Cant run PC8500 memory at rated speed!?

Ok, I'm running my Q6600 G0 rev. on a 680i A1 at 3.2Ghz. I have a few questions/concerns. I originally had Corsair XMS2 800mhz sticks but my builder upsold me on 1066 Dominator sticks since I planned on OC'ing. One thing that I don't like is Vista shows my memory score as 5.1 while I have 5.9's on everything else. "Performance memory" shouldn't be holding back my system!

I have the Micron version sticks which are supposed to overclock better and are rated at 1066mhz at 5-5-5-15 at 2.2v. I have never once been able to have anything over 800mhz be stable, even with extremely loose timings. I don't know if its the memory or the 680i's memory controller thats bad? I eventually just downclocked the memory back to 800mhz and tightened the timings to 4-4-4-10. In Everest's memory test I get the following scores:


Is this within normal range? I still can't figure out why Vista is showing performance RAM as 5.1 when others that use this RAM get 5.9 on a slower processor! Also since swapping my XMS2 for Dominator sticks my system seems slower. It used to take like 12 seconds to unrar a 700mb movie which now takes 20-30 seconds! I was so impressed with the original memory and how fast it zipped through that rar file! This was even running at 2.7 as opposed to 3.2Ghz.

The last few weeks I've been having "driver stopped responding" referring to my EVGA 8800GTX while playing games or even expanding a window on the desktop. Movies would also lock up consistently. I tried every GPU driver out there and even reformatted and went back to XP Pro with the same lockups. I also set everything back to stock settings to be sure it wasnt any OC issues. I finally tried removed a stick of RAM leaving me with only 1GB, but it solved the problem and I was actually able to play CoD4 for more than 4 seconds!

I requested a new set of sticks from my vendor so I'm really anxious to see if the new sticks are able to run at 1066 or raise my Vista score. If not then I assume it's a bad motherboard? I also just upgraded to Vista Ultimate x64 so I'm looking forward to adding another 6gigs to settle at 8GB total. Being that 2GBs of PC8500 can be had for $50 AR I don't see any reason not to. Are the Dominator sticks just bad?

I tried using memtest but it didn't seem to be working right. The test would end really quick and I had thousands of errors! The errors always stayed the same no matter if I added/removed a stick so I assumed something wasn't right. I tried MS's mem test and it passed that. It did fail Everests memtest though. As soon as I clicked memory and cache I would get a hardware failure.

So my questions are: Why does there seem to be issues with running at 1066 on a 680i? Is it the memory itself or the memory controller/motherboard? Anyone using a similar setup that can tell me if those Everest scores fall within normal range? And why does Vista show my memory score being so low? There seems to be a few people having these same issues. Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions.
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  1. The n680i chipset is designed for handling memory up to DDR2-800 afaik. I think you should check again your manual whether this board supports DDR2-1066 or not.

    If it's not, then it's explains why your system is unstable at 1066.
  2. I know that my Asus P5N32-E SLI supports DDR2-1066 so I assume your board should to.

    For the record I never really got my board to run my OCZ Platinum DDR2-1066 sticks stable at full speed either.

    If I were you I would concentrate on tighter timings rather than getting your memory to run full speed. Basically I'd blame the memory controller. Your board is probably fine and your memory is probably fine as well.
  3. As for your other questions:

    I have not used Everest in a while so I cannot provide any valuable information on your scores sorry.

    I would take Vista's opinion of your memory with a grain of salt. While I do not use Vista I know that its method's of assessing system performance is rather off. I bet if you add more RAM your score would go up. Someone who uses Vista would be able to help you out more than I can.

  4. Are you sure? Is this your board?

    It's true that it supports up to FSB1066/1333, but it doesn't mean that it supports DDR2-1066 ..

    Afaik the N680i is designed for DDR2-800 (officially), some mobo manufacturers might tweak their boards to run DDR2-1066, but that would be an OC.
  5. Odd...I appear to stand corrected. I could have swore they used to say that DDR2-1066 was supported via overclock. Eh, in any event it would not surprise me if they dropped support for DDR2-1066 considering all the trouble it was causing users.

    Thanks for pointing that out antas.

  6. NP, beside I never used the board myself, so I might be wrong :)

    Anyhow I agree with your point, better to have stable system with slightly slower speed with tighter timings. It would compensate the slower speed. The performance difference between DDR2-800 and DDR2-1066 wouldn't be that much. In P35 mobo it less than 3%. In n680i, I'm not so sure but wouldn't be much difference IMO.

