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I suspect I have faulty Cors. mem modules...


Hrizip

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I think one or both of my corsair modules might be malfunctioning.

 

My computer was fine until like 2 months ago when I begun having intermittent BSODs.

These became more and more often (stock voltages and settings, no overclocking whatsoever) and nothing else has changed on my computer (not even the temperatures of various components).

 

2 weeks ago a lot of windows modules begun crashing, explorer, zonealarms truevector service, games, even watching TV (TV card) or divx-es started rebooting my comp via BSOD and repeating (stuttering) sound stuck on the blue screen of death.

 

I first suspected CPU might be problematic so I begun burning it in with Prime95 and noticed that only memory heavy tests would ultimately fail (but not in every iteration of the test), this was not correlated to any of the motherboards temperature readings.

 

Then I ran memtest integrated on my MBO and found out that I was able to reproduce memory errors on test 5 (memtest test #5) in 1 out of 3 runs, and after some 10 iterations the errors became more regular.

 

I tested undercloaked (ddr 321 settings) and with upped voltage (2.8) in various combination and I was always able to reproduce the error.

I even defaulted both memory sticks to the slowest rating (3-3-3-8) and under slightly higher voltage and still I got memory errors.

 

In prime95 if I run the max energy consuption test I will always get an error after the first run of the test

 

[Thu Dec 14 00:27:17 2006]

FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4

Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.

[Thu Dec 14 00:42:13 2006]

FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4

Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.

FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.49609375, expected less than 0.4

Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.

[Thu Dec 14 02:25:31 2006]

 

Pure CPU test (less memory tested) can go on for hours without encountering an error.

 

What irritates me greatly about these particular symptoms is how intermittent they are, I simply cannot reproduce them on regular basis, and sometimes my comp works fine for 4-5 hours before BSODing itself, the whole thing is getting me angry, I have been reinstalling windows for like 10 times over the last 4 weeks always blaming either zonealarm (truvector crashes) or other windows components for various random data corruption (all of this was caused by what I presume to be faulty memory module(s) ).

 

Is there any way I could eliminate other possible causes like CPU or MBO to be sure its the module(s) without spending dozens of hours on "fixing" my comp?

 

Thanks in advance...

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Obviously I am (wasnt planning on it though, there was a shortage of C2s).

I was however assured that mixing them would not be a problem when I bought them.

The system DID operate smoothly for quite some time - so I guess if there was a problem bound to happen when mixing modules of different latency values it would have shown up immidiately.

Anyhow, I dont see (but I am not a professional I admit) how running a lower latency module at higher latency could mess it all up.

I run both modules at the latency value of the slower module.

The MBO detects the latency values of the slower module and defaults to that, and I made triple sure of this before posting (I made sure that the actual latency values of both modules were C2).

 

Please explain in a few sentences how this can affect stability (or normal operation) - if there is a possibility that the system will inevitably be unstable if I mix those 2 modules I want to understand the reason behind it :)

Its just how my mind works :confused:

 

Obviously the solution to the issue would be to buy newer memory modules and see what happens, however this is not he most cost effective way of solving the issue at hand :)

 

How likely is it that my problems are due to mixing memory modules of different kinds?

If it is something other than this, how can I make sure?

- change BIOS settings?

- underclock CPU?

- put modules in different banks (deactivate 128bit)?

- try with one module in bank 1?

 

Any suggestions?

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To be sure you need to test the modules one or one set at a time and load setup defaults and set the Voltage and tested settings for the specific module installed. These modules use different IC's and will have slightly different settings not only what you can set but there are other settings set by the SPD based on the IC, even thou they worked for a while its still possible its because of the different IC's used!
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Update:

 

My MBO died in the meantime, it became REALLY unstable with PWM IC temperatures of over 68c (I have 4 additional chassis coolers in my comp. chassis so cooling could not have been the issue here), then my BIOS started selfrebooting just after posting (before going into windows) and it would no longer "save" my bios settings (my MBO had an option of saving overclocking (or in my case underclocking) settings in 4 banks).

Then I tried to reflash the BIOS to at least find out whether its corrupted for some reason (and later troubleshoot PWM IC and BSODs) and the BIOS update program said "bios flash succesfull" but hehe I guess it was wrong coz my MBO was quite dead after the reflash.

 

I am going to try to RMA it but I wont hold my breath coz they can simply state that I killed the board by doing a bad reflash of the BIOS.

This is why I went back to ASUS and bought another of their DELUXE boards, DFI might be faster or a better OCer but what I ultimately want out of my PC is stability.

 

Both memory modules work fine on my new ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe however I did not put them in dual channel mode and I have manually set latencies around the stats of the slower of the two modules.

 

I am planning on buying new memory in a month or two, I already tried to get my hands on either C2 or XL but these are unavailable in my country (Croatia), I can get my hands on Corsair Value, combining CV with CS and XL would probably NOT be something you would recommend, right? :)

I cant compare CV with XL myself but my MB/s value of my current config. is 2.5mb/s, how much would I get if I used CV (2x1024) without using my C2 and XL modules?

(I guess it would be a noticable downgrade going from c2 to Cvalue?)

 

Any creative ideas as to this matter?

I am not buying non corsair products (I had so many dead samsung/k1ngm4x/pq1 chips on my hands I will never buy them again :P) so is there any way of getting C2 (or XL) modules via international shipping from corsairs outlets?

 

Thanks for the help.

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