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Corsair Dominator GT Elpida Hyper Announcement


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  • Corsair Employees

We have seen a number of reports across various forums about failures of modules (from Corsair as well as from other memory manufacturers) built with Elpida “Hyper” RAMs. Through lab testing, we have now been able to reproduce similar failures. We are continuing to test to determine the cause of these failures. Note that although a relatively small percentage of “Hyper” ICs appear to be affected, the rate of failure is not acceptable to Corsair or to our customers.


Due to these failures, we will no longer sell Hyper-based modules until the issue can be resolved. We have also have asked our retailers to return any modules they currently have on their shelves. Products impacted include TW3X4G1600C6GTF, TR3X6G1866C7GTF, TR3X6G2000C8GTF, TR3X3G2000C7GTF, and TR3X6G2000C7GTF. We are working on enhancing our manufacturing and testing process to be able to offer these parts again as soon as possible.


We continue to stand behind these modules 100% with our standard warranty, which can be found at http://www.corsair.com/warranty/default.aspx.

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  • Corsair Employees
My TR3X6G2000C7GTF set is currently in transit back to Corsair for RMA. What is the case here? Will I receive a replacement set? Will there be delays while these issues are sorted?


It would be best to contact our customer service at 888-222-4346 and dial "0", (510) 657-8747 or email rmaservice@corsairmemory.com to see what options are available for you.

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Corsair's VP of Marketing, Jim Carlton, speaks to Hexus regarding the Elpida Hyper IC situation:





Technical rapport


HEXUS brought you the news, earlier in the week, that high-end component maker Corsair was pulling some performance DDR3 modules due to an unacceptable failure rate in their Elpida Hyper ICs.


We subsequently discovered that a couple of Corsair's new PSUs have had their listed 80Plus energy efficiency rating changed from Gold to Silver.


So we thought it was time to get to the bottom of things and fired over a few questions to Corsair's vice president of marketing, Jim Carlton.




[HEXUS] Corsair has had a few ‘interesting' developments in the last few weeks. We've seen you announce a hold on the Dominator GT and your two new PSUs mysteriously switched from 80Plus Gold to 80Plus Silver. What's going on? Inquiring minds want to know! Let's start with the Dominator GT.

[Jim] Okay, but please be gentle. I've only had one cup of coffee this morning.




[HEXUS] So why did the Elpida issue initially go undetected?


[Jim] First, I'd like to make sure that we clarify exactly what's behind the production hold on the Dominator GT. This is not a general Elpida problem-they make a lot of quality memory ICs. What we've seen is a higher-than-expected field failure rate with our Elpida Hyper-based Dominator GT modules. This is something the enthusiast community started to see a while ago, but we weren't sure at first if it wasn't just related to the fact that most of them were pushing them as hard as possible, upping voltages and clock dividers, pouring liquid nitrogen or liquid helium on them and so on.


Even though our modules have been shipping for a few months, the types of failures and the relatively low levels statistically speaking have meant that we could only recently properly characterize the failure rate. Because modules using Elpida Hyper ICs were found to have unacceptably high failure rates, we decided to take a pretty unusual step and put production of these parts on hold until we could find a solution.


We're working closely with Elpida engineers to isolate and correct the problem so we can get back into production as soon as possible.




Alternatives to Elpida


[HEXUS] What actions has Elpida taken so far and what do you want it to do?


[Jim] That's probably a question best answered by Elpida. Our engineering team is working with them to fully characterize the problem and find a solution. The specifics of what they are doing are way beyond a marketing guy to understand or describe!


I do know that they've correlated the failures and it appears at this time to be isolated to a few lots of early production ICs. We'll know more soon, I'm sure.




[HEXUS] Is it possible to make this a Dominator GT without IC's provided by Elpida?


[Jim] As far at the Dominator GT 2000C7 triple kits go, Elpida Hyper is currently the only IC that can achieve that level of performance on the Corei7 platform. We will put these back into production as soon as we can.


