There was a time, not that long ago, when not everything in the PC universe was brimming with RGB lighting. But as LEDs have crept into and onto everything from cases to keyboards to cupholders, the limitations of current popular lighting tech has begun to come into view. Corsair is trying to bring some leaner, meaner LED solutions into the market, and it's showing off those efforts at CES 2019 in its new Dominator Platinum RGB RAM.
Even the relatively small LEDs that you see on many RAM sticks, cooling fans, and lighting strips (and so on) can be less than ideal. For example, you can often count how many addressable LEDs are in a particular lighting implementation because you can see their extra-bright glow through the translucent plastic cover. Corsair is trying to ameliorate those sorts of problems by using it's physically smaller "Capellix" LEDs.
Corsair had some samples in its suite at CES showing the differences in the LEDs. There's a standard lighting strip at the top of the photo, and below it you can see the smaller LEDs.
What's that, you can't see them? Here's a closer look. That's an 11 x 12 array of the itty bitty LEDs in a coin-sized space.
Corsair claims that despite the diminutive size, the new LEDs are 40% brighter than standard SMD LEDs. Or, if you dial down the brightness, they purportedly consume 60% less power. Because the LEDs are smaller, they also produce a more blended glow through translucent materials. Think of RGB lighting implementations as screens with extremely low resolutions. Each LED is a proverbial pixel. With physically smaller "pixels" that are significantly brighter, it's not hard to understand how that can create more beautiful RGB lighting.
We were not able to measure or test the above claims during our visit with Corsair, but the Dominator Platinum RGB RAM passes the eye test. The lights are bright and smooth, and when they turned on the effects, you could see that it was nicely integrated with the rest of the demo system's lighting. There are 12 addressable LEDs on each DIMM.
Corsair is not manufacturing these tiny LEDs, but it helped out the company that does make them. It's unclear if that assistance took the form of engineering advice or cash (or a combination thereof), but suffice it to say that Corsair worked to make these LEDs come to life. In exchange, it appears that Corsair will get exclusivity on them for some stretch of time.
The RAM is very likely just the beginning. Expect to see Corsair deploy these little guys in more of its devices soon.