tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

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tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:02 am

Hey Experts,

So, as suggested in another topic, it looked like my RAM was the culprit behind my computer's inconsistent crashes. So I ran Memtest86 on my RAM (2x4GB sticks) and got 17 errors after it ran through 7 cycles of its tests.

I then ran the test on each stick separately (4GB) and got these results. One stick exhibited >31,000 errors all from test #6. The other stick exhibited 2 errors on test #8, and 1 error on test #5.

How do I interpret these tests? One stick appears to be really bad (>31,000 errors), but the other stick wasn't perfect. And in combintation, they only had 17 errors over 7 cycles of tests. What do I do now?

It seems like I should replace the 1 stick for sure, but is 3 errors enough to make the other stick also 'bad'? RAM is relatively cheap, so I don't mind buying another pair of sticks. But is this necessary? What are your thoughts?

thanks,

dave

**Edit** My RAM is an OCZ Gold 8GB DDR3 2X4GB DDR3-1333 PC3-10666 CL 9-9-9-20 1.65V Dual Channel Memory Kit (I don't know what half those numbers mean)
Last edited by Disco on Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:23 am

Before tossing them out I would raise their voltage a bit and test again.
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:13 am

You haven't overclocked your RAM right? That means your ram should run at 1333mhz, with the timings at 9-9-9-20 and the voltage at 1.65V. You can check the speed and timings with a program like CPU-Z or HWInfo64, but I suspect the voltage is what's causing these issues.

To give you an idea, my ram should run at 1600mhz (shows up as 800mhz), with 9-9-9-28 timings at an voltage of 1.5V, here's what CPU-Z looks like on my system:

Image

If the speed and timings are ok, next step should be to find out if the voltage is ok, you can do that in the BIOS/EUFI.
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:58 pm

I haven't overclocked anything. I know.... boring.

Here are the output screens from CPU-Z.
Image

Image

Based upon this info, it looks like my memory is only running at 1.5 V. I'll go into the bios to check.

But, if everything is running at stock speed and voltage, what does that tell me? I should bump up the voltage to 'stabilize' it and see what happens with memtest86?
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:09 pm

Disco wrote:I haven't overclocked anything. I know.... boring.

Here are the output screens from CPU-Z.
Image

Image

Based upon this info, it looks like my memory is only running at 1.5 V. I'll go into the bios to check.

But, if everything is running at stock speed and voltage, what does that tell me? I should bump up the voltage to 'stabilize' it and see what happens with memtest86?



You should check your specs, but 1.5V for stock memory at your listed frequencies should be plenty. 1.65V is actually an upper limit that Intel says you shouldn't exceed to prevent damage to the memory controller in its chips. I'm not sure if AMD has the same limit, but it's probably a good idea not to exceed that voltage in any event.
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:12 pm

Disco wrote:My RAM is an OCZ Gold 8GB DDR3 2X4GB DDR3-1333 PC3-10666 CL 9-9-9-20 1.65V Dual Channel Memory Kit (I don't know what half those numbers mean)


What's your motherboard?
How old is it?
Did you buy the board and memory in a bundle or separately?
If so, was the memory certified for your board?
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:10 pm

I checked in the bios (and figured out how to adjust it) and the voltage is set at 1.5 volts. My motherboard is an MSI 890FXA-GD70. It says it's a gaming series board, so I would assume that it can handle a little overclocking. Would bringing up the voltage up slightly (~1.6 V) but less than the 1.65 V 'max' help improve the RAM stability? I've looked up reviews of my RAM, and there seems to be a lot of poor ratings. OCZ doesn't even make the stuff anymore.

I bought the RAM and motherboard at the same time, but they were not a bundle. It's not quite 2 yrs old. The CPU is a X6 1090T. I have no idea if the memory is certified for the board. Can I look that up on the AMD or MSI websites?
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:15 pm

chuckula wrote:You should check your specs, but 1.5V for stock memory at your listed frequencies should be plenty. 1.65V is actually an upper limit that Intel says you shouldn't exceed to prevent damage to the memory controller in its chips. I'm not sure if AMD has the same limit, but it's probably a good idea not to exceed that voltage in any event.

You say 'it should be plenty', but OCZ specifically listed this ram as needing 1.65V.

Disco, I would try and set the RAM voltage to 1.65V, then test again. If memtest86 still throws errors, then you know that the RAM is bad (or at least will never work with your motherboard/CPU). 1.65V shouldn't be a problem for the CPU or motherboard.
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:08 am

I've tried a number of times, but I can't seem to get the 1.65 V setting to 'stick'. I have selected 'Save and Exit' the bios, but no luck (at least as far as I can tell).

