Possible Compatibility Issue W/ Ram Cards

Hello to those of tom's Hardware, this is my problem:

I have 2 sets of 1 GB Ram Cards from Samsung and Micron (more details later) and when run in dual channel (appropriately placed) the CPU seem to have problems running (as in consistent lag spikes). This never has happened before before upgrading from 3GB to 4GB (total).

What I have done is test each set individually and what's interesting is that my CPU seems to stabilize at a good rate even when programs running on either set, but when both are paired together in dual channels (again in the correct placement) the CPU struggles to keep a stable un-spiked level.

Please give me some advice, thanks.

Desktop Model: Gateway e4610d
Link: (*note the specs have changed, this is just an example of what it is)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (2.13 Ghz)
OS: Window 7 Ultimate 32 Bit (6.1 build 7601)
BIOS: Default BIOS, Current update = Unknown
GPU: Nvidia GeForce 610 GT (2 GB)
RAM: 2x Samsung 1 GB 2Rx8 PC2-5300, DDR2-667 - 555 - 12 - E3
2x Micron 1 GB 1Rx8 PC2-5300, DDR2-667- 555 - 12 - ZZ

RAM CONFIG: The RAM configuration set by the computer is 5-5-5-15

*Note: If I have left any information out or is confusing, please let me know, I'll try to update/inform you of any changes or requested information (that isn't private)

[Extra Tidbits]
I know, old system, but I got it for free and I was able to do many things at a better degree (i.e. Video Games, Photoshop, Lightroom) and as you've heard or now know, "you tend to cherish things given to you which will let you cherish you're own future things even more". I will plan to upgrade my rig but I still would like to use this as much as possible till I get the money.

23 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about compatibility issue ram cards
  1. When you stay stable what do you mean exactly? Like you see CPU Usage spikes or the whole PC just seem unstable??
  2. When I say stable I mean, it will not spike at 100% and stay below 50-70% unless I actually do something that was cause it to raise above the "stable area" (i.e. starting a program, or something similar). When it does spike, it will spike for almost 10-15 seconds before lowering, but even then it will be abnormally high and hit 100% sometimes. (This happens repeatedly and consistently)

    Oh yeah, as of right now, I'm using the computer I've listed on the Micron RAM set only.
  3. Mixing DRAM can be problematic, even with 2 of the same exact sets, bad thing with a prebuilt is you can't adjust timings and voltages, I'd try the newest sticks in 1-3 and the older in 2-4 so 1 stick of each in each channel
  4. I've never seen mixed ram cause the CPU to spike to 100% though?? That is the odd thing to me. have you just looked at the Proccess to see what is spiking?
  5. @Tradesman1 I can adjust the timings that's the thing and I already do put sticks in that order both ways.

    @drtweak Yes I did, what was weird was that anything I run normally (Chome, Skype, other etc...) seemed amplified after installing/mixing the rams. The kernel memory stayed low nearly off while the usage just constantly spiked.

    Also does RAM ranking matter? (2Rx8 vs 1Rx8)
  6. No that shouldn't matter.

    The thing is you only really have to worry about mixing ram when the sets in the dual channel are mixed. Like in your case you have two sets that are identical or so i'm assuming. And the sets should be on the same channel so it shouldn't affect each other than much than if you had them on the same channel with mixed ram.

    now the ranking shouldn't matter too much. its just saying there are two chips on top of each other vs 1 is all.
  7. Ah okay, but do you have an idea what could be causing the problem? It's interesting since I'm running fine right now w/ any spikes or what not on 1 set of RAM (Micron) but when both are inside it starts acting up.

    I forgot to say that the new (used) RAM set is the Micron while Samsung is the older one.

    I can notice the difference because when running a game, loading takes longer then average and I know for sure it isn't the HDD or a Network problem.

    Also, I have tried "burning-in" my new RAM cards using 3DMark but only improved the flow a tad bit nothing major.

    Also (again, I know), will changing 15 to 12 make a difference in the timings? I'm just curious since on the RAM card it say "555 - 12
  8. Also make sure they are properly setup. you should have two sets of two dimms. You got the Black and White ones. A set should go in the White and a set should go into the black. Not both on one side. I know you said they were placed just. Just making sure is all.
  9. Have you tried just running the samsung only?

    And try putting them all in, and run Memtest86 (In my signature) and burn it to a disk, floppy, or usb boot drive which ever is easier for you, and boot to that and let it run for like 30 minutes. If there are any errors they usually pop up pretty quick like within a minute or so.
  10. Okay I'll retry several more times in a couple of minutes. If you read over the last post, I updated it a bit.

    *Editted - Okay I'll try the memtest too.

    *Editted 2 - I have tried the Samsung prior to using the Micron I'm using now and it was working fine.
  11. *[UPDATE]*
    I did the Memtest from your signature and the RAM cards came out clean or passed I mean.

    The CPU is going crazy where the CPU usage is at 100% and Kernel Memory is showing little to no activity when compared.

    As of right now I have both cards installed and my text is lagging behind every couple seconds.
  12. Try raising the DRAM voltage + 0.06 and see if that helps stabilize them
  13. The configurativity is limited to RAM cards and their timings, I'll try looking for the voltage settings and see if they're adjustable, but why would raising the DRAM voltage affect the CPU or how?
  14. To stabilize DRAM the accepted ways are timing adjustments, DRAM voltage and MC (memory controller) voltage. With mixed sets DRAM voltage is normally first and is perfectly safe when done correctly, then comes MC voltage and then base timings
  15. Okay I'll try/find it under my BIOS settings but I'm not sure if I will find it.
  16. Looked under every nook and cranny in my BIOS setting and there is nothing where I can adjust my voltage but my timings for my memory was changed to 3 5 5 13 after I pushed "Load Optimal Setting" on the keyboard function.

    The result is still the same, my cpu is going crazy, I even have a picture.
  17. My bad, this is a prebuilt, they normally don't allow for voltage changes with their locked BIOSs, Sorry :(
  18. No it is okay, I know that the computer can support up to 8GB upgrade but it just astounds me why this is happening. For example, if I run task manager, it would only take 2 or 3 CPU but when both are installed, it takes 50-70 CPU.

    Could it just be RAM card compatibility? Should I go for a different brand? Also, can I update my BIOS or upgrade it so it's unlocked?
  19. Sorry, I really want this resolved so "bump" again.

  20. Best answer
    Goes back to what I originally posted

    "Mixing DRAM can be problematic, even with 2 of the same exact sets, bad thing with a prebuilt is you can't adjust timings and voltages, I'd try the newest sticks in 1-3 and the older in 2-4 so 1 stick of each in each channel "

    it can be problematic, and here it apparently is, with non-prebuilt rigs where you can adjust timings/voltages etc could prob get these sets to play nice, but unless they have a BIOS update, that will set the DRAM differently, may be out of luck with the sets of sticks
  21. Okay, thanks for your help Tradesman1.
  22. No worries, sorry couldn't be more :(
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