When you are putting together a high-end system your choice of memory is usually second or third on your list of parts. This is even more so true now that both sides of the house have memory controllers built directly into the CPU. After all, without good, stable and fast memory your expensive CPU can become an annoyance rather than a joy.
So, what do we look for these days from our RAM? Well, if you were looking for a Socket 775 CPU you wanted the fastest RAM you could find. This helped to overcome the issue of having the memory controller in the NorthBridge.
If you are looking for an AMD CPU you want the best balance of speed and latency. This is now also true of the Nehalem, as the internal memory controller is as fast as the CPU bus, but can be seriously affected by latency.
So we see that looking for the right memory is an interesting process, especially with the advent of dual channel, triple channel, Intel's XMP Profiles and of course manufacturers "certifying" everything for this or that platform.
Today we take a look at Corsair's Dominator GT for Lynnfield.This is a PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600) 8GB kit (4x 2GB) that offers some stylish looks and some good performance. The one thing that it has over many other kits in the same line is lower stock latency. This means that the SPD (Serial Presence Device) will tell the motherboard and memory controller that it is CL8 from the moment you drop it in.
Let's take a look and see if this kit can give you a performance edge at stock speeds and also what it is capable of when we push it a little.