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  #1  
Old 06-16-2008, 04:01 PM
NicholasDX48BT2 NicholasDX48BT2 is offline
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Default DX48BT2, X38/X48 and Corsair DDR3

RamGuy and all ... I (and others with similar issues as mine) need your help desperatly!

I purchased 5 days ago 2 sets of TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX (therefore a total of 4x1GB), with a Corsair 620HX PSU, Q9300, and Intel DX48BT2. After two days of using this setup, I have unfortunately came to the conclusion that there is a general issue with this type setup, as I found many other users posting the same type of issues with similar configurations. I disregarded those issues before buying the board and memory, as I thought those were mainly issues with people overclocking, user error, or defective parts. I don't think that is the case anymore...

I did not want to reply to other threads specific to other issues, but rather start this thread. FYI, here are some of the links showing issues with Corsair memory and the X48/X38 chipset (there are many more links doing a Google search):
http://www.houseofhelp.com/forums/sh...t=68051&page=3
http://www.houseofhelp.com/forums/sh...t=68512&page=3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813121338
Etc...

I have also just e-mailed Intel but it is not very successful (so far).

I have tested quite a few things, and am planning to test more (new parts coming in). I am quite disappointed, as I was hoping to simply build a stable system with all defaults settings, this is why I went with Intel and Corsair. Not waste a month trying everything under the sun... I specifically emailed Corsair for verificatoin before buying. The memory is rated at 1.5V, which is the motherboard spec. It's all designed to work together and I have the latest drivers, BIOS, and all. Some of the issues that I found, in order:
1. TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX is rated at 1.5V, as stated in the specs, and it's written on the module itself. However, the same module without heat spreader is 1.7V, as is a similar module in the 2x2 GB version. (TW3X4G1333C9DHX). It does not make sense...Corsair was unable to explain.

2. A search for DX48BT2 on Corsair showed 10 days ago TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX as the "enthusiast" option (I saved the page for my records, no mistake here). It is now not listed anymore, but the 2x2GB version is (TW3X4G1333C9DHX). Again, this is not logical...did something happened in between? I have just read about the recommendation from Corsair saying that one kit is tested to work, but that doesn't mean that 2 kits of 2x1 GB (therefore 4x1GB) will, and one kit of 2x2GB is rather recommended if 4 GB of memory is desired...see below for the test of one stick only/new purchase.

3. I installed the memory, all four sticks, in my motherboard, BIOS dated March 2008. On the first cold boot, the board powered on, then off, then on, then off, then on. This cycling issue has been described when trying to overclock and it fails. Not my case. The new and latest BIOS of May 2008 is supposed to fix that. I updated the BIOS. It now only cycles on/off once on the first cold boot, and shows a warning message saying that the boot was unsuccessful, and reverted to default options. All options were in default to begin with, and I checked that in fact nothing had changed. Subsequent boots are just fine. It's only the first cold boot. And this is with the new BIOS version suposed to fix that. So I wonder if there is a compatibility problem or detection of the ram the first time. FYI, I redid the test with only 1 stick of RAM (1GB), and nothing else plugged in except the CPU and CPU fan and PSU. (on this board you can boot even without the graphics card, keyboard, etc). I also exchanged the power supply. I also tried the same with the one stick at 1.7V instead of 1.54V. Same issue. This leaves the motherboard, RAM, CPU -- either a compatibility issue, component failure, or a wrong setting (it's all supposed to work together?!). Failure is doubteful as other have reported issues with the same and other boards. I will nevertheless test a new 1 stick of the 2GB TW3X4G1333C9DHX rated at 1.7V when it arrives.
(Note: subsequent boots are fine, and the board dsiplays correctly all settings for the processor, memory timing and voltage at 1.54V if set in default).

