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A7N8X-E Deluxe Memory Questions

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October 23, 2007 9:55:29 PM

I admit, I decided to be a bit of a cheapskate when building this system. I am a student after all! :ange: 

Instead of purchasing a 2GB Dual Channel Kit (2x1GB Sticks) from Crucial for PC3200 RAM, I found it was cheaper to buy two 1GB sticks by themselves. So I did that and thought that putting these in Dual Channel mode on my A7N8X-E Deluxe with my AXP 3200+ will work without any problems. However, I think I am now paying the price for shaving a couple of pounds off the memory!! I am getting Random BSODs and on my previous reinstall I had an Application Error and Memory not being able to be "read", usually the victims being Winlogon.exe, General Services or lsass.exe and as a result, the entire PC would be forced to shutdown within 30 seconds!! :pfff: 

Does this sound like a symptom of using two single 1GB memory sticks in dual channel channel despite them not being sold as a "dual channel" kit!?! All the other hardware is new, has been tested in other machines and is working fine, and even following these BSOD/Application error restarts the Windows Error Reporting will almost always blame the memory or a device driver which it doesn't know!! The device driver problem has rarely occured, only if the BSOD reads "IRQ not less than or equal"

On contacting Asus about this problem, they recommended I get Kingston memory as that is the best supported by the Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe board, or failing that Samsung memory. However they recommended that I get DDR333 Memory in dual channel kit and a 1GB DDR333 stick to achieve the full 3GB. I cant do this as this will result in my processor running underclocked!! Thing is when looking through Kingston website and telling them my motherboard, they included a DDR400 single and dual channel kit in the list!! Which sticks can I use then to achieve 3GB of Memory, (2GB in dual Channel and 1GB in single channel) without any BSODs or Application errors!!

Can any other fellow Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe users or experienced gurus please help me with the above!! Three Windows installs later and I am still getting this problems amongst others!! :cry: 
October 23, 2007 10:55:16 PM

It's been a couple years since I looked at my old rig (A7N8X). But if I recall correctly:

a) The board doesn't like running DDR400, run it at 333 even if you have faster memory. If I remember right, you can set the memory speed without underclocking your cpu.

b) You can't run 2 slots in dual and fill the third slot

c) Make sure your voltage is right for the mem
October 24, 2007 2:47:44 PM

Isn't your motherboard different from the A7N8X-E Deluxe Board? I find it baffling that in the manual it says that I can populate the motherboard with DDR400 modules in dual channel mode and fill the 3rd slot yet another fellow user tells me different. :-s

Why does the board support Athlon XP 3200+ with FSB400 if it cannot use DDR400 memory modules. :-S

My memory voltage has been left at default values, with the motherboard determining the right settings for my RAM.

Help!!
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October 24, 2007 4:19:42 PM

HEY! How are ya? I have that mobo still playing ALL games w/it and an AXP2600+/X1600PRO512mb/768mbRAM(1x512mb+1x256mb)LOL seriously funny that I still play Oblivion w/ EVERY setting maxed out on this rig. I have had a 3000+Barton core in it too.
You can run at 400mhz RAMspd. IF all your RAM is the same speed then your good for dual chanel. It's true that if you want to use 3gigs, you need to run it at 333mhz. BUT 2gigs at 400mhz w/that CPU... wow. That should kick some but man. No need for 3gigs. Try going into your bios and checking to see if your mem. is running at the right timings. Compare to the #s on the ram sticks or packaging. Does it match up? What brand is it? I have found that even the crappiest no-name brands of RAM run on this mobo. I have REV.2.0 with the latest bios flash(pre-installed). Check that 1st. (Bios updates are not avail. if you already have REV.2.0 "FYI") What PSU do you have? That was the only issue I had w/that mobo. If you put "good" parts on it IT WILL USE MORE AMPERAGE and fry your PSU's 3.5v and 5v rails. I think you need 30A on your 5v and 19A on your 3.5v to be OK. I just took it apart to see and I have an Antec 300w pushing this bad boy. The amps are good though and that's the only thing saving me. More RAM = more need for power. If that doesn't help then I have more tricks in my Asus A7N8X-Deluxe bag. I thank you for the trip down memory lane.

