Jump to content
Corsair Community

Noobie with all things RAM please help with simple Q


FrankSpencer007

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

 

First of all, thank you all who read this, and just to say I feel guilty for stealing the space with this simple question but really run out of options and need an answer pretty quick.

 

I have a motherboard which apparently won't take 4Gb modules, but the manufacturer will not tell you that. Not knowing that, I bought 2 modules of 4Gb each - Corsair 8GB kit- XMS3 2*4GB (CMX8GX3M2A1333C9) to install instead of my single 2GB simple generic module.

 

Computer worked fine for few hours and I was over the moon, things were flying(well, at least to me they were, since prior to RAM upgrade my system was fairly slow and using at least 3/4 of the existing 2GB ram in idle mode :(

 

Well, story of my life, Frank Spencer is never lucky - sure enough, few hours later blue screens started appearing thick and fast. Knowing a tiny little bit about computers, I took the new ram out and reinstalled the old silly 2GB, feeling utterly disappointed :( How could Corsair sell me out, I thought to myself, I went out and bought premium memory only to find out it refuses to work with my lovely computer :(

 

OK, this is the background of the story and probably not a big deal since these things(incompatibilities)happen all the time.

 

I was just about to order another product from whoever had cheap and cheerful 2*4GB module(I have by this time given up the idea of nice premium RAM) when something told me to take a deep breath and try to snif around forums and see if I get any wiser.

 

Finding this forum was easy and I also found out that my MB will probably resent any 4GB module since when MB was made there weren't 4GB modules in production. Btw, you won't find that info on Asus' website :( grrrrrrr :(

 

Anyhow, I also found recommended guaranteed compatible RAM modules from Corsair which are very similar to the kit I bought but they are in 4*2GB which makes sense :)

 

Just when I thought I am safe, I read some instruction by Corsair talking about installing all 4 modules and how that isn't so good for your motherboard

 

I will copy and paste it, please tell me if I am seeing things and that I can safely install 4*2GB on my computer :) I probably don't even need as much as 4GB but I want it for the hell of it :)

 

here it is:

 

The Number of Memory Modules Used

Most new computers and motherboards have four DIMM sockets. Typically, when a new computer is purchased, OR when building a new PC, only two of these sockets are populated. So, upgrading the system is usually done by either [1] adding two more DIMMs to the pair already in the system, or [2] putting in two new DIMMs and discarding the old DIMMs.

For users opting to use four memory modules, referred to hereafter as “4-up”, there are many considerations. First, 4-up places a greater electrical load on the memory controller than 2-up. This increased load can result in instability if the BIOS is not tuned or tweaked to compensate. The user should make certain that their motherboard BIOS allows adjustments to the memory controller voltage. Additionally, users should be certain that their motherboard is capable of cooling the memory controller as it will generate more heat with 4-up and the increased voltage.

This increased load of 4-up is not an additional load on the memory modules. Many users mistakenly increase memory voltage when running 4-up and most often when trying to address stability issues. This is not necessary as a motherboard is configured to supply the BIOS set voltage to each slot, regardless of how many slots are filled. Increasing the memory voltage over the rated voltage should only be necessary when overclocking or using memory that exceeds the JEDEC specifications for voltage_____END

 

 

 

I don't really know much about inner workings of a computer and surely do not want to play with BIOS and try to compensate for that "Voltage" or whatever they were referring to. I just want to be able to install those 4 modules and close the case and use the computer, nothing techy must come in equation otherwise I will be out of my depth.

 

Please please tell me that this scare about using 4 modules does not apply to me, I can't wait to buy it :)

 

 

Thank you so much for your time, sorry for going on forever :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really know much about inner workings of a computer and surely do not want to play with BIOS and try to compensate for that "Voltage" or whatever they were referring to. I just want to be able to install those 4 modules and close the case and use the computer, nothing techy must come in equation otherwise I will be out of my depth.

