4 sticks of RAM = trouble

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4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:17 am

My rising concern of system problems is directly proportional to the number of DIMMs installed.

I was running a Gigabyte 780G motherboard just fine with 2 sticks of Corsair RAM. I saw in the TR review of my motherboard that they ran 4 sticks of Corsair RAM without issue (even running tighter latencies than mine!):

http://techreport.com/articles.x/14261/6

So I bought another 2 sticks of RAM for a total of 1GB x 4.

Of course, the system does not even POST with 4 sticks installed. It half-way POSTs with 3 sticks. It runs just fine with 2 sticks (either set).

Drrrr. That was $25 wasted after rebate. If only I had originally just bought 2GB x 2.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:05 am

Your not overclocked or anything are you? Try going back to stock and reseting the bios. Also check the version of your bios, the 780G boards have been coming out with quite a few improvements.

Most Phenoms post slightly better scores with 4 sticks than 2 when using unganged mode.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:38 am

dragmor wrote:Your not overclocked or anything are you? Try going back to stock and reseting the bios. Also check the version of your bios, the 780G boards have been coming out with quite a few improvements.

Most Phenoms post slightly better scores with 4 sticks than 2 when using unganged mode.



My CPU has an unlocked multiplier and is running at 2.8 instead of 2.6GHz, but the RAM is not overclocked. When I tried to boot with four sticks, the RAM was set to run at stock 400MHz with SPD latencies.

I am running the newest version of my motherboard's BIOS (F3).

In the future I will try running 4 sticks. For now, it looks like I am running out of luck unless you really think resetting my BIOS will help solve the problem?
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:04 pm

Are you sure that all of your sticks of memory aren't bad? Maybe it's one of the sticks that causes the problem, as a single bad stick can cause all sorts of problems.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:32 pm

CB5000 wrote:Are you sure that all of your sticks of memory aren't bad? Maybe it's one of the sticks that causes the problem, as a single bad stick can cause all sorts of problems.


Each set of 1GB x 2 by themselves booted into Windows and ran an abbreviated test with Memtest 86+ without issue. Shrug.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:41 pm

What exactly are the two kits? The old was what kit of corsair? And the new on is it corsair? if so is it the same kit?
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:52 pm

MaxTheLimit wrote:What exactly are the two kits? The old was what kit of corsair? And the new on is it corsair? if so is it the same kit?


The kits are identical from Corsair. Same part numbers. Same revisions. Bought within 3 weeks of each other from NewEgg. Either they don't play well together with sibling kits, or the Gigabyte motherboard is finicky.

CM2X1024-6400 5-5-5-18 @ 800MHz 1.9v Revision 5.2

I will try resetting the BIOS and sticking all 4 sticks back in, but I am not hopeful.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:05 pm

Try dropping your memory's clock frequency. When I put 4 sticks (4 x 1GB) in my mobo (ASUS P5N32-SLI-SE Deluxe) it will not boot with the memory clocked at 800 MHz. With the memory at 723 MHz there is joy in mudville.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:07 pm

Yup, I have also had mobos where you had to downclock the memory to get stable if you had more than 1 stick per channel. This seems more likely to be an issue when using double-sided DIMMs.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:10 pm

I would run overnight tests, not abbreviated ones, at this point.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:06 pm

Spyder22446688 wrote:
CB5000 wrote:Are you sure that all of your sticks of memory aren't bad? Maybe it's one of the sticks that causes the problem, as a single bad stick can cause all sorts of problems.


Each set of 1GB x 2 by themselves booted into Windows and ran an abbreviated test with Memtest 86+ without issue. Shrug.

Have you run memtest with all 4 sticks? Abbreviated is no good for you anymore. Run at least 12 hours. I just replaced a pair which could show error (it was random) after 12 hours. :o
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:28 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Have you run memtest with all 4 sticks? Abbreviated is no good for you anymore. Run at least 12 hours. I just replaced a pair which could show error (it was random) after 12 hours. :o

He indicated that it won't POST with 4 sticks.