P.S. Try rebuilding the whole f'n thing. Does it post as 3200+Barton core??? One really of the wall thing it could be... the hard drive.
October 24, 2007 4:25:06 PM

The manual says it will support DDR400 in dual channel mode but the reality is that the motherboard "likes" to run at DDR333. There may be SOME memory that the board will run full speed with, however my A7N8X board gave me the same issue and 333 is where it ran stable. The difference is minimal and especially so if you intend to run a third stick of memory. This board will not run in dual channel mode if a third stick is applied.
October 24, 2007 4:27:42 PM

Ok, slow down. I don't have experience with this MB but I've had similar ones.
  • Do you get the same errors with only one of the modules in? Test each one separately, in each RAM slot.
  • Check those voltages. I had to manually set the voltage with my Crucial memory
  • Every nforce2 MB that I've seen will not run 3 sticks of RAM @ DDR400.
  • Check the timings. Don't try going "balls to the wall" from the start.
  • Search the Internet. This was one of the best of the nforce2 MBs out there and there are lots of fans. You should be able to find out lots of info. I got 544,000 hits on Yahoo search!
  • Check the RAM that you have to see if it is from the same lot. If not, "lots of luck".
  • Can you turn dual channel off? It would be interesting to see if the system would be stable w/o DC.
  • BTW, due to the cost of RAM alone, building an AM2 system may have been cheaper. PC3200 is twice the price of DDR2 800. See: http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/22/budget_overclocker/
  • If the above does not fix it, look at your PSU. If you can swap in a known good PSU, do it.

    Hope this helps
    October 24, 2007 4:28:26 PM

    nForce2 boards won't run in dual-channel with more than 1.5 gig installed. It will work, but not in dual channel. Most 333 memory nowadays are just 400 sticks with 333 labels and tighter timings. Recently Crucial stopped shipping American made sticks and switched to Asian production - and I got my first ever "bad" Crucial stick. One of the sticks is probably bad - If it won't run with "loose" timings, say 3-3-3-11 and voltage set at 2.6, then try memtest86 and see if it passes.
    October 24, 2007 4:41:25 PM

    He is running 2 gigs of RAM. It should be able to do it. The deluxe board is the one that supports 400mhz fsb. The non deluxe runs at 333mhz. rts_fan is right, my 1st thought was try to turn off D.C. But I don't think you can turn it on or off. It detects 2 sim stick in the D.C. slots and just runs D.C. at that point. The most effective way to run D.C. is of course gonna be with "matched" ram sticks. But it will work either way. The catch is that they have to be at the same Volume (1gig. each) and the same timings/voltage abilities. If it is Crucial then try using one in the 3rd slot, w/1 in the 1st slot, forcing it to run normally and not even try to run in D.C. AND of course, trying one at a time isn't a bad idea either, to see if one is bad or something. Thanks rts_fan!
    October 24, 2007 4:47:02 PM

    nForce 2 boards don't provide an option for "turning off" dual channel. And I realize it will run 2 gigs of ram - but not in dual channel. His timings were probably set really tight by the last user who had "hi-po" ram, and the Crucial can't run at 2-2-2-7, or whatever it was set at.
    October 24, 2007 6:01:05 PM

    Not all nForce2 chip sets were created equally. This one is the nForce2Ultra v2.0"?" It can use 3gigs at 420mhz by dropping the mem to 333 and the div to 11.5x210=420/2415mhzCPU RAM is @420mhz. This can be done with 2gigs in D.C. with the standard nForce2, but doesn't have to be done w/nForce2Ultra, it automatically lets you run 2gigs at 400mhz on the D.C. slots. There is something else happening here.
    Try resetting your bios to "normal" OR pull the batt. for 20sec. OR use the jumper reset(best option). Move the jumper over to the next pin for 20sec. then move IT back! "DO ALL OF THIS WHILE THE MACHINE IS UNPLUGGED"!!!!!
    October 24, 2007 6:06:32 PM

    BTW this mobo has the CPU pins connected on the PCB, no need for the CPU pins to be twined together for the divider change. I have done wonders with this mobo and love it for it's old school charm. Shoot it's a good thing when used w/X1950XT512mbAGP, 2gig.RAM, X-FI, SATA, AXP3200+barton @2415+, better scores than A643500+ and same config.
    October 24, 2007 6:49:53 PM

