Can Memtest86 be wrong with the new Z68 chipset?

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Can Memtest86 be wrong with the new Z68 chipset?

Postposted on Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:45 am

Hi all,

Greets! I recently built a new sandybridge PC for a friend and here are the specs:

Intel Core i5 2500K
GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128495&cm_re=z68_gigabyte-_-13-128-495-_-Product
Memory: GSkill Sniper 8gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231460&Tpk=sniper%208gb
Corsair CX600
EVGA GTX460 1gb SC

After installing windows 7 (which installed fine), I ran memtest86 just to see if there are no errors with the RAM. I used a linux mint live cd which comes with a memory test and to my surprise, the memtest that came with that distro doesn't even run - it crashes right away. So I went and downloaded the latest versions of memtest from memtest86.com (versions 4.0 date released 28-March-2011) and memtest.org (memtest+ version 4.2 25-January-2011) burned the ISOs to disk.

The first thing I noticed is that memtest+ 4.2 doesn't detect the RAM settings correctly - It thinks that I have Triple Channel and CAS of 6-6-6-20 - but its supposed to be DUAL channel and CAS 9-10-9-28. On the other hand, memtest (not with +) detects my i5 as an i7 and has "unknown" caches.

Unfortunately, both memtest and memtest+ gave errors on my Sniper modules. So I ran one stick at a time to see which of the two dimms are causing the problem (memtest86+ detectes as Single Channel but still CAS 6-6-6-20 instead of 9-10-9-28)

Things are so weird with my results and for better understanding I will name my two x 4gb Sniper modules A and B.

Here are the results:

XMP enabled running at 1866mhz
memtest 4.0 = both DIMMS gave errors (after 2 passes)
memtest+ 4.2 = DIMM A had no errors // DIMM B had multiple errors

XMP Disabled running at 1600mhz
memtest 4.0 = DIMM B had no errors // DIMM A had some errors -- (WTH! the exact opposite of the XMP enabled 1866 memtest+ test)
memtest+ 4.2 = both does NOT have any errors (2 passes) --> this is the only time no errors were reported in all my tests.

I tried different DIMM slots just to be sure (all slots gives errors - 2 passes each slot).

As you can tell, all tests have very mixed results and I'm starting to believe that memtest/memtest+ could not just utilize the Z68 chipset yet.

The next thing I did made it a lot weirder. I used my own PC and swap parts with my friends PC. My motherboard is a MSI P55-GD86 and I use G.Skill Ripjaws 4 x 2gb DIMMS 1600Mhz. At first, I tried using the Sniper on my P55 board and memtest+ detected DUAL Channel and CAS properly. With my P55 board, there were no errors at all - XMP enabled/disabled. On the other hand, memtest (not with the +) failed to even run on my P55 board - I wonder why.

I placed my Ripjaws to the Z68 board and ran with XMP enabled and disabled. Both didn't give any errors.

Just to make sure it is not the Power Supply, I swapped MY Corsair TX650W with his CX600 - its not a power supply issue.

I didn't do any voltage changes on the DIMMS or anything as I haven't done anything like that before. I just know that the Sniper is rated and running on 1.5V on the Z68.

BTW, I'm not having crashes on Windows 7 and CPU-Z detectes CAS properly inside windows. Everything is actually fast inside windows.

Could it be the motherboard that is faulty? The Dimms? Memtest/Memtest+ error? Just needs a voltage bump? or nothing is faulty?

Is there any other memtest-like test that I can use just to be sure that the DIMMS are good? Within Windows 7 would be nice.

Please help!

Thanks.

PS: If I need a voltage increase, could someone please teach me how to do it? What voltage increase is safe? I'm currently running at 1.5 right now.
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Re: Can Memtest86 be wrong with the new Z68 chipset?

Postposted on Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:32 pm

I'm pretty sure Memtest/Memtest+ rely on the BIOS to set up the memory controller. Unknown CPUs/chipsets may cause it to display incorrect system info up at the top of the screen, but AFAIK should not affect the test results.

