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Mixing V2.3 and V4.1 RAM modules?


casewindow

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I have 4 1Gb sticks of Corsair Dominator PC8500 RAM

 

Two of the sticks are:

CM2X1024-8500C5D v2.3 2.15V 5-5-5-15

 

The other two are:

CM2X1024-8500C5D v4.1 2.1V 5-5-5-15

 

They are paired in respective banks (1-3 and 2-4)

 

I have the BIOS settings set so that the timing is 5-5-5-15 and the voltage is +0.3v

 

This config has passed 16 hours of memtest86

 

Occasionally I get blue screens though - Bugcheck 1A BAD_MEMORY_MANAGEMENT.

 

Are these two sets of RAM incompatible in a 4Gb setup? (Vista 32 sees approx 3.25Gb of the ram).

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  • Corsair Employees
Based on your what you have posted, you may in fact have a combination of memory that will not run together or, be unstable at 1066. Try them at DDR800 or DDR667 and see if you get better stability.
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Any 32bit OS will not use the entire 4GB as it needs to map memory in that 4GB area. Your video card, system overhead, board memory, etc. needs to be addressed within that 4GB area which decreases the amount of memory useable in the system.

Download Memtest Version 2.11 from--->

and extract the ISO image. Burn the ISO image to an CD-ROM disk.

Download CPU-z from
.

Enter your BIOS, Load Setup Defaults, Save Setup Defaults. On the main BIOS screen press Ctrl + F1. You will see the screen flicker. Next select the MB Intelligent Tweaker option. On that screen you will see many additional settings that were not there before. Set to these values:

MIB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.)
CPU Clock Ratio = 9
CPU Host Clock Control = Enabled
CPU Host Frequency (Mhz): 266
PCI Express Frequency = 100Mhz
C.I.A.2 = Disabled
System Memory Multiplier = 4
DRAM Timing Selectable = Manual
CAS Latency Time = 5
DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay = 5
RAS# Precharge = 5
Precharge Delay (tRAS) = 15
ACT to ACT delay = Auto
Bank Write To READ Delay = Auto
Refresh to ACT Delay = 0
Read to Precharge Delay = Auto
Memory Performance Enhance = Normal
Dimm OverVoltage Control = +.3V
PCI-e OverVoltage Control = Normal
(G)MCH OverVoltage Control = +.2v
CPU Voltage Control = Auto
Robust Graphics Booster = Auto

Run Memtest for two full passes. When assured of stable DRAM, then enter Windows and Run CPU-z and post screenshots of CPU-z's CPU, Memory and SPD tabs. Then see if the system is long term stable. If not, then drop the memory speed to 800Mhz.

 

 

 

 

I have 4 1Gb sticks of Corsair Dominator PC8500 RAM

 

Two of the sticks are:

CM2X1024-8500C5D v2.3 2.15V 5-5-5-15

 

The other two are:

CM2X1024-8500C5D v4.1 2.1V 5-5-5-15

 

They are paired in respective banks (1-3 and 2-4)

 

I have the BIOS settings set so that the timing is 5-5-5-15 and the voltage is +0.3v

 

This config has passed 16 hours of memtest86

 

Occasionally I get blue screens though - Bugcheck 1A BAD_MEMORY_MANAGEMENT.

 

Are these two sets of RAM incompatible in a 4Gb setup? (Vista 32 sees approx 3.25Gb of the ram).

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Thanks for the replies - here is the information requested.

 

The SPD1 and SPD2 files show slots 1 and 2 - the information is identical for slots 3 and 4 respectively.

 

The BIOS settings are at the default and reflect what is posted EXCEPT I have manual timings for the RAM at 5-5-5-15 and manual voltage for the ram at +0.3V

 

Everest reports the DIMM voltage as 2.14V

Memtest86.jpg.f1d1397416012bb3e14c201ca62e0041.jpg

CPUZ_CPU.jpg.223a11d342b55990668ae5e712faf3f7.jpg

CPUZ_Memory.jpg.6cc59fcca39a691bb0b15854ed7ee743.jpg

CPUZ_SPD1.jpg.51ecdea8aa46eaad1b6f444c84e2f556.jpg

CPUZ_SPD2.jpg.0585673464149d6f2164e09f15fbdefc.jpg

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With 4 modules I would suggest setting the memory frequency at DDR667 or DDR800 and set the memory Voltage to 2.1 Volts and set the NB/MCH/SPP Voltage to +.2 Volts as well and test the system with http://www.memtest.org. In addition, with some MB's (Mostly ASUS) you have to disable legacy USB in the bios when running any memory test.
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Very good. 25 passes of memtest clearly shows that your system is stable. I advise you, for long term stability, to raise your MCH/Northbridge memory controller voltage (G)MCH OverVoltage Control = +.2v if you haven't done this.

 

Also, if you have the blue screens after this testing, then the issue is the memory controller and you are advised to drop your memory multiplier from 4 to 3. This is very likely what will happen.

 

 

Thanks for the replies - here is the information requested.

