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Is Motherboard or Ram bad


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#1 jeflet

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 06:12 PM

I have just put together a new system and run Passmarks' BurnIn test on it as the system is not completely stable. During installation I had several BSODs, but prevailed eventually. The main problem is, if I have both 2G RAM installed I generate about 14 errors on the BurnIn 15 minute test, but either RAM installed alone tests OK. In addition, with just one RAM stick in, the machine works well, but with both in it crashes after a while. The MS error reports are sometime reported as corrupted (which it says is a very bad thing!).

The question is, is the RAM bad when run in dual channel mode, or is the MB not able to control the RAM in dual channel mode. In addition, the machine won't boot with both RAM in Slot 1, so it is set up with RAM in slot 2 channel A+B.
Also the 'Express Gate' attempts to load at start up but then reports it failed, and the boot up moves on to the BIOS welcome screen

ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO
Corsair 'XMS3' DDR3 twin pack TW3X4G1333C9A

Antec 500W - voltages look good
Athlon II x4 640 - BurnIn Pass

thanks for your help

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#2 dc3

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 07:26 PM

Hi jeflet, and welcome to BleepingComputer.

What operating system are you using, is it a 32-bit or a 64-bit operating system.

Are you sure that you have the RAM modules populated properly?

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#3 jeflet

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 11:04 AM

32 bit XP professional
The RAM is in the two black slots which are the 2 closest to the CPU labelled A2 and B2. I did put them in slots A1 and A2 originally (a sort of channel 1 and 2 on the A side mindset (they were the 1st and 3rd from the CPU)) and the computer wouldn't get to the BIOS screen - all I had was a few lines of text with letters that came and went - I never got the full message. After a minute of these words with randomly changing letters the screen went 'noisy' with various green and purple distorted blocks of color.
Moving the RAM to channel A2 and B2 allowed the machine to set up and boot. I could move the mouse around and it 'looked' OK, but as soon as I started to make the machine do some work it crashed. Thats when I tested each RAM separately and found they both allowed a functioning machine and check OK with BurnIn. BurnIn runs with both RAM in place, so things seem a little better for that program, but still crashes with other software, and as I said previously, BurnIn finds errors when testing the RAM when both sticks are in.
I am unsure how DDR3 works so can't picture what might be going on. I note one online writer says the RAM needs more voltage than the specified 1.5V, but I would rather get solid hardware running than a cobbled together job than may fail later.

thanks

#4 DaChew

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 11:35 AM

Several of the people with that mobo at newegg reported setting the ram settings in bios manually and they were using stronger power supplies, there were quite a few negative reviews also.

I would bump the dimm voltage to 1.6
Chewy

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#5 jeflet

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 02:07 PM

Thanks for your advice. I increased the voltage to 1.605 and this seemed to decrease the spontaneous rebooting, but did not solve it. I did some further controlled testing, switching RAM and sockets (at 1.5V). One stick of RAM works perfectly in all sockets. The other stick interestingly works in DIMM socket 0 (closest to CPU) but fails in the other 3 sockets. In the furthest socket the computer will not reboot, in the two middle sockets it runs but generates lots of errors in BurnIn and Windows memory diagnostic scanner

I conclude that the RAM is clearly not 'matched', and that one stick is unreliable. I don't know why it becomes more unreliable the further it moves from the CPU. In the absence of instructions to the contrary, I will RMA the RAM and see if that solves all the issues.

Thank you for your time and advice

#6 jeflet

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:15 PM

To close this out, I RMA'd the RAM. The replacement RAM works faultlessly at 1.5V. All is now well

Thanks to all

#7 DaChew

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 05:57 PM

To close this out, I RMA'd the RAM. The replacement RAM works faultlessly at 1.5V. All is now well

Thanks to all



That was an excellent decision

:thumbsup:

Thank goodness it wasn't the mobo,
Chewy

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