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Ram Compatibility


Garvin

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I've recently assembled an fx53 rig with the asus sli deluxe motherboard. I bought Corsairs Twinx 2-2-2-5 1gig kit. With the Twinx sticks installed it runs at 400 mghrtz. I also have two individual Ultra brand sticks that run at 400 mghrtz when installed alone, though not as quick as the Corsairs. When all four sticks are in place the board runs in dual channel at 266 mghrtz. My question is should I buy another Twinx 1gig kit to replace the Ultra ram in order to up the speed to 333 mghrtz or 400 mghrtz? Also would it be better to buy a Twinx2048 kit and use it alone or in combination with the Corsair 1 gig kit for a total of 3 gigs?
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On an Athlon 64 with 4 sticks, it will run at DDR333 by DESIGN.

 

Is there a particular reason why you need 2 GB or 3 GB?

Well by design it should down step to DDR333 but with Auto set in the bios and different branded RAM the motherboard downstepped past 333 to 266 to run in dual channel rather than single. Why it did this I haven't a clue other than maybe the wide divergence in timings (Twinx 2-2-2-5; Ultra 3-3-3-8). As to the 2 or 3 GB of ram question, I love ram, more is always better in my book, it enables massive multi-tasking with very little hard drive access. Have any recomendations?

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More ram is not always better. You may not be using all of the memory. Also, the memory is running at just over half of its rated speed. The little advantages of having more memory are most likely being negated and then some by the massive speed drop. Try just 2 sticks and check out the performance difference. As for multi-tasking, when checking out forums, I regularly have 20 to 50 IE windows open with email, IM, firewall, anti-virus, etc. open with just 1 GB and there's no slow down. Replace the multiple IE's in that scenario with a video game, and still no slowdown. specmike does some crazy video editing and photoshop editing with 1 GB and has no problems. He gets more performance out of increasing his FSB for what he does.

 

What do you primarily use the system for?

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More ram is not always better. You may not be using all of the memory. Also, the memory is running at just over half of its rated speed. The little advantages of having more memory are most likely being negated and then some by the massive speed drop. Try just 2 sticks and check out the performance difference. As for multi-tasking, when checking out forums, I regularly have 20 to 50 IE windows open with email, IM, firewall, anti-virus, etc. open with just 1 GB and there's no slow down. Replace the multiple IE's in that scenario with a video game, and still no slowdown. specmike does some crazy video editing and photoshop editing with 1 GB and has no problems. He gets more performance out of increasing his FSB for what he does.

 

What do you primarily use the system for?

I've tried just the two sticks, either the Twinx or the Ultra, and it is faster with the Twinx being much faster. However, I'm planning on networking this machine to two or three other machines, each with a user, as well as an active dsl net connection, a haupage capture card to capture satellite, and don't want to have to shut anything down to use something else. Also some of my games are ram hogs and I don't want clashes with windows over megabytes.

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I've tried just the two sticks, either the Twinx or the Ultra, and it is faster with the Twinx being much faster. However, I'm planning on networking this machine to two or three other machines, each with a user, as well as an active dsl net connection, a haupage capture card to capture satellite, and don't want to have to shut anything down to use something else. Also some of my games are ram hogs and I don't want clashes with windows over megabytes.

 

So it's an HTPC / gaming machine? If the other PCs are going to be getting files off this PC A LOT, namely enough to task the PC a lot, then you may just want to make a separate file server PC / HTPC machine. What games specifically?

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So it's an HTPC / gaming machine? If the other PCs are going to be getting files off this PC A LOT, namely enough to task the PC a lot, then you may just want to make a separate file server PC / HTPC machine. What games specifically?

Emperor : Battle for Dune for one wants around 650-700 megs when playing online with more than three players on the big maps or you get wasted. Quake 4 is comming out soon based on the Doom3 engine and the arena battle maps ought to be ram intensive. I thought of building a dedicated machine for the networking but I'm running out of room for computer stuff. I'm going to make this work somehow. At the moment i'm typing on my lap till I can free up some space, making posting replies awkward and slow.

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Hmmm!! That sounds like a good idea. Sort of before and after. Already have Sandra need to dig up memtest or download a new copy. Tax time though, where will I find the time, maybe if..........

ps: thanx for the link.

