We’ve been receiving a great number of 32GB DRAM kits since we first started focusing on the Intel memory controller’s preference for at least two ranks per memory channel. As a reminder to casual readers: each side of a memory module has a 64-bit interface, and modules can be arranged as either single rank (aka “single sided”) or dual-rank (aka “dual sided”). Current memory IC density of “eight gigabits” provides that a 64-bit “rank” will have 8GB, and our dual-channel Z370 test platform doesn’t seem to care whether four ranks are spread out across four single-rank DIMMs or combined onto two dual-rank DIMMs.
A pair of dual-rank DIMMs has the advantage of requiring only two slots to reach four ranks, while a quartet of single-rank DIMMs has the advantage of also supporting quad-channel mode on X299 platforms. We’ve recently received kits of four 8GB single-rank DIMMs from various manufacturers at DDR4-3000 and DDR4-3333. Today, Corsair takes data rates up a notch with its DDR4-3466 Dominator Platinum Special Edition 32GB kit in its 4x8GB variety. Other than the data rate, what’s so special about these Special Edition DIMMs? Follow us below as we dig into those details.
|Capacity||16 GB (2x 8GB)|
|Data Rate||DDR4-3466 (XMP)|
Corsair labels the kit “Special Edition” because of its high-contrast black-and-white finish, and even includes an anti-scratch cleaning cloth for the gloss black painted trim bars. Because apparently people want to polish their RAM. Those trim bars are each loaded with a strip of white LEDs designed to match the popular black and white color scheme of many cases, coolers, fans, and motherboards. A black kit with simpler heat spreaders and RGB lighting is available for a $5-lower MSRP, but greater availability has given the cheaper kit an additional $50 street-price advantage.
Special Edition DHX cast aluminum heat spreaders on this kit are secured with screws over custom-picked Samsung DRAM IC’s and a ten-layer PCB. The CMD32GX4M4C3466C16W part number indicates a 32GB DDR4, 4-DIMM kit at 3466 data rate, in White, with relatively tight 16-18-18-36 timings. We’ll make sure to push for even more performance in our overclocking and latency-tuning tests.
The Dominator Platinum SE kit is detected as DDR4-2133 prior to enabling an XMP profile, which allows motherboards to automatically configure its DDR4-3466 configuration at 1.35V.
Corsair provides a lifetime limited warranty for its DRAM products. Unlike many other Corsair memory products, this Special Edition kit is currently available only through its online store.
Dominator Platinum SE is the fourth four-DIMM kit to be tested on our Z370 platform. Competing kits we've tested are HyperX Predator which use the same 16-18-18-36 timings at a slightly lower DDR4-3333 data rate, Adata's XPG Spectrix D40 which again use the same 16-18-18-36 timings at an even lower data rate of DDR4-3000, and an older G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3866 kit, which recently lost its long-term Newegg discount. Because latency is measured in cycles and cycle time is the inverse of frequency, CAS 18 at DDR4-3866 is almost as quick as CAS 16 at DDR4-3466. Other timings are even more favorable to the higher-data-rate kit, so this could be an interesting performance race!
Finding the most-appropriate motherboard for overclocking evaluation isn’t always easy: While several motherboards use performance-sacrificing timings whenever modules are clocked significantly past XMP settings, MSI’s Z370 Godlike Gaming maintains appropriate bandwidth scaling when overclocking.
|Case||Cooler Master HAF XB EVO|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-8700K|
|Cooler||Fractal Design Celsius S24|
|Graphics||MSI GTX 1080 Armor OC|
|Motherboard||MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming|
|Power Supply||Corsair AX860i|
|Storage||OCZ RD400 (256GB)|
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