4. I installed Windows Vista SP1 32-bit with one stick of RAM, and all uncessary components unplugged. All BIOS defaults settings (including memory at 1.54V). Everything was kept extremly cool: memory, CPU, X48, etc. Installation went fine. Installation of all drivers went fine. I then went to 4 GB, all default settings. No issue. Went on with sound card (X-Fi), all driver updates, programs, etc. No issues. Then, the second day, windows got stuck on shutdown. A few hours later, I installed Norton 2008, and the computer completely froze during installation. I rebooted, uninstalled. Restarted installation, which went fine. When connecting to register, computer froze. Uninstalled again. Then the computer screen flickered, and windows indicated that the display driver stopped responding, then recovered, etc, for a few seconds until BSOD. Uninstalled Norton, uninstalled some graphics card component (ASUS smart doctor and OSD display for EAH3650). Uninstalled a few things. Found no documented issue of Norton completely freezing a PC with my setup, and symptoms above seem hardware related. During one of the freeze, the hard drive seek could be heard for a few seconds while the front panel LED activity was off. Re-installed Norton as a third test (to confirm hardware issue, or incompatibility with some ASUS functions because of the display driver message). Installation went fine all the way. No issues. Rebooted the computer a couple of times, used it the next day, no issues. Even did a complete scandisk (performed by Windows before start), no issues found. No errors in SMART. Passmark test of CPU, RAM fine (only a short 15 min test though). Computer stayed on with no issues. After a few hours, all of a sudden the display driver stopped responding and the computer froze again. All components temperature had not changed. Everything cool except the X48 chipset heatsink quite warm around 55-60 deg C (emailed Intel the temperatures and they said it was perfectly normal), and the memory, also around 55-57 degC on top of the heatsink, about 50-55 on the sides. Emailed Corsair, and they said it can be hot but not burning hot. 55-57 is almost burning hot. Found an article on Corsair website saying that the DHX technology cools the chips from above 60 deg C to about 50 deg C; did some research that indicated, both on Corsair website and elswehere, that high temperature can reduce the life of the product and speed, but not reliability. Also, the second Norton installation froze the computer at the end when entering account info, not using memory/CPU/HDD a lot, and I had placed a huge fan on the side of the PC case that I opened - ALL components were almost room temperature 25-30 deg C. Nothing was warm. Confirmed with all reported temperatures. Even GPU.

5. From all the random bugs noted above, I decided there definitely was an issue (!) and memory was one of the common denominator (boot bug, freeze, etc). I ran Memetest 86+ with 4 sticks, 1.54V. 1st pass went fine, with huge cooling fan. In the middle of the second pass, I removed the fan to let the RAM reach its normal PC operating temp (55 deg C or so). When I came back, the third pass had showed 1061 errors (which confirms what you see seraching Google: one pass is NOT enough, and not matter how long the test is, there should be NO errors posted). Put a little fan to cool a little the RAM to 40-45 deg C. At the 5th pass, I stopped, no other errors showed up.
Additional points:
a. No matter what the temperature is (below 60 deg C), no error should show up in that temperature range
b. As stated above, found many other issues from others with Intel reboot but the new BIOS is supposed to fix that -- apparently something in my setup is wrong even at 1.7V because of the BIOS message reverting to defaults. Other reporting memory issues with Corsair on Asus mobo with X38/X48.
c. One memtest86+ pass is NOT enough!
d. I had not disabled Legacy USB (was supposed to be for older mobos). Will do so now.
e. I had put the stick in the slots after opening the package, but may have mixed them (1 stick of one lot with the other lot in the same channel) - not sure if that would create an issue, but as I said, some weird issue at cold boot with one stick.

I will test the 2x2GB kit since it's now recommended on Corsair's website, when I receive it. I will meanwhile test my current sticks with memetest at 1.7V (boot in Windows fine as well, have not tested yet for computer freeze over time, but still Intel reboot issue on cold boot). I will also test only one stick (again still cold reboot bug).

