Corsair DDR3 CL8 1600MHz XMS3 Dominator 6GB Kit

Test setup & Overclocking

Test Setup

For todays testing we will be using the Asus P6T Deluxe, a mid range i7 motherboard from Asus that we hope to use for all of our memory testing.
Here's a breakdown of the rest of the components:
Intel Core i7 920 'Nehalem' @ 2.66Ghz

Asus P6T Deluxe

Corsair DDR3 CL8 1600MHz XMS3 Dominator 6GB Kit

Graphics Card
Nvidia 280GTX

GeForce 180.60

Gigabyte Odin 1200w

Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit SP1 + Updates
For testing the memory we used a number of synthetic benchmarks and games:
Synthetic Benchmarks
  • Lavalys Everest 4.10
  • SuperPI mod_1.5
  • Sisoft Sandra 2009
3D Benchmarks
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • Far Cry 2
Starting from scratch we disabled on the settings that may affect the overclocked settings such as Intel SpeedStep as well as disabling the C-State settings which may also affect some of the results in the benchmark testing phase of the review. Here's how the sticks look at stock speed:
Stock1 Stock2

With the Corsair already running at a speedy 1600mhz I was very interested to see how far they could be pushed but at the same time I was worried by the various rumours around the net (aswell as the warning in the Asus BIOS) that exceeding 1.65v on the ram could permanently damage the CPU. Other rumours suggest that as long as the Vdimm is kept within 0.5v of the Vcore then it will be fine. At this point in time I decided to err on the side of caution and just give the Corsair kit a little boost by upping the Vdimm to 1.7v. Hopefully neither the CPU nor the DDR3 Corsair kit will suffer any longterm effects of overvolting.

1800 1 1800 2
I managed to push the ram to 1800 Mhz resulting in a 200mhz overclock. An excellent result considering the timings are the same and didn't require slackening off at all. I did manage a suicide boot at 1941Mhz but this resulted in a BSOD after a minute into Vista. Slackening the timings to CAS9 made no difference so it appears that 1800mhz is the bandwidth limit for this kit. So, onto the timings to see if I could squeeze a little more out of this kit.

Unfortunately, lowering any of the timings resulting in a non boot scenario, regardless of what frequency was set. This was a little disappointing as some of the mid range DDR3 dual channels are quite capable of running at CAS 7 1600Mhz.

Let's take a look at how this extra 200Mhz difference makes in our standard set of memory benchamrks...
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Most Recent Comments

14-12-2008, 07:17:05

Looking to go i7? Unsure of what DDR3 to buy. Take a look at Corsairs Triple channel DDR3 1600mhz kit before you decide.

Read the full review HERE

14-12-2008, 09:24:32

Good review but the benchmarks seem a bit flawed as the CPU was overclocked as well.

14-12-2008, 10:22:25

Unfortunatley, simply using the memory dividers resulted in the memory being unstable (1866mhz). I could have lowered the CPU divider and adjusted the Bclk frequency but no configuration would have left the CPU frequency exact unless I forfeited some memory speed.

We now have some OCZ (same spec as the Corsair) which should give a better comparison, stock vs stock.

16-12-2008, 04:30:24

Just FYI, the price in the review is a little high. You can also get the kit from Scan (pre-order atm) and CCL for ~228 inc VAT.

6GB Dominator at Scan =

6GB Dominator at CCL =

20-12-2008, 09:54:14

Hi Blackbeard (What happened to Yellowbeard?).

We are now retail partners with Ebuyer so it would be inappropriate to advertise products for sale at a major competitor.

19-08-2009, 21:48:13

just got a newer revision of this kit (ver3.2) and they're much better than the ver2.1's, scaling well with voltage and lowered timings

i'm not going to try to say these are even remotely stable, but i managed 2000 8-8-8-24 with some extra voltage:

and 2000 9-9-9 with 1.66v, so there's prolly more in them.

considering the ver2.1's i tried wouldn't even post much higher than 1650, these sticks act completely different in every respect.

19-08-2009, 22:06:09

Pyro you are turning into a bit of a bench fiend arnt you

19-08-2009, 22:17:50

hehe, just enjoying this new mem

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