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New build, having problems with DRAM Freq/NB Freq.

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March 14, 2014 2:26:01 PM

I've got kind of a stumped question. I'm in the IT business and from time to time do custom builds for clients. This one should have been no different. Hardware was as follows:

- i7-4770K
- ASRock Z87 Extreme4
- Thermaltake Modular 850 PSU
- Crucial Ballistix 16GB PC3-12800
- Asus GTX770
- 220GB PNY SSD

Got the system built and running without issue. Ran benchmarks and ran PHENOMENALLY low. Like bottom 23% of computers.

Opened up CPU-Z and noticed DRAM Freq. said 256MHz, and NB Freq. @ ~1100MHz. This was on default bios. I went in and checked bios and made sure to enable XMP profile, but there was no change.

I attempted a quick, default set OC to 4.0GHz. When the system restarted, the only thing that showed on the monitor was SNOW (Static). Reset bios, booted into Windows, and all of a sudden I was locked out of the default account.

Weird.... So I restarted the system and went to re-install windows again. Three starts showed static until it finally booted.

I noticed when installing the MB that it seemed to have a slight warp to it. Do you think the MB is bad or could it be something else? I stripped the case to bare bones and tried each memory stick one at a time.

Also, the MB was a repack from MicroCenter.

Any help is appreciated.

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March 14, 2014 2:29:06 PM

Given the evidence, I'm leaning towards bad mobo as you are. That seems to me to be the only logical conclusion given what you have done to remedy the problem. The mobo being a repack even greater heightens the possibility.
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March 14, 2014 2:39:08 PM

I just had the client pick up the motherboard to exchange it at Micro Center. Upon viewing the board again, it did seem to have a noticeable bow in the center, but then again, I've always seen at least a small bow with most boards, so I didn't wish to discount the board.

Also some secondary info:

- When playing a youtube video, system acted as if it was fast forwarded. Imagine all of youtube playing at 1.5 times speed.

- On board audio crackled and choked. Every other boot it wouldn't even recognize that it had a sound controller.

I'm 99% on that was the MB, but part of me doesn't want to totally discount the CPU either. Anyone know what the probability here would be? CPU was new, in box. I'll make sure to post the resolution to this once we have a new MB and can at least rule that out.

Thanks for the replies.
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March 14, 2014 2:43:57 PM

I'd say faulty CPU only is it's an AMD. LOL Sorry....I'm an Intel man. A bit of humor there for everyone.
Back to being serious though......faulty CPU's do ship. I have seen several post concerning it. Once you try out the new board you'll know for sure. That's the only sure fire way to know.
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March 14, 2014 2:50:50 PM

I'm right there with you on the Intel part ;) 

Unfortunately, I kind of figured as much when it came to knowing which component it should be. As stated, I've done this time and time again, but I figured for reference sake, I'd ask to make sure I wasn't simply blinding myself with cocky-ness. You know how it goes, you get comfortable doing something, and then you can accidentally miss the small things.

I leaned toward the board due to the repack, the warping, and the other weird issues.

Thanks for your help.
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March 14, 2014 2:55:58 PM

Nanogeeks said:
I'm right there with you on the Intel part ;) 

Unfortunately, I kind of figured as much when it came to knowing which component it should be. As stated, I've done this time and time again, but I figured for reference sake, I'd ask to make sure I wasn't simply blinding myself with cocky-ness. You know how it goes, you get comfortable doing something, and then you can accidentally miss the small things.

I leaned toward the board due to the repack, the warping, and the other weird issues.

Thanks for your help.


Glad to offer my 2 cents. :) 
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March 14, 2014 3:11:56 PM

Sounds like it, did you check and make sure it was the latest BIOS? or try different DRAM?
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March 14, 2014 3:19:47 PM

@Tradesman1: I updated the bios via UEFI download (ASRock allows you to download and update direct from bios). I also reset defaults many times.

I did not have any spare DDR3 sticks around to test. I did test each stick individually thou, and still had issues. It would be very ironic that both sticks were to cause an issue.
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March 14, 2014 3:27:46 PM

Just some ideas ;) 
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March 14, 2014 3:33:28 PM

Very much appreciated sir. Like I said, I welcome any thoughts on this, just in case one of the basics were missed, but alas I think at this point it may just be a crap shoot until we get the new MB in. I will definitely add the answer this this thread thou once that happens, just for future reference.
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March 14, 2014 4:14:41 PM

Nanogeeks said:
Very much appreciated sir. Like I said, I welcome any thoughts on this, just in case one of the basics were missed, but alas I think at this point it may just be a crap shoot until we get the new MB in. I will definitely add the answer this this thread thou once that happens, just for future reference.


I can't count how many times I've found a thread that someone just posted, entered the question into Google search engine, and had the answer to it from a previous thread, many times the thread even right here on Tom's. LOL People don't look for the answer before they ask a question!
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March 16, 2014 7:57:28 AM

As we have all agreed upon. It was indeed the MB.

I put the new one in today, re-installed windows and drivers, and then opened CPU-Z. My DRAM Freq. was at a perfect 799.6MHz (x2 ~ 1600Mhz) and my NB Freq. was finally fluctuating depending on load. It now ranges from 800MHz to ~3700MHz. One unintended side effect is my idle temp is slightly higher, since the CPU is now being fully utilized, lol. No biggie. Only about a 5* difference.

Bout to run benchmarks on this puppy. I'm very interested now. Thank ya'll
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March 16, 2014 8:22:20 AM

Nanogeeks said:
As we have all agreed upon. It was indeed the MB.

I put the new one in today, re-installed windows and drivers, and then opened CPU-Z. My DRAM Freq. was at a perfect 799.6MHz (x2 ~ 1600Mhz) and my NB Freq. was finally fluctuating depending on load. It now ranges from 800MHz to ~3700MHz. One unintended side effect is my idle temp is slightly higher, since the CPU is now being fully utilized, lol. No biggie. Only about a 5* difference.

Bout to run benchmarks on this puppy. I'm very interested now. Thank ya'll


Glad to hear you got it resolved!
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