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ABIT KN8 Ultra + CMX512-4400 Can Only Get SPD To Work


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This is my first system build since I built my Athlon XP 2000+ T-Bird, first AMD 64 Ive even touched. Alot of stuff has changed since then so I know I have alot to learn yet. Im looking for performance so I dont know if running it at the highest speed would be best or just go with good timing at the standard DDR400, since I am using stock cooling.


System I Built All New Retail Items:

Corsair CMX512-4400 DDR550 2x512MB In Dual Channel Mode (Only RAM in System)

Abit KN8 Ultra

AMD 3800+ 64x2 Dual Core With Stock H/S

PNY 6600 PCI-E

FPS 450W Power Supply


I am currently running KN8 Ultra BIOS 13 (From October). I like to figure stuff out on my own and usualy go by forum posts when trying to sort my problems out. So far I have found very little about this board, most results end up being about the MSI board, even when I add abit to search. Now I am going to my last resort, asking for help.


The original build was around the KN8 (non-Ultra) but due to a shortage the retailer ended up giving me a KN8 Ultra, which I found out after all the other parts arrived. That didnt bother me but when I went to Corsair's site to set the RAM up, they actualy recommend the DDR500 model not the DDR550 for this board, non-ultra Kn8 recomended DDR550. The bios on this board goes through older DDR and tops out at DDR500. Also, for voltage, the bios stops going in .05 incraments once it hits 2.70. I currently am running it at 2.70 just in case 2.80 was to much, I fried a pentium 75mhz cpu with voltage when I was younger, when they cost a few hundred dollars, and dont like to change voltage now unless Im 100% sure.


Other than the voltage on the RAM, everything else is pretty much at auto for the moment (CPU is auto, RAM is just set to SPD and detected as 200.9/3-4-4-7 by various programs). Other than the graphic card, nothing is intentional overclocked (RAM comes up as 200.9 and CPUs are at 2009 MHZ each but this was what they appeared as when I put the system together). It seems like I am doing everything right but I am getting some odd problems and been totaly unsuccessful with any of it so far.


First off, the bios has way more RAM timing settings then anything Ive seen prior, which I can list if needed. The wording also seems abit different then older motherboards so I looked at the variables from CPU-Z and used those to figure out what to change since they are the only items in the bios with those variables. When changing the settings on the RAM I only changed the 4 options (3-4-4-7 by SPD) and I dont know if any of the other settings needed to be changed also or if it was determined by the motherboard.


I have tried numerous things but I will just list the timings that came off the corsair site, most of the stuff I tried on my own just resulted in memory error boot beeps and required a CMOS rest. I have been messing with it daily for two weeks straight and have had nothing but headaches.


1ST Attempt: I only changed the RAM settings. I tried setting the DDR Frequency to DDR500 and set the timing to Corsiars recommended 2.5-4-4-8 (for DDR550). Result: I would either get the blue ram error screen as windows booted or if it did boot into windows, it would hang while the driver icons were loading in the system tray. Tried booting numerous times but the same stuff always happened. After the 5th or 6th time my windows install said it corrupted. On the fresh install process, it said it couldnt tell what my cpu was and asked if it was a uni- or multi- cpu. It would hang during install a few files after it asked the question. I realized I forgot to change the bios and I didnt need to reinstall windows, the install I thought corrupted worked fine once I changed the bios back to SPD.


2ND Attempt: I only changed the RAM settings here also. I decided to use the recomendations for Corsairs DDR500 since that was the highest the board went. I changed the frequency and used 3-4-4-8. Result: The system actualy did fully boot into windows with this setting but I noticed no real difference in performance so I investigated with CPU-Z and Everest and both detected my RAM as PC-2100?? I thought it was a fluke and did a reset but got the same result each time after 5 reboots and changed it back.


3RD Attempt: This time I still went with the DDR500 settings I listed prior and also changed the CPU frequency to 250, I left multiplier at 10x and PCI-E clock at 100. Results: The system did not boot and did not give any error beeps when powered on. A 1 hour CMOS reset cleared this up.


I also tried numerous other variations of the timing while set to DDR400, 2.5-4-4-7, 3-3-4-7, 3-4-3-7, 3-4-4-6, ect. On my previous systems I could change a number by one incrament and I would run into stability issues and it would reset or give an error after sometime in Windows. With this RAM, I do those 1 incrament changes from SPD and the system does not boot and gives the one long continous beep for a memory error. On CPU-Z it says the SPD is for 277MHZ but only detects it as 200.9MHZ with identical timing for actual and SPD, guessing the mhz difference is because of the cpu frequency.


I am currently using the h/s that came with the retail CPU and stock cooling on the board, which I intend on replacing with some Zalman passives on the mobo and a Scythe Ninja SNJ-1000 Heatsink within the next month or two. In the 2 weeks since I built the system I have not seen the CPU nor the system temps exceed 35 C on anything that I use.


I am guessing to get the RAM up to DDR500 will require the CPU Frequency to be changed so the cpu heat will probably increase, not sure if its a tremendous amount. If possible I would like some input on the best settings for DDR400 and for maximum performance once I upgrade the cooling. If you have the same set up and could rattle off the settings that would be great but at the same time I would like to actualy learn why I was having the errors and some documentation to explain it. I do want the settings right asap but at the same time I dont want someone to hold my hand and I come out with a good set-up but not how I got it. Like I said, asking for help is my last ressort and I would prefer to learn from this so I dont need to ask in the future. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

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I just read every post that on the abit forum for the KN8 Ultra, about 40-50 useful ones. I didnt find anything for running ram over DDR400 but I did learn a few things about how the the cpu frequency, htt, and ram work and Im thinking that Im going to have run it as DDR400 with stock cooling. Also after rereading my post I realized I was wrong on what the cpu frequency did. By altering that from 200 to 250x10, to match the ram as DDR500, it would be oc'ing it by 25% (per core I think) which I would think would be a massive heat increase. Unless with 64s the ram frequency does not have to match the cpu frequency I am going to have to use DDR400 due to heat issues. Like I said I am new to the 64 cpus and dual core so I have alot to learn and may very well be wrong about a lot of things right now.


If it matters, cool 'n quite is disabled in the bios and I did not install it with drivers. Also, the RAM I ordered was TWINX1024-4400C25 and Im guessing the CMX512-4400 being put out by cpu-z and everest is just a different name for it. If not I need to know to get everything straightened out. Thanks Again, prac

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  • Corsair Employees

Please check the modules part# and it should match what you have listed in CPU-Z if not then lets get them replaced.

Please follow the link in my signature “I think I have a bad part!” and we will be happy to replace them or it!

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