Benchmark Results & Final Analysis
We begin our test by attempting to find the lowest stable timings at various data rates, where each data rate becomes an apple in an “apples-to-apples” comparison. We can see that the Dominator Platinum SE reached the same DDR4-3200 and DDR4-2666 timings as the Trident Z DDR4-3866, but we couldn’t extend its test to DDR4-3733.
Lowest Stable Timings at 1.35V (Max) on MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming (BIOS A.40)
Dominator Platinum SE
Adata XPG Spectrix D40
G.Skill Trident Z 32GB
The reason we couldn’t extend the Dominator Platinum SE testing to DDR4-3733 is that it topped out at DDR4-3708. So close!
Had we retested all the modules at DDR4-3466, the Dominator Platinum SE might have taken a second win in Sandra Memory Bandwidth. As it sits, it only topped the DDR4-3200 test, running a nose ahead of the Trident Z at that specific data rate.
The Dominator Platinum SE is also competitive in Sandra Memory Latency, though it’s edged out by the far-more-expensive DDR4-3866 kit.
Performance data for our performance/price analysis begins with F1 2015, a game that has an unusually high affinity for memory performance. Optimized Dominator Platinum SE tops our DDR4-3200 set, but its XMP DDR4-3466 timings surprisingly don’t push it past the Predator DDR4-3333.
Metro represents most other games by dropping framerate only when insufficient memory configurations are used, such as slow DDR3 sets and single-channel configurations. It’s important to remember that fast memory isn’t a performance panacea.
Like Metro Last Light, Blender’s CPU render times tend to punish memory systems that are poorly configured, while giving a pass to every product that’s good enough to reach our review series.
Lower is better when it comes to completion times, and the Dominator Platinum SE has the best DDR4-3200-optimized performance. On the other hand, its standard DDR4-3466 XMP settings again fail to overtake the Predator DDR4-3333.
While we expected the Dominator Platinum XE’s DDR4-3466 settings to outperform the Predator DDR4-3333’s, it fell about 1% behind in our tests. “Optimized settings” also suffer a little, because those are an average of every alternative test, and the Dominator Platinum SE came up just short of the DDR4-3733 settings acquired by two of the three competing sets.
The above findings still leave a few things to discuss, such as the kit’s ability to work in quad-channel mode on X299 motherboards. While the other kits can do that as well, it’s important to remember that most of those processors don’t support “odd” ratios, which are half-multipliers of the memory controller’s frequency. Since data rates for those platforms are only available in 200MHz and 266.67MHz steps, DDR4-3200 and 3466 are supported at a 100MHz CPU BCLK, while DDR4-3333 is not. The same can be said of DDR4-3866, as the memory multiplier jumps from DDR4-3733 to DDR4-4000.
Both the Predator and Dominator Platinum SE come with special heat spreaders that are designed to complement specific builds, the Corsair product with white LEDs and the HyperX product without lights. With similar price and performance, Z370 system builders could easily select from either based upon desired appearance. As for X299 machines, the Dominator Platinum SE has an XMP data rate that matches its limited set of ratios. Yet if Corsair wanted an award for any of that, it would need to drop the price of its product by at least 10%. And that would kill the kit's exclusivity.
As it stands, this kit is really only worth the price splurge if you like its looks, and the idea of polishing your RAM with the included cloth. We don't judge when it comes to expensive aesthetic choices. But if you're looking for fast RAM that's the best value, this Corsair kit definitely isn't it.
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