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Please put the memory modules on either slots 1&3 or 2&4; make sure that you have the latest BIOS installed for your MB; load optimized/set up default,

and set the following BIOS settings;

TwinX512 or TwinX1024-3200XL

Advanced CPU/Memory Configuration:

Memclock Mode: Limit

Memclock Value: 2:1 (DDR400)

Bank Interleaving: 4/Enabled

Burst Length: 8

SDRAM CAS Latency: 2T

SDRAM RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD): 2T

SDRAM Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS): 5T

SDRAM Row Precharge (tRP): 2T

2T Command Rate: Enabled

Advanced CPU/Hypertransport

Hypertransport: 5X

Jumper Free/Frequency Voltage Control:

AI Overclock Tuner: Manual

CPU FSB Clock: 200

DDR Voltage: 2.75 Volts

All other settings should be set to default settings!Then please test them

one at a time with http://www.memtest.org and let's make sure it's not some other

issue! I would run the test for at least 2-3 passes to be sure!

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Please put the memory modules on either slots 1&3 or 2&4; make sure that you have the latest BIOS installed for your MB; load optimized/set up default,

and set the following BIOS settings;

TwinX512 or TwinX1024-3200XL

Advanced CPU/Memory Configuration:

Memclock Mode: Limit

Memclock Value: 2:1 (DDR400)

Bank Interleaving: 4/Enabled

Burst Length: 8

SDRAM CAS Latency: 2T

SDRAM RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD): 2T

SDRAM Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS): 5T

SDRAM Row Precharge (tRP): 2T

2T Command Rate: Enabled

Advanced CPU/Hypertransport

Hypertransport: 5X

Jumper Free/Frequency Voltage Control:

AI Overclock Tuner: Manual

CPU FSB Clock: 200

DDR Voltage: 2.75 Volts

All other settings should be set to default settings!Then please test them

one at a time with http://www.memtest.org and let's make sure it's not some other

issue! I would run the test for at least 2-3 passes to be sure!

 

I don't think I have an issue or problem. Both the 1GB Twinx kit or the two 512 sticks of Ultra will run at 400mghrtz when placed alone in the motherboard, with the Twinx being noticebly quicker. When I noticed in Sisoft Sandra that both the Twinx and the Ultra ram contained the same samsung chips manufactured on the same date but with different timings(2-2-2-5 versus 3-3-3-8), I decide to try all four sticks. With all four sticks in, the system runs in dual channel mode at 266mghrtz. Why not 333mghrtz is beyond me. My original question was whether it would be better to buy another Twinx kit to swap out the Ultra ram for a total of 2GB in order to attain 333mghrtz? Additionally, if I bought a Twinx2048 kit instead of a second Twinx1024 kit would this run with the Twinx1024 kit I already own at 333mghrtz for a total of 3GB?

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The 3200XL modules will run at DDR400MHz with this board; however all modules have to be the same make and model, so I would highly recommend not to mix the 3200XL with the Ultra ram and to just purchase another set for optimal peformance. If you are planning to put all 4 modules on the system, the following information will be the correct BIOS settings for your system; this should run in a DDR 400MHz in a 2/2/2/5 CAS settings.

TwinX512 or TwinX1024-3200XL

Advanced CPU/Memory Configuration:

Memclock Mode: Limit

Memclock Value: 2:1 (DDR400)

Bank Interleaving: 4/Enabled

Burst Length: 8

SDRAM CAS Latency: 2T

SDRAM RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD): 2T

SDRAM Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS): 5T

SDRAM Row Precharge (tRP): 2T

2T Command Rate: Enabled

Advanced CPU/Hypertransport

Hypertransport: 5X

Jumper Free/Frequency Voltage Control:

AI Overclock Tuner: Manual

CPU FSB Clock: 200

DDR Voltage: 2.85 Volts

All other settings should be set to default settings!Then please test them

one at a time with http://www.memtest.org and let's make sure it's not some other

issue! I would run the test for at least 2-3 passes to be sure!

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The 3200XL modules will run at DDR400MHz with this board; however all modules have to be the same make and model, so I would highly recommend not to mix the 3200XL with the Ultra ram and to just purchase another set for optimal peformance. If you are planning to put all 4 modules on the system, the following information will be the correct BIOS settings for your system; this should run in a DDR 400MHz in a 2/2/2/5 CAS settings.

