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Intel DX48BT2 + 8Gb - possible?


discodalek

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Hopefully this is the right department to post this -

A question about memory for the Intel DX48BT2 motherboard.

 

I have an example which has sat around doing not very much the last year.

I'd like to put it back into full-time service and run 8Gb of RAM on it if possible (for graphics apps, not games.)

Not interested in overclocking or out-&-out blazing performance, just something boring and stable for 3D rendering.

 

Currently it runs a Q9550 CPU on it (FSB 1333) and as below I've already experimented with some spare RAM in it, to no great success.

 

The board documentation makes little sense to me regards RAM. There is a lot of confusion over what slots and and can't be populated.

From the DX48BT2 threads here, by all accounts this board is extremely fussy about memory and a bit quirky anyway, and as to the accounts people have posted of trying to get hard facts / support from Intel, well they don't reflect too well on Intel.

 

Ok -

 

The Corsair memory configurator returns this 8Gb kit:

CMX8GX3M4B1333C9

which is for sale near me (UK) as part

CMX8GX3M4A1333C9

 

Note the different letter in bold.

 

Q1 - Can I assume this kit >should< (assuming all else is good) give a bona-fide configuration of 8Gb with the Q9550 on this board?

Q2 - Can anyone clarify what that letter difference means - the product spec otherwise looks identical. Batch? or revision?

Q3 - Any other issues or things I'd need to address with this kit - is it 'fit & forget', or would I still have to apply manual settings in the BIOS - in which case, what might they be?

 

______________________________________________________________

 

Just in case anyone has gone the same route, I was toying with a second option:

 

Out of curiosity I've tried running this m/c with TWINX 4GB DDR3 kits from other 'projects' -

TW3X4G1600C9DHX, populating all four slots to give 8Gb.

 

It boots fine and operates ok, the modules are solid with MemTest - but it's not entirely happy as it suffers frequent random restarts.

 

So, Q4 -

 

TW3X4G1600C9DHX doesn't appear among Corsair's recommended modules for this board.

Is there any point at all in spending time attempting to configure the board to run two pairs of them, or should they stay in the spares box?

 

Many thanks in advance for any responses - any further info wanted, I'll be back with it ASAP.

 

Regards

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2) none of the above. Total interal thing AFAIK.

 

TW3X4G1600C9DHX should work fine since TW3X4G1600C9D is listed. HOWEVER, always keep in mind that Corsair can only guarantee one pack at a time since they haven't tested multiple packs together (hence why they sell 8 GB packs).

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Wired -

Thankyou for the quick response, appreciated.

 

Your point about TW3X4G1600C9DHX only being guaranteed to work in pairs is noted and understood. 8Gb kit has strong appeal for the outlay if it's endorsed to work on this board by Corsair.

 

I've seen a few discussions about using modules like the above but in the main only found guidelines for using singles or pairs - at least, not filling all the slots.

Board documentation is on the muddy side of crystal-clear re: RAM and left to their own devices the BIOS and Intel's proprietary Desktop Control Centre didn't always agree on what's going on under the hood.

 

I'll look back over any discussions on TW3X4G1600C9DHX being configured to perfom successfully as a pair, and use that as a starting point - assuming one can duplicate successful settings from one pair to cover all four slots.

 

I appreciate this may have been done to death previously but if there are any additional considerations when populating all four slots with them, that would be good to hear.

 

Regards

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You may find some good information in this article:

 

http://www.corsair.com/contact/default.aspx

 

In a nutshell, here's what you need. You need an 8GB memory kit which we do sell or, 2 EXACTLY matched 4GB kits meaning the same revision number as well as part number. Then, keep in mind that you may have to compromise on memory speed as some memory controllers simply can't handle 4 modules at or above DDR800. However, that should not be a concern on a 3D rendering machine.

 

Lastly, you may have to bump your memory controller voltage up a little to compensate for the load of 4 modules.

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Thanks Yellowbeard, that all makes sense

You're right, memory speed is not my prime concern

 

I'll check for matching revision numbers first before proceeding.

Is there a page on the site which defines where this number is found?

 

Each pair would have a distinct number of course, but with mine these are a long way off from each other.

 

Aside from the "TW3X4G1600C9DHX G" which appears on each bar code sticker on the reverse of the packaging, I have

08491748 on one;

08491728 on the other

 

If that's the rev number that suggests to me I've been trying to combine different revisions, in which case 8Gb kit it is, and I'll find a more suitable home for these pairs where they can get stretched a bit more

 

Regards

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I just took all four of the sticks out of the machine.

 

Two sticks are inscribed 1.80V ver3.1

Two sticks are inscribed 1.80V ver3.2

 

On that basis I do have two discrete pairs of differing versions, which is interesting - as far as I can recall, both pairs came in one lot from my supplier here, at the same time.

 

Any other info of use please add to the thread, but unless I hear otherwise I'll assume these pairs can not be persuaded to operate successfully together.

 

Thanks for your interest, this is sincerely appreciated.

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Thanks again Yellowbeard.

 

When the problems (ie. random restarts) started showing, I let Memtest do some quite punishing tests on this setup, (ie. both pairs installed on the board, testing left running for a day+) in the hope of provoking an error, but I never got a blip. On the basis of that test I figured that the memory itself was not physically at fault.

 

If there's better means of testing, I'd be interested to know so I can give them a go.

 

2AM this side of the pond so I'll call it a night but I'll be back tomorrow

Cheers

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Hi Ramguy -

Thanks for the input - as before, this is much appreciated.

 

If there's an opportunity of making this system stable with the existing RAM, so much the better.

