Corsair XMS3 DHX PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600) 4GB Kit

Corsair PC3-16000At the end of last year, a high-end 2GB DDR3 kit from a top manufacturer would have set you back a rather eye watering £300+. This, along with the bargain bin pricing of 4GB DDR2 kits, forced memory manufacturers to hold back on the production of their 4GB DDR3 kits in fear of releasing them to an audience not willing to lay down ~£500 for a new set of sticks.
However, the dust is finally settling and largely thanks to the public’s unwillingness to make the jump to a DDR3 based platform, memory manufacturers are being forced to bring down the cost of their DDR3 kits to much more reasonable levels just to draw some of the attention away from the well-aged, and pretty static (development-wise, not ESD – ed) DDR2 platform.
Today we’re going to be taking a look at  Corsair’s mid-range 4GB DDR3 kit, affectionately known as TW3X4G1600C9DHXNV. With the same overall design and focus on performance at a reasonable price as the recently reviewed DDR2 TWIN2X4G6400C4DHX kit that walked away with both our “Editors Choice” and “Value for Money” awards, can the DDR3 version woo us in the same way? Let’s check out the specs:
XMS3 DHX Series – Cool DDR3!
Sporting Corsair’s signature fin memory heat sink and patented heat-removing printed circuit board design, the new XMS3 DHX products feature DDR3 performance while promoting increased stability. DHX technology allows this memory to have superior thermal characteristics to enable it to run cooler than a module with stamped or mesh heat spreaders. The result is enabled superior reliability, stability and performance capability.

• 4096 Megabytes of DDR3 memory
• Two matched CM3X1G1600C9DHXNV modules
• DHX technology provides maximum cooling
• Certified as SLI-Ready Memory
• 100% tested at 1600MHz in NVIDIA-based motherboards
• Lifetime warranty

Test Spec Features
• Each module pair is tested together at 1600MHz
• Packaged together immediately following system test
• Tested together at 1600MHz, Vdimm = 1.8V, at latency settings of 9-9-9-24 on NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboards
• SPD programmed at:
• EPP2.0 9-9-9-24 values at 1600MHz
• JEDEC standard 9-9-9-24 values at 1333MHz

As mentioned in our previous review of the XMS2 DHX PC2-6400 kit, the patented DHX cooling technology provides direct metal-to-metal contact between the inner plates of the heat sink and the tracks on the modules’ PCB. Studies carried out show substantial amounts of the heat generated by IC’s is conducted into the PCB, meaning the DHX system is currently the only solution on the market to address this problem.
By using NVIDIA’s EPP2.0 profiles, Corsair has earned “SLI Ready” certification for the XMS3 DHX PC3-12800 kit. This provides assurance that the modules will run at their stock speed of 1600mhz with 9-9-9-24 timings on newer NVIDIA chipset-based motherboards. Interestingly, the kit has a fairly low 1.80v voltage requirement for a 4GB kit of this speed and should hopefully give us some overclocking headroom over the next few pages.
Should you ever have any problems with the modules, Corsair have also backed them with a reassuring lifetime warranty – provided the purchase was made through an authorised reseller. Further information on Corsair’s warranty policy can be found here.