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Uhm, new PC stopped booting!


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During a gaming session tonight the PC crashed to desktop, and IE and OE stopped working. I attempted a reboot, but after a succesful boot - Win XP failed to load - error message was RAM R/W fail.

I have 2 matched 512 corsair sticks, so I removed them and tried them one at a time. It boots on one, but not the other.... so, one stick has developed a fault - would that be a safe assumption?

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Yes, I would think the second non bootable stick has bit da dust early. Corsair is one of the better RAM companies. You should hurry to get a replacement identical to the one that is working. You can test all the slots for DDR to make sure that isn't a problem on mobo also.

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I just checked and ebuyer has a 30 day return policy, which I am inside by 2 days! I'll be without any RAM until they test it and ship out a replacement pack though, I suppose I could use the old SDRAM out of the old PC until then though :wall:

One thing I noticed at ebuyer, the customer has to pay for all returns. That's against UK consumer law, if goods are faulty, the supplier pays :nono:

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Did you do as NurFACE recommended, and check all the DIMM slots to make sure it's not your new mobo?

Yeh, the bad stick doesn't work in either slot A or B. The good stick works in either slot.

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No worries on different CL specs. One potential problem though... if you are planning on running in dual channel mode, having an 'odd' chip may prevent that from working. I'm not terribly familiar with the inner workings of dual channel mode, but I believe you have to have only matched sticks (even if two sets) to operate properly.

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No worries on different CL specs. One potential problem though... if you are planning on running in dual channel mode, having an 'odd' chip may prevent that from working. I'm not terribly familiar with the inner workings of dual channel mode, but I believe you have to have only matched sticks (even if two sets) to operate properly.

Sorry about that Dannik, I deleted my "compatible" post after I stopped being lazy found the exact type of stick I needed anyway.

So once I have the replacement dual channel matched sticks, I'll put them in the blue dual channel slots, and the other 512 stick in another slot (it's the same product code as the two that come as a "matched" pair.)

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So once I have the replacement dual channel matched sticks, I'll put them in the blue dual channel slots, and the other 512 stick in another slot (it's the same product code as the two that come as a "matched" pair.)

Aye - that should work. Same setup as me - with 3 DIMMS - 2 matched in the blues and an odd 256Mb in the 2nd (middle) slot.

It shows up in BIOS and during POST as 1.25Gb DDR working in 'Dual-Channel Mode'...

so no probs.

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Aye - that should work. Same setup as me - with 3 DIMMS - 2 matched in the blues and an odd 256Mb in the 2nd (middle) slot.

It shows up in BIOS and during POST as 1.25Gb DDR working in 'Dual-Channel Mode'...

so no probs.

I doubt that having 3 DIMMs will let you run in dual channel mode no matter what your BIOS POST says.

The whole meaning of "dual channel" is that you have 2 x DDR400 RAM = 800MHz FSB. If you have an odd number of DIMMs, your mobo will run at the lower FSB speed.

So this is how it works:

1 x DDR400 RAM = 400MHz

2 x DDR400 RAM = 800MHz

3 x DDR400 RAM = 400MHz

4 x DDR400 RAM = 800MHz

So Rocky, I would recommend you just replace your one stick of RAM for free. You do not necessarily need "matched" pairs. All that means is that Corsair tested the 2 sticks together on a mobo before they shipped.

I've had no problems running 2xCrucial "unmatched" pairs on a couple machines. As long as your memory is coming from a reputable manufacturer, you shouldn't have any problems using "unmatched" pairs, as long as they are the same speed and latency.

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Oh.

Thanks for the tip CR6.

The manual for thr Asus A7N8X-E does seem to suggest that DIMMS in all 3 would be ok - though not clearly - it's a kind of vague table.

So - it would appear that my system is running slower due to the 3 DIMMS requiring FSB bandwidth - rather than 2 running at full pelt?

I'll take out the spare 256 - not that any application would be using it anyway!

Cheers for the tip, again.

:thumbsup:

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From the asus manual (I just checked it) (bold as per manual)

Memory Important Notes

5. DIMMs installed into any three sockets will function in single channel mode.

Because I bought a matched pair, they come as one package, so returning one is not possible.

The spare one I ordered yesterday (to use while 2 are being replaced) is exactly the same product code as stamped on one of those though, so all I have to do now when I get the new matched pair back, is either use the spare 512 in the other machine, or get another 512 and have 4 matched 512 PC3200s in this PC heh.

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Rocky, I don't know why motherboard manufactures make boards with 3 slots since most user want the performance of dual mode which only work in pairs. Tomshardware/anandtech did a test showing that 2 dual mode memory sticks will out perform one single channel stick of memory. Comparision 2 (256) sticks out perform ond 512 stick at FSB 800. 4 sticks was the fastest performance in dual mode. Two part story but a good read even today about memory. http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.html?i=1839

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Rocky, I don't know why motherboard manufactures make boards with 3 slots since most user want the performance of dual mode which only work in pairs.

Sorry if I gave the impression I had only 3 slots, there are 4.

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The manual for thr Asus A7N8X-E does seem to suggest that DIMMS in all 3 would be ok - though not clearly - it's a kind of vague table.

Make sure you put the RAM in the blue slots for dual channel preformace on that mobo.

@Rocky, you can populate all 4 slots on your mobo and reap the benefits of dual channel speeds.