    BACK UP THE TROLLY... I just noticed that your using the E-Deluxe. I AM SOOOOOOO SORRY. That mobo doesn't support D.C. ("properly or something wierd") or have the same specs as the (non "E")Deluxe. My friend got that one and replaced it with the Deluxe later the same day because of this. It still supports 2 gigs of RAM. AND will run at 400mhz fsb. You'll need a good PSU either way.
    SORRY I'm kicking myself really hard right now. I didn't catch that cuz my eyes saw the A7N8X and the "word" deluxe... I got giddy, cuz it's been a while since anyone has mentioned that MOBO.
    October 24, 2007 7:05:53 PM

    Kingston says on it's website:

    Quote:
    Although this motherboard specifies DDR400 compatibility, Kingston only supports it with DDR266 and DDR333.

    October 24, 2007 7:40:34 PM

    As I recall, that MB does NOT like single sided memory modules, but it seems to work fine with all double sided modules.

    Comp :sol: 
    October 24, 2007 8:08:42 PM

    nevasumma said:
    BACK UP THE TROLLY... I just noticed that your using the E-Deluxe. I AM SOOOOOOO SORRY. That mobo doesn't support D.C. ("properly or something weird") or have the same specs as the (non "E")Deluxe. My friend got that one and replaced it with the Deluxe later the same day because of this. It still supports 2 gigs of RAM. AND will run at 400mhz fsb. You'll need a good PSU either way.
    SORRY I'm kicking myself really hard right now. I didn't catch that cuz my eyes saw the A7N8X and the "word" deluxe... I got giddy, cuz it's been a while since anyone has mentioned that MOBO.


    Hold your horses:

  • According to http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/asus-a7n8xe-deluxe.html, this MB is the same as the non-e with a few mods which won't affect its ability to DC. I have an Abit AN7 which is almost identical to this board, its relationship to the flaunted NF7 is similar, and it runs DC.
  • If I remember correctly, DC's performance boost is over hyped, with less than a 5% boost except in a few apps where there can be upwards of a 15% increase. So, if you have to run it with 1 in slot 0/1 and one in 3/4, you'll probably never notice a difference in performance.
  • If you HAVE to have DC, my local Fry's is advertising 2GB DDR PC3200 Dual memory (4416996)for $80 after a $15 rebate, that is if you can take your other ones back or sell them.
    October 24, 2007 11:34:09 PM

    Thanks for the input guys - really appreciate it. Looks like I have my work cut out for a good few days.

    The memory problem is evident whichever hard drive I use - I have used an old Hitachi 160gg, a new 320GB WD caviar and the Raptor - problems persist on all three hard disks. PSU is a Corsair 620W modular PSU. Same problem under previous 500w Jeantek power supply (I used the Jeantek prior to upgrading my graphics from X1600PRo to X1950 PRO)

    Should the above tests fail, would it be best that I then just get DDR333 RAM from Kingston in Dual Channel Kit and then get the final 1GB when I need to upgrade the RAM?? How much slower will my 3200+ run under DDR333 RAM??

    I don't think I have set any timings on my RAM - I am pretty sure that I had everything set to Auto as I never like to overclock the system or put the wrong settings on. The two modules were purchased at the same time, just packaged in separate boxes. I have had this rig for well over a year now - since its only the family PC, reliability has priority over speed, but I would like it to be fast (i.e. I paid for an AXP 3200+ so I want to get that kind of speed!)

    I have run memtest and haven't had any memory errors after doing 1 pass of all the 11 extended and basic tests. One one occasion when it ran overnight I got 4 errors but they were so randomly spaced out (i.e. two were in the 3rd pass in tests 5 and 10, and I think the last two were on pass 5 and 7 at the final tests(around 9-11))

    Any other ideas or suggestions are welcome!! Thank you all thus far.

    P.S. nevasumma, your are right, this rig despite being well over 3 years old in terms of technology, it still kicks ass in games - when it doesn't bloody blue screen!!!
    November 2, 2007 11:15:08 PM

    OK I have taken a look at the memory - I cannot find any timings or statistics for any of the modules. However I have decreased the CPU Spread so that the memory runs at DDR 333mhz while the CPU still runs at FSB 400. Cant see so much of a drop in performance but so far so good in stability.