We have also been working with other high-speed memory ICs from Elpida and other chip manufacturers and I'll let you in on a secret: we'll be announcing new additions to the Dominator GT family in the next few days. These are modules we've been working on for other platforms and speed grades. So the short answer is yes, we can make Dominator GTs from ICs other than Elpida Hyper.



[HEXUS] How long do you think it will take for this issue to be resolved?


[Jim] I've asked this question of people far smarter than me and the best I can say is we don't really know yet. We're doing an accelerated lifecycle test with a pretty large sample size right now, and we need to see those results before we can really know the full answer.


Before we start shipping any Hyper-based parts like the 2000C7, we won't ship before we're very comfortable that Elpida has the issue completely isolated and solved at the chip level. That could take just a few weeks or it could take months.


The new Dominator GT modules I alluded to earlier will be shipping in a matter of days, using high-speed ICs other than Elpida Hyper.




[HEXUS] Other Manufacturers build modules based on Elpida IC's - How do you feel this is going to affect them?


[Jim] Are you trying to get me in trouble here [laughs]? I can't really speak for other companies.



We are generally very conservative when it comes to quality. We are very proud-justifiably so, in my opinion-of the quality of our products and we stand behind every module with a lifetime warranty.


We could probably just stick our heads in the sand, keep shipping the current Hyper-based Dominator GT kits, and live with the higher field failures (that, by the way, are affecting everybody as you can see from forum posts and enthusiast blogs all over the web).


But if you think about that from a customer's perspective, that's pretty crappy. Would you like to spend your hard earned money on a product and then be one of the unlucky ones that have an IC fail? Now you've got to contact the manufacturer, get an RMA, and wait for the replacement. In the meantime, your PC is dead, or you end up using some older, slower modules you stripped out of an old build. That's not the best customer experience at all!


We'd rather lose some sales in the short term and save that customer the headaches. If he really wants the best 2000C7 kit, he'll wait until we get these kinks ironed out and pick up a Dominator GT when it's back in production.

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Dear guys...


I bought a tripple kit (3x 2GB) of Dominator GT just last week and I'm wondering if my memory is affected?

The Part number reads the same like the affected memory, but the "F" is missing at the end. So my part number written onto the memory is TR3X6G1866C7GT


Can someone tell me if I better get replacement? And if so: where ?


Thank you!

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Yes, that's a Dominator GT. No, you don't have to get it replaced or anything. Just like any other memory if it doesn't pass valid testing at its rated specs and it's determined the memory is the issue, contact Corsair and they'll take care of you.
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One of my Dominator GT TR3X6G2000C8GT died two days ago, so I'm running on 4GB at the moment.


I did a RMA request yesterday, waiting for response.


I hope Elpida can fix this fairly quick.


You guys at Corsair are just amazing. Support and announcement is top of the line!

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Damn ! I bought 2 kits of TR3X6G1866C7GTF during june and still continue to experience several problems with my dominator GT Kits.


How to know with certitude if I'm affected with the elpida problem or not ? Is there any listing somewhere with the affected batch numbers so I can check if mine are included?




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... I bought the 6G 2000C7's at full retail in late April and, despite the price, felt at the time I was lucky to do so. As i'm not to the point in my build that I can even attempt to fire them up and test them, I'm wondering if I should just try to RMA now? At such a premium i'd really like these to perform to spec out of the gate..
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Ya I ordered my 2 kits of the TR3X3G2000C7GT the day before this was posted directly from the Corsair store online. They still shipped them to me and all, but since I have been waiting on the Obsidian 800D to put everything in, I am hoping I don't have DOA modules. It's going to suck to have waited months on a case, then have to wait more time to get ram RMA'd. Maybe I will be one of the lucky ones.
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Why get 6 x 1 GB sticks instead of 3 x 2 GB sticks? The latter is less load on the memory controller, and more importantly is guaranteed to hit the specs, whereas the former is two kits that aren't guaranteed to hit speed together (partially due to the increased load on the memory controller).
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