My advice is to boot with 2 sticks, back the memory clock down, then install the additional 2 sticks and see if it'll POST. If it does, then run Memtest to check for stability. If it passes Memtest, try tightening the timings up (without raising the clock), or raise the clock back to where it was (but loosen the timings). You'll need to try different combinations of memory clock and timings to see what is stable.

And yes, before you declare that it is truly stable, it needs to pass Memtest overnight.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:41 pm

Did he try setting his CPU back to stock?
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:21 pm

I'll also point out that some motherboards suffer from Vdroop (where the BIOS sets voltage to say 1.8V, but is actually only putting out 1.75), or may not have the RAM voltage set properly by default. If you notice, those Corsair sticks need at least 1.9V to run by default, whereas the DDR2 standard is 1.8V. The motherboard may be running at 1.8V, which may seem to work fine for 2 sticks but obviously is failing on 3 or 4.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:30 pm

Interesting, maybe setting mem voltage to say 2.1V might yield some better results....what does the voltage on the ram read in your OS?
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:52 pm

I tried dropping my CPU back to stock, dropping the memory speed down to 667MHz, and resetting the BIOS (all at the same time). The system simply won't POST with 4 sticks. With 3 sticks, the system will POST until memory count up and then hang. With 2 sticks (any two sticks), the system boots and runs extended Memtesting.

Looks like I am downright SOL. Thanks for the help, though.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:58 pm

I had the same issue with my 2GBx4 on my motherboard. What worked for me was to manually set the voltages and clocks for the memory. Do not use Auto for your memory specs. Just for kicks, set the memory voltage the highest that you're warrantied for. For example, on my OCZ i'm covered on under warranty up to 1.9V while stock is 1.8V. Once you get all 4 sticks to recognize and boot up properly, then slowly take it back down to stock voltages (if you want to do that).
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:09 am

I would RMA the motherboard. If, of course, the RAM is JEDEC spec'd. Taiwan has about a 60%* success rate in shipping working motherboards, in my personal experience (though some of my friends are at about 50%). Ironically, Gigabyte is the only brand yet I have had no problems with.

*Changed from 70% when I remembered my current (Chaintech) MB has major (but not terminal) problems. Since I added a SATA drive to my 2 IDE drives, I have to POST, then get to HDD detection, then it freezes, then I CTRL-ALT-DEL to reboot, and then the second time it will fully boot. And no, there is no setting for staggered spin-up or whatever. And the integrated sound is essentially nonfunctional, with loud noises whenever the mouse is moved, and softer noises all the time... so I use my Audigy instead.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:29 am

Saber Cherry wrote:I would RMA the motherboard.


I had thought about RMA'ing the motherboard, but needless to say, that would be a HUGE inconvenience right now. I should have never bought the addition 2GB kit. Nothing was broken and yet I was looking to fix something...
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:19 am

JdL wrote:I'll also point out that some motherboards suffer from Vdroop (where the BIOS sets voltage to say 1.8V, but is actually only putting out 1.75), or may not have the RAM voltage set properly by default. If you notice, those Corsair sticks need at least 1.9V to run by default, whereas the DDR2 standard is 1.8V. The motherboard may be running at 1.8V, which may seem to work fine for 2 sticks but obviously is failing on 3 or 4.

This would be my pick so far. RAM can be very sensitive to voltage. Since your sticks need 1.9v set the value to that with 2 sticks installed then but the 4 in. Maybe even set it to 2.0v if 1.9v doesn't work.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:39 am

dragmor wrote:This would be my pick so far. RAM can be very sensitive to voltage. Since your sticks need 1.9v set the value to that with 2 sticks installed then but the 4 in. Maybe even set it to 2.0v if 1.9v doesn't work.


Great suggestion. I will try this later today. I thought my memory was already running at 1.9v because the BIOS reports it at 1.936v on the monitoring page. However, when I enter the RAM configuration page, it is actually listed as receiving only 1.8v (confirmed by CPU-Z).

Later today I will kick the voltage up to 1.9v and try again with 4 sticks. I might try 2.0v but I get mighty shy about jacking up the voltage of my hardware.