TwinX512 or TwinX1024-3200XL

Advanced CPU/Memory Configuration:

Memclock Mode: Limit

Memclock Value: 2:1 (DDR400)

Bank Interleaving: 4/Enabled

Burst Length: 8

SDRAM CAS Latency: 2T

SDRAM RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD): 2T

SDRAM Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS): 5T

SDRAM Row Precharge (tRP): 2T

2T Command Rate: Enabled

Advanced CPU/Hypertransport

Hypertransport: 5X

Jumper Free/Frequency Voltage Control:

AI Overclock Tuner: Manual

CPU FSB Clock: 200

DDR Voltage: 2.85 Volts

All other settings should be set to default settings!Then please test them

one at a time with http://www.memtest.org and let's make sure it's not some other

issue! I would run the test for at least 2-3 passes to be sure!

 

Glory hallaluyah! Thanks alot Ram Guy!!! I might actually get 400mghrtz not 333 with a second Twinx1024-3200xl kit for a blazing fast TWO Gigabytes of RAM. Holy @#$%@#$%, ZipZoomFly here I come.

ps: never meant to mix ram brands just did it on a lark.

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I have physically tested this board with this set up and was able to run 4 modules at DDR400, the trick to it is to set it up manually and have 2T command rate setting instead of 1T, this is a memory controller "that is built in the CPU' limitation.
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Awesome. I'm hoping the second Twinx1024_3200xl kit gets here tomorrow, Friday, or its going to be a real Looong weekend. The 2.85 volts makes me a bit nervous though, running that close to the 2.9 volts max.
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All right Wired. Here's an update on the 2G setup. Recieved the second Twinx1024-3200xl kit right on time Friday from ZipZoomFly.com. First I Ran MemTest86 v.1.51(3 passes as recomended by Ram Guy) and Sisoft Sandra memory bandwidth and memory/cache benchmarks on the original setup, a single Twinx1024-3200xl(2-2-2-5) kit in the a1/b1 slots and two individual Ultra brand 512-3200(3-3-3-8) sticks in the a2/b2 slots of an asus sli deluxe motherboard and an Fx53. The microprocessor's onboard memory controller or the revision 1006 bios in auto mode decided that it could run this combination of ram sticks in dual channel mode at 266mhz(double data rate, 133mhz clock rate)/128bit with 2-3-3-6 timings. Not stellar performance to say the least as each Memtest pass with zero errors took an hour and twelve minutes but still better than running in single channel or not running at all. Why it didn't try to run at 333mhz as the documentation states for over 1 gigabyte of ram is partially beyond me; my guess would be either an undocumented/poorly documented memory controller sub-routine to handle different branded ram situations or , as mentioned before, that though both the the Corsair ram sticks and the Ultra sticks by pure chance contained the same samsung chips manufactured on the same date, the Corsair sticks were assembled with the cream of the crop of that particular "photo etching" batch (2-2-2-5) and the Ultra sticks were not (3-3-3-8). I was a little leary of running Memtest86 and Sisoft benchmarks on this particular different branded ram installation at the 2-3-3-6 timings because the Ultra sticks were only rated at 3-3-3-8 and they have no heatsinks. Memtest86 and Benchmark programs are very stressfull on components (i.e. heat generating) and I might want to use this ram in a dedicated server machine as Wired suggested a few posts back. I tried it anyway. Sisoft Sandra's Memory Bandwidth benchmark test for this Corsair Twinx/Ulta setup resulted in:

Ram Bandwidth Int Buff'd isse2: 3221MB/s

Ram Bandwidth Float Buff'd isse2: 3211MB/s

Bandwidth efficiency: 75%

Sisoft Sandra's Memory/Cache bandwidth benchmark for this Corsair Twinx/Ultra setup resulted in:

Combined Index: 5478MB/s

Speed factor: 11.4

Performance Rating: PR3618 (estimated)

Maximum Memory Bandwidth: 4288MB/s (estimated)

Doom3 and Half-Life2 ran stabilly in just shigh of Ultra settings.

