Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 C38 Review: Still Dominating

The newest iteration to the Dominator lineage

Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 C38
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

The Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 C38 possesses the DNA that we've grown to love about Corsair memory, but like most DDR5 memory, it also carries a premium price tag that makes it out of reach for most users.

Pros

  • +

    Decent performance

  • +

    Great aesthetics

Cons

  • -

    Premium price tag

  • -

    Limited OC potential

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Corsair's Dominator series is one of the most distinguished memory portfolios in enthusiast circles. But, as the old saying goes, if it's not broken, don't fix it. As a result, Corsair has updated its Dominator Platinum RGB lineup to the latest DDR5 format, following a similar approach. While the memory physically looks identical to its DDR4 counterpart, it brings all the goodness of DDR5 under the hood. Currently, Corsair offers the Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 memory kits with data rates and capacities spanning up to DDR5-6400 and 64GB (2x32GB), respectively.

The Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 memory is available with a black or white anodized aluminum heat spreader. The design retains the clean and aggressive layout that we've come to love from the Dominator series. As usual, we have matching fins and a top rail with RGB lighting that's fixed to the heat spreader with a couple of screws. In addition, Corsair has implanted 12 ultra-bright individually-addressable Capellix RGB LEDs into the light bar.

Since the DDR5 memory modules are practically clones of the DDR4 variants, they also measure 56mm (2.2 inches) tall. However, it's not a height that worries us too much, and the memory modules should fit just fine under the most oversized CPU air coolers. To control the Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5's lighting, you'll have to download and install Corsair's proprietary iCUE software. The software also offers other features, such as temperature monitoring and saving custom XMP 3.0 profiles to the SPD, a new feature that arrived with DDR5.

The Dominator Platinum RGB memory modules are single-rank with a 16GB capacity. Corsair chose Micron's D8BNJ integrated circuits for this particular SKU. The FBGA code corresponds to the MT60B2G8HB-48B:A (A-die) chips. The power management IC (PMIC) model inside these Dominator Platinum RGB memory modules is the P8911-Y0Z001GR-2115MU unit from Renesas.

The memory kit defaults to DDR5-4800 with 40-40-40-76 timings. The XMP 3.0 profile will switch the memory up to DDR5-5200 and change the timings to 38-38-38-84. The profile will also bump the DRAM voltage up to 1.25V. For more on timings and frequency considerations, see our PC Memory 101 feature, as well as our How to Shop for RAM story.

Comparison Hardware

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Memory KitPart NumberCapacityData RatePrimary TimingsVoltageWarranty
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGBF5-6000U3636E16GX2-TZ5RS2 x 16GBDDR5-6000 (XMP)36-36-36-76 (2T)1.30Lifetime
TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGBFF3D516G6000HC40ABK2 x 16GBDDR5-6000 (XMP)40-40-40-80 (2T)1.35Lifetime
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5CMT32GX5M2B5200C382 x 16GBDDR5-5200 (XMP)38-38-38-84 (2T)1.25Lifetime
Kingston Fury BeastKF552C40BBK2-322 x 16GBDDR5-5200 (XMP)40-40-40-80 (2T)1.25Lifetime
CrucialCT2K8G48C40U52 x 8GBDDR5-480040-39-39-77 (2T)1.10Lifetime

Intel DDR5 System (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Our Intel testbed for DDR5 utilizes the latest Intel Core i9-12900K processor with Corsair's CUE H100i Elite LCD liquid cooler. The flagship Alder Lake chip rests on an MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi motherboard that runs the 7D32vH0 firmware. Meanwhile, the MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Trio tackles the gaming workloads from our RAM benchmarks.

Our Windows 11 installation, benchmarking software, and games are stored on Crucial's MX500 SSDs, whereas the RM650x feeds our entire system with the necessary juice. Lastly, the Streacom BC1 open bench table houses all of our hardware.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Intel DDR5 System
ProcessorIntel Core i9-12900K
MotherboardMSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi
Graphics CardMSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio
StorageCrucial MX500 500GB, 2TB
CoolingCorsair iCUE H100i Elite LCD
Power SupplyCorsair RM650x 650W
CaseStreacom BC1

Intel Performance

Corsair's memory kit situated itself in the middle of the pack in cumulative application performance. Overall, it was the second-fastest memory kit in gaming. The Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 topped the Cinebench R23 charts, marginally faster than Kingston's Fury Beast DDR5-5200.

Overclocking and Latency Tuning

When you run hardware outside of the manufacturer's specifications, there's always a potential risk of damage. That's the standard caveat with overclocking any piece of hardware, not just memory. We've already reached out to Micron to inquire about the maximum safe voltage for its ICs, but we haven't received any feedback on the topic of safe voltages for overclocking. However, after speaking with various memory vendors, they've agreed that 1.4V is the maximum voltage you would want to pump into DDR5 for an extended time.

We pushed Corsair's memory kit to DDR5-5400 by increasing the DRAM voltage to 1.4V and relaxing the timings to 40-40-40-76. The memory modules may have more gas in their tanks, but DDR5-5400 was the ceiling at 1.4V.

Lowest Stable Timings

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Memory KitDDR5-5200 (1.4V)DDR5-5400 (1.4V)DDR5-6000 (1.4V)DDR5-6200 (1.4V)DDR5-6400 (1.4V)
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6000 C36N/AN/A36-33-33-73 (2T)36-36-36-76 (2T)N/A
TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5-6000 C40N/AN/A38-38-38-78 (2T)N/A40-40-40-82 (2T)
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 C3834-37-37-77 (2T)40-40-40-76 (2T)N/AN/AN/A
Kingston Fury Beast DDR5-5200 C4036-37-37-78 (2T)38-38-38-78 (2T)N/AN/AN/A
Crucial DDR5-4800 C40N/A40-40-40-77 (2T)N/AN/AN/A

With the same 1.4V, we got the Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 memory kit down to 34-37-37-77 at DDR5-5200. Although the CAS Latency was pretty forgiving, the tRCD and tRP timings wouldn't go under 37 clocks.

Bottom Line

Corsair's Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 C38 ticks all the right boxes for the more demanding consumer. It boasts solid construction and eye-catching aesthetics that appeal to even the most demanding of enthusiasts. Although not the best, the performance is respectable in anyone's book. However, the pricing may scare potential buyers away.

Being a part of Corsair's top-of-the-line Dominator family means you'll be paying a slight premium for the Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 C38. When in stock, the memory kit retails for $349.99 (opens in new tab), and pricing won't improve until the DDR5 shortage is over. So if you're ready to jump on the DDR5 bandwagon, the Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-5200 C38 should be on your list of options.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.