System Freezes - Suspect New RAM


Long time reader, but this is my first post. I am in the process of building a new PC. I am having weird problems with the system freezing. All I have done thus far is run a whole lot of memory tests. I never felt comfortable enough to install the OS.

System Includes:
C2D E6550
CPU COOLER SCYTHE mini Ninja -1000 modified to use Intel stock cooler fan for PWM fan control
Case is Antec NSK-3480 using 92mm front Antec variable fan and rear 120mm Antec variable exhaust fan. Fans run off the PSU, not motherboard header but the RPM monitoring is hooked up to the 3 pin on the Motherboard header. PSU comes with the Antec case, its an Earthwatts 380 made by Seasonic. Before someone says its the PSU, rails look good, a little low on 12v at 11.9, but close. PSU is pulling less than 100watts at the wall according to my Watts Up Pro so PSU should have plenty of juice left. That number includes the APC UPS that the mini tower is plugged into.

I am actually very happy with all the components, if the thing would just run. I have an ATI card that I will throw into the mix later, but for now its running off the internal video card on the MB. Everything below done at stock speed and voltage vdimm set to 2.2v ( required for these DIMMS ) using rated memory timings 4-4-4-12. Memory is recommended in Motherboard manual. MB is capable of running DDR2-800 no problem. Each stick tests fine by itself, I can run multiple passes ( 5 or 6 ) of most memory diags but I have not run it overnight on any one stick. The most I have testing 1 stick is a few hours.

When I test both sticks together, most memory diags freeze almost immediately. Usually within first 10 minutes if not immediately. I have got Memtest86+ v1.70 to occasionally run for long periods ( say 10 hours ) but it usually locks up about 2-3 hours into the memtest86+ test with 2 sticks. Results are very inconsistent. Could be 10 hours, then 10 minutes on next try. The memory diags always locks up with 2 sticks if left unattended regardless of which utility used for the test, the only variable is how long it takes. Sometime 2-3 hours, sometimes 10 hours, sometimes minutes.

There are 4 Dimm slots. I have tried 2 sticks together in both sets of slots with the same freeze up results.

I am pulling my hair out. I have never received a single memory error. Just freezes. Its has never frozen with just 1 stick.

Diags used Memtest86+ v1.70, Windows Memory Diagnostic, TestMemIV, Docmem 3.1, Memtest86 v3.3

My next step is to RMA the memory. I really just want someone to look over what I did and verify I exhausted all the options.

Thanks for your help in advance and have a happy New Year,

2 answers Last reply
More about system freezes suspect
  1. Could disassemble the machine including taking out the mobo and reassemble out of the case checking each piece. Also make sure you have the precise number of standoffs, no more - no less, and that there is a screw for each. Too many or too few standoffs can cause a short leading to these symptoms. If each stick of RAM tests good and reassembling doesn't fix it, could be the mobo
  2. Thanks for those who looked this over. Ran across a thread below on a guy using same P5E-VM HDMI mobo and Ballistix ram and having similar issues having to run the ram 1 stick at a time. The whole thread is accessible in the upper right corner. Explains some other strange startup behavior I am seeing with this motherboard. - whole thread link is in upper right corner of the link above - This comment is on page 13. Looks like this board may have a history of working with 1 stick at a time. Not sure if I wait for a bios update, or get a more stable board.

    I have an email into Asus, I will see how that goes.

    Thanks again for your help.

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