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TWIN2x2048-6400C4G v2.1 works, v6.2 and v6.3 doesn't


rdrummon

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Latest XMS2 versions are not backward compatible, making my system unusable. :(:

 

After running perfectly fine using 2GB for 1 year and 1 month, one of the two modules (TWIN2x2048-6400C4G v2.1) developed a hard failure. The set was replaced under and RMA, and I was given v6.3. BIOS and Memtest86+ now only detect 512MB for each module, instead of the 1GB each that it used to detect. Swapped these out under RMA, and given another v6.3 set. These also only detect 512MB, and even pass Memtest86+ for that 512MB. Tech support had me reset my BIOS through jumper (which cleared clock and other stuff). Reboot and still only see 512MB.

 

Borrowed another set v2.1 and tried that. BIOS recognized 1GB each, totalling 2GB and everything worked fine. Unfortunately, I couldn't keep it. Tried to temporarily purchase a new set, but only found v6.2. Tried it, and it too only sees 512MB per module.

 

Where do I go from here? I need the 2GB back immediately for current projects already overdue, and this Corsair hardware failure has set me back heavily.

 

(Motherboard: ECS P4M800PRO-Mv2.0)

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The system was put together by Fry's Electronics (an approved Corsair Retailer). At the time, I was shown that, Corsair listed Fry's as recommended, Corsair listed ECS as compatible, and ECS listed Corsair as recommended. I don't recall them footnoting that future updated versions of this standard DDR2 memory might or might not work in the future, in case of those extremely rare hardware failures.

 

The only modifications to the system since then are added Seagate harddrives.

 

The original version worked fine with no compatibility issues at all, but it appears something has changed in later Corsair revisions to reduce Corsair's compatibilty.

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Did you specifically see at any time that specific motherboard model as being compatible in Corsair's compatibility site as linked above, and/or this memory part # listed as being compatible on ECS' site? If so, please provide links.
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You do not appear to be trying to help, nor do you appear to have my best interests in mind, only trying to find ways of obfuscating a problem.

 

I trust the Corsair namebrand, and the people who work there, and have often recommended their product to my collegues and in my publishings. I know they have my interests at heart, or they wouldn't survive in this economy.

 

In answer to your question, no, I did not write down the links from over a year ago. Nor do I have my paperwork from Fry's in an easy to find location, so I can't direct you toward it. I've never had a quality namebrand product ask that before. If you think that it would help you find a solution, I could try to dig it out, but you would need to give a reason why that information would lead to a solution, and not just find a way to hurt a loyal customer and advocate.

 

One simple solution is to track down a v2.1 part and the problem would go away. Another is to identify what changed between versions, and what is needed to get the computer to recognize the full ram. The second method may prevent unexpected future compatibility issues depending on the lifecycle of their DDR2 product line.

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I am trying to help by trying to get specifics. You stated that Corsair and ECS are compatible. This can only be assumed to mean brands, not specific parts. I'm only trying to find out where you specifically saw that this part was compatible with that part. From there, we can find out WHY this was stated. I have yet to find this information myself, which is why I was asking.

 

It's very rare that a specific IC (e.g. version for Corsair DDR2/3) is incompatible with a motherboard. Personally, I haven't heard of this since the DDR1 days. So personally I doubt it's an IC issue. Maybe one version is made with different sized ICs than the other, but again, I haven't heard of a motherboard being that picky since back in the DDR1 days.

 

Have you tried updating the BIOS? Also FYI, version # does not indicate when the memory was made. The lot # contains that info.

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Ah.. my sincerest apologies in the tone of my response. I misread the way your message came across. :!oops:

 

I honestly do not recall lengthy part #s when they described compatibility back then, though I trusted the store. The charts that left an impression indicated name brand, DDR vs DDR2, memory size (ie, this ECS board does NOT support single 2GB sticks, only 1GB sticks with a maximum of two 1GB sticks totalling 2GB.) I will attempt to find more on it, but it could be challenging as the paperwork is most likely in my storage facility somewhere since my last move.

 

I took pictures of the ram modules that worked and didn't. Although most of the board is hidden, the ram modules that did work had significant differences in circuit traces leading to the ic connector than the ones that didn't. All 3 "new nonworking versions" of v6.2 and v6.3 appear identical, with a solid copper groundplane near the front middle of the connector. The "working" v2.1 has SMDs (resistors/caps) intermingled in that groundplane. I assume the lot #s are in pictures as well, though since it covers multiple versions, I doubt this would be a lot-specific issue. The Corsair people mentioned that new ICs are used about every 6 months.

 

What I find interesting is that the computer THINKS the modules are really 512MB and can pass all Memtest86 tests with them functioning as 512MB, so the question to me is what does the motherboard/BIOS look at to determine the difference between 512MB sticks and 1GB. Is it a voltage drop, an unconnected pin, a variable, or a lookuptable? (ie. Maybe a resistor value changed and it isn't providing a sufficent voltage drop to be recognized.)

