It isn’t often you see PC components launched in limited, numbered quantities, but there are only a few hundred samples of Corsair’s Dominator Platinum Special Edition memory kits available. In fact, you can currently only purchase a maximum of two kits, so what’s all the fuss about?
Corsair’s Dominator memory has always been at the premium end of the spectrum, but we’ve often recommended it, with its chunky heatsinks that genuinely work, and the more recent Light Bar versions too. With the advent of Corsair’s new Vengeance LED range, though, the Dominator started to look a little dated, even if you swapped out the Light Bar insert for a colored one. The Dominator Platinum Special Edition aims to reinstate the range at the top of Corsair’s memory arsenal, albeit with a limited number of extremely expensive kits.
The cost – $300 for just a 16GB 3200MHz dual-channel kit – is three times the price of a Vengeance LED kit of the same speed and capacity, making the price initially look unreasonable. Even Corsair’s claims that premium components are used, and that the kits can be safely overclocked to 3600MHz, still doesn’t quite add up. When you open the box, though, it all starts to make sense.
The Dominator Platinum Special Edition comes in two flavours – Blackout and Chrome. The Blackout version isn’t actually black, but a very attractive dark grey, but both kits are equipped with protective film, as they have highly reflective surfaces. In short, they look absolutely spectacular, especially the chrome version, which seems to melt into your motherboard, reflecting components around it like a mirror.
The lighting has also been improved compared with the DDR3 Dominator RAM too, plus there are gold heatsink screws, while the specifications and logos have been etched into the polished aluminium – there are no stickers here. The top heatsinks are coloured silver too – they’re without doubt the best-looking memory modules we’ve seen.
Despite Corsair’s overclocking claims, though, we were unable to push the quad-channel kit any further than 3400MHz, despite using a DDR voltage of 1.4V, without raising the timings. That’s a little disappointing, as we managed to overclock a far cheaper and slower Vengeance LED kit to 3466MHz, albeit in dual-channel mode. Sadly, the dual-channel kit fared even worse – we couldn’t get it to budge past 3200MHz at all, even if we set the timings to the same as those on the Vengeance LED kit.
Corsair’s Dominator Platinum Special Edition is superpremium memory, so it was never going to score highly on value. For the same money, you could buy an equivalent Vengeance LED DDR4 kit plus a Samsung 960 Evo M.2 SSD and a 2TB hard disk. It doesn’t even overclock that well either.
However, that’s all irrelevant if you want the best-looking memory, and right now that’s without a doubt the Dominator Platinum Special Edition. It’s still very fast at 3200MHz and the stock timings are tight too. It’s all about the looks though – if money is of little consequence and you want the bestlooking RAM available, you need to head over to Corsair’s website before all the kits are gone.