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Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB RAM review

Corsair's flagship Dominator Platinum goes full RGB.

Our Verdict

Best-in-class overclocking performance meets innovative RGB technology.

For

  • Ultra-bright Capellix RGB LEDs
  • Dominator DHX heat-spreaders
  • Advanced iCUE software

Against

  • Module height may cause clearance issues

Corsair's Dominator Platinum has been one of the best DDR4 RAM kits for quite some time now. Its sleek exterior, patented DHX cooling technology and unrivaled performance have made it a formidable flagship over the years. First teased at CES, Corsair is now introducing the new Dominator Platinum RGB with the same best in class performance and RGB lighting using the company's new Capellix LEDs.

This is the first major update we've seen to the Dominator series' design since the DDR3 version was released and the timing couldn't be any better now that RAM prices are finally cheap again. Corsair has ditched the iconic silver top bar in favor of a new black lightbar that diffuses light from 12 individually-addressable RGB LEDs. Prominent branding and ridged heatsinks on the modules have been replaced with a flush stealth black design that seamlessly blends into your build.

At a quick glance, the new design may look similar to Corsair's black Vengeance RGB series, but there are major differences in the lighting. The original Vengeance RGB features non-addressable LEDs, meaning the entire light bar could only be one color at a time. The newer Vengeance RGB Pro on the other hand, features 10 individually addressable LEDs. As expected from a flagship line, the Dominator Platinum RGB kicks things up a notch using 12 of Corsair's innovative addressable Capellix LEDs.

Capellix LEDs were created in partnership with Primax, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer. The new technology shrinks traditional SMD LED modules from 2.8mm cubed down to 0.2mm cubed. Despite being 92 percent smaller, the tiny LEDs are up to 60 percent brighter and consume 40 percent less power. This is very important for RAM because there isn't much surface area to work with. Less power also means less heat and strain on the memory chips.

This new technology also brings practical applications beyond the world of DDR4 RAM. One example could be wireless RGB gaming peripherals, where battery power is often a limiting factor for addressable RGB integration. We wouldn't be surprised to see more Corsair Capellix RGB products coming out in the near future.

Like the rest of the RGB lineup, the Dominator Platinum RGB is controlled via Corsair's iCUE software suite. If you have any other Corsair RGB products, you'll be able to import and synchronize your lighting profiles across all devices. We had some issues mirroring our custom keyboard lighting profiles, but the 11 different predefined lighting link settings worked perfectly.

If you don't have other Corsair RGB products to link, the Dominator Platinum RGB comes with a generous 15 customizable predefined lighting effects. We've tested nearly a dozen different RGB DDR4 kits with Corsair's accompanying software and iCUE is by far the most advanced. The difference in lighting effects and brightness puts the Dominator Platinum RGB in a class of its own. 

Side-by-side comparisons with our HUE 2 RGB lighting kit and other RGB memory including Corsair's Vengeance RGB clearly demonstrates the superiority of the Capellix LEDs. They're so bright we actually found ourselves hoping for an option to adjust the brightness in iCUE. That doesn't exist currently, but the software does offer realtime monitoring of frequencies, timings and temperatures.

From a performance standpoint, the Dominator Platinum RGB lives up to its name. Each kit goes through a very tight screening process with hand-sorted memory chips to ensure maximum stability out of the box and generous overclocking headroom. This is a process Corsair has excelled at over the years, particularly with the Dominator series. The Dominator Platinum RGB is no exception. 

We received an 8x8GB test kit from Corsair for our quad-channel X299 bench and ran various tests using AIDA64, MaxxMEM and games such as Metro Exodus and Apex Legends. Using the stock XMP settings at 3,600MHz, our kit performed right in line with the original Dominator Platinum and G.Skill's TridentZ. In general, there was only a small margin of difference in performance up to 5 percent between competing kits, but overclocking was much more successful with the Dominator Platinum RGB.

We were able to achieve a stable 4,000MHz with ease while manually overclocking the kit. With a bit more tweaking and minor bumps in voltage, we saw upwards of 4,200MHz, something most competing kits have struggled with. This isn't too surprising, considering Corsair's plans to sell XMP-ready kits up to 4,800MHz. Even with higher voltages and under heavy load, the Dominator Platinum RGB never broke 60 degrees celsius.

It isn't often that we get to say this, but for once the RGB variant of a product isn't unreasonably priced above the original. The 3,200MHz 32 GB (4x8) Dominator Platinum RGB priced at $350 MSRP is only $25 more than the equivalent standard Dominator Platinum. Some dual channel kits are priced only $15 higher. Of course, if you aren't a fan of RGB, Corsair's Dominator Platinum RGB probably isn't the RAM for you.

For those that do enjoy RGB lighting, the Dominator Platinum RGB is our new favorite high end memory kit. Top notch stability, sleek appearance and innovative lighting features make it well worth every penny. The Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB will be available in various sized kits and speeds ranging from $160 (16 GB) to $1565 (128 GB).

The Verdict

Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB RAM review

Best-in-class overclocking performance meets innovative RGB technology.