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P5Q - Bother with PC8500 RAM or stick with PC6400

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July 22, 2008 7:00:08 PM

Hello!

As part of a new upgrade cycle for my recording studio I settled on the new ASUS P5Q (not deluxe, not-E, not Pro) - just the plain ole P5Q.

This rig will be running Vista 64 with a Q9450 Quad core and will probably get 8GB of RAM sooner than later but I purchased Corsair TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF (4GB in a 2x2GB set) to get started.

Got the board, the RAM, the Q9450 processor and got to it. The build went very fast. However - at first start up - nothing. Board powers up, lights flash, IDE lights give a little flash...fans are up...looks normal inside - no so good on screen. After ruling out some sort of "suspend" mode or anything else out of the ordinary...I flashed the BIOS to version 703 - which apparently enables the P5Q to work with "additional memory types" - thought I might get lucky. No go. No nothing.

Long story short - I pulled the (2GBx2) TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF in favor of a (4x1GB) set of TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX instead. The box came up no problem and I was able to install Vista and some apps.

Spend all of Monday researching the "no POST" problems and finally solved the issue by changing the 4 pin ATX connector to the 8 pin ATX connector and it fired up no problem. Was able to hit the BIOS and basically set everything to Auto. But...when Vista goes to load - instant Blue Screen. With various error messages. From Bad_POOL_HEADER to everything in between. I did read up on the limitless posts both here and other forums regarding the "old" circa Nov 2007 issue of Vista issuing a Blue Screen with 4GB of RAM installed - but that was fixed with Service Pack 1 (which is baked into my DVD media). Plus - when I use 4GB of TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX - there is no problem at all.

Here on Tuesday - I am getting of mixed info on what to try when I get home to try and get this board working soundly with the PC8500 - but then I started thinking about this a bit more.

I am planning on 8GB for this rig anyway - and I have no interest in overclocking anything (Just stability - since this workstation basically is responsible for the core operations of my business) - would it be a more prudent step to just forgo the ongoing blue screens and hassles of trying to get the 1066 8500C5D working and settle into a nice comfy set of of 4x2GB TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX instead?

I have also read horror stories about installing memory in all four slots and then having to downstep the memory frequency back to 800mhz if I do decide to try and install 8GB of the PC8500 RAM.

If I have to step back from 1066 to 800 - I may as well just get 8GB of TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX - that I have already confirmed works fine with all 4 slots populated at 800mhz?

Is there a real tangible difference between PC8500 and PC6400. I have read that memory branded as PC8500 is simply overclocked PC6400

Appreciate any comments!

Cheers!

VP
July 23, 2008 3:26:16 AM

Well, if you plan on running at stock speeds then 800mhz will run great linked and synced with the FSB at 1600mhz.

If you plan on overclocking to say 2000 FSB then the 1066 would probably be a better choice, as you can run that linked and synced 1/2 as well.

!