Man, i hate to break the news to you,it may apply to you . Probably the first thing you will need to do is update the BIOS to the latest version.

But we need a little more information before we can really answer this, or at least point you in the direction of stability!. :)

 

What MB and what CPU.first of all? :)

 

I mention the BIOS update because there usually are quite a few of them and most of them mention increased memory compatibility.

So that will be a must.

 

You may have to add the voltage to the north bridge on the MB to compensate for the increased load, but most of the time a BIOS update cures these kinds of issues.

However if we know the make of the MB i can download the manual and tell you exactly which settings you would need to fiddle with.

 

And if a BIOS update does not work you will want to test the modules one at a time with memtest86+. There is a link on the left for the download . Let each module run for at least 3 passes or until you get an error. Theres no point in going any further if it does.

 

But first can we have the MB model? And i also said "may" because a this time we dont know. If that makes sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks mate, muchos appreciated!!

 

Sorry for that, I completed those details when I registered, not sure why they didn't appear in my post, it says when registering that by filling in your puter details they will appear in your posts automatically, and I never even checked it, took it for granted :(

 

Anyhow, here they are:

 

MB: Asus P5Q3 (not wi-fi model)

Processor : Intel Core2 Quad, Q8300 2.50 Ghz

Installed memory: 1 * 2 Gb module of generic Ram (1333Mhz)

OS - Windows 7/64-bit

 

Btw, I haven't exchanged those 2*4Gb modules for 4*2Gb ones yet, I intend to exchange them but what is the point of buying 4*2Gb modules if you can't use them all, in which case I will be very disappointed to settle for just 2*2GB, but then again, that's life..

 

Btw, how difficult is performing that operation to "voltage to the north bridge" thingy, I am not totally hopeless but it sounds scary to my ears :)

 

If it means going to computers BIOS and changing few settings, I might be ok, but if I have to do something on the physical motherboard I just know I will damage it beyond repair - I have two left hands and usually, everything I touch turns to sh**e :(

 

Also, how can I tell what version of BIOS I actually have atm?

 

Cheers and thank you sooo much for your time and patience, I am so grateful (and unfortunately, pretty clueless) !!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NP, but does appear your MB will support 4 gig modules. It will support a max of 16 gig's. This is from the product description on ASUS's site.

4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB, DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory

Dual Channel memory architecture

*DDR3 1600MHz or above DIMMs work only on the Orange slots for one DIMM per channel.

*When installing total memory of 4GB capacity or more, Windows® 32-bit operation system may only recognize less than 3GB. Hence, a total installed memory of less than 3GB is recommended.

 

Btw, how difficult is performing that operation to "voltage to the north bridge" thingy, I am not totally hopeless but it sounds scary to my ears :)

Just a few key strokes is all it will take if we need to

 

Also, how can I tell what version of BIOS I actually have atm?

Just boot to the BIOS screen and it should say wat version the BIOS is somewhere on the screen. Since you have never updated the BIOS i would suggest you start there. The process is easy, all you need is a flash drive and the appropriate file from the ASUS site. It is also covered in the manual. You would want to use the EZ flash method. That will be the easiest.

 

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_775/P5Q3/#download

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks mate!

 

I also thought it should support 16Gb after reading the MB manual :confused:

 

Just booted my comp and found out that I have pretty old version of Bios which is:

 

ASUS P5Q3 ACPI BIOS Revision 0609

 

and according to ASUS' website :

 

http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=1&s=22&m=P5Q3&os=&hashedid=3Ps8dmpKZqQAt7fS

 

the update is from 16 January 2009.

 

Since I bought my puter(custom made, not from the shelf) in January 2010 it is very disappointing that whoever installed it, never updated Bios :mad::mad:

 

OK, you mentioned flash drive, I hope you don't mean floppy drive since I don't have that on my computer:o:

 

Another thought, how could they possibly state that MB could support 16Gb of RAM when MB only has four slots for the RAM and yet, in 2008 when the manual was printed afaik, there weren't any 4Gb modules, which means the maximum MB could support is 4*2Gb modules = 8Gb of memory??