If the reported errors change or go away when you back off the memory timings, I'd say you've probably got a hardware issue of some sort.
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Re: Can Memtest86 be wrong with the new Z68 chipset?

Postposted on Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:51 am

just brew it! wrote:I'm pretty sure Memtest/Memtest+ rely on the BIOS to set up the memory controller. Unknown CPUs/chipsets may cause it to display incorrect system info up at the top of the screen, but AFAIK should not affect the test results.

If the reported errors change or go away when you back off the memory timings, I'd say you've probably got a hardware issue of some sort.


Thanks for the reply. Does memtest+ also rely on the memory controller on how it detects CAS inside memtest? I just did some tests and I found something rather weird, again. When I test the G.Skill Sniper 1866 and my G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 - ONE AT A TIME (only a single DIMM plugged in), memtest detects it with a CAS of 6-6-6-20 no matter what. I've tried setting timings manually inside the BIOS, even voltages and still memtest detects it with those 6-6-6-20 timings. On the other hand, the BIOS itself detects the timings correctly. Now, when I plug another memory module (two DIMMs plugged in, running in DUAL Channel mode) memtest now detects the timings fine. It looks like memtest doesn't detect memory properly when only a single module is plugged in to the board.

Another thing I noticed with memtest+ is that it detects BLCK as 97Mhz instead of 100. I've even set BLCK to 100 manually inside the BIOS. With the Sniper 1866 memory, when I plug one or two modules, BLCK is always 97Mhz and speed is detected as 1808 instead of 1866. With Ripjaws 1600, when only a single module is plugged, BLCK is 97Mhz BUT memory speed is correct, 1600Mhz. Still with the Ripjaws 1600, when two modules are plugged in (running dual channel), this is the only time BLCK is running at 100Mhz.

Lastly, I've ran Prime95 for more than 8 hours while the Sniper 8gb was connected and it was running fine - no errors. I've installed windows all over again, copied a single 8gb ISO file, installed a lot of apps and yet the system was running perfectly fine. No BSODs no hiccups. When I did another run on the Sniper 8gb with memtest, the worst memory errors a got is over 200 errors.

I'm planning to do an RMA but now I don't know if I should go for motherboard first or RAM. What do you think?

THanks!

EDIT: UPDATE: I just confirmed that the memtest+ 4.2 reporting 6-6-6-20 ALSO occurs with the 2 memory modules installed BUT it is running on SINGLE Channel mode. In dual channel mode, the correct timings are reported. I've tried both with Sniper and Ripjaw.
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Re: Can Memtest86 be wrong with the new Z68 chipset?

Postposted on Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:30 pm

Try testing with the Microsoft Memory Tester.

Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Windows Memory Diagnostic
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Re: Can Memtest86 be wrong with the new Z68 chipset?

Postposted on Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:01 pm

probably just a brand compatibility issue or you have a bad overclock
many motherboards and memory have incorrect spd issues, that are set lower on default on purpose
if it is recommended to run at 1.5v you should run it at that or higher
it may seem like a good idea to undervolt memory but it is actually a bad thing and will cause errors
also u should try using windows 7 to test the memory as suggested

because you ran the memory at 1800 speed and it reported bad
and then ran the memory at 1600 speed and it reported good,
the problem most likely is with one of your settings
have you updated the motherboard bios yet?
the memory could be bad though as well but you need to be sure you have the right settings first by entering the numbers manually and dont trust the SPD
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Re: Can Memtest86 be wrong with the new Z68 chipset?

Postposted on Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:46 pm

potatochobit wrote:probably just a brand compatibility issue or you have a bad overclock
many motherboards and memory have incorrect spd issues, that are set lower on default on purpose
if it is recommended to run at 1.5v you should run it at that or higher
it may seem like a good idea to undervolt memory but it is actually a bad thing and will cause errors
also u should try using windows 7 to test the memory as suggested

because you ran the memory at 1800 speed and it reported bad
and then ran the memory at 1600 speed and it reported good,
the problem most likely is with one of your settings
have you updated the motherboard bios yet?
the memory could be bad though as well but you need to be sure you have the right settings first by entering the numbers manually and dont trust the SPD


Oh I forgot to mention that Windows Memory Diags also failed (like 10 seconds after running) at 1866. Running on 1600 didn't get any errors.

