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TWIN2X4096-6400C5 and Asus P5Q-E problems


Black Obsidian

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I have been running my system with two of these kits, and have been experiencing stability problems that I believed to be either video card or HDD related (system errors, video driver crash/recover, file write errors, etc.). I replaced the video card and used a known-good HDD to do a test install of Vista x64, and to my surprise, a fresh install threw errors and BSODs. At that point, I decided to strip all non-essential hardware from the system and run Memtest86, the latest build, from a bootable CD.

 

Test results so far (all settings stock unless otherwise noted on each line)

All 4 sticks populated at stock settings: Memtest freezes at 5% on Test 1

Any 2 sticks populated in any 2 slots: System reboots 45% into Test 1 (~15sec into testing)

Any 1 stick populated in any 1 slot: Memtest completes 1 full pass successfully

Stick 1 has successfully completed 15 passes (overnight)

Stick 2 undergoing same 8hr tests

 

All tests were done with the latest BIOS as of yesterday, and timings set manually to those specified on the sticks themselves (1.8v, 5-5-5-18, DDR800). All other settings are set to Auto and I am not overclocking anything at all. I started to tinker with some settings:

 

Any two sticks in proper dual-channel slots at 1.9v: System reboots 45% into Test 1

Any two sticks in proper dual-channel slots at 2.0v: System reboots 45% into Test 1

Any two sticks in proper dual-channel slots at 2.0v and NB voltage upped to 1.2v (from stock 1.1v): System reboots 45% into Test 1

Any two sticks in proper dual-channel slots at 1.9v, speed set to DDR667, automatic timings (5-5-5-15): System reboots 45% into Test 1

Any two sticks in proper dual-channel slots at 1.9v, timings relaxed to 6-6-6-24: System reboots 45% into Test 1

 

The system is stable with one stick, but not two or four. I'd strongly suspect the motherboard at this point, but a friend built an identical system based on my specs (except with a GTX280 in lieu of my Radeon 4850), and she experiences the exact same behavior with her P5Q-E and same Corsair memory. This RAM does appear on the P5Q-E's compatibility list. I'm not quite sure where to go from here, or what other combination of voltages/timings I might need to try. Oh, and both kits are version 3.1

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Someone else on my regular tech forum is getting exactly the same behavior from Memtest (latest build, bootable CD); freezing 5-7 seconds into Test 1. and his board is a Gigabyte EP45-DS4P, and he has the C5C version of my RAM (2 2GB sticks). I'm beginning to wonder if there's some issue with Memtest86 not properly supporting more than 2GB of RAM, despite them mentioning in release notes that they properly support 4GB since build 2.9. If Memtest is leading me down a blind alley, either my Vista install media is bad, my "known good" HDD is nothing of the sort, or I just need some sort of upped voltages/relaxed speed/relaxed timings to get all four sticks running happily.
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That version is actually a few years out of date and why its not working, so please use the version I gave you and it will be more reliable.

You, sir, are quite correct. I'm testing the first pair now, with Memtest+ 2.11, and the spontaneous reboots are gone. I'll post again once I've run a full pass on both pairs in the primary slots (to test the RAM), one pair in the secondary slots (to test the slots), and all four together. Likely to take a couple of hours, but I'm glad to be making progress!

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Well, with Memtest86+ v2.11, both pairs have 0 errors on a single pass, and all four together still have 0 errors on a single pass (running at 1.9v, all other settings default). So I swapped out the "known good" (read: still sealed in bag from manufacturer) HDD for a really known good HDD (pulled from a fully-functional production machine), and the Vista Ultimate x64 install went just fine.

 

So it looks like the RAM is, indeed, perfectly fine, and I just managed to test for a bad HDD... with another bad HDD. Thanks for your help! I appreciate being pointed to the proper Memtest86+ application!

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