 

Thanks so much for your time and having to put up with my lack of understanding...

 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No worries

 

OK, you mentioned flash drive, I hope you don't mean floppy drive since I don't have that on my computer

Not a floppy. You can use either a DVD burner or any USB flash drive/key

 

Another thought, how could they possibly state that MB could support 16Gb of RAM when MB only has four slots for the RAM and yet, in 2008 when the manual was printed afaik, there weren't any 4Gb modules, which means the maximum MB could support is 4*2Gb modules = 8Gb of memory??

The MB manufacturers always have an idea of what will be available i the near future. For instance , my MB supports 24 gig max and when i built this there were no 24 gig kits available either. It's sort of a future proof thing. :) People would often combine two 8 gig kits to get the 16 supported by the MB . But thats a crapshoot and does not always work.

 

Since I bought my puter(custom made, not from the shelf) in January 2010 it is very disappointing that whoever installed it, never updated Bios

Usually you don't update the BIOS unless you have issues. Or add components that were not made then but have added support for at a later time. So that really does not come as a surprise to me.

 

I have even had to RMA MB's in the past and got them straight from asus with old BIOS versions installed. *shrugs*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks mate!

 

Now I get it :) don't expect too much from the manufacturer :o:

 

Ok, what is to be done now, I gather I am supposed to download an update, but which one? And, once I download it, what do I do then, I mean, sorry for maybe asking silly question but I am really clueless regarding how it works:o::o::o:

 

Also, what is the chance that an update will make my computer perform badly in other areas, so far I have never had trouble with it? And, once you do an update, is it possible to reverse it in case it doesn't work?

 

Just thinking, maybe after an update, I might be able to use the kit (2*4Gb) that didn't work?? What is your take on it?

 

 

Thanks a million!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, what is to be done now, I gather I am supposed to download an update, but which one? And, once I download it, what do I do then, I mean, sorry for maybe asking silly question but I am really clueless regarding how it works

Sure, download the latest one which is 1102. It will be a zip file, so you will nedd to un-zip it and then either burn that file to a disc or send it to a USB drive. Once that is done you will go to your BIOS and change the the boot order to boot from which ever drive you have the new BIOS file on. So in otherwords if your USB drive is say letter "f" you would set it to boot from the F drive instead of the C drive

 

Then still in the BIOS, you will go to the tools menu and start the EZ flash program to update the BIOS. If it is confusing to you,you can call ASUS support and they will walk you through it over the phone. It is also covered in the downloadable manual for your board.

 

It is reversable if things would happen to go wrong, but nowdays BIOS flashing is a really pretty safe process. It used to be years ago that is something you wouldn't try on your own. But things have changed alot since then.

 

Just thinking, maybe after an update, I might be able to use the kit (2*4Gb) that didn't work?? What is your take on it?

 

Yes, that is what im hopeing for and if not,

well, we can try raising the voltage and if that does not work , then we go into testing the sticks themselves to se if maybe you do not have a bad one.

 

But without having the BIOS up to date they may produce a false positive test.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks very much mate!

 

Ok, I have downloaded every update available, to have it, just in case :)

 

I will try calling Asus tomorrow, just to double check whether they will have any other documentation on the subject. It might help me decide what to do with the RAM I bought, for instance they might say that update so and so will be fine with so and so RAM modules and then I might be able to exchange it for some other modules from the same supplier so it doesn't cost me much. Or, with a bit of luck, I will not have to have it exchanged at all :)

 

I hope that bios update will be enough to fix this problem and hope that guys in Asus will know what they are talking about :)

 

Thank you so much mate, will keep you updated as soon as I have some info from Asus.

 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please do. I don't think you'll have any problems once you get the BIOS updated. Most of them list improved memory support. Thats a good start.

 

ASUS will probably tell you those modules are not on the QVL and rightfully so . They were not made at the time of the board was out. As long as the modules meet the basic MB specs for memory they should work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks mate!