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Quick question:

My mobo has three slots, two blue and one green and my RAM is on one blue slot and green slot, would putting the other stick into the green slot improve performance or should i just leave it as it is?

Thanks,

Aggressor

**EDIT: its 2 PURPLE and one GREEN slot

Edited by Aggressor
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Most likely, yes. Your motherboard indeed supports Dual Channel DDR, and you appear to have two identical sticks of RAM.

I'm downloading the manual for your motherboard now to confirm, but in all likelyhood, if you just used the two identically coloured DIMM slots, and made sure dual channel was active in your BIOS, your memory throughput should virtually double.

Well, the manual wasn't much help. I assume if you moved that one chip, your system should automatically switch to dual channel mode.

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Well, the manual wasn't much help. I assume if you moved that one chip, your system should automatically switch to dual channel mode.

The MSI K7N2 Delta-L mainboard definitely includes Dual DDR memory architecture. As Dannik said, moving both RAM modules to the blue slots will enable dual channel DDR. :thumbsup:

@CR6:My understanding of Dual DDR is that you need an even number of PC3200 (or above) DDR SDRAM modules of equal specifications. The MSI website indicates that the K7N2 Delta-L supports Dual Channel PC3200/2700/2100/1600 DDR SDRAM modules. Is it possible to have Dual DDR enabled with less than PC3200 DDR SDRAM (ie. PC2700 DDR SDRAM modules instead)? If it is does the CPU have to have an 800MHz FSB?

blistr

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Interesting discussion :thumbsup:

I think I kinda figured out what the source of confusion is here ... Just to get things straight, we are talking about 2 different motherboards here:

1) Syncopator has a Asus A7N8X-E which uses Nvidia's nForce 2 chipset for AMD CPUs. This mobo has a total of 3 DIMM slots. Why? Because AthlonXP CPUs have a maximum Front Side Bus of 400MHz.

Why did Nvidia do this? Because the nForce 2 has been around a for some time, before PC3200 RAM was widely available. This way, a year ago, you could stick in 2xDDR200 (old PC1600 RAM) and get the equivalent of 400MHz FSB, or 2xDDR266 (very commonly found PC2100 RAM) which would make you think you could get 533MHz FSB, but it would still run at 400MHz FSB cuz that is the 400MHz FSB limit of the AthlonXP's.

The best RAM for this mobo is buying DDR400 (PC3200). That way, you can have 1 or 2 or even 3 sticks of RAM on your mobo and it would all run at the max speed 400FSB.

I guess they make 2 of the slots "dual channel" so you could do a combination of 2xDDR266 sticks + 1xDDR400 but the max speed would still be 400FSB.

Does this make any sense? :wacko::P

If you don't understand what I mean by Front-Side Bus (FSB) bandwidth, let me know and I'll explain.

As Dannik said, for the life of me, for awhile there I couldn't guess why mobo manufacturers bother putting 3 DIMM slots on a dual channel motherboard because IMHO, the benefits of increased bandwidth of dual-channel memory (e.g. 2x512MB DDR400 = 1024MB @ 800 MHz FSB) far outweigh more physical RAM (e.g. 3x512MB DDR400 = 1536MB @ 400 MHz FSB). Then I realized Syncopator was talking about a mobo for an Athlon. :wall:

2) Rocky has a top-of-the-line Asus P4C800-E which uses Intel's 875P chipset for Pentium 4 CPUs. This has a total of 4 DIMM slots which makes sense cuz you can use 2 pairs of DDR400 DIMMs to take advantage of the 800MHz FSB. Pentium 4's starting from the "C" series (P4 2.4C and above) have a maximum Front Side Bus of 800MHz.

@blistr

>Is it possible to have Dual DDR enabled with less than PC3200 DDR SDRAM (ie. PC2700 DDR SDRAM modules instead)? If it is does the CPU have to have an 800MHz FSB?

Your MSI mobo also uses the nForce 2 chipset, so your max FSB is 400MHz. You could stick 2xPC3200 DDR SDRAM into your dual channel slots, but your mobo will still run at 400MHz FSB. So you are getting the max benefit.

If you took the same 2 sticks of RAM and stuck it into Rocky's mobo, he would be able to run his mobo at 800MHz FSB.

So does Intel's 800MHz FSB blow AMD's 400MHz FSB away? No.

Note that AthlonXP's execute more intstructions per cycle, so even though they run at 400MHz FSB, they can often keep up to P4's running at 800FSB. However, Intel's larger FSB bandwidth does show benefit for things like video editing.

Interestingly, Intel's next-gen Pentium M processors (that are slated to replace the P4's in the next 1-2 years) currently run at 333MHz and are keeping up to their older Pentium 4 brothers. :o

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Here's a good table that tells you what difference your RAM latency timings can make.

http://www.spodesabode.com/content/article/llmem/2

Interestingly, the comparison of Corsair XL memory vs. their current LL (low latency) memory ... only 1-2 fps difference. Just tells us what performance diff you'll get between 2-2-2-5 and 2-3-2-6 timings. Most off the shelf RAM is 2.5-3-3-8.

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I was just reading the manual that came with my mobo (just found it underneath all my junk) ;) and it says:

"Please note that the system supports 128 bit dual channel DDR when you install DDR modules on DIMM1 (purple slot) and DIMM3 (green slot) or DIMM2 (purple slot and DIMM3 (green slot)" p. 2-7

Guess I gotta switch the modules back to the way they were before :wacko: this is too confusing :yes:

Edited by Aggressor
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