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Gigabyte MB won't boot with 1 or 2 added sticks of memory


Wanderlust

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Hi.

 

I have a Gigabyte motherboard with an E8400 using a TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX G ver 4.1 kit without any overclocking. I installed an added kit of TWIN2X4096-6400C5 G ver 4.3 and can't get the system to boot with 3 or 4 sticks. I tried swapping the modules themselves as well as the slots they are plugged into with no change. All of the modules work in combination with one other in any slot but 3 or 4 sticks always fail to boot.

 

I upped the DRAM voltage to 2.1v with no change. I think I set the memory frequency to 667 MHz with no change. Using the "MB Intelligent Tweaker", I changed the "System Memory Multiplier (SPD)" to 2.00B from Auto. Underneath the 2.00B, it now says 667 instead of 800.

 

 

I've reached the limits of my ability on this and need your help on how to best proceed.

 

Dan

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Yellowbeard - Thanks.

 

My Bios (latest) only gives me a higher voltage option of 1.3v or 1.4, but 1.4 flashes red and I'm not comfortable with that as a viable long-term solution. Assuming that "MCH Core" is my memory controller, upping the voltage from 1.2 to 1.3 still didn't allow me to boot with 3 sticks (tried both individually).

 

Just to be clear, the different versions of memory coexist fine when only 2 sticks are used with my higher voltage settings or the stock ones. A third stick of either type prevents the system from booting.

 

I do appreciate your experience and advice, but I'm not sure what customers are supposed to do about different version numbers. None of the sources I usually order computer parts from, to the best of my knowledge, disclose memory module version numbers or allow you to specify version numbers.

 

I'll happily swap either pair of my modules for another pair so that all four are the same version if you think there's a reasonable chance that that may work.

 

Dan

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Just to close this out, I decided to take a chance and order a new motherboard so I didn't have also buy CPU and memory. This system is for photo processing and also a backup machine for my notebook and mini. I don't do any gaming on it, so deliberately sought out another integrated graphics board.

 

I bought an Intel BOXDG45ID for $105, which is functionally almost identical to my old Gigabyte EG43M-S2H, and all 4 sticks worked without any bios tweaks. I did notice that the memory speed was decreased from the identified rating of 800 to 667, so manually changed it to 800.

 

My system is now happily running with 8GB of memory at its rated speed.

 

Dan

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Well, it turns out I spoke too quickly.

 

Although my new MB passed Memtest with no errors, I still had problems. I noticed I couldn't reliably do disk image backups - they failed verification every time. Since I had just migrated to Win 7 -64 and the image backup software I use is notoriously buggy, I suspected it, or a bad cable/connection. So I tried copying a 10GB image file around on my internal disks (4) and it became clear it wasn't cables, drives or software. Doing a simple byte by byte "comp" on the original and each copy showed me 100% of the copies were bad.

 

I set the memory speed back down to 667 and all is well. 100% success rate on 6 test copies and 5 verified image backups.

 

Dan

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Well, it turns out I spoke too quickly.

 

Although my new MB passed Memtest with no errors, I still had problems. I noticed I couldn't reliably do disk image backups - they failed verification every time. Since I had just migrated to Win 7 -64 and the image backup software I use is notoriously buggy, I suspected it, or a bad cable/connection. So I tried copying a 10GB image file around on my internal disks (4) and it became clear it wasn't cables, drives or software. Doing a simple byte by byte "comp" on the original and each copy showed me 100% of the copies were bad.

 

I set the memory speed back down to 667 and all is well. 100% success rate on 6 test copies and 5 verified image backups.

 

This is consistent with the official JEDEC standards for unbuffered memory and their associated controllers. Any unbuffered memory running at an IC clock speed of 200MHz or higher (this means DDR2-800 or faster DDR2 memory, or DDR3-1600 or higher for DDR3) is limited to two ranks (one double-ranked module or two single-ranked modules) per memory controller channel; those with an IC clock speed of 166MHz or lower (for DDR2 memory, DDR2-667 or lower; for DDR3 memory, DDR3-1333 or lower) may have up to four ranks (two double-ranked modules) per channel. All 2GB DDR2 modules are double-ranked. As such, for optimal stability with more than 4GB worth of such modules in a system with a dual-channel DDR2 memory controller, DDR2-667 or lower speed is suggested.

 

The above limits are the recommended limits, not the mandated limits. The mandated limits, of course, vary by motherboard manufacturer, motherboard model and BIOS version.

 

One final note: The G45 chipset is actually higher than the G43 chipset in Intel's 4-series chipset hierarchy. Hence, you're likely to find a more robust memory controller on a G45 motherboard than you do on a G43 motherboard. And IIRC the G43 chipset was officially limited to only two ranks per channel regardless of the memory speed. This meant that your old GigaByte G43 motherboard had four DIMM slots - but you could only use all four slots if all four of your memory modules were single-ranked. If you were using double-ranked modules, you could only fill two of those slots. This effectively limits the maximum supported memory capacity of all G43 motherboards to 4GB total (since there has never been a 4GB unbuffered DDR2 module in existence). No wonder why you could not get 8GB to run stably on your old GigaByte G43 motherboard regardless of the memory speed while you could get all 8GB to run stably on your newer G45 motherboard at DDR2-667 speed.

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