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X58A-GD45 will not recognize triple channel memory configuration


joseph2011

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First of all, I checked the Corsair memory configurator tool and did not notice my MB, however, it also mentions that the list is not inclusive to all MBs.

 

I finished a new build, and I am very happy with the outcome except for one very annoying detail.

 

I installed 12GB (3 x 4GB) of Corsair XMS3 memory in DIMMs 1, 3, and 5 as the manual indicates for triple channel configuration population. However, the BIOS only recognizes the configuration as dual channel and it reports only 8GB of memory, not 12GB.

 

These are the steps I have taken to resolve this issue so far...

 

1. Downloaded and flashed the latest BIOS from MSI. The flash was successful, but the memory problem still exists.

 

2. Removed all memory and tested one at a time in slot 1. All three failed in slot 1 (DIMM 1). This strongly suggested to me that DIMM 1 is bad. However...

 

3. Checked the memory settings using CPU-Z. Amazingly, it recognizes 4GB memory in each of the three slots and reports 12GB! So, is DIMM one actually faulty? Not so sure now.

 

4. Researched the issue on numerous boards. Numerous others report the same problem with the same memory and board, but one person indicated a "beta BIOS" from MSI corrected the issue. Others reported unusual timing settings that seemed to work.

 

5. Researched timing settings and voltage settings and experimented with multiple settings, but this dod not work. The BIOS still reports dual channel configuration in the POST, although in the CMOS setup it seems to recognize that a module is in slot 1, because it offers configuration options for three slots, while the remaining three slots are blank.

 

6. Contacted MSI and spoke to a tech. He was also confused that the BIOS would not recognize triple channel configuration, but that CPU-Z did. He checked for a beta BIOS, as I reported to him, but he said none exist right now. I'm not sure if he was only giving the "safe" answer or not. He recommended RMAing the board.

 

7. Removed the CPU and inspected the socket. No apparent bent pins. Reseated CPU.

 

I am planning to RMA, but before I do I thought I would post here to see if I overlooked something. Most people with the same problem reported that configuring/tweaking the timings and voltage settings in CMOS setup was essential, but there is little documentation on this from the manfacturer. I have tried many variations of the recommended timings and voltages, as well as what others have reported as having worked, but all to no avail. I still believe I may not be selecting the right timing combinations, or that something in the CMOS setup is incorrectly configured.

 

Also, BIG lesson learned... Always do an external build FIRST every time! Take nothing for granted. If I can't solve this, I will have to disassemble and RMA the board.

 

Final points: Do I indeed have the right memory!?!?! I checked the Corsair website, and they do not list my MB. Likewise, the MSI site does not list Corsair memory as a "tested" memory. Others mentioned that they (Corsair and MSI) simply haven't tested each other's products and added them to their approved lists yet, but that the configuration should work.

 

Frustrated, but not giving in to RMA just yet!

 

If you have any advice or chan offer asistance with the timings and CMOS set up memory configuration for my board and memory combination, I would greatly appreciate it.

 

BTW, my system includes the following...

 

CPU -- Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950

 

Mainboard -- MSI X58A-GD45 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

 

Memory -- CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model CMX12GX3M3A2000C9

 

OS -- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

 

Thanks for any advice or comments.

 

Cheers,

Joseph

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If your item # 7 did not fix it and the modules are all OK when tested in known good slots, then I'd suggest RMAing the board.

 

If you have access to another system using an X58 board, you may want to test your CPU. It's possible that it's the IMC but that is not as common or as likely as a bad memory slot on the board.

 

If you have a local puter shop or a friend that could help test either the board and/or the CPU, it may save you time and shipping if you can verify the bad item.

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The memory is indeed compatible.

 

Re 3) Just because it recognizes the amount of memory doesn't mean the DIMM slot is working fine.

 

Did you reset the BIOS before memtest? What speed did you test it at?

Thanks, Wired. I did not use memtest because all three modules work in DIMMs 3 and 5, so I ruled out a problem with the memory. The tests I conducted were at 1333mHz. Oddly enough, when I choose the optimized and fail-safe standard default settings in cmos setup, it reverts to 1066mHz and the timings are quite different from the factory specifications recommended by Corsair.

 

I have manually adjusted the timings and voltages for all three modules (linked), using multiple configurations, but with no success.

 

I strongly believe based on everything that I have experienced, tested, and read to date that the BIOS simply does not support my specific configuration of mainboard, CPU, and memory. I believe this because others have reported the same issue with the same configuration, and one guy mentioned that a beta BIOS from MSI solved his issue. Unfortunately, I could not coax that out of them. LOL.

 

Others have reported that they were able to modify/tweak the timings and voltages until the board eventually recognized all three channels and used all available memory.

 

Again, thank you for your comments and assistance.

 

 

If your item # 7 did not fix it and the modules are all OK when tested in known good slots, then I'd suggest RMAing the board.

 

If you have access to another system using an X58 board, you may want to test your CPU. It's possible that it's the IMC but that is not as common or as likely as a bad memory slot on the board.

 

If you have a local puter shop or a friend that could help test either the board and/or the CPU, it may save you time and shipping if you can verify the bad item.

Thank you, Yellowbeard. I will probably follow your advice soon and RMA the board, but I fear that it is actually a problem with the BIOS and my particular system configuration, so my concern is that the problem will persist after RMA, but I have to try that first.

 

Otherwise, I am content with my new build, even at 2/3rds memory! :biggrin:

 

 

you may want to check the CPU socket for a bent pin/s too. And reseating the cooler sometimes resolves it as well.
Thank you, peanutz. I visually inspected the CPU socket for bent pins or physical evidence of anything else that may be wrong. Everything looked fine and the socket was as clean as a whistle. I reseated the heatsink and fan too after reseating the cpu. No dice. :sigh!:
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Oddly enough, when I choose the optimized and fail-safe standard default settings in cmos setup, it reverts to 1066mHz and the timings are quite different from the factory specifications recommended by Corsair.
This is because 1066 is the default speed for the memory controller inside your CPU. With any Bloomfield core CPU, 1066 is default/stock and 1333 is OCing the memory controller.

 

If the feeback you are getting from MSI is correct, you may need to change motherboards. However, I would find it VERY odd if any X58 board cannot support 3 modules at 1066 or 1333.

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