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Issues with CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 upgraded RAM


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Since adding more RAM to my system it has become unstable, but I'm not sure why and how to solve the problem.


Specs of the system are:


  • Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H
  • CPU - Intel Core i3-530 @ 2.93GHz (Overclocked to 4.20GHz)
  • Graphics Card - ATI Radeon HD 5770 CuCore 1024MB GDDR5
  • RAM - Corsair XMS3 8GB (4x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz CMX4GX3M2A1600C9
  • OS - Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1



The system had been running fine until 6 months ago, when I upgraded from 4GB RAM (2x2gb) to 8GB (4x2gb), I made sure to match the RAM, although the version number was different.


Since then I started getting more and more BSODs with different error codes, almost all of them memory related. Then finally the system got stuck in a boot cycle without displaying the POST screen. I tested the other components & they all passed, so it came down to the MB or the RAM.


It booted into windows with the original sticks of RAM (individually & together). I then tried it with just 1 of the new sticks, which got stuck loading windows. It did not boot with all 4 sticks.


I flashed the BIOS to f11 which was supposed to improve memory compatibility & loaded optimized defaults. This disabled the processor overclock and the XMP, making the memory run at 1333Mhz, 1.5v. Since then it has booted up and loaded windows with every combination of the RAM sticks I tried. I tested each stick of RAM with Memtest86+ and they all passed, so I tested each stick individually in each slot on the motherboard in turn. Again they all passed.


The system has worked fine ever since. I would now like to reinstate the overclock and if possible get the memory to run at 1600Mhz. Since I don't know what was causing the problem to begin with, I don't know how to differentiate between the original problem and the settings not being quite right. Should I be changing memory settings after enabling XMP, or are the defaults stable?


My Theories

The original RAM was ver3.2 and the new RAM is ver8.16. I have read that the MB will not work with RAM over 256MX8 IC. However the RAM that the system came with was 512Mx8 IC to start with and that seemed to work fine until I installed the two new sticks. The new RAM has an IC of 256Mx8 which I found here. I'm not sure if I understand this, so feel free to correct me. Would my problems be due to the IC values differing / being over what the MB can handle?


I also have a CPUz report from before loading optimised defaults that shows that the Min tRFC timings differ between the original RAM and the new RAM. I can link to this report if it helps. The original is at 110.00ns and the new ones are at 160.00ns. Everything else is the same. Would this cause BSODs?

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