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M2npv-vm, Twin2x2048-6400


ithinkican

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Hello,

 

I have a system that I built in December 2006 that has been very stable up until recently when I swapped out a 1GB RAM stick (CM2X1024-6400) for a matched pair (TWIN2X2048-6400). This was my first build (specs below) and I was following the template (with a few adjustments) from this ExtremeTech article: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2016614,00.asp.

 

My Specs

Case: Antec NSK2400 with 380W power supply included.

Processor: Athlon 64 X2 3800+(65W).

CPU Cooler: Thermalright SI-128 (with no fan; never had a problem with temps).

Motherboard: ASUS M2NPV-VM Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Hard Drives (all Seagates): (1) 80GB (with XP Home installed), (1) 500GB, (1) 400GB.

Opitcal Drive: DVD-Rom drive.

RAM: Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 (XMS6405v5.1)

 

I am not overclocking or anything like that. I have the RAM set at all of the default (ie, "Auto") settings in the BIOS. I do have Cool and Quiet enabled (which throttles the cPU when the computer is idle). I have also recently upgraded the BIOS to the most recent version (as of last week) of 0801.

 

I have learned that this particular motherboard is apparently very picking about RAM and that this RAM is technically not on the compatibility list (the C4 RAM is though). However, I had great success with the original single stick and also have read on Newegg reviews of both the matched pair and the motherboard that others have had success with this RAM with this motherboard, so I am hopeful that it can work (since the money is spent).

 

The Problem

A few days after installing the matched pair I began having the following problem: the monitor will cut out abruptly (there will not be a blue screen of death or anything) and there will be no apparent activity from the computer (ie, no hard drive activity or anything, though all fans continue to run); if I push the reboot button sometimes it will successfully reboot and sometimes all that happens is the DVD drive will spin up (like normal) for a moment and then there is no further activity (ie, no monitor, no hard drive activity).

 

It will do this in Windows and it will also do this while sitting at the BIOS menu, so it does not appear to be a Windows issue per se. It seems that it only does this when the computer has been off for a while; for example, it generally only happens first thing in the morning after the computer has been off all night. Once the computer is up and running for a half hour or more I don't think that I have ever had it conk out like the above.

 

I originally had the sticks in the black slots and have since switched to the yellow slots.

 

At one point where this problem was particularly consistent I found that when it would not boot at all repeatedly I could immediately get it to boot by simply removing one stick (while the computer was off, of course).

 

It also has seemed that when I make a change (for example, changing the slots from black to yellow, or swapping the sticks between same color slots) that the computer will be fine for a day or two or three and then it will start conking out again.

 

I have run Memtest numerous times now. I did get errors on more than one occassion when both sticks were in. I also have gotten an "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message on more than one occassion with one of the sticks. I have not yet gotten any other errors though in testing each stick individually.

 

I can give more detail than the above, but I thought the above would be enough to get things started.

 

I'm not sure what to do at this point. Is the RAM bad (which I sort of hope since then I can get it replaced with RAM that will hopefully work), or do I have some other problem.

 

Thanks in advance to any who offer any help!

 

:):

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Update:

I think that I may be isolating one of the sticks as having a problem. I have run memtest on this stick in all 4 slots (the 4th slot is currently in progress; edit: 4th slot is done now) and I have gotten the following results:

Yellow1: "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message

Yellow2: crashed memtest (1st time this has happened) within a minute or two, and then the computer would not boot.

Black1: "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message

Black2: "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message

 

So does this point to this stick being bad and needing to be replaced?

 

Thanks!

:):

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When you ran http://www.memtest.org did you disable legacy USB

No, because I only have USB keyboards and I was concerned that disabling legacy USB would render my keyboard inoperable (outside of Windows), in which case I would have to reset the bios in order to ever get back into the bios (not the end of the world I guess). I gather that all the tests I have done are not very conclusive because I had not disabled legacy USB? :[pouts:

 

I'll start rerunning tests on the suspect stick with USB legacy support disabled.

 

what do you have the memory voltage set to? Should be 1.9 Volts minimum with these modules but I would suggest 2.0 Volts with that MB.

