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Dimm 184-pin Problem--single-sided? Double-sided? Wtf?


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#1 webgrunt

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 04:51 AM

Hello.

I have an Albatron K8X800 ProII motherboard. It has the latest BIOS (1.13)
and has the VIA K8T800 and VT8237 with an Athlon 64 processor.

I was running two 512 MB DIMMs, which I tried to replace with three 1 GB
DIMMs.

The new DIMMs are A-DATA V-Series 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)
System Memory

Brand A-DATA
Series V-Series
Model VDBGC1A16
Type 184-Pin DDR SDRAM

Capacity 1GB
Speed DDR 400 (PC 3200)
Cas Latency 3
Voltage 2.7V
x16

First I put in all three DIMMs and tried to boot. POST detected 1.8 GB of
RAM and froze.

I took the DIMMs out of slots 2 and 3 , and just left one in slot 1. System
detected 1 GB RAM on POST and booted fine.

I tried adding one of the other DIMMs to slot 2, and the system detected
only 1.8 GB and locks on POST again. Thinking I may have a bad module, I swapped the second DIMM for the third and retried to boot, same thing.

According to the manual, this MB should support 3 GB RAM.

Albatron issued an addendum to the manual which is supposed to update the info on installing RAM. Here's the link:
ftp://211.78.163.2/product/it/mb/pdfzip/i...ry_addendum.zip

So anyway, I notice in the addendum it refers to "single side" and "double
side" modules. How would I be able to tell whether my DIMMs are single or double-sided? If they're double-sided, then according to the chart they
aren't supported.

How can I find out whether these DIMMs are supported by this board? How can I tell whether a DIMM is single-sided or double-sided before I buy it (or after, for that matter?)

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#2 Gary335

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 08:07 AM

IfI'm not mistaken, double sided simply means that there are chips on both sides of the stick of RAM. If your RAM has chips on both sides, than its double sided. If not, its single sided.

#3 dc3

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 09:57 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_sided/double_sided


"Single sided" refers to a RAM expansion with a single "bank" of chips, which the computer can access all at once. The physical expansion card may have chips on both of its sides, or only on one side, but is considered to be single sided because the computer can "see" all of its memory at once.

"Double sided" RAM has its chips divided into two sides (called "banks"), only one of which can be seen at a time by the computer. Initially, these were created by essentially attaching two single-sided SIMM cards to the same PCB, but more modern chips use different wiring. Pins 33 and 45 on the board are used by double-sided memory, and can sometimes be an indicator as to whether a given module is single or double-sided. To use the second half of the storage available, the computer must switch to the second bank, and can no longer read or write to the first half until it switches back again.

Edited by dc3, 20 September 2006 - 10:02 AM.

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#4 Enthusiast

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 07:18 PM

You can use the Crucial Memory Advisor Tool at Crucial.com which will offer you various choices for Ram that is supported by your motherboard.

http://www.crucial.com/index.asp

#5 Gyro

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 02:47 AM

SIMM = Single Inline Memory Module (chips one one side)
DIMM = Dual Inline Memory Module (chips on both sides)

The processor your using doesn't support 2.7 volt ram, it only supports 2.5 volt, I guess you could try to change this setting in the bios.

#6 webgrunt

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 07:25 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_sided/double_sided


"Single sided" refers to a RAM expansion with a single "bank" of chips, which the computer can access all at once. The physical expansion card may have chips on both of its sides, or only on one side, but is considered to be single sided because the computer can "see" all of its memory at once.

"Double sided" RAM has its chips divided into two sides (called "banks"), only one of which can be seen at a time by the computer. Initially, these were created by essentially attaching two single-sided SIMM cards to the same PCB, but more modern chips use different wiring. Pins 33 and 45 on the board are used by double-sided memory, and can sometimes be an indicator as to whether a given module is single or double-sided. To use the second half of the storage available, the computer must switch to the second bank, and can no longer read or write to the first half until it switches back again.


