Such has been the high quality of the memory modules we've tested recently that it's become harder and harder to separate them. Within reason you can buy any memory kit and be certain it will perform admirably, be fairly inoffensive to look at and, if you're slightly careful about your choice, it will fit underneath any heatsink you desire.
Which does make the whole reviewing part of the equation a little problematic. A glance at the speed and timings and we can tell you almost to the nth degree exactly how well the kit will work and so the choice then is one of price and colour. As both pricing and colour are entirely subjective. A thirteen year old with a paper round will generally find things more expensive than Carlos Slim and who are we to tell you which colour you should like.
Thankfully that's where the Dominator Platinum enters the fray.
Firstly, they are black and silver. So none of that pesky chromatic problem. Secondly they are the very top of the line, strictly for those who want something a little special. So the price is fairly irrelevant. It does have a very cool party piece though, which we'll look at on the next page.
Coming out of the box with a very respectable 2400MHz @ CAS9 the Platinum should perform as well as it looks.
|Speed Rating||1333MHz @ 1.5v 9-9-9-24|
Speaking of looks, let's crack on with the pictures.
The Dominator Platinum are all about the looks. Whilst our Z77 test rig will provide the actual performance, we couldn't resist sharing the photos from when we got the very first set in the UK and put it in the Interim project system to show it off.
The Platinum is certainly an attractive kit, even with the machine off. The embossed Dominator logo apes the hallmark in an ingot.
However, with it in action, that's where the Dominator Platinum really brings itself to the party. Some extremely cool white LED lighting bathes the system in a crisp glow. When combined with the ultra-shiny top part of the heat-spreader we think everyone will agree it looks the business.
Corsair Dominator Platinum 2400MHz CAS9
Gigabyte Z77X UP7
Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4GHz
Corsair 240GB Force GT
Windows 7 x64
PC Mark Vantage
The Dominator Platinum sneaks into third place in our PC Mark Vantage tests in both the transcoding and image manipulation tests.
With the high speed and low latency it's not a surprise to find the memory bandwidth tests have the Platinum squarely at the top of the graph. Impressive stuff.
Such is the excellent memory bandwidth that the Platinum keeps its place at the top of the combined CPU cache and memory bandwidth test too, albeit by a much tighter margin.
Performance in CineBench is a little less impressive. Indeed of the four kits we've tested since moving to the i7-3770K it's the lowest scoring one.
wPrime results are very good indeed. It's not better than the outstanding Kingston Predator, but it runs the best of the rest very close.
AIDA always sorts the chaff out from the wheat and the Dominator Platinum slides neatly into the middle of the pack. Decent read speeds are slightly let down by the write speeds, which impact the copy test.
Finally, as you'd expect from a CAS9 kit the latencies are excellent.
As we said in our introduction, the close performance of memory kits these days is such that you can pick almost any kit you like and it'll perform well. Indeed the main decision seems to rest on pricing and looks.
The Dominator Platinum, as the name suggests, doesn't do very well on the pricing side. Weighing in well past the £200 mark there are much better value kits around at the same speed and size.
Looks though. Oh my the looks.
The general thing with memory is the heatspreader and the colour. With the Dominator Platinum though Corsair have gone an extra mile and introduced lighting to the equation. We know it's not the first LED lit memory kit on the market, but it's the first one to do it well. The lighting is subtle, perfectly accentuates the black and silver looks of the heatspreader itself. Even with the power off the kit looks amazing. The 'platinum' top bar is extremely shiny and smooth and lends an air of class to proceedings.
With your rig on though it takes on a very different effect, with your motherboard bathed in a soft white light which just looks the business. Corsair do have plans in the future to introduce different colour LED bars as an additional cost option, there is no official word as to when but we are assured they will be coming soon. The only thing we hope is its not RBG LED's which will require the memory sticks to be hooked up via cables to the corsair link software to control the colours. The main reason for the being would you really want a cable coming off of every ram stick stick, think of the mess! /end OCD mode.
Performance is right on a line with what you'd expect for this speed and timings. It's not the very fastest kit around but it's still an excellent performer with some incredible memory bandwidth available. It's certainly not all show and no go.
So it's brutally expensive and there are faster kits around. But the heatspreader with its gorgeous looks and classy lighting are the stars of the show. We can hear the other manufacturers rushing to their R&D departments to try and match the next big thing in personalisation.
For being the first memory kit to understand that the underlying performance of the Intel chipset is such that you should concentrate largely upon looks, and then to be the first to get lighting right too, we're happy to award the Corsair Dominator Platinum our OC3D Innovation award.
Thanks to Corsair for supplying the Dominator Platinum for review. Discuss in the OC3D Forums.