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Gigabyte Motherboard RAM Channel broken? - gives continuous short beeping when any RAM is inserted into Channel A

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September 2, 2013 2:31:42 PM

Hello,

This is my first post here on this forum. I'd appreciate it greatly if anybody has some advice! I am by no means a computer expert so I hope I can explain my problem clearly.

I am building a brand new computer, with a Gigabyte Motherboard GA-Z87X-UD4H. Unfortunately, inserting a RAM stick into either of the two slots in Channel A results in the motherboard giving a series of continuous short beeps for about 15 seconds before the whole computer shuts down and restarts.

Inserting the same RAM stick into Channel B gives me no problems, I can get to the BIOS menu. I can insert both my RAM sticks into both slots in Channel B without an issue, but of course this doesn't allow me to take advantage of dual channel.


Here is a list of some of the equipment I am using:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 2x4gb DDR3-1333
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670k Haswell 3.4Ghz
GPU: Gigabyte Nvidia GTX 660 Ti
Case: Coolermaster HAF X
PSU: Antec 750W
HDD: 2xWestern Digital Black 500gb

The RAM, GPU, PSU, and Hard Drives were thrifted from an older computer I built in 2011. I know the RAM is a little old, but I checked the Gigabyte website and apparently DDR3-1333 is still compatible with this motherboard.

The BIOS menu has pretty much everything set to default, so I am not sure what I should change.

An interesting phenomenon I also noted was that when a RAM stick was inserted into Channel A (the bad channel), whichever fan was plugged into SYS_FAN_2 would spin up a little bit then stop, but fans connected to any other part of the motherboard would work. I have no idea what that means, though. The fan connection isn't located anywhere near the memory modules... it's down next to the SATA connectors.

In any case, I've already RMA'd the motherboard, but I'm not 100% sure that will fix the problem. I've looked online extensively and it sounds like there could be several possibilities:

1. The motherboard has a bad RAM channel.
2. The RAM I am using is incompatible with this motherboard
3. The CPU is having an issue.
a. I have seen someone have the same problem which came from bent CPU pins
b. Another person's CPU was supposedly defective.


Is this a common problem? Is there any way right now that I can narrow down the list of suspects?

Thanks!

Edit: I also forgot to mention... the "debug" LED on the motherboard reads "15" when I encounter this problem

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a c 1504 V Motherboard
September 2, 2013 8:16:54 PM

Sounds like a bad channel (mobo), maybe bent pins in socket (mobo) or MC (memory controller) which is in the CPU - my guess would be mobo....
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September 2, 2013 8:51:43 PM

Thanks for the response! I guess my other question would be this then:

If it's a bad channel, why does it still error when I have one RAM stick in both channels? I'm assuming that the motherboard isn't able to "see" anything inserted into the bad channel, but shouldn't it still work with the RAM in the working channel? Again, this is with my limited understanding of hardware/computer architecture.
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a c 1504 V Motherboard
September 2, 2013 9:47:56 PM

Depends on what the problem is, if it's in the slot itsel, might not be making connection at a particular pin, so it 'knows' a stick is there but figures it's bad, yet at the same time sees a good stick in the other channel
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September 16, 2013 5:43:39 PM

Just wanted to post an update here, in case anybody else ever comes across this thread. Received my new board today. Tried it, still getting the exact same problem. Either it's the very unlikely situation that the new mobo has the exact same problem, or it's something else.

Considering my options now. Not sure what it could be. Next culprit seems to be the CPU. I will also try newer RAM... not really confident that will do anything, but I have seen in rare cases that RAM listed as compatible on a supplier website actually doesn't work (though I don't see why a fairly popular G.Skill brand RAM wouldn't)!

Looks like the back plate of my heatsink is touching the metal case, but seems highly unlikely it would short.. and if it did, I doubt the computer would work in any situation at all.

If none of these works, I'm completely dead in the water!

Edit: This is the third computer I've built and never had a single problem with the first two. Pretty frustrating to not know what's wrong. I hate having to wait another 2 weeks to knock another suspect off the list...
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a c 1504 V Motherboard
September 16, 2013 6:07:29 PM

Agree, does sound like CPU now, which is unusual, don't see one bad like that very often, in fact almost never... :( 
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October 1, 2013 9:27:59 PM

FINALLY SOLVED.

So. I just received my replacement CPU today. And guess what? Same exact problem. Turns out everything was fine. It was the heatsink.

I'd run out of options and I'd had a gut feeling for WEEKS that it was the stupid backplate on the heatsink shorting to the case. I'd been noticing this case doesn't perfectly accommodate the motherboard. The gap cut into the case behind the mobo (for mounting a backplate) is not well-aligned with the cpu socket. In fact, two of the 4 holes to screw a heatsink into place are covered by the case... i.e. placing a back plate and screwing through it causes it to touch the case in these two places.

After almost giving up on this whole thing I switched out the heatsink for the stock CPU fan and BOOM. We are in business.

5 weeks of this, and it was the heatsink the whole time! Next time I see Jason I'm going to smack him for repeatedly telling me it couldn't possibly be the heatsink. Suck it, Jason.

I have then two final questions:

1. Through this issue, have I possibly compromised the integrity of any of my components? Should I be worried about damaged circuity as a result of this problem?

2. Does anybody have a good recommendation for heatsinks without backplates?! or something with a nonconducting backplate

Thanks!
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