Corsair seems determined to hold the record for the highest memory speed in production memory. We recently reviewed the highest speed memory available at the time in Corsair Dominator DDR2-1111 (PC2-8888). Several other memory makers tried to match or surpass the Corsair speed record and Corsair responded with PC2-10000 (DDR2-1250) which was first demonstrated at CES earlier this month. A few short weeks after CES we have production PC2-10000 fresh from Corsair for testing.

To put memory speed in perspective, consider a few facts. Core 2 Duo provides synchronous support for DDR2-533, which is the DDR (double data rate) match to the base Core 2 Duo bus of 266. The 266 is quad pumped so the "real" processor bus speed is 1067. Intel Core 2 Duo chipsets support faster memory speeds as well - DDR2-667, DDR2-800, and DDR2-1066. AM2 also supports memory speeds to DDR2-800, but the AM2 controller does not support DDR2-1066 at this time.

In a world where you rarely find DDR2 memory rated at even DDR2-1067, Corsair Dominator DDR2-1250 is a very fast speed rating. Considering that many of our readers are searching for good value DDR2-800 when building a new system, the PC2-10000 sounds like it is worlds ahead of anything available. In some ways it is, but it should also be asked what compromises were made to reach this new speed rating?

Where the Corsair PC2-8888 is rated at 4-4-4 timings at DDR2-1111, Dominator 1250 is rated at a higher 5-5-5 latency at its specified 1250 speed. In addition, Corsair was very clear that this PC2-10000 performed best on the NVIDIA 680i chipset. Boards based on the 680i, like the EVGA 680i SLI and the ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus, certainly have the headroom to support DDR2-1250, but they are also very expensive motherboards. Corsair also told us, just before publishing the review, that new P965 boards designed for massive overclocking, like the ASUS Commando, have been reported to support PC2-10000 at the rated speed.


Corsair PC2-10000 is the new top dog in the Dominator series - a name used for the highest speed memories produced by Corsair. As you can see from the chart below, the Dominator family has grown rapidly, and now includes six high-performance kits.

Cosair XMS2 Dominator Modules
PART NUMBER SPEED SIZE LATENCY KIT FAN
TWIN2X2048-10000C5DF XMS2-10000 2048MB 5-5-5-18 2X240DIMM Yes
TWIN2X2048-9136C5D XMS2-9136 2048MB 5-5-5-15 2X240DIMM No
TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF XMS2-8888 2048MB 4-4-4-12 2X240DIMM Yes
TWIN2X2048-8500C5D XMS2-8500 2048MB 5-5-5-15 2X240DIMM No
TWIN2X2048-6400C3DF XMS2-6400 2048MB 3-4-3-9 2X240DIMM Yes
TWIN2X2048-6400C4D XMS2-6400 2048MB 4-4-4-12 2X240DIMM No

Some of the kits, including the DDR2-1250 being tested, come standard with a Corsair designed cooling fan. The memory cooling fan attaches to the locking clips of the memory slots.


For Dominator kits without the fan, the Dominator Airflow fan kit is available for about $20. The Corsair fan kit also works well with any high-performance memory you choose to install. It is highly recommended for cooling any memory you choose to use in your system.

OCZ Flex 9200 and Corsair Dominator 8800 both approached high performance with an eye to lower latency as well as speed. Dominator 10000 appears to aim for the highest speed with relaxed latencies. Which approach works best? Is the new Dominator 10000 the fastest memory tested so far? Where does the DDR2-1250 Dominator fit in the high performance memory arena? These are questions we will try to answer in benchmarking Corsair Dominator XMS2-10000.

Corsair Dominator Twin2x2048-10000C5DF
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  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - link

    We make no attempt in our memory testing to max out the overclock on the CPU. In general we try to choose settings that will yield CPU speeds that are consisitent and relatively near stock speed - so they can be compared to other results.

    This CPU can OC with stability to 3.9 to 4.0 GHz as you saw in our Tuniq 120 Tower review. Running memory at high overclocks combined with high CPU overclcoks will definitely produce much higher benchmark numbers. However, the reality remains that the memory component alone contributes much less to high performance than CPU speed or the GPU used in benchmarking.

    If you look closely at performance results for the 680i on p.4 you will see we included both 1:1 (same speed, really 1:2) and 5:4 linked ratio tests. The 5:4 has 20%+ higher buffered bandwidth at DDR2-1315 than the 1:1 measures at the same DDRS-1315, yet gaming performance is almost the same. Memory does make a difference in performance, but memory speed matters much less on C2D and AM2 than it did on previous processors.
    Reply
  • sdsdv10 - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Memory does make a difference in performance, but memory speed matters much less on C2D and AM2 than it did on previous processors.


    They why are companies working so hard to bring out the ultra-fast, ultra-expensive memory modules?
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - link

    Bragging rights, and premium prices. They are also trying to prey on the misinformed who don't know any better. Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - link

    Are you just posting to brag? That's definately a nice PC you have, but how does it compare to the one in the review? You have a much more overclocked processor AND a generation more GPU power. Reply
  • semo - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - link

    the second page has "2x2048" in the title. is that the name of the product? wasn't the test done on 2x1024 kit whereas the title suggests a 4gb kit. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - link

    If you check the chart on page 1 you will see Twin2x2048-10000C5DF is the Corsair Part Number for this 2GB kit with 2x1GB dimms and a Dominator Airflow fan. It has become common in the memory industry to sell memory in pairs rated by the capacity of the pair of dimms. We agree this can be confusing, but we used the Corsair Part Number to identify the modules since readers have asked us for that info in past reviews. Reply
  • semo - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - link

    thanks Wesley, i had a feeling it was something like that. i'll pay more attention next time. Reply
  • Live - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - link

    What if you put this in the DFI Lanparty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G does it beat the 680i? Reply
  • tuteja1986 - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - link

    Good memory but way too expensive. I would rather buy 8800GTX. Reply
  • rree - Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - link


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