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System freezes with new memory


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I just added three sticks of new VS1GB333 to my A7N8X-E and it freezes at the Windows XP splash screen. If I remove one of them, it boots fine. The BIOS reports the amount of memory as 2882560 KB. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Did you test each module individually to see if one of them is not acting up?


The procedure is to run Memtest86+ with just one module installed, then moving that same module to the second slot, then the third to make sure none of the DIMM slots are bad. Then, test the second module in the first slot, and then the third module in the first slot, to make sure that the modules themselves aren't faulty.


And if all of the tests pass with flying colors, then you've run into another limitation of the nForce2 memory controller: Unlike recent Intel chipset memory controllers, which support the Flex hybrid dual/single-channel mode, the nForce2 memory controller supports dual-channel with three modules only if the total amount of memory on one channel is exactly equal to the total amount of memory on the second channel. In the case of three 1GB modules, the two channels end up being unequal (2GB on one channel and 1GB on the other channel), which makes the nForce2 memory controller default to single-channel-only mode. And then, in single-channel mode, you have exceeded the maximum number of banks that the memory controller supports at DDR333 speed - the memory controller in single-channel mode only supports four banks total at DDR333 speed, but you have six banks of memory with those three modules. In this case, then, you will have to lower the memory speed to DDR266 or DDR200 speed in order for your system to run stably (this will result in the memory running at a slower speed than your CPU's FSB speed, with lower bandwidth for the memory than for the CPU FSB).

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