Voltage is set to Auto, but the only other option is 1.9 volts.

 

Thanks for your help!

:):

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Yes please set it to 1.9 Volts and Disable legacy USB when running http://www.memtest.org. It should still let you into the Bios.

I actually just finished testing the suspect stick in all 4 slots. Legacy USB was disabled (you are right about it still letting me into the bios), BUT I had left voltage at Auto--I had not realized that you wanted me to manually set that to 1.9. Sorry!

 

I will manually set the voltage to 1.9 and test the same stick in all 4 slots and report back.

 

However, in case it is relevant, here are the results from the stick with legacy USB disabled and voltage set to Auto.

Yellow1: "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message.

Yellow2: "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message.

Black1: "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message; over 3000 errors.

Black2: over 5000 errors (before I stopped it).

 

Thanks!

:):

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Tests done with legacy USB disabled and voltage manually set to 1.9.

 

The suspect stick.

Yellow1: 4 passes, no errors.

Yellow2: "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message; over 22000 errors.

Black1: 5 passes, no errors.

Black2: 7 passes, no errors.

 

I decided to try the original stick (the one that was replaced by the matched pair and which had worked without incident for about 4 months) in the Yellow2 slot. My thinking was that as far as I know the original stick was good, so maybe if the original stick reported errors in Yellow2 then perhaps the problem was with the board and not the ram (not a pleasant thought in that the ram is easier to switch out than the board).

Yellow2: 9 passes, no errors.

However, since there were no errors with the original stick in that slot I am not sure what to think in that the suspect stick only got errors on one slot out of four in this last round of testing.

 

I decided to re-run tests on the suspect stick in all four slots.

Yellow1: "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message; 136 errors.

Yellow2: decided to not test since received errors before.

Black1: 2 passes, no errors.

Black2: over 44000 errors before I stopped the test.

 

Please advise as to what my next step should be.

 

Thanks!

:):

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That would suggest some other problem, can you test the modules on another system to be sure?

I'm unclear on which "that" is suggesting some other problem, but regardless I went ahead and tested the suspect stick in one slot (by itself) in a Dell XPS 400 (it appeared from memtest that the Dell somewhat underclocked the ram). Ran memtest for 10 passes and there were no errors.

 

So then I thought that I would take the original good stick (CM2X1024-6400) that has (and still does) run great for 4 months and test it in all slots on my ASUS M2NPV-VM to see if maybe some of the slots are bad (or had gone bad). I ran memtest on this stick for six passes in each of the four slots and there were no errors on any. This is consistent with my experience with this stick.

 

So my original single 1GB stick still works fine in all slots on this board whereas this new matched pair does not seem to work right either together or individually on this board (or at least one stick of the matched pair does not seem to work individually; I have focused more on one of the two once I started getting memtest errors for it). The matched pair is a different revision number than the original single stick so maybe that is the difference?

 

What is our next step? It sounds to me like you (RAM GUY) are leaning towards thinking that the matched pair is not necessarily defective. If the matched pair does not appear to be defective (and the motherboard does not appear to be defective as far as I can tell since it works great with the original single stick) what are my options for getting this matched pair to work correctly with this board? I would of course love for the matched pair to be able to operate at their designed speed (800 MHz) if it is at all possible.

 

Thank you much for your continued help!

:):

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If you have a failing module it would fail in any slot in the same way and on the same test, the fact in one slot it passed and the fact you are getting the error "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message" tells me its some other problem. You are using http://www.memtest.org Ver 1.70 or newer correct?

 

Can a friend maybe help you test the modules in another system, and have you updated the Bios to the latest version and loaded setup defaults? If you have and still get this error, I would maybe try and RMA the CPU or PSU based on the errors you report.

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If you have a failing module it would fail in any slot in the same way and on the same test, the fact in one slot it passed and the fact you are getting the error "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message" tells me its some other problem.

Okay. That is very helpful! Thanks for clarifying. :biggrin:

 

You are using http://www.memtest.org Ver 1.70 or newer correct?

Correct. Using http://www.memtest.org Ver 1.70.