 

RAM now re-installed with each pair of TW3X4G1600C9DHX in side by side:

(V3.1 in slots 1&2; V.3.2 in slots 3&4)

I'm not sure if they should be staggered; what there is in the manual suggests that matching pairs of sticks go side-by-side

 

I left the BIOS to interpret the RAM as it chose.

The board does its usual curious double-boot routine, and then loads as normal.

As before I have a machine which to all intents and purposes is fine, but which will restart at random, say 3~4 times in the course of an evening.

_____________________________________________________________

 

Intel's diagnostics give back the following:

 

Total Memory: 8Gb

Type: DDR3

Timing 7-7-7-20

 

tCL 7

tRCD 7

tRP 7

tRAS 20

tWR 8

tRFC 60

tRRD 4

tWTR 4

 

Memory Frequency: 1066

Memory Reference Frequency: 333

Memory Voltage: 1.54

Command Rate: 1

 

Host Clock Frequency (I think this is FSB) = 333

Memory Bus 1066

_____________________________________________________________

 

I just had a look at the spec for TW3X4G1600C9DHX and I see this:

"This memory has been verified to operate at 1600MHz at the low latencies of 9-9-9-24"

 

However, the timing my board has chosen, 7-7-7-20 appears to be a lower latency than the modules are verified for.

Somethign anomalous there?

Unless the slower clock speed allows this - but this stuff is beyond my modest comprehension.

 

If anyone thinks changes should be made and can suggest what, I'd be extremely glad to hear.

As before stability's the key, not the maximum speed I can extract.

 

In the meantime will test until tomorrow eve.

MemTest86+ v4.00 has just run and reported no errors.

 

Regards

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The revised Intel spec sheet says this board will only work with 2 gig total of 1600 speed ram, in the black slots. They also say it has to be XMP type ram. I spent more than a year trying to get this board stable, trying different brands of ram, different speed of ram and different configurations, no luck. Also a different video card. Tossed in the towel and sent it back to Intel.
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They also say it has to be XMP type ram.
This is not correct. XMP is a feature or an added functionality. However, any memory that meets XMP specifications can also be run at the same manual timings. There is no magic behind XMP, it's simply a set of tested presets.

 

 

Tossed in the towel and sent it back to Intel .

Good move. Are you doing an RMA or are you changing boards?
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These are direct quotes from Intel's Technical Product Specification manual dated March 2008.

"All DDR3 1600 MHz memory recommended for use on this board is based on the

XMP format."

and

"If you are using DDR3 1600 MHz DIMMs, it is recommended that you only

populate two of the four DIMM slots, specifically one slot in each channel. It is

recommended that you populate slot 1 of each channel (black connectors).

The maximum system memory for DDR3 1600 is 2 GB using 1 Gbit technology

memory in a 1R x 8 configuration (single-sided modules)."

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These are direct quotes from Intel's Technical Product Specification manual dated March 2008.

"All DDR3 1600 MHz memory recommended for use on this board is based on the

XMP format."

You are taking this too literally. They are stating that they only recommend memory that has an XMP profile which guarantees it meets certain criteria.

 

This is not correct. XMP is a feature or an added functionality. However, any memory that meets XMP specifications can also be run at the same manual timings. There is no magic behind XMP, it's simply a set of tested presets.

 

You can take a set of memory that meets this criteria and use it with manual settings even if the kit does not have an XMP profile in the SPD.

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Thanks for the additional comments folks.

Work being ballistic recently there's been little time to check up on this thread.

 

Interested in the discussion above about Intel saying only 2x sticks of 1600MHz can be used in this board. From what I've been able to find out I take that to actually mean only 2 sticks at 1600 - provided different settings are used.

 

Whatever, LucasGrillis - I think you made the right decision in ditching your BT2 - it's the 'flakiest' board I've ever encountered and factoring in the obtuse documentation and general spec for the money, a poor choice on my part. Even Intel's online driver update facility refuses point blank to do its thing. The only reason I opted for it was, my supplier was out of the Gigabyte GA X48-DQ6 I'd wanted. I have one of those running a similar 8Gb setup, same OS, same apps, and it's been rock-solid from the start. I'd happily can the Intel and source an alternative X48 board but it seems the march of progress has left me in the dust yet again - it's all i7's now, making my CPU redundant. Anyone know where I can get "new old stock" like the GA X48-DQ6board in the UK - I would certainly like to hear.

 

For the record, I've since manually tweaked the settings. The memory (2x pairs TW3X4G1600C9DHX) was being interpreted by the BIOS as 8Gb @ 1066MHz; I left that as 1066 seems to be the general concensus, but overrode the CAS timings which were appearing as 7-7-7-20 and went for 9-9-9-24 as per the validated speed on the memory sticks. My (no-doubt questionable) reasoning being higher latency times give the memory an easier life(?) Also bumped the voltage up one increment from the 1.54v the BIOS had decided on. Memory temp has since stayed in the green zone. As before, stability is the single goal here - not what the memory's capable of.

 

Also stripped out all superfluous graphics card driver utils (FireGL V7600) and left only the standalone driver. So far all stable and has had 24 hours' continuous MemTest and MemTest86+ with no errors found, and gone a few days' use being hammered with 3D and no falling over - too early for complacency yet, but promising.

 

Regards -

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Thanks for the additional comments folks.

Work being ballistic recently there's been little time to check up on this thread.

 

Interested in the discussion above about Intel saying only 2x sticks of 1600MHz can be used in this board. From what I've been able to find out I take that to actually mean only 2 sticks at 1600 - provided different settings are used.-

 

They are saying that is all they will officially support. You can try more and I've seen people do it but, it's hard to do and certainly not guaranteed.

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