And thanks JdL and everybody else, too! Will report back later.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:47 pm

I increased the memory voltage from 1.8v to 2.0v and then installed all four memory modules. Same problem. The system turns on, the screen stays blank, and the PC speaker emits a repeating loud beep.

All I can assume now is that my Gigabyte board does not like 4 DIMMS or my Corsair RAM does not like each other. I could try RMA'ing my motherboard, but that would be a HUGE hassle. At this point, I would rather just go with 2GB of system RAM or buy 2GB x 2 and sell my current stuff.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:04 am

Spyder22446688 wrote:... or buy 2GB x 2 and sell my current stuff.

At this point, that might be your best bet. RAM is cheap these days.

After re-reading your post, I just realized that this is an IGP board -- are you running with the integrated video enabled, or an external video card? All of the AMD / ATI IGP's have been very sensitive to what RAM they work with (in my experience). You'll notice in the TR review that they used PC2 8500C5 DDR running at only 742 MHz -- which actually suggests they had to bump it down to get it to work with the 4-4-4-12 timings. In your case, you're only starting at 6400C5, and adding 2 extra DIMM's into the mix makes it even more difficult.

If you want to keep your existing RAM, I'd try adjusting the timings way up -- say 5 or even 6-6-6-18, and reduce the clock rate to 650 MHz or so, and slowly bring it back up, testing as you go.

That said, if you choose to go get some new RAM, when you do get the new RAM, make sure it's good stuff. These will probably work at the speeds you want, and aren't too bad in terms of price:

Corsair 2x2GB 6400DHX 4-4-4-12 - $104 after rebate
Patriot 2x2GB 6400 4-4-4-12 - $89.99 after rebate
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:21 am

JdL wrote:
After re-reading your post, I just realized that this is an IGP board -- are you running with the integrated video enabled, or an external video card?


Nah, I am running an 8800 GT.

I hate to drop another $75 on RAM when I just bought my current stuff. I think for now I am fine with a "mere" 2GB.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:48 pm

Spyder22446688 wrote:
JdL wrote:are you running with the integrated video enabled, or an external video card?

I am running an 8800 GT.

Is the IGP disabled in the BIOS? (if not, it could still be causing problems)
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:22 pm

JdL wrote:
Spyder22446688 wrote:
JdL wrote:are you running with the integrated video enabled, or an external video card?

I am running an 8800 GT.

Is the IGP disabled in the BIOS? (if not, it could still be causing problems)


Yup, disabled. Although, I might add, the Northbridge still gets incredibly hot. Definitely the hottest heatsink I've ever had the misfortune of putting my finger against.
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Fri May 02, 2008 9:00 am

Don't Gigabyte's boards have an issue with overvolting RAM? I recall reading, not too long ago, several board posts about their higher end P35-DS4 and, I think, P35-DQ6 boards. Either the BIOS is reporting a higher voltage than is actually being applied, or its actually overvolting the sticks. Either way, it could potentially lead to memory damage.

I noticed the RAM voltage reading in the BIOS for my own board reads 2.1v, even though I've never overclocked my memory (which operates at 1.8v).
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Re: 4 sticks of RAM = trouble

Postposted on Wed May 21, 2008 7:18 am

Spyder22446688 wrote:My rising concern of system problems is directly proportional to the number of DIMMs installed.

I was running a Gigabyte 780G motherboard just fine with 2 sticks of Corsair RAM. I saw in the TR review of my motherboard that they ran 4 sticks of Corsair RAM without issue (even running tighter latencies than mine!):

http://techreport.com/articles.x/14261/6

So I bought another 2 sticks of RAM for a total of 1GB x 4.

Of course, the system does not even POST with 4 sticks installed. It half-way POSTs with 3 sticks. It runs just fine with 2 sticks (either set).

Drrrr. That was $25 wasted after rebate. If only I had originally just bought 2GB x 2.


Same with my 690G. I am not sure if EPP has the same problem as installing non-ECC RAM with ECC RAM. One of the non-EPP RAM that I installed with the two EPP RAM worked, when I put the fourth one in the PC would POST, but Vista x64 Ultimate would not start up. Windows XP MCE 2005 booted properly but I am pretty sure that it was because of the 3.25 Gig limit.
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