 

Can a friend maybe help you test the modules in another system,

I'm not sure if you caught this from my previous post or not:

...I went ahead and tested the suspect stick in one slot (by itself) in a Dell XPS 400 (it appeared from memtest that the Dell somewhat underclocked the ram). Ran memtest for 10 passes and there were no errors.

So based on what you have already said that would seem to indicate that that stick is most likely fine, correct?

 

and have you updated the Bios to the latest version and loaded setup defaults?

Yes. Bios 0801. I did all that before starting this thread.

 

If you have and still get this error, I would maybe try and RMA the CPU or PSU based on the errors you report.

Wow. Okay. That sounds pretty serious (especially the CPU).

 

The thing that is confusing to me though is that the system is perfectly stable with the original good stick (CM2X1024-6400): passes memtest in all slots with no errors and does not ever crash in the way that it does with the either/both of the TWIN sticks. Yet, so far testing has not conclusively indicated that there is anything wrong with the TWIN sticks. So I don't know what to make of all that.

 

Any thoughts as to how the system could be perfectly stable with the original stick and yet unstable with even one of the TWIN sticks, even though the TWIN sticks do not appear to be failing?

 

Thanks for your continued help! I really appreciate your perseverance!!

 

:):

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Humm! :idhitit: LOL!

Well its hard to say but from what you have posted it sure sounds like some other problem. And the test with an OEM system is not really Valid because they will not let you set the memory voltage and these modules have a minimum suggested voltage of 1.9 Volts and I would suggest 2.0 Volts.

And if a friend can maybe help you test the modules in a supported MB that may help to isolate the memory. That being said its normal to have module's be slightly different with some MB's especially MB that may have some minor problem or Bug or are just picky with memory. IE one modules showing errors randomly and one passing but testing them in another system will pass both modules.

 

So based on what you have already said that would seem to indicate that that stick is most likely fine, correct?

Yes, but at this point I am not convinced its really failing is what I would have to say.

Some might call that the pot half full or some might say half empty; its really your choice at this point I have no problem replacing your modules if you want to try that. However, testing them in a known working system would help to isolate that.

 

Also the error "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message" tells me its some other problem, what is the make and model of your PSU and do you have the complete system listed?

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Humm! :idhitit: LOL!

:laughing:

 

Well its hard to say but from what you have posted it sure sounds like some other problem. And the test with an OEM system is not really Valid because they will not let you set the memory voltage and these modules have a minimum suggested voltage of 1.9 Volts and I would suggest 2.0 Volts.

Oh, okay. That makes sense. Yeah, there definitely was not any way for me adjust anything in the bios of the Dell.

 

That being said its normal to have module's be slightly different with some MB's especially MB that may have some minor problem or Bug or are just picky with memory. IE one modules showing errors randomly and one passing but testing them in another system will pass both modules.

Okay, right. Unfortunately I really don't have access to another system at the moment. I'm away at grad school and I think most of my colleagues think of an animal with horns when I talk about ram problems. :bigeyes:

 

I am planning/hoping to build another system at some point in the next few months, but I was planning on buying another of the same motherboard (M2NPV-VM), so I don't know that that would really help anything (although, who knows, maybe that one would be fine with the TWIN sticks; people have posted about getting these TWIN sticks to work with this motherboard).

 

Also the error "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" message" tells me its some other problem,

Okay. That is helpful to know.

 

what is the make and model of your PSU and do you have the complete system listed?

Yup. :):

My Specs

Case: Antec NSK2400 with 380W power supply included.

Processor: Athlon 64 X2 3800+(65W).

CPU Cooler: Thermalright SI-128 (with no fan; never had a problem with temps).

Motherboard: ASUS M2NPV-VM Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Hard Drives (all Seagates): (1) 80GB (with XP Home installed), (1) 500GB, (1) 400GB.

Opitcal Drive: DVD-Rom drive.

RAM: Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 (XMS6405v5.1)

I tried to find more details on the PSU (which comes with the case). This is the Antec product page for the NSK2400: http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=92400.

