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My SN25P doesn't like my TWINX1024-3200XL

GB Crush

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Call me old fashioned, but I like sitting through a forum post. I also have a lot of questions I want to shoot off.


Anyway, here's the system I've currently got running:


Shuttle SN25P (1)

AMD Athlon64 3500+ (90nm/winchester core)

2x512MB XMS 3200XL

nVidia 7800GTX (2)

1x Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 160GB HDD

1x Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB HDD


The memory is from lot# 0529083-5, by the way.


(1) - I grabbed one when they first came outs. It's running the nforce4 plain-jane northbridge instead of the ultras they now seem to ship with.

(2) - Yeah, it's a hot monster, but it actually fits. I also first ran into problems using a 6600GT, and have tested with both.


Tests were run using Memtest 86+ v1.60 over several days.




I've had RAM from *coughs* someone else go bad in this one (personally, I blame BF2 :D ). Well, I figured I made a mistake by straying from Corsair, so I went ahead and ordered a matched pair of XMS3200 pros as a replacement. Unfortunately, they tested 'bad' right out of the box. Not several thousand errors per minute bad, it's actually maybe like 100 per hour. I even seen it get through the first pass without any errors, but it'll always find them before the first hour is through.


Errors appear at both the SPD 2-2-2-5 timings and the 2-2-2-7 I normally run at. I have the RAM voltage set to 2.8 since the next setting below is 2.7.




Here's a couple of twists/tidbits:


- While I was waiting for the ram to be delivered, I pulled the XMS-3200XL Pros I had running in my other rig (P4 2.4 Northwood@3.0 Ghz) and dropped them in. They worked. Or rather, they worked when I discovered the RAM voltage needed a little bump. No errors in testing. Settings at both 2-2-2-5 and 2-2-2-8.


- After the non-Pro pair arrived and tested bad, I swapped memory again. The non-pros had no errors in the intel system. No booting problems. Can I assume that the intel northbridge is less picky about the memory than my A64?


- I'm not sure I'd call it 'stable' though. It felt I had more crashing/lock-up issues than when I had the PRO sticks running in it. Of course, this happening mostly in a game environment, so maybe I'll chalk it up to crappy code. Not sure how else to 'benchmakr this'.


- Since it seemed to 'work' that way, I decided I would run the swap for a longer period of time. Thiis turned up a number of issues, and I'm not so sure that the XLPROs were as stable as I thought. They ran fine for the first week or two. Then I started getting lockups. First in BF2, then later just in general, such as when playing an mp3, or surfing the web. Still no errors on memtest, but could this system slowly be 'shredding' whatever memory I put into it?


- It does seem to point to a memory problem, only the last line of defense seemed to prove otherwise. I broke out my 'backup stick' a 512MB stick of 'value RAM with loose timings. It's run fine in my A64 system for 2 weeks + now. No errors, no lockups. I just can't do any heavy gaming with it.




Oh, and I am worried a bit about temperatures in the SFF, especially with the GTX in it. Anyone know what the max system temperature range I should be running these modules at?

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This system actually got pretty good reviews at HardOCP however they did not test with 7800 Video cards and as far as I know this card requires 22-24 amps for each card. So I doubt this system will support these Video Cards. To be sure please test the modules with another Video card and see if the results change, especially since the modules run properly in another system. In addition, all of our XMS modules are tested on a MB at the rated speed before they leave so it would be close to impossible to get one bad set let alone 2 or 3. So I would check with Shuttle if the memory tests out O.K. and make sure this system is capable of running these two cards.
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My mistake. I had meant to drop this in the warranty folder, though I suppose it fits here too. :)


And thanks for the quick reply!


For clarification, I did run tests with both the 7800GTX, and the 6600GT (which has noticibly less power draw and heat output) and found problems with both. Anecdotal data from other SN25P owners on various forums seems to indicate that a 7800GTX will run in this box, if a bit hot. I'll see if I can dig something more official though.


I also think I'll run the tests again. I noticed after digging through these forums that some people are actually running their XL modules at 2-3-2-5 timings on their A64 setups. Could that make a difference (and is there a particular reason why?)?

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You might try these settings and see if that helps.

Dim Voltage to +2.8 Volts:

CAS Latency CL=2.0

Row Cycle Time tRC Bios Default

Row Refresh Cyc Time tRFC Bios Default

Ras# to CAS# delay tRCD 3

Row to Row delay Bios Default

Min Ras# Active Time tRAS 11

Row Precharge Time tRP 2

Write Recovery Time Bios Default

Write to Read delay Bios Default

Read to Write Delay Bios Default

Refresh Period tREF Bios Default

Enable 2T Timing Enabled

Then test the system with http://www.memtest.org and make sure it's stable!

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Ack! Oh please forgive me for being late and not posting first thing when I got into work! Don't call the wrath of the memory gods down on me, please! :D




Yeah, so thank you. The configuration above seemed to have worked. Ran tests for 13+ hours while I was away at work, and when I got back to find no errors waiting for me, I decided to give it a little practical burning with BF2.


All was good, though I still wouldn't put it past EA to release memory-destroying games...


So thank you very much, RAM Guy and Wired.



Now, like any greedy enthusiast, I have to ask: What can we do about tightening these timings? Any suggestions?


I've already dropped the command rate to 1T and set it to test before work today. Is that advisable or no (both memory and mobo are supposed to support it)? If all is good, what's next? Leave the RAS to CAS where it is and drop the Min Ras active time?


Thanks again!

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What ever you set you should test the system and sometimes the absolute tightest settings or timings will not give the best performance. But please just test your system to see what give best over all performance. The settings I gave you will probably be the best setting.
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