Packaging & Presentation
The kit arrived packed neatly in a plain white card board box with no exterior markings (hence no photo). Opening up the box I was greeted with the three memory modules packaged in the traditional blister style packs we have come to know. Also in the box was a further white package that I presumed contained the memory cooling fan assembly.
Taking the modules out of there re-sealable packs we get to adore the fresh new colour scheme. I must say I do like it and it certainly stands out from the crowd. The first thing you notice are the bright, almost luminous red heat sinks that match the Dominator GT stickers perfectly.
The modules are no bigger than previous Dominator modules and are actually a little smaller than some modules that have gone O.T.T on there extravagant heat sink designs. The front of the module has the new Dominator GT sticker adorned in the middle of the sleek black aluminium heat sink. The rear of the module is where you will find the specification of the memory along with the product code.
The top heat sink has been redesigned from the original Dominator ram in that there are now three fins in place of one large one. These fins are evenly placed along the top of the module in one sliver of Aluminium. Whether the new heat sink actually cools the module any better than previously is hard to tell so I will take Corsair's word on that but the fins certainly look the business. It also hurts like hell pressing down on them to insert the memory into their motherboard memory slots multiple times!
The modules on test today are the lower specified 1866MHz variants which means somewhere in the exceedingly (some might even call excessive) testing procedure, Corsair technicians have found they are not stable enough to run at the top specified 2000MHz. Instead they have been 'binned' to the lower 1866MHz speed. This is not to say they are faulty in anyway, much like processors and graphics cards, speed binning is part and parcel of most products produced with silicon on board. Unlike some manufacturers who just rely on chip name though, Corsair hand test their modules to ensure they get the speeds right. With tight timings of 7-8-7-20 at 1.65 Vdimm, the Dominator GT's will certainly make some shakes in the memory market.
The top heat sink can be easily removed thanks to three Allen key 'Cap-head screws'. While there is no need to remove the fins for anyone sticking to air cooling, this procedure is necessary should you be adventurous enough to try the TEC cooler Corsair have in production for these modules. The thermal pad on the heat sink is nothing too interesting and should suffice to transfer heat from the main body to the coloured fins.
Here we see the new Dominator fan. Gone are the small whiny 40mm fans which have been replaced with quieter yet more powerful 60mm fans. The unit arrives in an un-built state but you won't need any instructions to fit the side brackets onto the main body being that there are only four screws.
With the side brackets screwed into place the Dominator fan stands proud. Fitting the cooler was easy enough but I would advise users to use extreme caution when fitting as the brackets are bent so that it takes some pressure to fit them to the memory tabs. At one point my fingers slipped and the cooler immediately clasped down on the memory itself rather than the tabs they were designed to grip. Luckily no damage was done but the force at which they grab down I would not have been surprised if it had damaged them.
The kit is certainly a sight to behold and I love the new red theme going on with the Dominator GT's. While the product packaging is basic, the kit we received is not a full retail product so it would be unfair of us to mark it down solely for the bland packaging. The option of adding separate cooling is a good idea while prices of such cooling remain to be seen. The air cooler with this product is, on looks alone, certainly worthy of comment as I would hope the new design would make less noise than before and as there are now bigger fans, these should push more air over the modules. Whether this affects overclocking potential remains to be seen.
Let's move on to the test setup I will be using today...