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Please help me diagnose my EP45-ds3l Memory problems (getting worse)

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July 24, 2008 8:11:53 PM

Just built a new system

EP45-ds3l
Q6600
Gigabyte's HD4850
4gigs DDR2 1066 PC2-8500 (g.skill ocz)

I have it up and running, but I can only get single channel memory to work.

As expected, the board has 4 memory sockets in 2 banks. I've tried the following combinations of memory

DDR2_1 DDR_2 DDR2_3 DDR2_4 STATUS
X 0 0 0 Loads (just 2 gigs)
0 X 0 0 Loads (just 2 gigs)
X X 0 0 Loads (4 gigs but single channel)
X 0 X 0 No post
0 X X 0 No post
0 X 0 X No post
0 0 X 0 No post
0 0 0 X No post
0 0 X X No post

My guess is I'm looking at a bad bank? Anyone confirm? Am I missing something? If it were really bad, would some of those configurations (4th from the top) still boot, but only see 2 gigs?
July 25, 2008 12:19:03 AM

Since your board will detect either of the dimms it seems your dimms are fine. It's not impossible to have a bad bank. I'm wondering about voltage and timings first though. Try something very conservative like 5-5-5-18 @ 800MHz and 1.8V with dimms in DDR2_1 and DDR2_3.

Am I correct that you ahve two different brands of memory? As stupid as it sounds, it could be an issue in dual channel.
July 25, 2008 12:59:35 AM

I am having exactly the same problem. System is unstable on any settings if the memory is dual channel. I am having a wonderful one-email-per-day discussion with Gigabyte about this, plus the fact that I can't successfully return from standby, even if I put both DIMMs in Channel 0. I just flashed to Bios F7, but haven't tested dual channel yet (still working on the damn standby problem). I'm beginning to think there is a fundamental problem with this board (h/w, firmware, bios). I want to find a resolution to both these problems or I am going to RMA this board, get an Asus, and try again.

Gigabyte GA-P45-DS3L BIOS F7
E7200 Core2Duo 2.53Ghz 1066Mhz FSB 3MB L2
SuperTalent 2x2G DDR2-800 PC6400 CL 5-5-5-15 (T800UX4GC5)
Seagate 500GB SATA2 7200 32mb HD
EVGA 8800GT 512MB Superclocked Edition
Ultra X-connect X2 550-watt
Vista x64 SP1
Related resources
July 25, 2008 1:15:08 AM

Yes, its the same brand of memory. Bought as a 'kit'

Unfortunately, things seem to be deteriorating. The machine now just constantly resets before post.

On for a second (lights/fans) no beeps.

Turns off.

1 second later, turns back on. This time with a very quick beep (almost immediately), HDD starts to spin etc but only lasts ~ 4 seconds before shutting off and repeating the whole process.

Same thing happens whether memory is in or not.

If i unplug the 4pin power to the CPU the machine doesn't constantly reset, just sits there, no beeps.
July 25, 2008 1:21:43 AM

I'm using the standard voltage of the mobo (ie I never changed it). I've tried clearing the cmos--no change.
July 25, 2008 1:44:24 AM

Just bought the P43-D3SL


E6600
XFX 8800GT
4GB DDR2 - Patriot 6400 (2GB X 2)

I can get it a 2GB stick to run but not 4GB in dual channel

I've tried the following combinations of memory

DDR2_1 DDR_2 DDR2_3 DDR2_4 STATUS
X 0 0 0 Loads (2 gigs)
X 0 X 0 no post
X X 0 0 Will Try tonight

I am going to play with the voltage and timings tonight as well.

mxcrowe - I agree, I am thinking that this might be a fundamental problem with these types of boards: P45/P43
July 25, 2008 1:52:07 AM

Not to get too off topic but what boards would you guys be looking to get instead? I'd like to keep the rest of my stuff (I'm guessing its good)