    Is it worth me getting any of Asus's recommended compatible Kingston memory - some people say this board can run any junk whilst others disagree - what are the veteran's personal experiences?! If I get Kingston dual channel kit PC2700, then choose to put one of my Crucial PC3200 1gb sticks in the last slot, and finally set all the memory to run at PC2700 by decreasing the FSB Spread, what problems could that cause for me?? Would it be safer to just get all three sticks as Kingston memory rather than try and be frugal.

    Also, some people say I will lose dual channel functionality if I use all three slots, why is that so and can some people feedback their experiences if they have done similar configurations. Before DDR goes completely obsolete I would like to stock up before it becomes rare and expensive!!
    November 3, 2007 12:28:58 AM

    I think you might be fighting a loosing battle. I have a A7N8X-E board in my closet with a 2700+ cpu in it. I tried going with pc3200 ram for the 400 speed, but it didn't perform any better than pc2700 with a 333 speed, and in fact, often performed worse. I used a using a 512 stick and a 256 stick for a long time, and finally used two 512 sticks. The pc3200 always seemed to have problems in my experience. I tried Kingston, Corsair, and PNY, all with similar results.

    Your board, cpu, and ram are nearly 5 generations old, what with the coming of Phenom is a few weeks. Unless you're really low on money, you would be far better off building a newer computer, whether something based on AM2 or C2D, take your pick. Even the slowest CPUs among these would be far faster. Better yet, you could move up to PCI-e graphics cards and find better performance there. Just me 2 cents worth.
    November 10, 2007 5:08:08 PM

    I understand your point and you are right about it being a losing battle. Money is very tight at the moment which is why I am asking whether it is worth me going out and buying PC2700 memory or whether or not it would be better to just underclock PC3200 memory to DDR333 speed. Strange thing is my processor is AXP 3200+ which is a FSB400 processor so it should go hand in hand with DDR400 memory.

    I am tempted to go out and just get a cheap core 2 rig but I have spent quite a bit of money on my graphics card, and its hard to find a motherboard with DDR2, Core 2 Duo or Quad support and an AGP slot so I can use my X1950PRO. I even tried looking for those Asrock combo boards that support both types of RAM and Graphics card but I'm not sure which one I would get and whether it would be better quality than my Asus board. Also, in those boards I can't tell whether or not my DDR400 Memory in dual channel STILL give me hassle with a Core 2 or Pentium D, whichever one I choose to get.

    I am trying to spend as little money as possible to fix the problem. Any more ideas? Is it worth me going out and getting this Kingston kit or sticking with what I have and underclocking it? Or issit worth me obtaining one of these Asrock boards which support my AGP card and DDR/DDR2 memory?! Gurus, please help this desperate newb!! :-P

    Thanks for the help so far
    November 10, 2007 10:05:36 PM

    Though I've never personally used an Asrock board, I've read of many people who do and they didn't report any particular problems. Can't remember that the boards were much good for overclocking, but that wasn't their purpose. They were designed to make the transition from old technology to new tech a bit easier on the wallet. Thus you could find a board that supported AGP and just buy a new cpu or new ram, depending on which board you buy.

    Since money is tight, I'd suggest just underclocking the pc3200 ram to pc2700 spec and going with that. I just don't think its worth the money to buy the new Kingston kit. Save the money you'd otherwise spend and add to it as you can, saving for an all new build, or complete machine from HP or something.

    I don't think your present problem is in the 3200+ cpu so much as it is in the board that you have. When ASUS made the A7N8X-E, the "E" stood for "economy", meaning that it didn't have all the better parts that were then available. I went through a few of the frustrations with that board myself, but eventually replaced it with a A7N8X-Deluxe board that had all the goodies. Can't say it was a good use of money, as the NF3 boards were out by then with the A64 processors, but it held me over until I was able to buy a 939 machine. Of course, now that machine is three generations old and its getting harder to find parts.
    November 11, 2007 10:30:38 PM

    Well I am currently on the verge of a new build from www.pcspecialist.co.uk - For under £800 I can get a decent built rig. I am undercutting the processor to the cheapest Core 2 possible but the motherboard is a top line Asus board so once I get enough money I would be able to upgrade to a nice top of the line quad core or something.