    Btw, nice to see your E6600 run at 400MHz FSB :) That's really pushing your FSB out to its limits ..
  7. Thanks. No point in pushing a processor on a 680i unless you plan on running linked and synched. Not sure if it is really much faster, but it gives me an excuse to OC :)

    I see you are using an Abit IX38. If I could do it all over again I would buy your board instead of my 680i. They are about the same price and I bet yours is solid as a rock. A very nice rig indeed!
  8. Thanks :) It's solid and easy to play with but I don't know it's OC capability yet. I don't bother to OC at the moment since I have no problem with my games (NWN2, NFS ProStreet). And besides I don't want to risk my system yet, my previous computer (well, it's a laptop) was just died 3 months ago. My wife will kill me if I burn another computer, lolz :D

    ps: the only thing I regret is the memory. I should've bought 2x2GB instead of 2x1GB. But nvm, it's more than enough at the moment, I'll upgrade when I'm upgrading my OS to Vista64 or when STARCRAFT II says it will need 4GB :p
  9. Yeah I don't blame you for not overclocking. I have found that more times than not games are GPU limited rather than CPU limited. Your processor will outlive mine for sure so in the end you win.

    I had a laptop before my current system and it was like going from a Chevy Cavalier to a Ferrari. Ugh it hurts just thinking about it. That thing could barely play NFS Underground let alone ProStreet. It was nice being portable but the performance was terrible.

    Oh and to the OP; sorry antas and I are doing all this small talk. I'll leave this thread alone so you can get some help with your problem.

    p.s. Yeah I hear you about the memory. I did the same thing. I bought 2x1 at first. I just got my 2x2's from the egg today and honestly I do not see a huge performance jump. I guess I'll have to compare some 3dMark scores.
  10. @op: yeah, sorry for doing small talking out of your topics :)

    Back again: regarding your Vista index (they call it WEI?), I don't know why your memory got 5.1 score. But IMO you don't have to worry much about it. My wife laptop, has overall WEI score of 3.0. But in real live situations, I found it's faster then my friend's laptop who have WEI score of 4.x. As long as your system is stable and play wells with it, don't worry.

    Regarding your mem benchmark, what is the S/W? I'm benchmarking my memory XMS2 800, and I got latency 86s at best (800MHz @ 4-4-4-18). And mem bandwith at 6251. IMO your mem performance is good enough, as it what expected.
  11. Thanks for the input guys. I'm using EVGA's 680i and they have the PC8500 Dominator sticks on their list of supported memory. When I asked a question on EVGA's forum regarding not being able to run at 1066mhz many users blamed the memory saying it requires too much voltage. So while the Dominators are on the list many users seemed to shun it! The micron chips are rated at 2.2v but some users had to use 2.3-2.4 which is insanely high IMO. Heres the list of supported DDR2 memory for the 680/780i:

    780i/680i Series Memory Support

    1066 MHz(PC2 8500)
    OCZ OCZ2N10662GK
    OCZ OCZ2N10661G
    Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5D
    Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5 << -----------What I have!
    Kingston KHX8500D2K2/1G
    OCZ OCZ2N1066SR2GK
    OCZ OCZ2N1066SR1G
    PNY D22GX85GMR

    800 MHz(PC2 6400)
    Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C3DF
    Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4D
    Crucial BL2KIT12864AL804
    Crucial BL12864AL804
    Crucial BL2KIT12864AA804
    Crucial BL2KIT6464AA804
    Crucial BL12864AA804
    Crucial BL6464AA804
    Kingston KHX6400D2LLK2/2GN
    Kingston KHX6400D2LLK2/1GN
    Patriot PDC22G6400LLK
    PNY D22GX64GMR-4

    Since I couldn't run the memory at 1066 I decided to go linked and synced at 800mhz 4-4-4-10 @ 3.2Ghz. Temps hover around 65-68C on the hottest core while stressed. I'm with you guys though in that I would prefer a different board other than the 680i. I planned on throwing in another 8800GTX to go SLI but with these new cards being almost just as good for half the price I find it hard to buy another GTX! I would've much preferred a P35 or an X38 if it weren't for my SLI intentions!