Here is an image of the bios screen. I've selected the DRAM voltage option (they are all set at Auto initially) and increased the base value (1.5) to 1.65 V. When I went back into the bios after rebooting, it did show the 1.65 voltage was still listed, but the CPU-Z software in Windows only showed 1.5 V (as seen in the image a few posts above). If you look at the image below, there is also listed DDR Vref voltage, and DDR VTT voltage. Does anyone know what those refer to? Their base values were < 1 V and I didn't want to change them. The user manual doesn't specifally mention any of these settings, other than to say that they can be changed if you want to overclock.

Image

Anyone have familiarity with the MSI bios settings?
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:27 am

Change DRAM Voltage from Auto to a setting that equals 1.65. On my Gigabyte mobo it's 1.66 (1.648 reported.)
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:39 am

That's what I've done. And it is still listed as 1.651 volts the next time I reboot and go into the bios. So, maybe it IS changing the voltage. It's just that the CPU-Z information shows the DDR voltage still at 1.5 V. Is there any other way to indicate the actual DRAM voltage other than the bios settings? Something that will show it within windows and that it has actually been changed from 1.5 V?
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:59 am

Try running this: http://www.aida64.com/downloads see what it's reporting under Computer/Sensors for DIMM.

Grab the zip unless you want to install it.

edit:correction
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:53 am

Well, according to MSI's supported RAM list your memory should be fine.

I take it this is a recent problem?

If you've just developed this issue out of the blue I'd suggest a failure of some sort, not necessarily the memory:

1-The memory (duh)
2-The motherboard (if it can't set the voltages correctly there may be a problem with its vrm/capacitors)
3-PSU (if it can't deliver the volts, your board can't adjust properly)
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:14 am

Got another system you can test them in?
(this space intentionally left blank)
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:52 pm

just brew it! wrote:Got another system you can test them in?


good question. I could try to stick the memory in the old computer (the kids' machine), but I'll have to check to make sure it takes this type. I'll check it out tomorrow.

Here's my results from AIDA64. It looks like the board cannot implement the 1.65 voltage change. My powersupply is only 500W, but has worked fine for 1.5 yrs with no apparent problem (1090T cpu and 5850 GPU). Maybe it's been on the edge of collapse... do you guys think that 500W can't handle this system?

Image
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:39 am

My Kingston HyperX 1600 SPD ROM defaults to the settings simliar to yours unless I change it from 1333, like in the AIDA64/CPU-Z screenshots.

Try having the mobo DRAM voltage changed to 1.65 volts reboot pull up AIDA64.
What does the Sensor page(below Portable Computer) in AIDA64 show for the DIMM voltage?

If no change send them back via an RMA find some DDR3 1333 sticks at 1.5 volt or start troubleshooting for faulty components.
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:18 am

So the voltage appears to be sticking with 1.5 V, after multiple reboots. I think I will go for purchasing some new RAM and see what happens. There is some Mushkin RAM on 'sale' with a rebate. 1.5 V and DDR 1333.

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=55544&vpn=996770&manufacture=Mushkin%20Enhanced

However, I don't see it listed on the MSI list of supported RAM. Is this a problem? The reviews indicate that the Mushkin RAM is well liked and stable (unlike the OSZ stuff I currently have). There was also some Corsair RAM that is priced low and is on the MSI 'approved' list, but is at 1.65 V.

**EDIT** - the 'old' computer is only DDR2, so no chance to test my memory there...
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:33 am

As a final update to this thread, I purchased the Muskin RAM I had listed. It's been a week with the new RAM and no crashes!! So, that seems to have been the problem. It's still odd that I couldn't get the M/B to provide the 1.65 V to the OSZ RAM. It should, but didn't. regardless, the Mushkin only requires 1.5 V, and that's what it's getting. No new motherboard for me! :D
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:40 pm

I'm going to throw this out there, since no one else seemed to point it out:
All your screen shots and such where you show the 1.5V value are showing the memory's SPD values. These are pre-sets defined by the manufacturer as to how the voltages/timings should be set for different frequencies, and are not any indication as to the current values for each.

I'm guessing in AIDA, the currently running voltage would be displayed under Computer --> Sensor. I don't believe CPU-Z has any way of showing the currently running memory voltage (just the general CPU voltage).
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:20 pm

I never could get a RAM voltage reading from the AIDA sensor page. See below.

Image

That's why I had posted the other image with the SPD value. I couldn't find anything else that gave a voltage in the 1.5 V range.
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Re: tested RAM with Memtest86 - interpret results

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:14 am

emorgoch wrote:I'm going to throw this out there, since no one else seemed to point it out:
All your screen shots and such where you show the 1.5V value are showing the memory's SPD values. These are pre-sets defined by the manufacturer as to how the voltages/timings should be set for different frequencies, and are not any indication as to the current values for each.

I'm guessing in AIDA, the currently running voltage would be displayed under Computer --> Sensor. I don't believe CPU-Z has any way of showing the currently running memory voltage (just the general CPU voltage).

That's what I was trying to get from Disco. So your mobo doesn't report a DIMM voltage Disco I see. Glad to hear the Mushkin cleared up the BSOD.
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