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New graphics card and memory causing me grief.

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September 10, 2006 8:34:34 AM

System before g-card and RAM upgrade:
Asus K8V SE Deluxe
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2.0gigz
Soundblaster live platinum
350w psu
RAM Samsung DDR400 512
RAM Samsung DDR400 256
PNY GeForce FX 5600


The system was very stable. Had trouble running the games I play (Star wars galaxies, WoW, ect) due to low FPS and lag, but it was stable. Yesterday I decided to upgrade slightly, so i purchased 2 twin sticks of Kingston 512mb DDR400, and a PNY GeForce7600 GS.

The problem:
When I run games and 3dmark's, they will crash to desktop shortly afterwards. Everything will be running fine for a few minutes, and then the program will just close. Sometimes it will even freeze the computer up as well. I can leave the pc idle for 8 hours straight with no problems, but as soon as I begin running something like Star Wars, it happens...

What I've tried:
I tried removing and replacing the RAM, checking for loose wires, double checked the power connector pin on the new card, replacing the packaged drivers for the card with nvidia's newer recommended and several older drivers, and completely uninstalling and removing, and reinstalling the new items. I was very careful during the installations and although I'm nowhere near a guru, I've built 4 previous pc's with no errors.

Things I don't understand:
After some searching through posts that seemed to have similar problems, I've tried MEMTEST86, and although I got it running, I'm not sure I did it correctly. The installation instructions are above my tech level. When booting up, it seemed to begin running the tests correctly, and even produced 4 errors on test 4. I exited, and uninstalled one of the RAM sticks in order to try and decipher which stick had the errors. I then ran the tests on "stick 1" and found no problems. Then I removed "stick 1" and installed "stick 2" and ran the tests hoping to encounter errors so that I could return the bad RAM for new RAM and be done with my problems. The only problem was, "stick 2" produced no errors...

I then booted up windows with only "stick 2" installed, and started up 3dmark/Starwars/WoW. They ran fine. Slow and low fps, but that's expected with less RAM. Then I uninstalled "stick 2", installed "stick 1", and ran the same programs with the same results.

Finally, I installed both sticks in again, ran the memtest, and received a couple errors once again. Restarted the test once more to confirm, and produced no errors...

Conclusion:
I am baffled. I have no idea what the problem could be. Could this be a psu problem? Would anyone here be able to help me out?
September 10, 2006 8:51:23 AM

Quote:
System before g-card and RAM upgrade:
Asus K8V SE Deluxe
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2.0gigz
Soundblaster live platinum
350w psu
RAM Samsung DDR400 512
RAM Samsung DDR400 256
PNY GeForce FX 5600


The system was very stable. Had trouble running the games I play (Star wars galaxies, WoW, ect) due to low FPS and lag, but it was stable. Yesterday I decided to upgrade slightly, so i purchased 2 twin sticks of Kingston 512mb DDR400, and a PNY GeForce7600 GS.

The problem:
When I run games and 3dmark's, they will crash to desktop shortly afterwards. Everything will be running fine for a few minutes, and then the program will just close. Sometimes it will even freeze the computer up as well. I can leave the pc idle for 8 hours straight with no problems, but as soon as I begin running something like Star Wars, it happens...

What I've tried:
I tried removing and replacing the RAM, checking for loose wires, double checked the power connector pin on the new card, replacing the packaged drivers for the card with nvidia's newer recommended and several older drivers, and completely uninstalling and removing, and reinstalling the new items. I was very careful during the installations and although I'm nowhere near a guru, I've built 4 previous pc's with no errors.

Things I don't understand:
After some searching through posts that seemed to have similar problems, I've tried MEMTEST86, and although I got it running, I'm not sure I did it correctly. The installation instructions are above my tech level. When booting up, it seemed to begin running the tests correctly, and even produced 4 errors on test 4. I exited, and uninstalled one of the RAM sticks in order to try and decipher which stick had the errors. I then ran the tests on "stick 1" and found no problems. Then I removed "stick 1" and installed "stick 2" and ran the tests hoping to encounter errors so that I could return the bad RAM for new RAM and be done with my problems. The only problem was, "stick 2" produced no errors...