4 gigs pc8500 (1066) and the Q6600, HD 4850.
July 25, 2008 2:18:50 AM

At this point, I'm not going to RMA the board just because it won't run dual channel. I looked at a lot of benchmarks and it just doesn't make enough difference to warrant the hassle of changing mobos. Maybe they'll fix it with a BIOS update. Make sure you have all the latest BIOS and driver updates - I think the latest rev for everything is 7/21/08.
Also, after you flash, make sure you set everything to optimal defaults and run it at stock before you change any settings. The only thing I changed is the DRAM voltage, which I set to 2.1v as per spec. F7 bios still wants to set it at 1.8v. I haven't really looked for a replacement board yet, but will let you know if I do go that route, which I will if I can't get it to come out of standby reliably.
Guys, send your inputs to Gigabyte via their website interface. With enough people seeing the same problem, maybe they'll get some techs to address the 4gb dual channel issue.
July 25, 2008 2:29:10 AM

I had issues with my corsair dimms. Rated at 1.9v, wont post unless 2.1v
July 25, 2008 2:32:32 AM

@Crowe. I thought the exact same thing. I was fine with single channel, but the problem quickly got worse :( .

I'm looking at Asus' P5Q and just eating a 15% restocking fee.
July 25, 2008 3:57:11 AM

I really dont think I will RMA it either because I love having the 6 sata connections and 8 USB ports. The board layout is outstanding IMO and it fits my needs perfectly. I dont care for RAID, Crossfire or Firewire, so the board is an obvious choice. To have dual channel would be nice. Right now, I want stability and so far it has been okay with one 2GB stick of PQI.

@xrosseyed - I actually was going to get that Asus P5Q board if they had it in stock at the local Fry's over here but they didnt have it and I didnt feel like ordering it off of newegg. That board looks just as nice though and people dont seem to have too much trouble with it by the sounds of it.
July 25, 2008 12:12:20 PM

Yep, ordered the p5q last night. Time to pack the ds3l back up and send it back. Good luck with your boards!
July 26, 2008 7:48:15 PM

let me eat my words off the bat..I did return the Gigabyte P43 board. The BIOS is just way too buggy to work with or tolerate. I thought I had stability until I made a very simple BIOS change unrelated to voltage or timings and the thing goes into its infinite loop. That was the last draw.

I exchanged it for a MSI P45 Neo -F mobo. one bios flash later....solid stability.

I typically like gigabyte but right now, I just need a stable pc without breaking my budget.

good luck guys
July 27, 2008 4:01:47 AM

Gigabytes site has a couple of updates in the bios section for this motherboard and one of them mentions it's about memory compatibilty...

I'm also asking about this in another thread I just started as I just got my new pc built yesterday and now want to know about updating the bios and what to do etc etc...

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/251604-30-gigabyte-ds3l-questions#t1780054
July 28, 2008 4:39:37 PM

Pixaloop said:
Just bought the P43-D3SL


E6600
XFX 8800GT
4GB DDR2 - Patriot 6400 (2GB X 2)

I can get it a 2GB stick to run but not 4GB in dual channel

I've tried the following combinations of memory

DDR2_1 DDR_2 DDR2_3 DDR2_4 STATUS
X 0 0 0 Loads (2 gigs)
X 0 X 0 no post
X X 0 0 Will Try tonight

I am going to play with the voltage and timings tonight as well.

mxcrowe - I agree, I am thinking that this might be a fundamental problem with these types of boards: P45/P43


I'm having the same problem with the P43-D3SL and Mushkin DDR2 800 memory. ( http://www.mushkin.com/doc/products/memory_detail.asp?i... ) I haven't verified yet that the board will run with 2 sticks in single-channel mode, but I bet that's what I'll see. It runs fine with 1 stick, but does the BIOS boot loop dance with 2 in dual channel. Annoying. Hope they'll fix this soon.

If anyone's got any fix/workaround, please post.
July 29, 2008 2:00:17 AM

Just so you know, my board worked for about 12 hours (with 2 sticks running in single channel) but soon after that it would ONLY do the boot loop dance, no matter what memory configuration I used (or even none at all).

The just recently released bios f7 which addresses some memory issues. Maybe that will fix it? My new board comes tomorrow. I'm going to use the exact same components and see if the boot loop was in fact the board's fault. (Pretty sure it is).
July 29, 2008 4:24:24 PM

Just wondering: which board are you using that you see the f7 bios available for? Can't be for my GA-EP43-DS3L. I don't see a new BIOS available on the site for that board.
July 29, 2008 7:44:43 PM

My apologies. It came out for the p45 version.