I actually didn't overclock the RAM or even the processor - everything is running stock right now. Also, the memory he bought was native on 1866 and I've tried running with XMP enabled and manually. I find it weird that the memory was supposed to run native on 1866 but fails. What I might do is replace the memory with a 1600Mhz - like my ripjaws .. but he might get the newer Ripjaw X series. He just originally bought the 1866 because it was sale on newegg. Originally, the plan was just to go for 1600Mhz modules since he was just going to play Starcraft II on it. Since the 1866 was on sale, I just told him .. why not? Well, that was probably a wrong decision.

I'm also thinking that this could just be a motherboard and memory compatbility and a future bios updated my fix this .. but I don't want to risk it. I'll RMA the RAM till monday because maybe I'm just missing something and somebody knows the magic on how to fix this :D

BTW, I've updated the BIOS and I've played with the memory voltages already - still no go.

What bothers me is that why is the memtest+ thinks that timings are 6-6-6-20 instead of the right one if it is running in Single Channel. I'm guessing its because of the Z68 Chipset?

Any suggestions would still be
keplenk
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Re: Can Memtest86 be wrong with the new Z68 chipset?

Postposted on Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:06 pm

yes, what I am saying is that 1866 is the overclock settings
it is very common for memory manufacturers to take good 1600 speed RAM and sell them at higher rated speeds
this causes SPD errors sometimes
so you need to set the voltage, and set the timings and multiplier manually if you want to run 1866
sometimes a piece of paper is included in the blister package that has the proper timings at different speeds
since u bought it on newegg, someone also may have posted them in the comments section
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Re: Can Memtest86 be wrong with the new Z68 chipset?

Postposted on Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:11 pm

potatochobit wrote:yes, what I am saying is that 1866 is the overclock settings
it is very common for memory manufacturers to take good 1600 speed RAM and sell them at higher rated speeds
this causes SPD errors sometimes
so you need to set the voltage, and set the timings and multiplier manually if you want to run 1866
sometimes a piece of paper is included in the blister package that has the proper timings at different speeds
since u bought it on newegg, someone also may have posted them in the comments section


I see. I actually never knew that enabling XMP = to auto overclocking, I'm sorry about that. I never messed with memory ever before and this is my first time doing it.

Anyway, I already tried setting things manually. Just to make sure I did right, this is a summary.

1) Under "Advanced Memory Settings" - I disabled X.M.P
2) I changed the System Memory Multiplier (SPD) from "Auto" to "18.66" - The memory frequency reports it as 1867 which seems right
3) I changed Performance Enhance from "Turbo" to "Standard"
4) Changed DRAM Timing Selectable from "Auto" to "Expert" so I can manually change Channel A and B's timing Settings
5) Channel Interleaving and Rank Interleaving to "Auto"
5.1) Profile DDR Voltage 1.5V
5.2) Profile VTT Voltage 1.05V
6) After changing to Expert I went to Channel A Timing Settings and changed these:

>>>>> Channel A Standing Timing Control
x CAS Latency Time - 9
x tRCD - 10
x tRP - 9
x tRAS - 28
>>>>>> Channel A Advanced Timing Control
x tRC - Auto
x tRRD - Auto
x tWTR - Auto
x tWR - Auto
x tWTP - Auto
x tWL - Auto
x tRFC - Auto
x tRTP - Auto
x tFAW - Auto
x Command Rate (CMD) - Auto
>>>>>>> Channel A Misc Timing Control
x IO Latency - Auto
x Round Trip Latency - Auto

So I just changed the first part which is the 9-10-9-28 which is the right settings of the memory. Is there a way for me to get the "Advanced Timing Control" values? Also, I made sure that voltage is set to 1.5.

Should I also set manual values to the ">>>>>> Channel A Advanced Timing Control" ? Or did I forget to do something else?

Thanks

EDIT: I also did the same thing with Channel B Timing Settings. I also tried XMP enabled with Expert and set timings manually.
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