Package and Modules
Before we get into the benchmarks that we all love, we first have a look at the modules and what they come to us in. Corsair ships the Dominator memory in one of the largest boxes we have seen for a RAM package. On the front of the box there is a pamphlet attached to it with some info on the modules specs as well as installation instructions.
When we opened the box there was a large foam insert and a smaller box. The foam insert contained the memory modules in a special cut out cavity. The smaller box has the cooling solution.
Corsair's PC2-10000 memory comes with nVidia Enhanced Performance Profiles (EPP) to aid in simpler overclocking. It is a technology actually jointly developed by Corsair and nVidia.
Apart from the OCZ FlexXLC memory, these are the largest passively cooled modules on the market. The top has a unique heat exchange system. Corsair has produced a new heatsink cooling system in order to keep the modules running at such high frequencies as cool as possible. Corsair has named this their "Dual-Path Heat Xchange Technology" or DHX as it's known for short. It's still a newish cooler that is included on some the Dominator memory kits such as TWIN2X2048-6400C3DF, TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF and of course the monster TWIN2X2048-10000C5DF that we are looking at here today.
The first path of the cooling system is direct contact with the BGA chips at the back of the chips as well as cooling the PCB itself. This is done by a metal plate that is directly made into the PCB and contacts the back of the memory chips but does not touch the BGA solder points.
The second path is a more conventional heat spreader on the front of the chips like most memory modules contain. One thing though that is unique is that the two paths don't touch each other. Both of the spreaders rise up between each other and the additional fan or air flow within your case will remove dissipated heat from the modules.
This is what sets Corsair's Dominator memory apart from the rest - the optional cooling fan solution. It clamps to the top of the memory modules when they are inserted into the DIMM sockets and then plugs directly onto a power header on the motherboard. This allows the board to monitor the speed of the fans. There are a total of three 40mm fans that spin at over 3,000RPM to keep the modules cool and it does the job very effectively.
Without the cooling fan installed and in use, the modules become quite hot to the touch, with the fan on there is barely any heat to speak of. This will not only aid in attaining higher clock speeds from the memory but also help in longevity of the memory.