    Antas, I'm primarily using Everest to bench my memory. I wasn't too concerned over Vistas scoring index, I was just curious as to why performance memory would score so low while I've seen value memory hit 5.5-5.9! Regarding the memory, the new sticks should be in within a few days so I'll know for sure if its the memory or motherboard thats having a problem hitting 1066. hoping my Vista score will go up a bit as well. :)

    And no worries on the sidetalk. I enjoy reading it. :D
  12. Hi DonkeyPunch,

    I just wanted to share a couple of bits of info that might help. I was shopping for an Asus PK5-e motherboard and I read just about all the reviews on newegg. I don't remember where I saw this, but someone there was upset that their 1066 speed ram would NOT work right with that board even though they felt it should have. I don't remember the exact issue either, but he called Asus and they told him there was an issue with 1066mhz ram under CERTAIN conditions. I don't even know what those are. But the point was that the guy ended up switching to PC6400( 800mhz) ram.

    So my point is that maybe, some of these newer boards, even if yours is not Asus, MIGHT have some issues under some circumstances. That would mean, maybe there is nothing wrong with your hardware, but maybe you are hitting this problem. And sorry, I didn't give you the specifics of the other guys problems. I just don't know other than it made an impression on me that he had trouble with 1066mhz RAM. . So knowing the improvement wasn't that significant I just ordered 800mhz ram for my self. Another thing is that different mother boards will have different PROs and CONs. You may find one that will get you 5.9 on the memory score (mem controller?), but you might lose on disk transfer speed etc. But in terms of memory speed, you might like this article. I'm not going to say it is definitive, BUT it's worth looking at and points out just how little difference ram can make sometimes even if it's not always the case:

    On The Vista score, I have read more than once that they use a mysterious, funky formula that few understand to compute the score. Before I ordered my good computer, I tried a cheap, Best Buy Dellish type computer and it got 5.5 on all scores including memory. It was nothing special. I actually think that what's holding your Vista score back isn't your hardware, BUT Vista's goofyness. In other words, that score isn't the most important thing to look at. I'd go with more popular benchmarks like those found from Si Software Sandra and compare your scores to other people on the net, or it's built in numbers. It's free to try. :D
  13. I don't know how Vista comes up with the numbers but it should be higher. I am running Vista on 3 computers and the one with Vista x64 and 4 gigs of OCZ Reaper X PC8000 scores 5.9 on everything. I have on Vista 32bit with 2gigs of Corsair XMS PC6400C4 which scores 5.1, and a laptop with 2gigs of Dell 667mhz ram which scores 4.8.
    Have you updated your bios? Just a suggestion.
  14. donkeypunch said:
    Ok, I'm running my Q6600 G0 rev. on a 680i A1 at 3.2Ghz. I have a few questions/concerns. I originally had Corsair XMS2 800mhz sticks but my builder upsold me on 1066 Dominator sticks since I planned on OC'ing. One thing that I don't like is Vista shows my memory score as 5.1 while I have 5.9's on everything else. "Performance memory" shouldn't be holding back my system!

    Vista's WEI tool rates the entire subsystem and not just the speed of your RAM. Raising the FSB will have a much greater impact on this number than will going from 800 to 1066 RAM. I am running DDR2 800 at the memory's rated speeds and timings and score a 5.9. Why?? 1600Mhz FSB.

    By way of information to help you get your system set up and running properly:

    OCZ 4GB setup guide:

  15. Thanks for the info and links guys! The Vista score never really irked me too much, I just never understood how it figured the scores. Seeing people with an older proc and 667 RAM hit 5.9 was always a mystery to me. As for FSB Scott, I'm using an 8x multi at 400mhz on my Q6600--1600FSB.

    For the life of me I could never get the RAM to run at anything over 800mhz though, even loosening the timings to something like 7-7-7-18, lol! I read the difference between 800@4-4-4-10 and 1066@5-5-5-15 is negligible anyway, and in some cases the tighter timings are actually quicker. So even that doesn't bother me too much.

    I'll try some of the other benchmark programs to get a better idea of my memory score comparisons. I was just put off when I saw how many people were actually having problems running anything over 800mhz on the 680i while others there were no problems hitting 1066.

    Edit--Well, I got the new sticks in today. The Everest benchmarks seems to have stayed the same and I still cant reach 1066mhz! It's got to be something with the 680i. Like I said I have no problem just running at 800mhz with tight timings, it lets me do 3.2 linked and synced anyway, I just don't know why these sticks are recommended for this board when 1066 is not happening. The sticks are even the Micron chips which supposedly OC better. Weird how Corasir has two different versions of their Dominator PC8500 sticks. For kicks and giggles I threw all 4 sticks in and that had my Vista score hit 5.9! Took out the old sticks and dropped to 5.4. Vistas score is all over the place lmao! Ah well, thanks again for the links/suggestions/and help guys. :hello:
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