOR Memory and Fan Highlights
 Pg 3.  EPP, Enhanced Performance Profiles
 Pg 4.  — DOMINATOR Overclocking
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, PCMark05
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 7.  Max OC Chart and Conclusions

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