I then booted up windows with only "stick 2" installed, and started up 3dmark/Starwars/WoW. They ran fine. Slow and low fps, but that's expected with less RAM. Then I uninstalled "stick 2", installed "stick 1", and ran the same programs with the same results.

Finally, I installed both sticks in again, ran the memtest, and received a couple errors once again. Restarted the test once more to confirm, and produced no errors...

Conclusion:
I am baffled. I have no idea what the problem could be. Could this be a psu problem? Would anyone here be able to help me out?
Yes, that sounds like PSU to me. The PNY 7600GS lists minumum PSU at 300w, but who knows what shape yours is in, and how strong it is. Don't forget, PNY's minimum is 300 w.

http://new.pny.com/7600-GS-512MB-AGP--P1897C14.aspx

GL :) 

PS. You could try running your old Samsung RAM modules only, or the 512MB Samsung and 1xKingston stick..then the other Kingston... just to rule out the RAM. But i would bet it's your PSU.
September 11, 2006 5:38:54 PM

Ok, here is an update on my problem with this upgrade.

I updated my bios, and tried using the old RAM set-up of Samsung and experienced no crashing. Ran through all my 3dmarks fine, but it was sluggish like it was before and this is the whole reason I decided to try and upgrade.

I then tried using each stick of the new Kingston RAM with the old stick of Samsung 512 ddr400 with no success. Windows crashes while loading the start-up programs with each new stick of Kingston.

So after a bit of forum searching for a similar problem as I'm having, I decided to enter the bios and configure the RAM memclock. It's default "auto" so I changed that to "limit", which allowed me to configure the Memclock to CPU Ratio. I started off with the lowest, being DDR 200. Ran my 3dmark tests and had no crashes. Ran my online games with full detail adjustments and had no crashes. So I entered the bios again and adjusted the Memclock to CPU ratio to DDR 333. Ran my tests and games again with no failure. Everything was satisfactory, and a good improvement over the old Samsung RAM. Then I went back to the Bios and adjusted the Memclock to CPU ratio to DDR 400 and ran my tests again. All tests crashed like before.

Finally, I'd be very grateful if someone who understands what is going on with my problem, would be kind enough to offer me some help with this. I appreciate 1Tanker's advice, but I'm looking for a bit more detailed explanation and advice. Is the psu failing during my taxing programs, the ram not configured correctly, ram not compatible, or something completely different? Once again, this has annoyed me for the past few days, and I'd really appreciate someone offering their experience and knowledge.
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September 11, 2006 7:23:14 PM

95% bet that your PS is underpowered. What brand and model number is it?
The times you are having the problems are the times of maximum power consumption by your computer. The CPU is working harder, the graphics card is working harder, the memory is working harder. You added more memory to your system, which requires more power. You added a much more powerful graphics card to your system, which requires a lot more power. When you lower the memory bus speed to 200 or 333, it uses less power than at 400.
Here is an excellent quality PS for you at a good price (both good quality design and plenty of +12V power): http://www.us.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=17076&vpn...

PS - Also, the memory you bought was Kingston's *ValueRAM*, which is their low-end value line. It should work fine as long as you don't OC it, but it helps to list full details on components, especially those that might be involved in the problem. Thanks for providing the links.
September 11, 2006 7:57:59 PM

My current power supply is a Turbolink LC-A350ATX.

I'm going to take the advice and get the new power supply, unless you say otherwise after reading the model i'm currently using.
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2006 8:30:43 PM

Are you using dual channel mode with the RAM? given that each stick works fine in memttest on its own but together they don't play nice it could be that they are not compatible as dual channel sticks.

Try disabling Dual channel and see what happens.

