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Corsair's Dominator Platinum Special Edition Torque memory reviewed


Speedy RAM with looks to match
— 10:27 AM on May 12, 2017

Although one can now buy peripherals, cases, audio gear, or even an entire PC from Corsair now, the company's roots are in RAM. We've been using the company's memory in our personal systems and test rigs for nearly as long as TR has existed, so when Corsair offered us a set of its Dominator Platinum Special Edition Torque memory (Dominator Torque for short) to test, we couldn't say no.

As its name reveals, the Dominator Torque kit builds on Corsair's highest-end regular-production RAM, the Dominator Platinum series. These kits feature what Corsair describes as "highly-screened" memory chips. In the case of the Torque kit, that means desirable Samsung B-die DRAM chips. Corsair says these chips can run "a few bins higher" than the kit's rated DDR4-3200 speed, something the company claims offers higher-than-normal overclocking potential. Although overclocking results will always vary, I'm happy to at least have a claimed leg up on run-of-the-mill RAM in the silicon lottery.

Corsair mates those dies with a 10-layer circuit board ensconced in a hefty aluminum heatsink, all topped off with a solid-feeling bar of aluminum with a white LED light pipe running through it. (No RGB LEDs here, sadly, given the cost of the kit.) The Torque kit gets its name from the special hand-applied finish atop these bars. That in-your-face look is meant to emulate the rainbow gradient one can get from high-quality TIG welds.

For extra prestige, Corsair individually numbers each Torque kit, although the company says production is unlimited for now. As with the most coveted muscle cars, collectors of classic PC hardware can look for numbers-matching examples of Torque kits in the future.

Model Capacity Configuration Speed
(rated)
Timings Voltage
CMD32GX4M4C3200C14T 32GB 2x16GB DIMMs 3200 MT/s 14-16-16-36 1.35V
CMD32GX4M2C3200C14T 4x8GB DIMMs

Those fancy finishes will bedeck two 32GB memory kits. The kit we're looking at today offers a pair of 16GB DIMMs rated for 3200 MT/s at latencies of 14-16-16-36, and it's best suited for Intel Z170 and Z270 platforms. Although this RAM will certainly work in AMD Ryzen builds, its dual-rank configuration means that it'll be difficult (if not impossible) to get running at its full rated speed. This kit lists for a whopping $400. Corsair will also offer a quad-channel kit with 32GB spread across four DIMMs with the same specs for $450, and those DIMMs will use single-rank configurations. Both kits are available direct from Corsair only.

Either way, Corsair is asking a lot of money for this RAM. Memory is largely a commodity market these days, so buyers will have to weigh whether the Torque kit's fancy looks, combined with Corsair's careful component screening, are worth the premium over RAM from other manufacturers. Let's rev up this memory kit now and see how it runs.

Installation and clearance
From the top of the heatsink to the top of the pins, the Dominator Torque DIMMs measure two inches (51 mm) tall. In contrast, the bog-standard DIMMs I have in the lab measure about 1.2" (30 mm), and G.Skill's Trident Z heatsink measures in at 1.7" (42 mm). The top of each DIMM has a finned heatsink to allow air to flow through to other parts of the CPU socket, but this memory could interfere with conventional tower heatsinks that butt in on DIMM slots' airspace.

Our test system uses an all-in-one liquid cooler to do its thing, though, so memory clearance isn't an issue with that arrangement. Many modern motherboards also use the second and fourth DIMM slots (relative to the CPU socket) as their primary memory locations. Many tower coolers are now designed to cant away from the memory slots for better clearance, as well. Those developments mean that the Dominator Torque DIMMs likely won't interfere with carefully-chosen components.

Our testing methods
As always, we did our best to deliver clean benchmarking numbers. We ran each test three times and took the median of the results.

Our test system comprised the following hardware:

Processor Intel Core i7-7700K
Motherboard Asus ROG Strix Z270E Gaming
Chipset Intel Z270
Memory size Asus ROG Strix Z270E Gaming
Memory type 32GB (2x16GB) Corsair Dominator Torque
Memory frequency DDR4-3200
Memory timings 14-16-16-36
Memory voltage 1.35V
Storage Samsung 960 EVO 500GB
2x Corsair Neutron XT 480GB SSDs
1x Kingston HyperX 480GB SSD
Power supply Corsair RM850x
OS Windows 10 Pro with Creators Update

Our thanks to Intel, Asus, Corsair, AMD, and HyperX for providing the hardware that makes our testing possible. Our thanks again to Corsair for hooking us up with the Dominator Torque kit itself, as well.

We used AIDA64 version 5.9 to perform our synthetic memory tests. We also relied on the publicly-available version of the STARS Euler3D benchmark and the most current version of Arma III for those tests. Our thanks to FinalWire for the AIDA64 license.