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TW3X4G1333C9 & Asus P5Q3 dual channel


snowwraith

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Hello to you all and thank you for reading.

 

Firstly I admit I'm very uncertain of the current hardware and the likes of timings and voltages. My last PC that I built many years ago was like LEGO where you just plug stuff in and it worked on auto settings.

 

From recommendations I bought an Asus P5Q3 motherboard with an Intel Q8200 and because I'm going 64 bit when Windows 7 in the next few months comes out I decided to buy 8gb of RAM, with Corsair being the name to choose. According to the memory configurator the compatible RAM was TW3X4G1333C9 for 2 x 2GB at 1333mhz. I bought 2 packs of these to make up my 8gb. When these arrived I installed all 4 sticks and found the motherboard to be very unstable, powering off suddenly and sometimes even failing to POST. I removed the RAM modules and noticed that they were marked as CM3X2G1333C9. The RAM distributor said these were the same thing as the TW3X4G1333C9 (although it seems that this is not true since the TW are tested as pairs for the use as dual channel).

 

Through a process of trial and error and testing using Memtest86+ (v2.11) I have found that when I use the RAM modules in dual channel mode they produce a variety of random errors, whereas when used in single channel mode they appear to be stable. I have tested each module individually and each performs fine, so I believe the RAM itself is sound. I have even updated the BIOS to the latest for the motherboard (0707) but it hasn't improved anything.

 

So my question is this:

 

Since I have kept all the BIOS settings on auto and it seems to works OK in single channel mode (but as a result limited to 4gb I think so not much use to me) do I need to change the settings for the modules to work in dual channel mode (in which case could you identify what I need to change please), or do I need to put my foot down with the supplier and tell them that I need true TW3X4G1333C9 as they have advertised on their website?

 

(Here is the URL for the supplier. I hope this doesn't cause any problems with the forum rules, I didn't see anything about using links)

 

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-%282x2GB%29-CorsairTwinX-DDR3-PC3-10666-%281333%29-240-Pin-Non-ECC-Unbuffered-CAS-9-9-9-24

 

My BIOS has these settings in the AI Tweaker menu:

 

Ai Overclock Tuner: Auto

CPU Ratio Setting: Auto

FSB Strap to North Bridge: Auto

DRAM Frequency: Auto

DRAM CLK Skew on Channel A1: Auto

DRAM CLK Skew on Channel A2: Auto

DRAM CLK Skew on Channel B1: Auto

DRAM CLK Skew on Channel B2: Auto

DRAM Timing Control

1st Information : 9-9-9-24-5-74-10-5

2nd Information : 10-5-7-4-9-4-7

3rd Information : 21-7-1-10-10

DRAM Static Read Control: Auto

DRAM Dynamic Write Control: Auto

DRAM Read Training: Auto

DRAM Write Training: Auto

MEM. OC Charger: Auto

Ai Clock Twister: Auto

Ai Transaction Booster: Auto

C/P : A1 A2

LVL : 07 07

CPU Voltage: Auto

CPU GTL Reference: Auto

CPU PLL Voltage: Auto

FSB Termination Voltage: Auto

DRAM Voltage: Auto

NB Voltage: Auto

SB Voltage: Auto

PCIE SATA Voltage: Auto

Load-Line Calibration: Auto

CPU Spread Spectrum: Auto

PCIE Spread Spectrum: Auto

CPU Clock Skew: Auto

NB Clock Skew: Auto

CPU Margin Enhancement: Optimized

 

Please note that these BIOS settings are from when 4gb are in single channel mode. I can't keep the PC stable long enough in dual channel using the modules in dual channel to note all this down!

 

Thank you for taking the time to read.

 

Kind regards.

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It sounds like you have the correct memory, TW3X4G1333C9 = 2x CM3X2G1333C9, the individual part number for each module is actually the different than the part number for the kit. Single and dual channel functionality is controlled by the memory controller which is embedded in the north bridge section of the chipset, so if each module works individually and in single channel configurations then the memory controller may be where the problem lies.

 

Before getting all four working together I would try just getting two modules to work together in dual channel mode. If there is a problem with the memory controller then adjusting the NB Voltage may help. I would try setting the NB voltage to 1.45v and the DRAM Voltage to 1.6v and see if there is any improvement. If you still have the same results you may want to contact the mobo maker and see if they can help you isolate the memory controller as the problem.

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I tried those settings and the RAM passed the test of Memtest86+ with all 4 banks populated, zero errors. The machine hasn't crashed once during this time either.

 

I'm trying it with the RAM voltage at 1.5v and adjusting the Northbridge voltage now to find the tipping point at which the machine becomes unstable so that I can use that as my starting figure for if I try overclocking in the future.

 

I was using CPUID HWMonitor and CPU-Z and neither could tell me what the voltage of the Northbridge was/is. Can you suggest a utility that shows what the voltage is, I would love to have found out what the mobo was putting in for it's default 'auto' setting.

 

Thank you for your help.

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