 

The SPD1 and SPD2 files show slots 1 and 2 - the information is identical for slots 3 and 4 respectively.

 

The BIOS settings are at the default and reflect what is posted EXCEPT I have manual timings for the RAM at 5-5-5-15 and manual voltage for the ram at +0.3V

 

Everest reports the DIMM voltage as 2.14V

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Thanks for your help. I have put all four modules back in and this time upped the MCH voltage to +0.2v. I tried it at +0.1v and everything seemed stable but I went to +0.2v because I read a post of yours about 'degeneracy' when running the MCH undervolted with four sticks of RAM?

 

So hopefully it is ok running at +0.2v. Currently I am running the latest version of prime95's blend test and everest is reporting the motherboard temperature as 48C

 

I can't seem to find any utility to report the MCH voltage. Everest 4.6 only reports the default chipset voltage as 1.25v so I'll assume its running at 1.45v.

 

I ran four sticks of RAM in this machine for about 10 months & only recently did things become unstable - could this point to a damaged MCH?

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It's not your CPU that you need to worry about with your settings and that much memory. It is the Northbridge/MCH. You need to be sure of the thermals. Set to Prime95 and after ten minutes, open the case and lightly touch the Northbridge. If it is VERY hot, then you NEED an aftermarket cooler or an 80mm fan set to blow on the area.

 

If you ran four sticks of memory at stock settings for ten months and thing finally became unstable, then you have very likely have a somewhat degenerated MCH.

 

I would personally drop the voltage +.1v and the memory speed to 800Mhz personally. It isn't worth the small increase of speed to continue to slam the memory controller.

 

 

Thanks for your help. I have put all four modules back in and this time upped the MCH voltage to +0.2v. I tried it at +0.1v and everything seemed stable but I went to +0.2v because I read a post of yours about 'degeneracy' when running the MCH undervolted with four sticks of RAM?

 

So hopefully it is ok running at +0.2v. Currently I am running the latest version of prime95's blend test and everest is reporting the motherboard temperature as 48C

 

I can't seem to find any utility to report the MCH voltage. Everest 4.6 only reports the default chipset voltage as 1.25v so I'll assume its running at 1.45v.

 

I ran four sticks of RAM in this machine for about 10 months & only recently did things become unstable - could this point to a damaged MCH?

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So you would have the MCH at just +0.1v and the RAM multiplier at x3 to give 800Mhz?

 

I ran prime95 with +0.2v for about 20 minutes and everest was reporting the motherboard temp (MCH temp?) at 48C.

 

I ram prime95 for five hours at +0.1v and it was reporting the temp at around 46C.

 

I am going to do the manual touch test you've described now.

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So you would have the MCH at just +0.1v and the RAM multiplier at x3 to give 800Mhz?

 

Here's the thing. The reason for high throughput memory is for overclocking a system. The difference between 1:1 and 1:2 (1:2 = RAM running twice as fast as the CPU) is around 5 percent and at that, only in certain situations. Otherwise, the only reason for higher speed memory is to raise the CPU speed and raise the memory speed and attain at least a 1:1 ratio. Intel CPU's can not run slower than the memory and when overclocking standard speed memory, one can only reach limited overclocks.

 

If you are looking for longterm stability, and with the issues already reported, I would drop to 800Mhz (x3) and a .1v MCH raise with 4 DRAM slots being populated.

 

 

 

I ran prime95 with +0.2v for about 20 minutes and everest was reporting the motherboard temp (MCH temp?) at 48C.

 

I ram prime95 for five hours at +0.1v and it was reporting the temp at around 46C.

 

I am going to do the manual touch test you've described now.

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Hi there, I'll drop the multiplier to x3 and see how things fare. I just tried the manual touch test and was able to hold my fingers on the MCH heatsink with no discomfort - it didn't seem particularly hot to me, though it wasn't just warm either.
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Good, your memory controller sounds like a quality one. You did test the MCH while running Prime95 as well?

 

Hi there, I'll drop the multiplier to x3 and see how things fare. I just tried the manual touch test and was able to hold my fingers on the MCH heatsink with no discomfort - it didn't seem particularly hot to me, though it wasn't just warm either.
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I did put my finger on the MCH while prime95 was running (taking care to hold a non painted part of the case as well for static safety!)

 

I have now changed my BIOS to the following

 

Multiplier: 3.0A / 800Mhz (was Auto/1066Mhz)

DIMM Voltage: Normal (was +0.3v)

Timings: 5-5-5-18 (was 5-5-5-15)

MCH Voltage: +0.1v (was +0.1v and before that 'Normal')

 

Everest's memory benchmark has dropped the read speed about 10% to 6300mb/s from 7000mb/s (with 2 sticks it is 7200mb/s at 1066)

 

3DMark vantage has not changed - still P9500.

 

I'll run it like that for a while and see how it goes. Thanks for all your help!

