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Memory problems confusing me...


Phosphorous

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Background: About a month ago, I did an upgrade to my system from Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit to Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit. I had 4GBs of TWIN2x2048-8500C5D (4 x 1GB sticks), but obviously wasn't seeing all of it with the 32-bit OS so I decided to do a complete wipe of my system and install Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (using my Technet subscription). I figured since I was going to be wiping my system and going 64-bit, I might as well max out the RAM on my EVGA 680i A1 motherboard which is 8GBs. I run my system overclocked and have at the same settings pretty much since I built the system.

 

The system was running fine for over a week with the new 8GBs of TWIN2x4096-8500C5D (4 x 2GB sticks) at the same overclocked settings I had used for so long before. Then this past Saturday 12-19-09 the troubles started. I was playing COD5 with my clan, had Teamspeak open, and running SpeedFan to see how things were going (I like monitoring the vitals of my system) and I got a BSOD: Bad Pool Header. I rebooted the system got back into Windows and a few seconds later I got another BSOD: Memory Management.

 

First thing I did was to revert my BIOS back to default settings. This has done nothing. I then went into the BIOS and set my timing and voltage to match this website:

 

Latency

5-5-5-15

 

Voltage

2.1v

 

I'm still having the problems. I'm still doing research and trying to figure out what is going on here. I have not been able to test each stick individually, I will be doing that tonight when I get home from work. One main question I do have though is why are the above latency and voltage settings different then what it says when I use Tech Express? This is one of the things TechExpress says:

 

Our XMS4400C25 modules are based on the same IC as our XMS3200XL, so they are commonly able to run at the same settings. However, we can only guarantee what we test and while they may run well at 275 MHz they might not run with really tight timings. But you can certainly try it as they will typically perform well at aggressive latency settings. But like our XMS3200XL the Dim Voltage should be set to a minimum of 2.75 Volts and a max of 2.9 Volts.

 

So what voltage and timings should I be running these TWIN2x4096-8500C5D sticks at?

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These are the TechExpress settings I choose:

 

http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/7407/memory.gif

 

 

And after I hit next, I get the following (the last section that is in italics is what I put in my OP):

 

Troubleshooting Tips for DDR2-1066 (Dominator-8500C5*4GB*SLI)

 

Tested Settings for this Module: Speed: Latency: Voltage:

 

 

Here are some common tips that you should try before proceeding with a full technical support case.

 

Can XMS4400C25 run at a slower clock speed with faster timings?

 

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Our XMS4400C25 modules are based on the same IC as our XMS3200XL, so they are commonly able to run at the same settings. However, we can only guarantee what we test and while they may run well at 275 MHz they might not run with really tight timings. But you can certainly try it as they will typically perform well at aggressive latency settings. But like our XMS3200XL the Dim Voltage should be set to a minimum of 2.75 Volts and a max of 2.9 Volts.

 

 

Four modules won't run at the speed and/or timings I expect them to.

 

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The problem you're experiencing may be from a motherboard limitation. Most motherboards may be able to run four modules at a time, but not at high speeds. You may have to slow your memory down and/or increase your northbridge voltage slightly to get all four modules running. If you’re not comfortable making these adjustments, or if the BIOS doesn’t allow for these adjustments to be made, you might want to consider one of our 4GB memory kits.

 

 

I have 4GB of memory installed on my computer but less than that shows up in Windows.

 

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This is a limitation of a 32-bit operating system. In Windows, the Windows memory manager is limited to a 4 GB physical address space. Most of that address space is filled with RAM, but not all of it. Memory-mapped devices (such as your video card) will use some of that physical address space, as will the BIOS ROMs. After all the non-memory devices have had their say, there will be less than 4GB of address space available for RAM below the 4GB physical address boundary.

 

 

My system supports DDR400 memory, but when I install my Corsair DDR400 module the system will not post.

 

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Many systems will indeed support DDR 400 memory. However, if for example your system came with a 533 FSB CPU you may be limited to DDR333 memory until you upgrade your CPU to an 800 Front Side Bus (FSB) CPU provided your system will support a faster CPU. The following guidelines may help with this: If the FSB of your CPU is 400 For Intel and 100 MHz for AMD, the memory speed supports only DDR 266. If the FSB of your CPU is 533 For Intel and 133/166 MHz for AMD, the memory speed supports DDR 266/333 If the FSB of your CPU is 800 MHz for Intel and 200 MHz for AMD, the memory speed supports DDR 333/400

 

 

XMS3200XL modules have a minimum voltage requirement!

 

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Our XMS3200XL modules should be run at a minimum of 2.75 Volts. If you are having trouble and have not set the Dim Voltage please check your user manual to set the Dim Voltage to 2.75 Volts minimum and no more than 2.9 Volts.

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Sent a note into Corsair and they're looking into why a DDR1 note showed up for DDR2. The latency / voltage you posted (5-5-5-15 @ 2.1v) is correct.

 

Awesome, thanks! So now I just need to ensure that I have that manually set in my BIOS.

 

I just can't figure out why it would matter so much with 4 2GB sticks of Dominator RAM, when I ran 4 1 GB sticks of DOMINATOR fine. Hopefully my memtesting of individual sticks will show me something. I'll post my findings tonight.

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Ok, the memory is running at 800mhz, rated at 1066mhz. I dropped the voltage down on the RAM from 2.1 to 1.8 and still got errors when running Nvidia's memory test (enabled it in my BIOS for when the system boots up). I get the following error from the memory test:

 

Address 0x95A44018

Expected data: 0x00000100

Actual data: 0x000A0100

 

Any ideas what that means?

 

Going to try a system restore point while crossing my fingers. My problem seemed to arise after I installed SpeedFan which was running while playing COD5 and talking in Teamspeak. Also maybe worth noting, the system seems stable when booted into safe mode with networking.

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Well this just keeps getting more confusing...I uninstalled 4GBs of the RAM and everything is working flawlessly. Seems odd since my board is rated to run 8GBs of memory. Apparently not of the Corsair Dominator variety. I would imagine that swapping out the 2 sticks that are still in slots 1 & 2 with the other 2 sticks that I removed would work flawlessly as well. I guess I wasted money on the other 2 sticks...
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I plan on doing that eventually, but I had the same issue with 4 x 1GB modules of the same RAM and none of them were bad so I'm pretty sure I just need to keep messing around and tweaking the BIOS for this stuff to actually work as intended in this MOBO. Once I get the cash I think I'm going to be buying a different board.
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