    Would the cheapest Core 2 Duo Processor with 2GB of DDR2 RAM be faster than my rig at the moment (AXP 3200+, 2GB RAM) so long as the other components were the same or slightly newer??
    November 12, 2007 1:59:36 AM

    Yes, the chaepest Core Duo processor with 2 gb of DDR2 ram would be significantly faster than what you presently have.
    November 12, 2007 3:00:42 AM

    I've been running an A7N8X deluxe with 2 gigs of Corsair 400 for over a year now at 400 no problem. Prior to that I was using a gig of Samsung "good" 333 memory at 400 no problem. With a 7600GT it works pretty darn good for an "old" board. The only Linux game that I have that doesn't perform well is ETQW.
    November 12, 2007 3:56:03 AM

    beware of any cheap brand memory with this board. mine just recently died, but I ran with cheep memory (kingston value ram) and the board always gave random BDOS. Spend the extra memory and go with crucial, corsair or ocz. Also make sure your bios is fully updated because that improved the dual channel mode by alot.
    November 12, 2007 4:44:16 AM

    cbxbiker61 said:
    I've been running an A7N8X deluxe with 2 gigs of Corsair 400 for over a year now at 400 no problem. Prior to that I was using a gig of Samsung "good" 333 memory at 400 no problem. With a 7600GT it works pretty darn good for an "old" board. The only Linux game that I have that doesn't perform well is ETQW.


    This is a difference between the Deluxe and the "E" versions. I have owned both, so speak with some experience in this. The Deluxe was far more accepting of 400 memory than the "E". I ran Corsair ram as well, but I could never get it to perform any better with the 400 ram then the 333 ram. there may have been some differences in BIOS versions ir ram revisions which would let the 400 ram run faster, but I personally never found them.

    In any case, if the OP can upgrade to a C2D, he will make a great leap forward in performance.
    November 12, 2007 9:22:20 PM

    donald7777 - I am currently using Crucial RAM with this board, and I am still having this problem. I was contemplating trying out some OCUK Dual Channel RAM which unfortunatley has given worser problems on two PCs with no dual channel support. After your warning I think I wont be doing that.

    If was to fill the last slot with another 1GB of Crucial memory of the same spec as the other two modules, would the Dual Channel facility automatically be turned off and why?? Maybe the dual channel facility on the two modules is what could be causing stability issues - just a shot in the dark.

    I confess, the two modules I have at the moment were not bought as a dual channel kit but they are of exactly the same type - I ordered them at the same time with the same people. Only difference between them and the dual channel kit was that they were packaged in their own boxes and was a couple of quid cheaper. Maybe despite being exactly the same in every shape and form, there must be some small insignificant difference between the two modules which causes problems when in dual channel mode :-S

    Again, another shot in the dark

    Please help, and thanks for the help so far. Very sorry for the huge amount of questions so far!!
    November 16, 2007 10:10:27 PM

    I'm also having memory-related problems with this MoBo... I recently bought 3x 1Gb DDR 400 SAMSUNG modules as a final upgrade for my PC, and NONE of them work on it! I tried them in other machines and they run fine, whilst on the A7N8X Deluxe, NONE of the modules will work in ANY of the slots!!! (The BIOS version is 1008)

    Any ideas???
    November 16, 2007 10:16:35 PM

    All I could suggest is to go back to DDR 333 ram. That's what I ended up using back when I had various A7N8X motherboards. It seemed to work best. Then I migrated to a 939 socket and have been there since.
    November 16, 2007 10:24:28 PM

    Yet, I've been running 2x 256 DDR 400 modules for over 4 years now, and they've never glitched! I'm betting on some conflict between this chipset and samsung, does anyone know anything about that?
    November 16, 2007 10:52:41 PM

    I've often wondered if part of the problem was having 3, instead of 4 ram slots, so the ram became unbalanced when all three slots were used. Can't say for sure about that, only a guess. Then again, when that board came out 512 mg of ram was big. My last ram combo was with 768 mg of ram, which ran ok. As I say, I migrated to 939 and left it behind.

    As for the Samsung, I don't know about that. Through the years I tried PNY, Kingston, and Corsair. The Corsair worked the best for me.
    !