Thank you for the info! I've read up on this somewhat but didn't really understand until I read your post. Are you a tech writer? If not, you would be an excellent one. VERY clear explanation.

You can use the Crucial Memory Advisor Tool at Crucial.com which will offer you various choices for Ram that is supported by your motherboard.

http://www.crucial.com/index.asp



Thanks!

#7 webgrunt

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 07:27 AM

The processor your using doesn't support 2.7 volt ram, it only supports 2.5 volt, I guess you could try to change this setting in the bios.


Good point. I forgot to mention that I did do that. The BIOS's lowest voltage setting for RAM was 2.6 v, which is where it was. Unfortunately, setting it to 2.7 didn't help.

#8 Gyro

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 09:26 AM

I actually start to wonder if it could possibly be a voltage problem... except that wouldn't explain why it just freezes and doesn't slow down first... I want to say it's some compatibility issue with some device on your computer, something that only has a 1.8 gig limit, however I can't think off the top of my head what device it could be, my first instinct was the processor since you said you checked the motherboard... by the looks of it, it's either change the voltage to 2.5 or you have to deal with it crashing on you... but I think you would need to exchange the 2.7 for 2.5...

Edited by Gyro, 21 September 2006 - 09:36 AM.


#9 dc3

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 10:50 AM

Thank you for the info! I've read up on this somewhat but didn't really understand until I read your post. Are you a tech writer? If not, you would be an excellent one. VERY clear explanation.


The link above the definition is to Wikipedia which is an on line encyclopedia, and yes they do have good technical writers. I use Webopedia as well, they both provide clear and succinct definitions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_sided/double_sided

Just out of curiosity I went to Crucial to see what the specs were on the modules that they suggest and Albatron isn't listed as one the motherboards that they support. Corsair does list the motherboard and has several modules listed for that board. You can view them here.

Do us a favor and download Everest Home Edition, (you can download it here) and list the information that it provides for your original RAM. To view this open Everest, click on motherboard, and then SPD and it should list your specs.

How do you have the BIOS set for the Advanced Chipset Features, is it set to the default setting (Auto)?

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#10 webgrunt

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 08:57 PM

Just out of curiosity I went to Crucial to see what the specs were on the modules that they suggest and Albatron isn't listed as one the motherboards that they support.


Correct, but if you select the bottom one on the list, which is "More Manufacturers" then click "Go", you can click the drop-down list again, and you will see many more makes including Albatron. Here's a link to the memory they sell for my particular board.


Interestingly, the original RAM I had in there was Crucial.


Corsair does list the motherboard and has several modules listed for that board. You can view them here.

Do us a favor and download Everest Home Edition, (you can download it here) and list the information that it provides for your original RAM. To view this open Everest, click on motherboard, and then SPD and it should list your specs.

How do you have the BIOS set for the Advanced Chipset Features, is it set to the default setting (Auto)?


I tried auto, then I tried all the other settings. I left the voltage at 2.7 of course.

Here is the Everest data for a SINGLE stick of the NEW RAM (which works if I only use one stick). Data for the old RAM is listed after that.

Device Description
DIMM1: A-DATA (1 GB PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
Field Value
Memory Module Properties
Module Name A-DATA
Serial Number None
Module Size 1024 MB (2 ranks, 4 banks)
Module Type Unbuffered
Memory Type DDR SDRAM
Memory Speed PC3200 (200 MHz)
Module Width 64 bit
Module Voltage SSTL 2.5
Error Detection Method None
Refresh Rate Reduced (7.8 us), Self-Refresh

Memory Timings
@ 200 MHz 3.0-4-4-8 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)
@ 166 MHz 2.5-4-4-7 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)

Memory Module Features
Early RAS# Precharge Not Supported
Auto-Precharge Not Supported
Precharge All Not Supported
Write1/Read Burst Not Supported
Buffered Address/Control Inputs Not Supported
Registered Address/Control Inputs Not Supported
On-Card PLL (Clock) Not Supported
Buffered DQMB Inputs Not Supported
Registered DQMB Inputs Not Supported
Differential Clock Input Supported
Redundant Row Address Not Supported