Also, page 2 of this review (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article592-page1.html) of the PSU reported this:

The +3.3V line did not vary at all until the very last test point, when it rose by 0.01 volt. Those who like to tweak their RAM settings should be very happy with this.

I don't know anything about rails and all that, and I am NOT trying to overclock or anything, but that sounded like maybe it was pertinent.

Overall that site gives this PSU a good review, for what that's worth.

 

Yes, but at this point I am not convinced its really failing is what I would have to say.

Some might call that the pot half full or some might say half empty; its really your choice at this point I have no problem replacing your modules if you want to try that. However, testing them in a known working system would help to isolate that.

I really appreciate that you are willing to replace the modules even with inconclusive testing. That's really cool! :biggrin:

 

Since I do not have access to another system at this point I guess I would say let's go ahead and try replacing the modules, UNLESS you think there are any additional setting configurations I could/should try. Though obviously I'd prefer to be able to have the ram run at 800, I'd be open to trying it at the next slowest speed (667??), but I'd very much appreciate guidance on that (and that is only if you even think it is worthwhile) regarding which settings to change to what.

 

Thanks again for continued help! You have been very patient!

:):

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That PSU is a good unit so please don't take what I am about to say the wrong way, but its really not big enough for this system in my opinion. (I know that some would argue with me but??) Let's put it this way your system config. would require about 320 Watts continuous power and that PSU will be about top end all the time to run this system. If you can I would try at least 450 Watt PSU, but if you are planning to get a faster Video Card I would suggest 500 Watt Minimum. Can you barrow a bigger PSU just to test with?
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That PSU is a good unit

I'm glad to hear that. :biggrin:

 

... so please don't take what I am about to say the wrong way, but its really not big enough for this system in my opinion. (I know that some would argue with me but??) Let's put it this way your system config. would require about 320 Watts continuous power and that PSU will be about top end all the time to run this system.

I appreciate your input. I had not realized that I was cutting it so close. Being new to building I had tried to spec out things a bit using PSU calculators like these:

http://www.journeysystems.com/?powercalc

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

Both of these, if I used them correctly, put my power needs at around 300 Watts, so I thought that the 380 PSU would be safe. But it sounds like you're saying that at even 320 Watts a 380 PSU is cutting it too close.

 

If you can I would try at least 450 Watt PSU, but if you are planning to get a faster Video Card I would suggest 500 Watt Minimum.

I am currently using the onboard video and I do not have any plans to upgrade to a discreet graphics card so I guess I should not need a 500 Watt PSU.

 

Can you barrow a bigger PSU just to test with?

Unfortunately I do not have access to a bigger PSU to test with. However, if you think it would make a difference I can run tests with the 2 extra hard drives disconnected.

 

The thing that again is confusing to me though is that the system has been and is currently perfectly stable with the original stick (CM2X1024-6400). I only have trouble when I swap that stick for one or both of the TWIN sticks. Could the TWIN sticks being a different firmware somehow result in their drawing more power or something and thus pushing the system from perfectly stable to unstable? I would not think that ram would draw very much Wattage, but I am new to all of this.

 

Thanks for your continued help!

:biggrin:

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To some extent I agree with your suspicion, and one of the reasons that I told you before I have no problem replacing the modules. Lets try that if you have done what I suggested and still have these problems. Please use the On Line RMA Request Form and we will be happy to replace them or it.
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To some extent I agree with your suspicion, and one of the reasons that I told you before I have no problem replacing the modules. Lets try that if you have done what I suggested and still have these problems. Please use the On Line RMA Request Form and we will be happy to replace them or it.

Cool. Sounds good. I have gone ahead and requested an RMA.

 

Hopefully a different set will fix things.

 

Thanks so much for all of your help! I really appreciate it!!

:biggrin:

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  • 2 months later...
NP Please let me know how you make out!

Ram Guy,

 

I received my replacement ram by the end of June and my computer has been running perfectly for about two months. So it looks like replacing the ram fixed things! Yay!

 

I thought you would appreciate knowing that everything has worked out.

 

Thank you again for all of your help! I really, really appreciate it! :D:

 

:biggrin:

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