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Bad Combo: MSI K8N Neo Platinum, Athlon 64 3200+ ClawHammer C0, TWINX1024-3200LLPT


icotian2

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I'm having some really bad luck... Here's my rig: Motherboard: MSI K8N Neo Platinum 7030 (BIOS version, 1.1 05-18-2004) nForce 3 250GB CPU: Athlon 64 3200+ ClawHammer C0 stepping core (1MB L2 Cache, 2.0 GHz, older C0 stepping) RAM: TWINX-1024 (2xCMX512-3200LLPT) SPD at 2-3-2-6 at 200MHz. Power Supply: Tested with both Enermax 465W and Vantec Stealth 520W. No difference. Video: Nvidia (Leadtek) GeForce FX 5900 XT 128MB. Timings by SPD, and at 200MHz, 2-3-2-6 and Voltage at Auto and 2.70 Cooling is NOT a problem as I have a giant 12-inch room fan blasting it at all times. I've tested the modules both separately and together in various combinations of the 3 RAM slots, and was able to isolate a bad module in Test 5 of Memtest86. Totally reproducible. I even get BIOS "Memory Test Failed" errors on startup when the bad Corsair module is inserted. However, since MSI does not list any Corsair 512MB sticks in their "compatibility test report"... I ordered a 1GB (2x512) of GEIL 3200 since that exact part number was listed on MSI's compatibility test report. However, both those sticks horribly failed on Memtest86 when configured by SPD or the rated specs (2-3-3-6...) I started wondering if my MB or CPU (I've heard rumors about Athlon 64s with C0 stepping having trouble with two sticks of RAM) were the culprits. I tried to test all the above RAM on some P4 machines (Asus p4c800 motherboards) but none of the machines could complete the MemTest86 default tests without locking up...so I couldn't come to any decent conclusions. I've tried running with just the one "good" stick of Corsair, but I still get weird behavior and some Blue Screens O Death. I've run Prime95 Torture Test - Blend mode, failing anywhere from 1- 15 hours in, sometimes blue screening... I am not interested in Overclocking at all, stability is my only concern. I've run two non-identical Corsair PC-2700 333MHz modules and it's very stable, and only lose about 2% on the 3DMark2001 SE benchmark. 17100 (DDR400) vs. 16700 (DDR333). I hope nobody else has to go through what I've gone through... So here's what I've learned: Athlon 64 3200+: Make sure you get a CG stepping core...All Newcastles are CG but only 512K L2 cache, some Clawhammers are CG, some or C0. The way to tell, is the part number on chip: if it ends in AP, it's C0. If it ends in AR (or maybe AX too) it's CG. Check AMD's documentation. In retrospect, I'd get the Newcastle to be safe... I'm not sure if my Motherboard is bad, or the BIOS is not mature, or if it's an incompatibility with the C0 stepping CPU and the RAM. Who knows. If I had a lot more parts I might be ablet to figure it out, but I don't want to take the time. Does anybody have any suggestions? I'm kind of tired of ordering replacement parts, waiting for them to arrive, and then having to ship the bad stuff back...
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When you said you've tested all of the above ram on multiple systems, did you mean both the Corsair AND the Geil? And both manufacturer's mem failed in that MSI board? Generally test 5 means CPU problems, and the fact that all of the mem failed means that it's probably a CPU or motherboard problem. However the fact they all failed in another board is just odd. Time to try more mem and/or motherboard I'd say. See if a friend will let you try your mem in their system.
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Thanks for the reply Wired. I should have been more specific: Both Geil modules always fail, and one of the two Corsair modules always fails. However, the "good" corsair module always passes. Interesting to note about the Test 5 being indicative of a bad CPU. I've thought about getting a different CPU to test, but I don't know how to order a Clawhammer (1MB L2 Cache) and be sure I'll get a CG stepping core. It seems like a hit or miss thing, I haven't found an online merchant that differentiates between the two. So, perhaps I'll get a Newcastle and forego the extra cache... I'm still open to new ideas and suggestions. Whenever I learn anything, I'll update this thread...
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