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Mod...

With "Enhanced memory compatibility". Perhaps the p43 will be soon?

Anyways, my new Asus mobo came today and I used the exact same components and it booted right up! Had a few problems installing the usb drivers--had to resort to a ps2 setup for a bit but nothing major.
So as the OP of this thread, I can say the problem has been 'fixed' and it was a bad motherboard from Gigabyte. This was my first time using them and of course I'm not all that impressed. Perhaps the recently released f7 bios would've fixed the problem, but seeing as the machine wouldn't stay on long enough to get INTO the bios I doubt it.
August 1, 2008 5:11:12 PM

I didn't read through everything but did you install the F6 BIOS? Did you also call Gigabyte and inquire as to memory compatibility? Don't go by the list on their web site...it's old. As far as the best brands to buy...I'm stumped. I had a bad experience with an Abit and Asus...and my bro just got an Asus with a corrupt BIOS that had to be RMA'd for repair. Fixed now and good to go but as we get into higher and higher technology and companies try to keep up with mass production there will always be bad boards from every company. I have an EP45-DS3R, after returning an EP35-DS3L because the BIOS wouldn't keep my manual voltage settings for RAM or CPU. I couldn't overclock past what I should've. My current board seems to be working alright, and updated to F8, although I did have some memory errors in Memtest that were fixed by slightly increasing the DRAM voltage. Remember that many motherboards suffer from Vdroop. For example. I put in 2.1V (spec for Corsair) and I only got 2.08 actual. Right now I put in 2.16V with actual of 2.13V. I confirmed with Corsair that this was acceptable, as I already tried replacing two DIMMs thinking they were bad because of this.
a b V Motherboard
August 2, 2008 4:37:36 AM

If you are having trouble with current Gigabyte boards, I recommend going to tweaktown.com where they have a Gigabyte forum to provide free technical support for their motherboards, graphics cards and other products!

http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/

I had memory issues on my P35-DS3L that I could not resolve and posted on their board and got a response within 2 hours - on the 4th of July. There are several moderators - if you get lsdmeasap, tell him hello for me. He was a lifesaver for me. Helped me tweak memory timings to make my memory work properly.
August 12, 2008 4:46:20 PM

darose said:
I'm having the same problem with the P43-D3SL and Mushkin DDR2 800 memory. ( http://www.mushkin.com/doc/products/memory_detail.asp?i... ) I haven't verified yet that the board will run with 2 sticks in single-channel mode, but I bet that's what I'll see. It runs fine with 1 stick, but does the BIOS boot loop dance with 2 in dual channel. Annoying. Hope they'll fix this soon.

If anyone's got any fix/workaround, please post.


FYI - looks like I've found a solution! (w00t!) As suggested by the moderator on the Gigabyte Support board over at Tweaktown ( http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/problems-ga-ep43-ds3l-2... ) I changed the DRAM voltage to 1.9 and the MCH core voltage to 1.3. Everything's working like a charm ever since!
a b V Motherboard
August 13, 2008 6:51:21 AM

darose - You forgot to tell lsdmeasp hello for me.
August 22, 2008 11:01:21 PM

Hey, if I can chime in, I have the same board with 2 sticks (1 gig each) of PC8500 of CRUCIAL BALLISTIX, which work fine. They were rated at 5-5-5-15 @2.0. It's my first build since 2003 (P4-2.53) so it's really the first time I've had to actually pay a little more attention to the memory, aside from sticking it in and watching it work. In the Bios it is set to AUTO for the memory and it lists the CAS latency time at 5, TRCD and TRP at 7 and TRAS at 24. Should I leave it alone, or should I figure out how to change it to what the spec lists them at? I left everything at default, although honestly, I don't remember if I chose fail safe or optimized defaults (probably). Runs great though. I'm a big,"if it isn't broken, don't fix it" guy, but would appreciate any thoughts on this.

Any thought's appreciated.

Regards, Owen
a b V Motherboard
August 23, 2008 3:03:32 AM

Go back four posts to my first post and read what I wrote. Then read darose's next post on the help he got at Tweaktown too. Then go to Tweatktown as recommended and hopefully you will get quick help on optimal settings. Please say hello to lsdmeasap if you encounter him. He was the one that helped darose too.
!