 

Tech support asked if I had updated BIOS, but since the modules worked in the past, they did NOT recommend that I update the BIOS yet, although I started investigating that. They recommended that Corsair provide different memory first. Usually, BIOS updates are the last possible option, since it has the potential of breaking something else in the system and if it goes wrong, creates a very expensive paperweight. Up until now, the system is working like a dream. However, the one BIOS update that is available, mentions nothing about memory changes that I can tell. It talks about supporting new Intel processors, Celerons, and CPU temps. Do you think it is worth the risk, or should I investigate other options first and wait to talk to Corsair on Monday?

 

The beauty of the problem is it is completely repeatable. The old version modules always work, the new modules always don't. It should be identifiable.

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BIOS has now been updated to the latest available.

 

No change. Problem still persists with new versions of memory sticks. :(:

 

(Only loss was a 30day trial is now permanently disabled because I forgot to set the clock back, seeing a negative date. No big loss).

 

Note: I will be out of town for next 3-4 days.

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Corsair has already replaced them twice through RMA last week (based on their warranty guarantee to work for lifetime). That is how we discovered the problem that their new version of memory is less compatible than the original version. The new current version (v6.3) is not recognized as 1 GB sticks each, but rather as 512MB each and so they work even less than the broken pair.

 

RMA coordinator said she believes they only have access to the latest revisions, but she is willing to ship any current partnumber that would work, and she isn't aware of how to work with a store or obtain a prior version.

 

The question is "what is broken on the new version", or what compatible part could she ship in its place that won't have the same problem? (Or how can she ship an older version that works)?

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  • Corsair Employees
There is no way to know until we get the modules back and test them, however I have tested this same version here and did not see any problem, so I would suspect it may be the MB you are using and we do not support mixing memory like this, you should be testing that set by them selves and if you install 4 modules DDR667 would be suggested.
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There is no mixing of memory. I tested each memory stick separately, and together only as their matched pair (The motherboard only has 2 slots).

 

If the computer has 0 memory sticks, it doesn't even powerup. If I put one v2.1 memory stick in alone, memory shows 1GB. If I put one v6.2 memory stick in alone, memory shows 512MB. If I put one v6.3 memory stick in alone, memory shows 512MB. Something has changed to make this version of memory less compatible than it was when I bought it 1 year ago (besides the price going from $100 to $50).

 

I don't argue that some computers might recognize the full 1GB today, but apparently not all of the computers that used to.

 

I have now tried 6 individual v2.1 sticks that all worked (but I couldn't keep), and 2 individual v6.2 sticks that don't, and 4 individual v6.3 sticks that don't. (When I try them in their matched pairs, the v2.1 show 2GB, and the v6.2+ show 1GB total).

 

It might help if someone had a clue how the computer differentiates between 512MB and 1GB sticks. Going back to the store, Frys sales indicated that they've had a problem with Corsair returns, and adamantly recommended a cheaper different brand (which might indicate a recent compability issue on differing motherboards). :(:

 

Either way, I humbly refer back to my previous post...

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  • Corsair Employees

Actually after reading back through your posts, I think you may have answered your own question. And this MB is not listed on our memory configurator and most likely why is because of something that you posted previously.

I honestly do not recall lengthy part #s when they described compatibility back then, though I trusted the store. The charts that left an impression indicated name brand, DDR vs DDR2, memory size (ie, this ECS board does NOT support single 2GB sticks, only 1GB sticks with a maximum of two 1GB sticks totalling 2GB.) I will attempt to find more on it, but it could be challenging as the paperwork is most likely in my storage facility somewhere since my last move.

 

All of our DDR2 modules are made with higher density IC's and always have been so we can make 2.0 Gig modules, and from that statement that is why you have this problem. I am sorry but our modules are not compatible with this MB.

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Actually, according to tech support, it turns out this particular partnumber used to be made lower density, which is why it WAS compatible at v2.1 (and CONTINUES to be compatible at the earlier version levels). But without changing the part number (Corsair only changed the version level) it was modified to higher density apparently making it now incompatible with earlier chipsets (or so tech support seems to think). This seems to have occurred at v6+.

 

Corsair is trying to find a lower density part to replace it, but since the partnumber on this one didn't change, they have to try to find a different partnumber in stock that didn't get the upgrade, since they can't request parts by version.

 

(This becomes even a bigger problem when compatibility charts don't list individual part numbers, but only compatible manufacturers and sizes of memory, as my previous post indicates.....as a consumer, you don't know that the chart isn't sufficient, especially when the parts work together at the time, and apparently now the chart needs to include version numbers as well as part numbers too).

 

I admit I'm a little surprised that "density" is not part of the part description.

 

DDR/DDR2/DDR3 is obvious. 1GB vs 2GB is obvious. 800MHz is obvious, since you need a MHz at least greater than your motherboard (ie 533 can be used if only 400 is required). 1.5V vs 2.5V is obvious. If density makes a difference in compatibility, you would think it would have a designator.

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  • Corsair Employees
I am sorry but the Bottom line is we did not and do not show that MB in our configurator and would not suggest these modules. I would suggest finding another use for the modules but we would not be able to do this type of part swap in most cases, if our customer service said they would try then that is the best they can do and this is no longer a Corsair Warranty issue.
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