The Memory Performance Review – 6 Kits / 30 Games & Real World Benches Featuring Corsair DDR5 6400

We borrowed a Corsair DOMINATOR DDR5 6400MHz CL38 2x16GB kit from JPR last weekend and compared it against five other similar 2x16GB memory kits.  We used a full set of benchmarking tools and 30 games to see if faster DDR5 speeds or lower latency make any practical performance difference for gamers or creators.

Top: T-Force Delta DDR5 6000 CL40; Bottom Corsair Dominator DDR5 6400 CL38; L&R sides: G.SKILL Trident Z5 DDR5 6000 CL36 & CL40

This is the third installment of BTR’s memory review series and we already compared the T-FORCE DELTA RGB 6400MHz CL40 DDR5 2x16GB memory kit with 2x16GB T-FORCE DARK Z 3600MHz CL18 DDR4 and 2x16GB T-FORCE VULCAN 5200 CL40 DDR5 kits.  For this review, we purchased two identical G.SKILL DDR5 6000 2x16GB kits from Amazon – the only difference is that one kit is CL36 and the other is CL40.

Top Left to Right – G.SKILL Trident Z5 DDR5 6000 CL40, T-Force Vulcan DDR5 5200 CL40; Center – G.SKILL Trident Z5 DDR5 6000 CL36; Bottom: Left to Right – T-Force Delta DDR5 6400 CL36, T-Force DarkZ DDR4 3600 CL18

Last year, BTR ran an extensive set of tests comparing DDR4 3600MHz CL18 with CL16 and the performance results were very similar for gaming, so our T-FORCE DARK Z 3600MHz CL18 2x16GB kit is representative of today’s fast DDR4.  We started over with new benchmarks and have updated our testing tools to compare the relative performance of six memory kits using an i9-12900KF.

Since no motherboard supports both types of memory, gamers have a choice of using their current DDR4 memory on a Z690 DDR4 motherboard or buying new memory for a Z690 DDR5 motherboard.  When BTR originally upgraded its flagship PC from an i9-10900K to an i9-12900KF, we picked a solid midrange ASUS Prime Z690-P D4 board for our DDR4 3600 memory.  We then purchased an ASUS ROG Maximus Apex Z690 DDR5 motherboard for this memory review series.

Here are the six memory kits that we are comparing:

  • Corsair DOMINATOR (PC5-51200) DDR5 6400MHz CL38 2x16GB
  • T-FORCE DELTA (PC5-51200) DDR5 6400MHz CL40 2x16GB
  • G.SKILL Trident Z5 (PC5-48000) DDR5 6000MHz CL36 2x16GB
  • G.SKILL Trident Z5 (PC5-48000) DDR5 6000MHz CL40 2x16GB
  • T-FORCE VULCAN (PC5-41600) DDR5 5200MHz CL40 2x16GB
  • T-FORCE  VULCAN DARKZ (PC4-28800) DDR4 3600MHz CL18 2x16GB

Just like with video cards, predatory resellers have been buying large quantities of DDR5 at MSRP to resell them at inflated prices.  Fortunately, DDR5 supply is rapidly increasing and it is now possible to buy Corsair DDR5 at or near MSRP.

Testing Platform, Product Specifications & Features

Our testing platform is a recent clean installation of Windows 11 Professional, using an Intel Core i9-12900KF at stock settings using either a 1) ASUS Prime P-D4 Z690 motherboard for DDR4 benchmarking or 2) an ASUS ROG Maximus Apex Z690 motherboard for DDR5 benching; with either 2 x 16GB: (1) Corsair DOMINATOR RGB 6400MHz CL38 DDR5; (2) T-FORCE DELTA 6400MHz CL40 DDR5; (3) G.SKILL Trident Z5 6000MHz CL36 DDR5; (4) G.SKILL Trident Z5 6000MHz CL40 DDR5; (5) T-FORCE VULCAN 5200MHz CL40 DDR5; or (6) T-FORCE DarkZ 3600MHz CL18 DDR4 memory.  We use an RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition at stock clocks and two T-FORCE NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 SSDs (7,000MB/s & 5,000MB/s) as befits a high-end PC.  The settings, benchmarks, testing conditions, and hardware are identical except for the six memory kits and their respective motherboards being compared.

Voltages, timings, and Command Rates (2T) are set by their respective default XMP profiles in the BIOS.  The default XMP Profile timings and voltages are:

  • Corsair DOMINATOR 6400MHz – CL38-40-40-84 – 1.35V
  • T-FORCE DELTA DDR5 6400MHz – CL40-40-40-84 – 1.35V
  • G.SKILL Trident Z5 6000MHz – CL36-36-36-76 – 1.20V
  • G.SKILL Trident Z5 6000MHz – CL40-40-40-76 – 1.30V
  • T-FORCE Vulcan DDR5 5200MHz – CL40-40-40-76 – 1.25V
  • T-FORCE DARK Z 3600MHz – CL18-22-22-42 – 1.35V

As this is a series comparing the gaming performance of multiple DDR5 speeds/latencies, we benchmark 30 modern games at a maxed-out/ultra 3840×2160, 2560×1440, and 1920×1080 resolutions to see which games benefit from faster memory. We also benchmark using many of the recognized memory-related benchmarking tools including AIDA64, SANDRA, PCMark 10 Pro, SPECworkstation3, 3DMark, Blender Benchmark, Cinebench, Frybench, GeekBench, Novabench, RealBench, CPU-Z Bench, 7-Zip Bench, Kraken JavaScript Bench, and Wprime.

The Corsair DOMINATOR DDR5 6400MHz CL38 specifications are from Corsair’s website.

DOMINATOR DDR5 6400MHz Specifications

Source: Corsair

Corsair offers a lifetime warranty for their DOMINATOR DDR5 desktop memory.

We did not get the box from JPR, but the each memory DIMM arrived sealed in its anti-static blister pack.

The memory is encased in a solid and heavy casing for cooling, and ever-changing aRGB lights run along its top and upper sides. 

Corsair DOMINATOR DDR5 looks great installed in a PC and its specifications are outstanding.  Let’s see how its performance compares with five other 2x16GB memory kits after a look at our test configuration.