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I now have the following settings:

 

System Memory Multiplier 3.00A (800Mhz)

Timing: Manual 4-4-4-12

Command Rate: 2

DDR2 overvoltage: +0.30V

MCH Overvoltage: +0.100V

System voltage control: Manual

 

Everest reports DIMM voltage as 2.14V

Memtest86+ Ran for two passes

Prime95 ran blend for an hour (Everest reported MB temp as 49C)

3DMark vantage still at around P9500

 

I'll run more tests overnight.

 

It is interesting that you need to bump up the DIMM voltage for tighter timings!

 

Through out all the tests with MCH voltages, DRAM speeds and timing changes there has been little variation in the MCH temperature reported by everest when running Prime95 - it ranges from 46C-49C.

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Looks good to me. Everest benchmark should be close to your previous 1066.

 

I now have the following settings:

 

System Memory Multiplier 3.00A (800Mhz)

Timing: Manual 4-4-4-12

Command Rate: 2

DDR2 overvoltage: +0.30V

MCH Overvoltage: +0.100V

System voltage control: Manual

 

Everest reports DIMM voltage as 2.14V

Memtest86+ Ran for two passes

Prime95 ran blend for an hour (Everest reported MB temp as 49C)

3DMark vantage still at around P9500

 

I'll run more tests overnight.

 

It is interesting that you need to bump up the DIMM voltage for tighter timings!

 

Through out all the tests with MCH voltages, DRAM speeds and timing changes there has been little variation in the MCH temperature reported by everest when running Prime95 - it ranges from 46C-49C.

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Actually the benchmark still reports about 10% below 1066. These are the observed read mb/s:

 

2 sticks - 1066mhz 5-5-5-15 DIMM+0.3v MCH Norm - 7200mb/s

4 sticks - 1066mhz 5-5-5-15 DIMM+0.3v MCH+0.1v - 7000mb/s

4 sticks - 800mhz 5-5-5-18 DIMM Norm MCH+0.1v - 6250mb/s

4 sticks - 800mhz 4-4-4-12 DIMM+0.3v MCH+0.1v - 6350mb/s

 

3DMark vantage didn't change at all and I have not noticed any difference in games (though I've only tried Bioshock - but will try others).

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For you to only increase 100mb/s is surprising. However GA boards are not known for high speed memory interfaces. ASUS is far better in this regard. Still, 95+ % of the increase is theoretical anyway. This is why your gaming will not show much differential.

 

 

 

Actually the benchmark still reports about 10% below 1066. These are the observed read mb/s:

 

2 sticks - 1066mhz 5-5-5-15 DIMM+0.3v MCH Norm - 7200mb/s

4 sticks - 1066mhz 5-5-5-15 DIMM+0.3v MCH+0.1v - 7000mb/s

4 sticks - 800mhz 5-5-5-18 DIMM Norm MCH+0.1v - 6250mb/s

4 sticks - 800mhz 4-4-4-12 DIMM+0.3v MCH+0.1v - 6350mb/s

 

3DMark vantage didn't change at all and I have not noticed any difference in games (though I've only tried Bioshock - but will try others).

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Thanks for all your help - it passed 9 hours of memtest86+ 2.11 overnight. Will try fallout 3 tonight which was also occasionally crashing (in fact all my games crashed at one time or another but bioshock has been stable since making these changes)

 

I am still perplexed that the MCH retains it's temperature regardless of the clock speed setting (1066 vs 800). Is it still your view that 1066 for four dimms will push the MCH too much even if the temperature seems to be about the same under load as at 800?

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Your MCH seems to be a good one as the temps are pretty good. If it were my machine, I would very likely run it at 1066Mhz. If you can set the voltage from 1.20 - 1.25 on the MCH, that's where I would go. This X38/X48 chipset does not need much of a MCH bump and > 1.30v is not really needed unless more extreme cooling and overclocking takes place.

 

I had issues with Bioshock and stability when Fear/Persius/2 FarCry 2, ran fine. It is a good test of the memory interface I think as far as gaming as a test goes at any rate.

 

 

Thanks for all your help - it passed 9 hours of memtest86+ 2.11 overnight. Will try fallout 3 tonight which was also occasionally crashing (in fact all my games crashed at one time or another but bioshock has been stable since making these changes)

 

I am still perplexed that the MCH retains it's temperature regardless of the clock speed setting (1066 vs 800). Is it still your view that 1066 for four dimms will push the MCH too much even if the temperature seems to be about the same under load as at 800?

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I tried to push it a bit - I put it back to 1066 5-5-5-15 with DIMM+0.3 and MCH+0.1 and tried out Bioshock for 30 mins (max settings).

 

I also closed the room door to let the temp build up a bit just to see how it reached and left everest in the background monitoring the temps

 

The MCH maxed out at 54C which I don't think is too bad given the closed room.

 

I might give it a go for a while...though I guess for long term stability I may move it back to 800 4-4-4-12

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It's certainly getting up there. With 49C at full prime95 it is far better. 60C is at the redline and 54C is getting up there.

 

It's your machine though.

 

The MCH maxed out at 54C which I don't think is too bad given the closed room.
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