 

Finaly an update :

 

Spoke to some robotised human at Asus in USA(UK Asus support centre will only do emails, no phone support!) and I would have been better off talking to Siri on my iPhone. The guy just kept on repeating his few one liners and I had to literally pull the words out of his mouth. “yes sir, no sir”, no elaboration, not explaining anything in any depth, just simple “yes sir, no sir”. He also mentioned that there is a 17% chance of screwing motherboard when updating Bios when I asked him what the risks are when updating Bios. I don’t know if that is what they must say to cover themselves or if that is the real state of affairs??

So, being scared with those 17% (and knowing my luck, I am also certain to get into that 17% category :roll: ) I gathered I was going to buy “guaranteed compatible RAM” to try it since those sticks I bought weren’t “guaranteed” to work with my MB. Got those sticks exchanged and the guaranteed one arrived today. Installed it and, guess what – blue screen again... So, it must have been guaranteed on different version of Bios?

 

Ok, so now I have to go for the Bios update, no option if I want to have more Ram.

 

I looked in my manual and it says that suporting DVD that came with MB has a program called ASUS update utility. It appealed to me because it sounded as if it was dummy proof, just the stuff for me :sigh!: Stuck the dvd in but it wouldn’t play on 64bit windows 7. Story of my life...:mad: So now, it has to be this EZ Flash, even though I didn’t really want to play with that one. I was born with two left hands...

Is there anything else I should know regarding how to go about it? For instance, I extracted a .ROM file from the Zip file 1102 and it is only 1Mb in size(I thought it would be bigger?). I install that on USB stick and insert the stick in the puter. Then restart it and go into Bios. Then I choose the boot order. Then go to the tools menu and start EZ flash. What will happen then, I mean how do you start this EZ flash, and once started what happens next? Do you have to do anything whilst that Bios update is going on, do you have to restart the puter at some point etc?

Also, If I remember it rightly, I read somewhere that after you update Bios, you have to take the small battery out of the computer – something to do with restarting CMOS (or something like that?) , whatever that is? Is that a difficult stuff to do?

 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input Ram Guy!

 

That is not a problem, I don't really care for higher speed memory, that is not an issue at all. What I am trying to do is increase my Ram, I only have one module of 2Gb and would ideally like to have 2*4Gb which I just got. The problem is my MB is refusing to play the game :) I need to update the Bios and hopefully everything will be fine(just hoping atm). Trouble is, I am not very technical and the DVD that came with my MB(which has some simple program that is idiot proof for updating BIOS) isn't working on my puter because it is 64bits.

 

It appears that my only other option is to update it via EZ Flash utility but I was/am fairly clueless about the process - I have never done anything remotely similar and I am very concerned that I will screw things beyond repair if I attempt doing it myself without some sort of guidance..

 

cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I install that on USB stick and insert the stick in the puter. Then restart it and go into Bios. Then I choose the boot order. Then go to the tools menu and start EZ flash. What will happen then, I mean how do you start this EZ flash, and once started what happens next? Do you have to do anything whilst that Bios update is going on, do you have to restart the puter at some point etc?

Yup this is corect , once the you start the EZ falsh just follow the on screen prompts and be sure not to disrupt it or shut off the power. It will pretty much take care of itself. Once done your computer may shut down rather abruptly. Dont panic if it does it's normal. Followed by a restart. Chances are you will be asked to run the BIOS set-up and will have to change the boot order back to reflect your HD. Otherwise you will get a message that says No Operating System could be detected, or something similar.

 

You shouldnt have to remove the battery unless you are resetting the CMOS again. With a new BIOS version it has already been reset.

 

While you are in the BIOS set-up , note the BIOS version, it should now be 1102

 

Lemme know how you make out

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hello mate,

 

sorry for not posting the reply for a while, work,holidays etc and somehow I never got around to installing the BIOS update.