And here's the data for the original RAM I had in there, the two 512 MB Crucial modules:

Device Description
DIMM1: 88F5HDL0-1UDG
DIMM2: 88F5HDL0-1UDG

Field Value
Memory Module Properties
Module Name 88F5HDL0-1UDG
Serial Number None
Module Size 512 MB (2 ranks, 4 banks)
Module Type Unbuffered
Memory Type DDR SDRAM
Memory Speed PC3200 (200 MHz)
Module Width 64 bit
Module Voltage SSTL 2.5
Error Detection Method None
Refresh Rate Reduced (7.8 us), Self-Refresh

Memory Timings
@ 200 MHz 3.0-3-3-8 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)
@ 166 MHz 2.5-3-3-7 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)
@ 133 MHz 2.0-2-2-6 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)

Memory Module Features
Early RAS# Precharge Not Supported
Auto-Precharge Not Supported
Precharge All Not Supported
Write1/Read Burst Not Supported
Buffered Address/Control Inputs Not Supported
Registered Address/Control Inputs Not Supported
On-Card PLL (Clock) Not Supported
Buffered DQMB Inputs Not Supported
Registered DQMB Inputs Not Supported
Differential Clock Input Supported
Redundant Row Address Not Supported

By the way, that Everest program is fantastic!

#11 Enthusiast

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 07:21 AM

Open Everest, click on the + to the left of Motherboard to open the tree

Click on "SPD" and it will give you all info on the ram including manufacturer, etc.

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#12 webgrunt

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 09:21 PM

Open Everest, click on the + to the left of Motherboard to open the tree

Click on "SPD" and it will give you all info on the ram including manufacturer, etc.


Huh? That's exactly what I did in the post just before yours, isn't it?

Edited by webgrunt, 22 September 2006 - 09:21 PM.


#13 webgrunt

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 08:28 AM

SOLVED!


I found that if I had all three DIMMS in there and my AGP aperture size was set to 1 GB, it would, on POST, detect 1.8 GB of RAM and lock up. If I had all three DIMMS in there and my AGP aperture size was set to 512 MB, it would, on POST, detect 2.8 GB of RAM and lock up. This was consistent! It was only when I set the AGP aperture size to 256 MB that it detected all the RAM and booted successfully. Obviously, the AGP aperture size setting has a direct effect on how the system sees this type of RAM, though I have no idea why it should.

Here's the solution:


1. Insert one DIMM in slot 1, leave slots 2 and 3 empty for now.

2. Go into Advanced Chipset Features \in the BIOS. Set the RAM frequency to AUTO, make sure the timings are set to auto, and SET THE AGP APERTURE SIZE to 256 OR LESS. (Read why at the end of the steps here.)

3. Save settings, boot to Windows or whatever your OS is, then shut down, install the other two sticks of RAM and reboot. You should not have any problem from this point on.

NOTE that the frequency settings DO matter also. If I set the RAM to 166 (333DDR) or higher, it boots into Windows, then locks. I didn't try 133 (266 DDR), but when I set it to 100 (200 DDR) (or auto in which case it sets to 100 automatically), it's rock-solid.
So one should be aware of this as well. I hope this helps someone else who has this problem!

Edited by webgrunt, 24 September 2006 - 08:43 AM.


#14 Enthusiast

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 09:27 AM

The AGP aperature I believe is the setting for the amount of RAM the agp video adapter is supposed to be set for using shared RAM.

You look up your agp video card to see what setting it calls for and set it for that.

Look at crucual for the type of RAM your mb can use and make sure you have matched sticks of one that is listed there, and your mb is set for that type (spec) of ram.

#15 usasma

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 09:45 AM

Recently I've read a bit about the AGP Aperature size and have come to the conclusing that it doesn't need any adjustment from the default settings in the BIOS.

A general rule when troubleshooting is set everything to system defaults. Custom settings/drivers can make an easy to solve problem unsolvable.
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