 

The next setup with the asus sli deluxe motherboard and fx53 was with two Corsair Twinx1024-3200xl kits for again a total of two gigabytes in the four ram slots a1,b1a2,b2. Before trying Ram Guy's suggested timings, I decided to see what the asus motherboard/rev.1006bios and the fx53's onboard memory controller would come up with to run this setup in [auto] mode. It decided the ram stick pairs, even though the heatsinks on each pair didn't exactly match, were so good and closely matched that it didn't need to downstep from 400mhz to 333mhz in 128bit dual channel mode as the bios documentation states for over 1G of ram (At least 6 different people wrote the motherboard manual from what I can detect and the person who wrote the bios section understands english translation the least, so who knows how accurate it is, oh wella). Running at 400mhz in dual channel [auto] settings, it decided on 2-3-3-5 timings at 2.70 volts. Running Memtest v1.51 for 3 passes resulted in zero errors with each pass taking 43 minutes, a huge boost in performance. SiSoft Sandra's Memory Bandwidth benchmark test for the two Twinx kits setup resulted in:

Ram Bandwidth Int Buff'd isse2: 4869MB/s

Ram Bandwidth Float Buff'd isse2: 4841MB/s

Bandwidth Efficiency: 76%

SiSoft Sandra's Memory/Cache Bandwidth benchmark test for the two Twinx kits setup resulted in:

Combined Index: 6428MB/s

Speed factor: 8.0

Performance Rating: PR3618 (estimated)

Maximum Memory Bandwidth: 6432MB/s (estimated) 8040MB/s (theoretical)

I'm not sure why the speed factor went down but everything else went way up, a huge tested boost in performance (real world as well not just benchmarks: running Doom3 and Half-life 2 in Ultra settings stabilly).

 

The last setup utilizing Ram Guy's values in the bios is going to have to wait until I find out from Ram Guy, Wired or someone else that would know how I would set: Memclock Mode:limit, Bank Interleaving:4/enabled, Burst Length:8 when these are not listed anywhere in the asus ver.1006bios screens entered into when I hit the [delete] key to enter the bios after starting the computer. Sisoft, in the previous [Auto] setup, did report that Bank interleaving was 4-way.

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  • Corsair Employees

Please put the memory modules on either slots 1&3 or 2&4; make sure that you have the latest BIOS installed for your MB; load optimized/set up default,

and set the following BIOS settings;

TwinX512 or TwinX1024-3200XL

Advanced CPU/Memory Configuration:

Memclock Mode: Limit

Memclock Value: 2:1 (DDR400)

Bank Interleaving: 4/Enabled

Burst Length: 8

SDRAM CAS Latency: 2T

SDRAM RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD): 2T

SDRAM Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS): 5T

SDRAM Row Precharge (tRP): 2T

2T Command Rate: Enabled

Advanced CPU/Hypertransport

Hypertransport: 5X

Jumper Free/Frequency Voltage Control:

AI Overclock Tuner: Manual

CPU FSB Clock: 200

DDR Voltage: 2.75 Volts

All other settings should be set to default settings!Then please test them

one at a time with http://www.memtest.org and let's make sure it's not some other

issue! I would run the test for at least 2-3 passes to be sure!

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I'm confused Ram Guy. Which Bios version are you using. The one I'm using is the version 1006, the latest non-Beta release. In this version there isn't any options to set Memclock Mode:limit, Bank Interleaving:4/enabled, Burst Length:8. According to Sisoft Sandra, biosversion 1006 appears to default to 4-way Bank interleaving. Are you using the latest Beta Bios release version 1007.004 to set these values in Dram Configuration under Advanced in the Bios? Also, I've noticed that you've reduced the voltage from your original post from 2.85 volts to 2.75 volts, which is the correct value?
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They're tested @ 2.7x volts and are warrantied up to, but not over, 2.9 volts, so anything between 2.7 and 2.9 inclusive is fine. 2.8x is sometimes recommended when 2.7x doesn't do the trick. Usually this is due to the motherboard not giving enough volts even though it says it does, e.g. it says 2.75 but it's really only doing 2.67.
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For the Memclock Value please set it at DDR400, other settings that you do not see please then do not worry about it; for the voltage setting 2.75 will be the regular and you can set it up to 2.9 volts for the max, anything beyond or above 2.9 volts will automatically void the warranty. Please try these settings and let us know what the outcome is, and if you are still having some problem then please give us the detail BIOS settings. One thing that I forgot to mention, to set the 1T/2T memory timing to 2T since you have 4 modules, this is the memory controller limitation; otherwise it will run at DDR 333MHz speed instead of 400MHz speed.
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Thank you for your quick responses Ram Guy and Wired. I have a suspicion that the missing three items that Ram Guy said to set in the Bios defaulted to the values Ram guy suggested, because after plugging the two Twinx1024-3200xl kits in and everything set to [auto] in the bios, it bypassed 333mhz as the bios documentation states for Ram quantities over 1gig and immediately ran in dual channel at 400mhz. This probably has something to do with the tested quality of Corsair Twinx kits themselves because I could not get 2gigs of Ultra ram to do this, they weren't matched sets. I still plan on trying your suggested values but not until the weekend when I'll post back the Memtest results and the Sisoft Sandra Benchmarks for 2 gigs of Twinx-xl's.