 

Today I downloaded Asus update utility and installed the last version of Bios - 1102.

 

As previously mentioned, I have exchanged the corsair's RAM for a "guaranteed compatible" RAM from Kingston : KVR1333D3N9K2/8G It is their value ram but it is apparently guaranteed to work with my motherboard.

 

I have installed it in black slots(I think they are first and third slot), I thought I will mention that in case it has some significance? I read on some forums that if you install 1600Mhz RAM you must install it in orange slots or it will not work(or something along those lines??)

 

Switched the puter on and it started working but only up to a point where (if I remember it correctly, it all happened fairly fast and I didn't expect any problems so it kind of surprised me) it started loading programs in windows. I am not 100% sure but I know it went past the point where blue windows sign appears, and I am 90% sure it was at the point where programs are being loaded.

What happened is that, all of a sudden, I could hear some funny noise and also, that little "loading" circle was just turning in the middle of the screen without any progress and the noise was permanent.

 

I switched the puter off immediately and when I started it again few minutes later, it wouldn't even start my monitor.

 

Being worried that I seriously screwed something up, I quickly switched the puter off and reinstalled my old 2Gb module. Puter was working fine again.

 

What do I do now, I don't think buying yet another set of RAM will be very wise, although that was my initial idea. I was thinking that with my luck, I must have bought faulty RAM...

 

Am I just unlucky - how common is my story ?

Please help, I am at the end of my tether :mad::o::(:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do I do now, I don't think buying yet another set of RAM will be very wise, although that was my initial idea. I was thinking that with my luck, I must have bought faulty RAM...

Good question! I agree buying another kit isn't going to be a wise move. Not with two separate kits failing to work from different manufacturers.

 

I'm wondering if it isn't in the construction of the modules itself. What is the version number on the Corsair kit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Corsair Employees
Your best bet would be to save your Money and put it towards a New MB and CPU that will support higher density memory. Part of the issue you will run into with this MB and CPU is the Limitation set by the chipset. Most if not all of our current DDR-3 Memory is made with memory IC's that are 512m X8 and this chipset will only support memory made with IC's that are 256M X 8 only. And the lower density Memory modules will be more expensive than newer modules made with higher density Memory IC's.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most if not all of our current DDR-3 Memory is made with memory IC's that are 512m X8 and this chipset will only support memory made with IC's that are 256M X 8 only. And the lower density Memory modules will be more expensive than newer modules made with higher density Memory IC's.

This is exactly where was headed with my last question. I'm pretty sure this is what he is running into.

 

@ frank

This would be the modules contruction that i talked about erlier and also why the other vendors memory failed too. They all get their chips from the same pool of vendors more or less. So they too would also be using 512x8 IC's to make the modules.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Corsair Employees
@ frank

This would be the modules construction that i talked about earlier and also why the other vendors memory failed too. They all get their chips from the same pool of vendors more or less. So they too would also be using 512x8 IC's to make the modules.

 

And I would tend to agree with these remarks there are only a handful of actual memory IC manufacturers and we all purchase these IC's to build our modules in some cases we will purchase Memory Fabrications before they are packaged and have the packaged to our specifications IE why you will see some modules that use Corsair Branded IC's mostly with Value Select. But in this case the issue is that most IC manufacturers have move their DRAM production to the higher density DRAM so the lower density IC's are harder to get IE supply and demand drive Dram pricing. But in a nut shell you will want a module that has 16 IC's or 8 memory IC's on both sides if it only has 8 total 8 on one side and the other side blank or 4 on each side these will not work on your system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi RAMGUY/Peanutz94!

 

Thanks very much guys, muchos appreciated!

 

now, where do I start.. :) so much info, my brain is overheated big time!

 

ok, the kit(2*4Gb) from Kin***on I bought and tried in dual channel module didn't even go as far as loading programs, as I mentioned in my previous post. Later on, I tried it in single channel mode(first and second slot) and it worked for around 10-15 minutes before blue screen appeared..

