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Questions and Compatibility


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Hello Ram Guy,


Had a few questions all related to the same motherboard I hope you can help me with. Ever since the beginning (3 years ago), there have been very occasional odd, surreptitious reboots and/or system blanks/freezes (screen goes black, doesn't come back, doesn't reboot, just hangs). Initially the problems were so few and far between that I just let it go and dealt with it as need be. Those same problems are only now getting beyond annoying to the point where I need to deal with them.


First off, I have an MSI 6728 v1 865PE Neo2-FIS2R motherboard (with a 478-pin P4 3.0GHz proc with HT) which, for some reason, does not appear in the Corsair Memory Compatibility list (when I look it up via Motherboard | MSI | {list}). I see the v2 version of my board (the PFSIR), but that is a different board, both BIOS-wise and component wise.


I also have one set of TWINX1024-3200LL modules that I purchased with that board. This is just over 3 years ago last week (purchase on 03-Sep-2003). Note that I am not concerned about warranty issues at this point.


I am looking for default (as in NOT-OVERCLOCK) memory settings for this board. I am using the Dynamic Overclocking Technology, but only in Private (slowest) mode. I am not doing any manual OC'ing of any kind. I looked up the XMS Archive Settings thread and found settings of 2-3-2-6 and a Bank Interleave of 4.


Question 1) My motherboard has a setting called "Burst Length" which is set to 8 and has possible values of 4 and 8. The aforementioned XMS archive settings talk of a "Bank Interleave" set to 4. Are these two settings the same things with different descriptions? Should my motherboard's "Burst Length" be set to 4?


Question 2) The 2-3-2-6 values are what is being read from the SPD (in other words, I did not have to perform any manual changes to obtain those settings). Is there any reason why setting them manually would be better?


Question 3) What is the preferred voltage level for these parts when used on this motherboard? Again, no OC'ing...just want it to be stable. My motherboard defaults it to 2.50v. Is that good or should it be set differently?


Question 4) Which memory test do you suggest? It seems there are two versions: MemTest86+ and Memtest86. Is one of them the "right" one to use?


Question 5) When using a memory test program (above), which kinds of tests and how many iterations/how long should I run them before knowing whether the memory is "good" or not?


Steps I've already taken:

Updated MBD BIOS to latest (v2.5). There is a newer version (2.A) but that is for the v2 of this motherboard, not the one I have.

Updated the video drivers (ATI Catalyst 6.8).

Replaced the video card (was ATI 9800, now is ATI x850).

Clean system install from scratch (format drive, install XP-sp1, install MSI inf, install MSI network drivers, install sp2, install all Windows Update patches, install ATI drivers)


The three things I have not replaced yet are the RAM, the Motherboard, and the Proc.


Sorry for the mixed bag of questions, but I didn't want to spam different forums with different threads. I did some searching on this forum for answers before writing this post, but most of what was answered were issues regarding Overclocking, which I am not attempting. Hope you can at least provide some insight and/or pointers to the clues I need.

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Test one stick at a time in each slot using Memtest86+ v1.65, not Memtest86.


Try these settings:


CAS Latency (tCL): 2

RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD): 3

Row Precharge (tRP): 2

Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS): 6

Command Rate:


Memory Voltage: 2.7-2.8 Volts (Warrantied up to, but not over, 2.90 volts)

All other settings to defaults.


Source: Corsair XMS Qualification and Testing Information


In otherwords:


2) not really.


3) 2.7x-2.90 volts


4) Memtest86+, linked to above


5) 3 loops of the full test will suffice

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Thank you for the reply. Before I saw it, I did wind up running MemTest86+ v1.65 for a total of 8 hours. I left both sticks in (since it didn't occur to me to test them individually since I always think of them as a matched set). In that 8 hour period, the system was able to run about 30 passes of the test. Over those 30 passes, there were a total of 62 failures. Each failure was always during test #8 [Modulo 20, ones and zeros]. Each pass had a different number of failures. Some passes only showed 4 failures where others had 13 or 14 failures. Another odd thing is that the error always seemed to occur in different locations during that test: pass 1 showed it failing at about 1016.1mb, pass 6 showed the failure around 986.0mb, pass 8 somewhere else (lower than the prior tests), and eventually later passes failed back at 1016.1mb again, but the failures always occurred during test #8.


So I went to the nearest Fry's (ugh) and picked up some replacement Corsair sticks (TWINX1024-3200C2--they had no LLs in stock) and put them in. So far, after running the test for 2 hours and 7 passes, there has not been a single failure.


Does this mean that my original 3200LL's are bad?


Also, I did not see an answer to my question #1 about Burst Length and Bank Interleave and whether or not they are the same term.


And one new question: while I am using these 3200C2s, I looked in the Archived XMS Settings thread and saw the timings of 2-3-3-6 with Bank Interleave of 4. Are those the correct values for my 865PE board and these replacement sticks?


Interestingly enough, my motherboard defaulted to a Burst Length of 4 for these sticks but defaulted to a Burst Length of 8 for the 3200LLs when I had them installed. Should one of them be set differently e.g. should the LLs be set to 4 or the C2s be set to 8? I guess if Burst Length and Bank Interleave are the same term, then I already know the answer, but I thought I would bring it up just in case it was important.


And thank you again for your guidance--especially on a Sunday. :)

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