I am disappointed. I chose components specified to work with the settings I used: 1.5V and DDR3-1333 for Intel, and Corsair DDR3-1333 at 1.5V with heat coooler chosen...plus did not overclock anything, was careful, etc. I am trying to find the common denominator in my issues above to find what is really the cause -- for now, motherboard/memory seem the more likely. I'd gladly say something has faile and needs replaced, but other have issue as well. Plus I tested one stick. Will test more, but meanwhile, if Ram Guy has suggestions or proposed settings, that would be greatly appreciated!
Nicholas
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2008, 05:45 PM
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Wow really long thread and I will get back to this ASAP, time permitting but the first thing I have to say is the Voltage will change for some of the parts and I am sorry about that but 1.5-1.7 Volts is pretty normal for that speed grade and not from only us. And the Rated timings and Voltage we specify should be printed on the modules label to help prevent the wrong settings being set. I do understand its confusing and hard to follow and we try to minimize that but it does happen.
Also I would never suggest mixing memory, and with 4 modules you will most likely have to drop the memory frequency down to the next speed grade and increase the memory and chipset voltage as well. Max memory voltage for DDR3 would be 2.0 Volts and I would not go more than about +.3 Volts on the NB/MCH/SPP Voltage. But please test the modules one at a time at their rated settings with www.memtest.org and lets make sure one is not failing.
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  #3  
Old 06-16-2008, 07:41 PM
NicholasDX48BT2 NicholasDX48BT2 is offline
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Ram Guy,

Thanks a lot for your reply! Yes, my post was long, but I feel that describing the situation inaccurately or omitting some other errors found does not give the full picture and the common denominator to the problem ;o) Also, I'm an engineer!

I also hope this would else some of the other folks experiencing the same issues.

I have done more testing:
1. With 4 sticks, I tried voltage from 1.54 to 1.82V. The cold reboot BIOS detection error persists, saying to either go to the BIOS or try again the settings. Subsequent boots are fine. Even though no options changed. Some other people have found the same bug, so I doubt it is a buggy mobo. Some other people have no problem or haven't noticed it on the first cold boot, and coincidentally I have some other problem that causes the Vista/Memtest crash.
2. Again I tried decreasing the frequency to 800 MHz, voltages from 1.54V to 1.82V, and increase the MCH voltage to 1.45V, and combinations of all those options with the four sticks. Still cold boot issue (again no unecessary component plugged to mobo).
3. I also tried the EIST option. Nothing.
4. I then tried each stick, and adjusted voltages 1.54-1.82, with only ONE stick in. Same cold boot issue. Then I tried one stick, but on a different slot to rule out a mobo slot issue. Same bug.
5. Every time, on a cold reboot, I also see that the rear fan controlled by the mobo starts on High, instead of low as it is normally on subsequent successful boots and when working in vista. Changing that option and unplugging the fan does nothing. It just tells me that there is a bug on the first cold boot, plus the mobo sets the fan at a different speed?! Again other have had cold boot issues, so I would be skeptical of a mobo failure. Obviously I can't test if this happens with no memory at all. I may try another brand to see...
6. I disabled USB legacy, and I am now running Memtest86+ with only one stick, all default options, but voltage set at 1.7V. Reviews for my corsair memory and mobo at Newegg and elsewhere shows people with no issues at 1.54V, whereas some other say that they had to increase to 1.7V for stability. Either there is a random tolerance issue somewhere, or the 1.54V folks did not see the problem for the first day or two like me, then did not post an update...

Nicholas
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:34 PM
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Cold boot issues are very tricky to debug and in some cases duplicate and 99% of the time will be a power or MB power related problem. I would suspect from experience that a bios release will come out that resolves the problem, but I doubt there will ever be any mention of it being officially fixed. The other thing to keep in mind is this is a new chip set's and while I have not seen that problem as of yet except when over clocking it is normal for new chip sets to have a few BIOS revisions in the first 2-6 Months. But I will check with our testing staff and see what they may have found with that MoBo.
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  #5  
Old 06-16-2008, 09:49 PM
NicholasDX48BT2 NicholasDX48BT2 is offline
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Ram Guy,

Thanks again for your reply! I've done again more testing...

