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ASUS P4C800E D and Twin X3200XL Pro


bjonz

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My system is an ASUS P4C 800E Deluxe with P4 3.4E and 2Gb of Corsair TwinX3200XL Pro. It was stable for one month and then abruptly I began experiencing random BSOD's and general system instability. It was worse during gaming but could occur at anytime. In my efforts to isolate the problem I have removed all of the cards from the system except the VGA and done 4 complete re-installs of WXP Pro. I have also installed all of the latest drivers (except the bios). The instability has continued despite this. Prior to this when the system was running well I completed an overnight test of all four sticks of ram with metest 86 and OCZ memtest 86. This revealed no errors After I began experiencing instability I began getting errors when running memtest 86. Unconvinced that the memory was the culprit I had it checked at Micro-Center. They checked it in another machine and told me it checked out fine. They also said it did not check out in my system. Any ideas?
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Looking at your system specifications, I see you have it pretty heavily loaded. Your power supply "might" not be up to the task. Also, are you OCing at all? Can you list all of your bios settings that relate to CPU, RAM, and voltages? You would need to set your RAM voltage to 2.8v and also make sure your system performance mode is set to standard and memory turbo is set to AUTO. And, are you running RAM timings by SPD or by manual settings?

 

Mike.

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Thanks for the reply. BTW I PM'd you regaridng this board and your experience with it. Right now the Bios is at all default. Before my last re-install I reset the CMOS. The only thing I have changed in the bios is to set the Promise controller to IDE since I am not running a raid configuration. My RAM timings are by SPD. I am not in front of the computer right now. I will certainly try setting the RAM voltage to 2.8v and I will also try to set the timings manually. Regarding the performance mode and memory turbo I believe those are standard and auto by default if I remeber correctly. I did not specifically check those after resetting the CMOS.
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If the 2.8v does not resolve this, one quick and easy way to test is to remove 1 pair of the PC3200XL and see how it does. If it stabilizes, then you can approach your troubleshooting differently. I forgot to add with 4 DIMMs, you DEFINITELY need active cooling on your NB heatsink. There is a super heavy load with 4 DIMMs and you need a fan there or an aftermarket cooler.

 

Mike.

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Alright I will definitely put a fan on the NB. I will probably get another gig of RAM to test in the board as well. Anything specific you would recommend?

:confused: Don't you already have 4 DIMMs? In a perfect world, your BEST option for 2gb of RAM is to use 2 x 1gb sticks as opposed to 4 x 512mb sticks. The PC3500LL 2048mb kit is good. There is less load on the NB and typically you can OC better.

 

Mike.

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I thought you meant 4 DIMMs and testing with other memory is a good idea. Also, you may want to test your memory on another system. However, what I think you find is that the 2 seperate pairs are fine. The problems you are showing are typical of trying to run 4 DIMMs on a MOBO. It is a very heavy load and sometimes you really have to tweak to get it right.

 

I think testing the pairs seperately will show them to be OK. If you have problems on your board running a single pair, test all the sticks individually with Memtest for 3-5 passes each. Just curious, are all of your modules the same part # and revision? There are 2 revisions of the PC3200XL. There is a sticky here somewhere on how to read the memory label.

 

Mike.

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Okay I will be back at the computer this afternoon so I will try 2.5-3-3-7 and 2.85 volts. Let me ask this question. All four sticks ran overnight with memtest in this board at 2-3-3-5 about 3 weeks ago. At that time I got no errors. Now I get errors immediately with each individual stick in each individual slot. The techs at Micro-Center tell me they teseted my RAM in another board and it checked out fine. They also checked (2) 512mb sticks of xxxxxxxx RAM in my board and it checked out okay. Is it possible (or probable) that I have a problem with the NorthBridge chipset on the board or with the SPD eprom on the RAM. I have a hard time understanding why if the board and the Ram are both okay and they played well together in the past why they won’t play well together now. I will certainly try the timings and voltage we are talking about but I would like to understand the problem so I can remedy this issue in the future.

 

Thanks for the suggestions so far.

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Well,

 

Last night I set the timings to 2.5-3-3-7 and the voltage to 2.85 and I was able to run memtest 86 overnight with zero errors. The SPD had it set at 2.5-4-4-8 and 2.75 volts. I don't know why that was a problem. I will continue to experiment with this but it appears that I can stabilize the system with the timings and voltage. Right now I am running Sisoft Sandra Burn in wizard to check the system stability overall.

 

Thank you for the help. I have researched this problem extensively, and I have consulted professional IT personel and I even tried reseller tech support, but this forum is what helped me solve the problem. So, thankyou very much Ram Guy and Specmike.

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