Burning fast DDR5 memory here
If you are planning to build a new Intel rig based on the latest 12th General Core “Alder Lake” processor, you have to decide between getting a DDR4 motherboard or a DDR5 motherboard. Unlike previous examples where memory standards were introduced, no DDR4 and DDR5 combo motherboards are available. Not for now. So you have to choose any one and it goes without saying that DDR5 offers more performance. The CORSAIR DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB First Edition Memory Kit is literally the first DDR5 kit we’ve received and it maintains the build quality that Corsair is known for their premium memory modules while providing a decent overclocked XMP profile.
The reviewer package we received was quite impressive. We just got a bit white box with the CORSAIR logo on top. Opening it reveals the DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB retail package with DIMM inside. What stood out was the huge cutting board so that a white dominator platinum RGB DIMM was baked in hard resin. Why a “cutting board”? To mean “sophisticated performance”. We’ll get to that soon.
The Hitsink design is similar to other DOMINATOR Platinum RGB memory modules. The modules are 135 mm in length, 8 mm in width and 56 mm in height. The width isn’t going to be a problem though as most of the memory slots are wide enough to hold 8mm thick modules side by side. On the other hand, altitude is going to be an issue if you choose a specific CPU air cooler. In fact, for a top-of-the-line CPU like the Intel Core i9-12900K, you’ll probably find an AIO CPU water cooler or a beefy CPU air cooler. AIOs won’t be a problem, but next, if the flagship CPU is designed to handle TDP, there will be problems with tall DIMMs. So that’s something for you to consider.
You get a two-part metal heat sink held together by screws and thermal tape. It is quite easy to disassemble and we see a one sided DIMM inside. CORSAIR uses their low-power Capelix LEDs for RGB lighting so the impact on the memory power subsystem is not like other brands. With the exception of the LED diffuser above the DIMM, almost everything else is metal so heat dissipation is not a major problem.
A closer look shows that CORSAIR DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB first version memory modules use the Micron MT60B2G8HB-48B DDR5 SDRAM chip. The density of these chips is 16 Gb and they are rated for 4800 MT / s which can be overclocked at 5200 MT / s when using XMP profile. The DDR5 memory standard has two channels per DIMM, so you’ll see four chips on the left for the first channel and four more on the right for the second channel. When you add two memory modules, you are basically running a quad-channel memory configuration.
Corsair is using an NXP LPC82x 32-bit ARM microcontroller to control the memory module, RGB profile and PMIC. Speaking of which, the PMIC used is an APW8502C. There is no publicly accessible data sheet for this so we cannot provide any details. Only we know for sure that PMIC takes 5 volt input and breaks it down to 1.1 v for Vdd and Vddq and 1.8 v for Vpp. Separating the PMIC from the processor gives the user more control over the overclocking capabilities of the memory chips.
Lastly, there is only one FRC connector for the Caplex LED strip on the back of the module. Overall, the CORSAIR DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB First Edition memory modules are designed to keep you occupied for a long time.
The units were reviewed in the following configuration:
Intel 12th Gen Test Rig
CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K
Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS Master
SSD: 2x WD Black SN850 1TB
HDD: Seagate FireCuda 2 TB ST2000DX002
RAM: Corsar Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5 32GB (2 x 16GB) @ 4800 MHz
Cooler: Corsair H150i Elite LCD
PSU: Cooler Master V1200
We mentioned earlier that with the DDR5 memory standard, each module can have two channels. So when you plug a pair of DDR5 modules into your motherboard, you’ll see a quad-channel configuration on your OS.
We tested the units in the base profile without turning on XMP. At this point, we ran through a set benchmark. This was only to measure the effect of the DDR5 XMP profile on processor performance. Although XMP 3.0 SPD allows to store many more profiles, these modules had only one profile. But with DDR5, it’s easier for OC, so it takes little effort to scale the module. Without XMP enabled, the modules run at 4800 MT / s at 40-40-40-77, and with the XMP-5200 profile, it becomes 5200 MT / s at 36-38-38-74. The reduction in latency may not seem like much, but it is something.
The pure artificial efficiency bump obtained after switching to 5200 MT / s works around 8.5 to 9.8 percent which is quite significant.
However, when you switch to real-world work pressure, the effect doesn’t seem so impressive because performance improvement is usually between 1-3 percent.
In terms of power consumption, we see a noticeable increase when running the kit at 5200 MT / s during heavy loads. The power draw can use about 7.3 watts during copy operation while at idle, it drops to about 3.2 watts.
This is the first DDR5 kit we’ve ever had, so there’s no comparable data to look at. Based on what we have seen so far, the build quality of CORSAIR DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB DDR5 modules is unmatched. We’ll update the review if we get an additional RAM kit to provide comparative data.