1. I tested one stick of ram in slot 2 at 1.7V, USB legacy off. The beginning was fine. When I came back at 66% of pass 3, there were already thousands of errors. I stopped.

2. Tested another stick in slot 1, and this time at default setting of 1.54 V (spec of both the RAM and mobo). No error at 75% of pass 3, but I stopped there to do other tests since I just received more parts.

3. I unplugged everything and changed the PSU and memory to another brand (still 9-9-9-24 1.5V memory)...cold boot issue continues! So it is either a problem of BIOS, or mobo/CPU failure or bug, or short circuit (unlikely as I doubled-checked all, but will remove the board to test). I will also try to reset the BIOS. Regarding your comment for reboot & Intel, I found that the cold reboot bug was supposed to happen according to reviews only with the previous BIOS release, and only when bad settings were applied, and supposedly fixed with the new BIOS (confirmed by some reviews). All my settings are default...I could have a bad mobo, but then again the reboot issue is mentioned by others. On the other hand, many reviews on Newegg don't mention a thing...either they didn't see it, or there is a bigger issue here. Also, the chipset is indeed new, but similar to X48, and the BIOS has been shared by both version since the beginning. X38 and BIOS were release more than 6 months ago. The BIOS is still shared, so X48 benefits from X38 improvements. The reboot issue also affected X38.

4. I will do again the test of my other stick in slot 1, to see if it gives issues at pass 3 and beyond. If it does not, the other RAM stick I have is bad or the other mobo slot is bad. If it does, I will test my other memory brand. And finally try to conclude on whether my cold boot issue is definitely an un-fixed Intel bug, and whether I have a bad RAM stick, and whether those issues are related...!

Nicholas
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:23 AM
NicholasDX48BT2 NicholasDX48BT2 is offline
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I've done more tests...using my RAM modules (stick #1 trhough #4), and the slots of my motherboard (#1 through #4)

1. RAM stick #1 in slot #1 did not show Memtest86+ issues after more than 7 hours of testing, dozens of passes.

2. RAM stick #4 in slot #1 did not show any errors after two hours of test, 9 passes.

3. RAM stick #2 in slot #2 showed errors, that I noticed when I came back to the PC after 35-40 minutes.

4. RAM stick #2 in slot #1, I stayed in front of the PC, and saw errors showing up after less than 2 minutes.

Conclusion: there is at least one defective memory module. I'm quite surprise given that it's a quality part. I also will test all my motherboard's slots. It also is clear that running one pass of Memtest is not sufficient (it showed up OK with 4 modules in).

Regarding my motherboard, if someone else has the DX48BT2 or DX38BT, please, could you let me know if you have the same cold reboot bug? I'm trying to decide if it's an Intel bug, or defective motherboard. The mobo cycles on/off once on the first cold boot, not after that. I've upgraded to the latest BIOS of May 2008, supposed to fix that...

Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2008, 10:24 AM
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Wow, this is a long thread - I haven't had a chance to catch up on all the reading, but figured I would post my own 2 cents based on the problems I've had.


I have the same Intel DX48XBT2 board, but DDR3 Corsair rated at 1600Mhz.

Computer power cycles over and over on/off/on/off/on/off when you try to power it up. If you let it cycle long enough, sometimes it will eventually boot. (not overclocked)

I found that if I pulled the aux PCI-E power connectors from the 9800GTX video card, the computer would power on fine, (but no video obviously)

If you connect the power while its running, and hit CTRL+ALT+DEL, the machine will shut off, then start power-cycling again.

With a 8600GTS it boots up just fine.

Sounds simple, power supply is too weak, or protection is too agressive.

Tried a new power supply (600W Thermaltake PurePower) same exact problem.


Also; a note on the RAM. I previously had Patriot memory that wouldn't run at the clock advertised.

Replaced it with Corsair. The Corsair worked better, but still had issues.

I found the solution to be setting the reference bus speed to a higher value when selecting the memory speed.