 

ps: For anyone else reading this post, I am in no way associated with Corsair, have nothing to gain from Corsair or anyone else. If Corsair's product wasn't up to their stated standards as turns out it is, you'd hear about it in any forum I post in. This ram kicks serious (explicative deleted)!!!

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Alright, I finally had some time to test the system utilizing Ram Guy's suggested values of 2-2-2-5 with a command rate of 2T for the two Twinx1024-3200xl's for a total of two gigs of ram running in an asus a8n-sli deluxe motherboard with an fx53 and two xfx6800gt's as Wired and Ram Guy requested. I decided to leave the voltage at 2.7 to see if it would run at this voltage because I don't really trust the accuracy of motherboard voltage and temperature readout values and didn't have the time to do manual voltage and temperature probe tests. (I suspect that the voltage values that my board is reporting are a hair low versus the true voltage values.) It would be cost prohibitive for any motherboard company to hand calibrate voltage and temperature devices on each and every motherboard for true accuracy so they may be plus or minus a fraction off. If the Twinx kits displayed any errors in Memtest86+v1.51 then i'd have bumped the voltage .05 volts up at a time, running Memtest86 after each bump, to Ram Guy's suggested max of 1.85volts. The Twinx kits didn't need any extra voltage it turned out, ran Memtest86 for four passses zero errors. For real world testing, immediately after running Memtest86 played Doom3 in utra settings for over an hour with no hiccups in WindowsXp pro while hooked up to the net with hardware and software firewalls running, anti-virus running, anti hacker running, anti-spam running, anti-spy running and an open browser running. Would have liked to have had the time to try burning a cd while surfing the net in multiple open browsers for a second multitasking test but didn't, will probably do so in the future.

 

The Memtest86/Doom3-Net test raised the cpu temperature from 38-40 degrees celsius average to 45 degrees celsius , board temperature went up 4 degreesC and case 5 degreesC at a room temperature of 79 degrees fahrenheit. I was glad to see the extra heat didn't bother the Twinx kits at all, even though there isn't much space between heat sinks with all four sticks installed on this motherboard (I doubt four LED version sticks of this ram would fit without touching, the spacing of ram slots is very narrow; 2 LED sticks probably would fit though in the A1/B1 slots, which would leave an open slot between them).

 

Onto the benchmarks at 400mhz in dual channel. A single pass of Memtest86v1.51 ran 25 seconds faster at Ram Guy's suggested 2-2-2-5 timings (43 minutes 10 seconds) versus the Bios's [AUTO] settings of 2-3-3-5 (43 minutes 35 seconds). SiSoft Sandra's Benchmarks for two Twinx1024-3200xl kits running with Ram Guy's suggested values (2-2-2-5, 2T command rate) are as follows:

Memory Bandwith Benchmark-

Ram Bandwith Int Buff'd isse2: 4890 MB/s {up from 4869MB/s with Auto}

Ram Bandwith Float Buff'd isse2: 4884 MB/s {up from 4841MB/s with Auto}

Bandwith Efficiency: 76% {the same with Auto}

Memory/Cache Bandwith Benchmark-

Combined Index: 6470MB/s {up from 6428MB/s with Auto}

Speed Factor: 7.8 {down from 8.0 with Auto}

Performance Rating: PR3618 (estimated) {the same with Auto}

Maximum Memory Bandwith: 6432MB/s (estimated) 8040MB/s(theoretical)

 

As can be inferred from the numbers in this post and thread, the performance increase going from the mixed ram, a single Twinx1024-3200xl kit and two Ultra512 sticks, to two Twinx1024-300xl kits was gigantic. The increase obtained in performance from using the Bios's [AUTO] settings of 2-3-3-5 to Ram Guy's 2-2-2-5 settings at 400mhz was smaller of course, but still impressive. It is true these are not 1 gigabyte of Ram benchmark numbers, which should be better still with half the overhead costs of 2 gigabytes, but for 2 gigabytes without overclocking anything this is screaming error free.

Thank you Ram Guy, Wired and Corsair.

 

ps: Sisoft Sandra recommended using their 64 bit version to test with so I'll probably try that next to see the differences.

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