Dominator fan cooling
In addtition to the already great stock cooling capacity of the modules, the Dominator fan assembly can be added to the mix to improve cooling even more. The fan assembly is constructed of aluminum, with three 4cm fans which spin at about 5000rpm, which is quite reasonable for 4cm fans.
The mounting of the fan assembly is done by metal clips, which place the fans about an inch above the heatsink fins. The fans blow the air down over the heatsinks, and into the heatsink assembly, over the PCB. This adds greatly to the cooling of the modules, as the fans allow for an additional 4°C drop in temperature when compared to the Dominator fanless heatsink, making the chips a total of 17°C cooler than a memory kit without heatsinks.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the fan assembly can bring equal cooling improvement to other heatsink designs, like the XMS pro design. Tests on the XMS pro provided almost a 6°C improvement over a fanless setup. Corsair might be bringing the fan assembly onto the market as a standalone product but it did not make its online appearance yet.
Now before you all run to the shops to preorder one, a small word of caution: the fan assembly will not fit every motherboard. Motherboards where the PCIe slot is directly adjacent to the memory slots (in a perpendicular arrangement) could be a problem. For example my Intel D975XBX "Bad Axe" will not accommodate the fan assembly when combined with a very long graphics card, like the nVidia 7950GX2 or the ATI X1900 series (or the upcoming NVIDIA 8800 series)
Of course, when you install fans into your system, noise will be an obvious concern, so here you have some basic measurements:
A little bit to my surprise the fans did not add that much noise to my system at all. An increase of 0.8 to 1dB is not much; then again, I’m using a fairly noisy CPU cooler so that minimizes the effect on the total noise. What I did experience is that the fans can be influenced by turbulence in the neighborhood of the assembly. For example cable clutter above or next to the fans can make them vibrate a little, which makes them a lot louder. By rearranging the cables a little I soon got rid of the noise though, as you can also see from our graph.
Side and top view (click to open)
Onto our next contestant for the crown ->