Its absolutely stupid because the resulting clock can be the same, yet it still seems to matter.


e.g.
bus 266MHz / Reference 266MHz / Clock 1066
v.s.
bus 266MHz / Reference 333MHz / Clock 1333
v.s.
bus 266MHz / Reference 400MHz / Clock 1600

You would think all of the above would result in the same result but they don't!!! Intel has some background stuff going on that's not being displayed.
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:09 PM
NicholasDX48BT2 NicholasDX48BT2 is offline
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Thank you for your post! Let me give a quick update based on contacts at Intel and posts elswhere:

1. The power cycle on/off was more limited with the new BIOS from May 2008. Yet, it happens the first time you plug the power supply to the AC outlet, with a display from the Watchdog Timer that the POST was unsuccessful and offers to change BIOS options, even though nothing is changed, and then you reboot and it's fine. It's only when you apply power the first time with some configurations (Quad+DDR3 1333 and above?) or if you use a switch on your extension cord/power outlet obviously, even if it boots fine, if you remove AC power it will happen again the first time (not good for the hard drives!!!). Subsequent starups are fine. Change of memory, power supply etc, it's the same issue. Intel has confirmed the bug and has esclated the issue for their engineering department to investigate. I have not received any updates for a while. They did not know why it said the POST was unsuccessful, but they found the SAME bug on their own setup!!!

2. The SMBus issue I mentioned earlier is also a bug that I got Intel to finally confirm. They will be looking at it. It happens with the drivers 8.3 and above. I got an error message in Vista saying the drivers were missing, that how I found it, but not every body gets the message, but the result is the same in any case, there is a bug in device manager. IDCC may have additional drivers apparently that could take care of the bug. Other than the bug in the device manager and the error message in Vista that some may see, no other issues found yet with that bug.

3. The TCP/IP error I found in my event log is described as Microsoft as a limit to prevent virus spread, since it limits outbound connections to IP addresses that are not valid (25 failed connections per second with Vista Ultimate). So I thought because I'm the only one with the bug (not using peer to peer or torrent), that I have a virus or a bad network card in the motherboard? Noooo. This one is a Microsoft bug. If you select 30 songs or so in Windows explorer and rigt click to add to Windows Media player playlist or simply play (it's like the most basic thing one would do with Vista right??? and I do it after installation to test the sound and channels, before I install iTunes etc)...well apparently Windows connects to multiple addresses and also incorrect addresses, even if you choose all options in configuration for Windows Media Player to NEVER connect to internet for any reason. Well obviously it is still trying to connect, and to bad IP addresses too! I would like to hear Microsoft on that one. Spying? Also I duplicated the issue on other PCs (even at BestBuy!!!). You will see the TCP/IP error, which will limit your network connection and also tell you that this is for Virus protection if you search Microsoft's KB. Good job Microsoft.

4. I get some BSODs/"atikmdag display driver has recovered" messages, maybe once a week. It's random and not frequent at all, but usually not long after a startup. There are tons of people with that issue (Google). Other than that, it's very stable. I updated all drivers -- same. The only real issue is when installing Norton from the free 2008 BankofAmerica trial file (I'm saying that because it's the only version I tried), it freezes the computer at random points during or after installation. Then I get tons of BSODs, etc. After yet another reformat, I have no issues with other programs -- McAfee, image word editing tools, music etc, no issues during installatoin, no freeze. So is it really only Norton?? Because I never get a screen freeze otherwise, but I do get some atikmdag display driver has recovered occasionally, just on 2D desktop.

RamGuy: I have read on ATI's website that most likely the memory/motherboard can be involved. I will try to underclock my card (HD 3650, not overcloked, default settings) to see if it helps, then try a different memory setting to see if that helps reduce the frequency atikmdag bug. I have 4 GB of TW3X4G1333C9DHX (2x2GB). I set it at 1.7V vs. the default of the DX48BT2 board which is 1.5V (note that I got BSODs with Norton before with TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX which is rated at 1.5V and I had at 1.5V, but OK one stick was defective and the errors may have been caused by Norton too so it's hard to conclude). 1.7V is what is shown on the sticker on my new memory modules TW3X4G1333C9DHX. I ran memtest for 11 passes overnight with no errors.