 

Then I tried just one single module in the first slot(nearest to the processor) and it worked good 3-4 hours under the light load(ie. nothing too taxing, surfing the net, word processing etc) until I started Skyping and within 10-15 minutes computer crashed again - blue screen.. That was the end of my experiment, I then reinstalled my original 2Gb generic RAM and computer works fine again..

 

Just to say, this kit has modules which have 16 little black plates(8 on each side of the module), this is presumably this "IC" you mention. So, they must be 256 each, not 512?? My original RAM is 2Gb single module, and I just checked it - it also has 16 little plates, 8 on each side, so they must be 128? I don't know whether this is important info but I thought I will mention it...

 

At the moment I am going back and forth with Ki***on technical department, they propose to exchange the memory(in case it is faulty) but that was without asking me very many meaningful questions, so I am inclined to think it will be just a guesswork :( When asked how come they guarantee that the kit is compatible, they replied that the kit was made to "Jedec standard and tested for functionality and not compatibility"?? - whatever that means! :):)

 

Regarding new Mobo and processor, that might prove to be too costly considering that for little bit more money one can buy an off the shelf PC which is probably a lot more powerful than mine. Also, I have two left hands and wouldn't have even the slightest idea how to assemble it, even if I had new motherboard and processor, which would mean even more extra money considering how expensive it could be to get someone to do it.

 

at one point I thought I should just try buying another motherboard and was looking for one but couldn't find anything on the market. Maybe I don't know where to look but nothing better than my motherboard was for sale -fair enough, my parameters were the motherboards that would support same Intel chipset as my processor, because I didn't want to spend money on that when my processor is more than good enough for what I need it for..

 

Now, little question for you, if all else fails, would it be a good idea to try to find another module like my original(2Gb) one. I will look out for the name of it, but if my memory serves me right, it was something very obscure, I have never heard of it before. I am thinking - if one module has been working for 2 1/2 years without a problem, maybe that is my best shot, to try to find another one which is exactly the same. I will then have "full" 4Gb of memory and that would be more than enough for me. I will try to open my puter in a minute and take a picture of my original memory and attach it to my post. Maybe it is not all that obscure, after all. Maybe I will be able to find it on ebay or some other place....

 

Huh, what a post :) and I am still alive :)

 

Thanks very much guys, muchos muchos appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me again...

 

I have attached a picture of my existing RAM. It's not really that obscure as I thought it would be, the name is Rendition RM25664BA1339. That didn't mean anything to me until I started googling for it.. It is actually an OK memory made by (I think) fairly well known producer. Sorry if I am not meant to post pictures of non-Corsair memory, please feel free to delete it :(

 

It is made out of 16 128Mb modules -I don't know whether that says something in regard to why those 2 modules 16*256Mb don't want to marry with my MoBo, as RAMGUY was talking about(sorry if I am not even close to the point you were trying to make regarding those "IC's")

 

So, I was thinking, if one works, why not try two of them if all else fails?? Any opinion on that?

 

The only problem is, they are not exactly an every day item in UK, as a matter of fact no one has them offered for sale at the moment :(

 

Will probably try to get them from somewhere else, if I am lucky enough...

 

Anyways, thanks for listening and your time is greatly appreciated!!!

 

Cheers

photo(4).thumb.JPG.63a1afae84b892a3713602d9e26495c5.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Corsair Employees
I am sorry I dont follow what you are trying to say, and we have already made some suggestions so I am not sure we can add any more to what has already been said. If you have questions about someone else memory then I am sorry but you need to ask the respective manufacturer.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry... You are right, I got carried away and "forgot" this was actually a specific forum dedicated to a particular brand.

 

I kinda thought that my problem was perhaps "across the board" kind of issue and that its solution might possibly be beneficial to someone, regardless of the brand/manufacturer in question..

 

Anyhow, I thank you for your patience and wish all the best to all in Corsair community. May this thread rest in peace :)

 

 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...