For the enthusiast, there is no limit to how far you can push your system. He or she knows no boundaries and always looks for maximum-performance components. One of the major bottlenecks of performance is thermal resistance and heat, which represent unfortunate physical properties associated with electronic components. This heat is generated as a result of the component’s efficiency, frequency and voltage.
Due to this barrier, enthusiast hardware manufacturers have been working on ways to enhance and exceed performance benchmarks using a variety of techniques, ranging from innovative cooling techniques, the use of higher-quality materials and sophisticated selection and validation processes for high-end products.
For memory, enthusiast memory vendors buy hand-picked high-grade components that outperform mainstream devices. High-grade memory tends to be capable of sustaining a frequency greater than its rated value or running at better memory-timing settings. Both paths lead to increased memory performance, which is imperative to improved system performance.
Companies that focus even more on memory performance will go further and buy complete memory wafers and cut/package the chips themselves. Both wafers or memory chips are purchased from one of the major memory manufacturers, including Infineon, Hynix, Micron and Samsung. The memory chips are mounted on custom PCBs (printed circuit board) with the common addition of a heat spreader on the back surface of the memory. Being that these manufacturers cater to a niche crowd, you pay a premium for those extraordinary memory modules. We set out to find out if the added performance gains justify the price for Corsair’s latest product release.
Corsair’s DHX XMS2 Dominator Series
Corsair, one of the top manufacturer’s of enthusiast performance memory, has come up with a new method of heat transfer, which it claims will enhance performance and reliability of its memory modules. This new technology called Dual-Path Heat Xchange (DHX) will be standard for Corsair’s future performance-memory modules. The new technology is claimed to offer vastly superior thermal dissipation resulting in more efficient heat removal from the memory modules.
As the name suggests, the design features two paths for heat to be conducted away from the memory chips. The first path utilizes a specially designed PCB that has an extended height to accommodate a dedicated heat sink. This heat sink will transfer heat generated by the memory chips onto the copper ground plane of the PCB. Corsair claims that this method alone removes over half of the heat generated by the memory module.
The second path is the conventional one, as it uses an aluminum heat spreader. Each module has a total of four heat sinks with fins that are aligned in a latitudinal and longitudinal direction to take advantage of the airflow from CPU and case fans. According to Corsair, this innovation results in a much cooler, more reliable and more overclock-friendly memory product.