RamgGuy, What do you suggest as a more stable frequency and timing for that memory to try? I have 1333 MHz and 9-9-9-24 which is what is printed on the modules...what about the bus options mentioned by Andy0x1?
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:30 PM
Andy0x1 Andy0x1 is offline
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Its absolutely stupid because the resulting clock can be the same, yet it still seems to matter.


e.g.
bus 266MHz / Reference 266MHz / Clock 1066
v.s.
bus 266MHz / Reference 333MHz / Clock 1333
v.s.
bus 266MHz / Reference 400MHz / Clock 1600

You would think all of the above would result in the same result but they don't!!! Intel has some background stuff going on that's not being displayed.[/QUOTE]


Just to clarify the above post as I didn't word that very well;

This board gives you the option to "reference" the frequency you want against to prevent accidental over-clocking with higher FSB speeds.

If you clock your CPU bus at 266 (quad pumped to 1066MHz) and select a memory speed of 1066MHz, you will get a RAM speed of 1066MHz.

If you raise your CPU bus speed to 333 (quad pumped to 1333MHz) and select a memory speed of 1066MHz, you will actually get 1333MHz.

What is odd, is (at least for me) that would fail to boot.

yet if I set the reference speed to 400, and the memory speed to 1600MHz while keeping the same 333 (quad pumped 1333MHz) bus speed, it would result in the same 1333MHz memory speed, but unlike the previous iteration, this one actually worked and allowed the system to boot.

----------

with a deeper over-clock of 366Mhz (1464Mhz) 3.29GHz (up from 2.4GHz)

1464MHz mem speed via 366 / "Default" set 1066 - Fail to boot
1464MHz mem speed via 366 / "266" set 1066 - Fail to boot
1464MHz mem speed via 366 / "333" set 1333 - Fail to boot
1464MHz mem speed via 366 / "400" set 1600 - Works Great!

That makes no sense.

Other speeds:
1100MHz mem speed via 366 / "Default" set 800 - works fine with corsair but not ********
and etc, on down the pattern.


Anyone else notice this?

latest Intel Bios as of this writing.
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2008, 10:04 AM
NicholasDX48BT2 NicholasDX48BT2 is offline
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RamGuy,

I'm still trying to find less "intensive" settings for my RAM. I have TW3X4G1333C9DHX (2x2GB) at 1.7V and 1333 MHz and 9-9-9-24 which is what is printed on the modules. What do you suggest as a slower speed and more conservative timing? What about 2T/1T??

Thanks in advance!
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  #11  
Old 07-25-2008, 03:46 PM
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It will depend on the CPU FSB as to what you can set the memory to but they will run at DDR800 or DDR1066 at Cas 7-7-7-20 at DDR1066 most likely with out any problems.
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2008, 04:11 PM
NicholasDX48BT2 NicholasDX48BT2 is offline
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RamGuy -- thanks a lot. What I have now is:

Q9300 @ 2.50 Ghz (not overclocked), Bus speed 1333 Mhz (all default options)
DX48BT2
TW3X4G1333C9DHX (2x2GB) at 1.7V

Memory page: custom to be able to change from 1.54V to 1.70V, but that's the only thing I changed:
Reference Frequency = <default>
Memory Frequency = 1333 Mhz
tCL 9
tRCD 9
tRP 9
TRASmin 24
tRFC 60
tRRD 4
tWR 10
tWTR 5
tRTP 5
Voltage 1.70 V
Command Rate <Auto>

The main screen shows (display only/not changeable):
System bus speed 1333 MHz
System memory speed 1333 MHz
System memory speed override 1332 MHz

What's with the 1332 MHz?!

So you would suggest 1066 MHz and 7-7-7-20 but leave ALL other parameters the same, correct? (same bus speed, voltage, command rate, tRFC etc...)

Thanks!
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