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Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D 1600 Dominator Memory
Those of you interested in the i7 platform know Triple Memory is the way to go. We look at Corsair's i7 Dominator and compare it's performance in 32-bit and 64-bit Windows.
Among the many items introduced with Intel's i7/X58 platform, one of the key features is optimized performance with Triple Memory. Picking up where Dual Channel left off, many of your memory favorites are putting out kits based on this new feature. There is more to it than just grabbing any 3 memory sticks and putting them in, much like Dual Channel. The advantage of these kits out now is that they have been tested and validated to work with the new Intel platform.
From an enthusiast point of view, 3GB is the minimum most should consider when choosing a kit. For a long while, 2GB was the recommended amount, but since two does not devide into 3 memory sticks, we're now at 3GB. The question is now, do you need 3GB or 6GB. If you are really rich, you can even get yourself a 12GB Triple Memory kit but be prepapred to sleep on the couch if the significant other was budgeting that joint bank account for something important like rent or food.
Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D 1600MHz Triple Memory
Today we are going to be reviewing the Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D 1600MHz Triple Memory kit. This kit is based on Corsair's Dominator line of memory, which is their premium line of memory. The Dominator is a departure from traditional design of memory, using a taller PCB and a very different cooling setup.
As the Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D is a Triple Memory kit, we received three modules for this kit. This kit was created specifically with the Core i7 in mind, which really means as we mentioned already, the kit is optimized to work in tandom on the new Intel platform. As with their other kits, Corsair will test the memory on the correct platform, validate it and send it to retail. This of course takes all the guess work out for the consumer who may have to buy multiple memory modules to find the best three to work together. the modules, so you can be confident you're getting the correct product.
The heatsinks are larger than your typical heat spreaders and are based on Corsair’s Dual-path Heat Xchange (DHX) technology. This technology improves on principles already in place for cooling memory. As this is the first time we're covering DHX, here's a bit on how it came about:
All integrated circuits ("ICs") are composed of a large number of transistors. And, all transistors generate heat. Specifically, transistors generate heat when they are switching, or changing state. This means that the more frequently a transistor is switched, the more heat it generates.
Heat is removed from integrated circuits using both conduction and convection. Conduction is the removal of heat using a stationary conductive material, such as metal. Convection is the radiation of heat into a gas or liquid, which may or may not be moving. In general, conduction is more efficient, but is cumbersome to implement. Convection is more straightforward to implement, and becomes more effective if the fluid medium is circulating.
The new cooling approach was named Dual-path Heat eXchange (DHX) technology, in reference to the use of both conductive and convective cooling paths.
The basics of this cooling approach are as follows. Heat is generated by the RAM on the module. Part of this heat is removed via convection through heat sinks attached directly to the RAM packages. Additional heat is removed via conduction through the solder balls of the BGA directly into the metal layers of the PCB. The PCB is also equipped with heat sinks to improve thermal dissipation.
The complete explanation can be . In a nutshell, at the time of the article, Corsair claims a reduction of temperature of 13C using the DHX heatsinks compared to none.
As the total capacity of the kit is 6144MByte, each DDR3 module in the kit has a capacity of 2048MB. The memory is rated at a speed of 1600MHz with timings of 8-8-8-24 at 1.65v. The memory's SPD is programmed to include Intel’s Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP 1.2), which on all X58 motherboards we've looked at has this option in the BIOS. If you don't enable it, the motherboard will automatically configure the ram with standard JEDEC settings which will work just fine, albeit not at the memory's full potential. Officially, this standard sits at 1333MHz at 9-9-9-24. If you enable XMP in the BIOS, it will adjust to the correct settings. That, or you can just do this manually.
Something to consider if your setup is going to involve 6 modules is that XMP is not supported in that format. In this case you need to manually configure it.
One last thing to keep in mind is that Corsair backs their products up with a lifetime warranty, something you won't find with just any manufacturer.
We've already covered that not enabling XMP int he BIOS will automatically run the Dominator at 1333MHz. Turning on XMP did clock the ram in at 1600MHz without any issues. Now it is time to see how far past that number we can get. MSI has some preset multiplier setting in their X58 BIOS, so we just turned it up to 7 which nets us an overclock of 1866. Needless to say, we did not have a lot of luck at all. The system had a lot of problems staying stable, getting into Windows sometimes, and spontaneously rebooting at the Windows splash screen other times.
We did relax the timings to 9-9-9-24 and successfully reach ourfinal 1866 overclock, but the system consistently crashed during the gamingbenchmarks. Speaking with Corsair on this, as we have seen other sites have much more luck than we did. Perhaps the board held us back, but our Corsair representative wasn't too surprised with our results. Ends up the modules are Elpida based and the IC's have voltage regulators on them so additional VDIMM won't help. This statement was consistent with our tests as more voltage did nothing to improve stability beyond a few MHz.