Corsair's XMS2 Dominator: The World's Fastest DDR2?

Dominator Types

The corsair DHX Dominator series comes in two flavors : The first is the top-of-the-line PC2-8888 C4 (1111 MHz DDR clock speed) model. The second is a lower-cost alternative, rated PC2-8500 C5 (1066 MHz DDR), which is for those who want the added benefits of DHX, but do not need the additional speed option of the PC2-8888 C4.

Corsair DHX XMS2 Dominator PC2-8888 C4

We got our hands on a set of PC2-8888 C4 modules and decided to put Corsair’s claims to the test. Our modules came with the Dominator Airflow fan, which the company says guarantees seamless operation above 2.5 V. At this point, it’s important to note that the default voltage for DDR2 memory is 1.8 V, while high-performance products go up to 2.3 V. The cooler is built from steel sheets and has three 40 mm (1.57") fans that blow directly onto the fins. Although they are not loud, this clearly is not a product for people who want low-noise machines. The airflow unit is attached to the DIMM-locks and its cable is adequately long.

Test Setup

For our benchmarks, we chose the Asus Crosshair motherboard due to its very good overclocking capabilities. The modules are specified to run with 2.5 V, and we had no problem achieving the promised 1111 MHz DDR2 speed mark. However, for a better comparison, we operated the Dominator memory at 1,123 MHz, which can be reached by overclocking a DDR2-800 setup. Using the Extreme Tweaker in the BIOS we set the RAM to 2.4 V and the front side bus to a 281 MHz base speed, after which we started the system and had no stability issues with the setup. We even increased the memory frequency to 1,200 MHz at 2.5 V with CL4-4-4-12 timing without any stability issues or errors from prime.

System Hardware
Socket AM2 AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 (Windsor 90 nm, 2.80 GHz, 2x 1 MB L2 Cache)
RAM I 2x 1024 MB DDR2-800 (CL 3.0-4-3-9)
Corsair CM2X1024-6400C4 XMS6404v1.1
RAM II 2x 1024 MB DDR2-1111 (CL 4.0-4-4-12)
Corsair CM2X1024-8888D4 XMS8804v1.1
Graphics Card MSI RX1900XTXVT2D512E
GPU : ATI X1900XTX (650 MHz)
RAM : 512 MB GDDR3 (1550 MHz)
Hard Drive I (read) 1x 150 GB 10.000 rpm, 8 MB cache, SATAII
Western Digital WD1500ADFD
Hard Drive II (write) 1x 150 GB 10.000 rpm, 8 MB cache, SATAII
Western Digital WD1500ADFD
DVD-ROM Gigabyte GO-D1600C (16x)
ATI Graphic Catalyst 6.8
Nvidia nForce 500 Series Forceware 9.35
DirectX Version : 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
OS Windows XP, Build 2600 SP2

Benchmark And Settings

Benchmarks and Settings
F.E.A.R Version : 1.0 Retail
Video Mode : 1024x768
Computer : High
Graphics Card : medium
Options/Performance/Test settings
TMPEG 3.0 Express Version : (no Audio)
182 MB VOB MPEG2-source (704x576) 16:9
DivX 6.25 Version : 6.25 (4 Logical CPUs)
Certification Profile : High Definition Profile
Multipass, 3000 kbit/s
Encoding mode : Insane Quality
XviD 1.2.0 Version : 1.2.0 SMP Beta
Encoding type : Twopass - Single pass
Profile @ Level : DXN HT PAL
Target size (kbytes) : 570000
Lame MP3 Version 3.97 Beta 2 (11-29-2005)
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 74 min
wave to mp3
160 kbps
OGG Version 1.1.2 (Intel P4 MOD)
Version 1.1.2 (Intel AMD MOD)
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 74 min
wave to ogg
Quality : 5
Winrar Version 3.60 BETA 4 (Dual-Core)
(303 MB, 47 Files, 2 Folders)
Compression = Best
Dictionary = 4096 kB
Autodesk 3D Studio Max Version : 8.0
Characters "Dragon_Charater_rig"
rendering HTDV 1920x1080
Adobe Photoshop CS 2 Version : 9.0.1
VT-Runtime Script
Rendering from 5 Pictures (66 MB, 7 Filters)
PCMark05 Pro Version : 1.1.0
CPU and Memory Tests
Windows Media Player
Windows Media Encoder
SiSoftware Sandra 2007 Version 2007.5.10.98
CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia
Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
Memory Latency Test = ns
Everest Version 3.01 Beta 704
Memory Benchmarks
Windows Media Player 10 Version :

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