Does it crash with new RAM and Old card? if it does then it points towards RAM and not PSU as the old card would take power requirements down to old levels. Normally I would jump on the PSU, but the memory issues in the dos version of memtest are interesting to me.
September 11, 2006 9:09:35 PM

Yep, besides being generic brand, it boosts its wattage by increasing +3.3V and +5V amps, supplying only 12A @ +12V! You and your computer will be happy with the Fortron.

13: looks like his board doesn't support dual channel.
He gets errors w/two sticks of ram in place, but no errors with stick #1 alone, no errors with stick #2 alone.
September 12, 2006 2:35:14 AM

Quote:
Are you using dual channel mode with the RAM? given that each stick works fine in memttest on its own but together they don't play nice it could be that they are not compatible as dual channel sticks.

Try disabling Dual channel and see what happens.

Does it crash with new RAM and Old card? if it does then it points towards RAM and not PSU as the old card would take power requirements down to old levels. Normally I would jump on the PSU, but the memory issues in the dos version of memtest are interesting to me.
s754= single-channel. :wink:
a b U Graphics card
September 12, 2006 6:40:35 AM

Quote:
Are you using dual channel mode with the RAM? given that each stick works fine in memttest on its own but together they don't play nice it could be that they are not compatible as dual channel sticks.

Try disabling Dual channel and see what happens.

Does it crash with new RAM and Old card? if it does then it points towards RAM and not PSU as the old card would take power requirements down to old levels. Normally I would jump on the PSU, but the memory issues in the dos version of memtest are interesting to me.
s754= single-channel. :wink:

I never made it to S754, was stuck on Socket A, which I thought was lowest of the low, and if it could dual then surely the mighty 754 could do dual :wink: learn something new every day.

You have to admit that the error pattern of does sound like dual channel problem though.
September 12, 2006 8:06:17 AM

try changing your mobo,
maybe it's the one causing all your problems
September 12, 2006 4:31:52 PM

Another update. I went big when upgrading the psu, so that i could reuse the new psu when I decide to fully upgrade. I bought the BFG 650 watt psu..

The rig is still suffering from the same issues, and I have to set the Memclock to CPU ratio to DDR 333 in order to remain stable. Now all things point directly to the RAM, right? Not compatable with my aging mobo? I'm trying to learn, but obviously I still have a ways to go. The mobo support manual says it supports 2x512 DDR400 sticks in multiple dimms, so why would it mention that if it doesn't? Still a bit confused, and I guess I could just ask what the best possible RAM setup with this board would be, but I'd like to understand why rather than just get the answer. I thank everyone who's offered help so far. This is a great place to learn and recieve help.
September 12, 2006 4:42:21 PM

With 20A on each of 2 +12V rails, looks like good power!

Which tests did you do after replacing the PS?
September 13, 2006 3:26:27 AM

I set the memclock to cpu ratio back to auto, and ran 3dmark03. It froze on the second test. Then I manually set the memclock to cpu ratio to 400ddr, and ran 3dmark01, resulting in a freeze-up during the first test. The I lowered the memclock to cpu ratio down to 200ddr, which ran fine. Then up to 333ddr which also ran fine. During the 1-3 minutes I can run under DDR400, it runs very fast and smooth. I'd be very satisfied if it didn't crash. :/ 

I'm almost tempted to buy a new pci-express mobo set-up, but my intentions were to wait until http://www.crysis-online.com/ is released, which I believe is in about 6 months, and then go all out with the best of the best then. This RAM/G-card were just to hold me over.
September 13, 2006 5:54:10 AM

Change the timing to the loosest possible when you put the ram on 400mhz. Since you are setting the speed manually, it might be defaulted to using 200mhz timing and when you up the FSB, you keep those old timings and the memory cant handle it anymore.
September 13, 2006 7:09:13 AM

Upgraded your PSU man! The Power Supply you are using was for Nvidia FX or ATI 9*** series of GPU's with an Athlon XP processor or P4 systems.
!