BIOS Will not post with 6GB or 8GB of RAM

Well, I went through 1/2 of the Indian population in speaking with Intel about this dilemma, and none could figure out what it is. Let's see if one of you talented people at Tom's can help me out...

Building a system with the following specs:
MOBO Intel DG965MQ
CPU Intel E6600
RAM Crucial CT25664AA53E.16FE, (4) 2GB sticks for a total of 8GB of RAM
Video Card PNY 8600 GT Overclocked
Power Supply Antec 650 watt EA-650

(Please let me know if you need further information)

Here's the deal. I start out with formatting the hard drive. I install Windows Vista 64 (since 32 will only recognize 3GB). All during the install I am only using 2GB of RAM (I read tech articles saying the install can go bad if you have over 2GB of RAM on the MOBO while installing). Also, during the install I am strictly using the onboard Intel Video. Install goes good, and I install all 8GB of RAM. Install all of the updates, including Service Pack 1, good. Install the PCI modem and the PCI-e (x1) USB 2.0 4 port expansion card, good. All 64 bit drivers are installed, good, good, good. Using the Intel onboard video, my BIOS posts and Vista boots perfectly with all 8GB on board.

Now it gets crazy. As soon as I insert the PNY video card into the PCI-e (x16) slot, the system won't POST. No Intel mobo splash screen, no hard drive activity, nothing. Here's the stupid part: as soon as I pull out the video card, you would think the system would go back to POSTing with 8GB like before-WRONG! Even with the video card out of the slot, once you insert that video card, the system will not POST again with 6GB or 8GB again, with or without the video card in. With 4GB in, the BIOS POSTs with or without the video card.

By the way, Intel made me go through (3) DG965MS motherboards trying to resolve this. They even sent me a brand new upgraded version of that board, the DG965MQ. It doesn't POST either, so I don't think it is the motherboard. I went to BB and bought a BFG 8800 GT to make sure it wasn't the video card, still no POST. The power supply is brand new as I didn't think my old 425 watt supply could handle the voltage of the video card and the 8GB of RAM together. The CPU is brand spanking new. The RAM is brand new and is certified by Intel to work on that motherboard. All RAM sticks work fine.

I sure would be in debt to the one who could help me solv ethis enigma. Thank you for your consideration.
6 answers Last reply
More about bios post
  1. In BIOS you will have to set your RAM's voltage, speed and timings to manufacturer specs. Your micro board supports 8 Gbs RAM *with restrictions* depending what the speed, voltage and timings of the RAM are. Micro boards 'generally' have inferior voltage regulators when compared with full ATX 'premium' MBs. I own an Intel micro socket 775 MB. It is more a cheap workstation solution than it is a product designed for high performance gaming with 8 gigs of RAM and powerful video card. besides being 'lame' it is the most picky socket 775 MB I have owned regarding RAM including the RAMs setup (speed, timing and voltage).

    With 8 gigs, try bumping the RAM voltage to 1.9v (if possible, go to 2.0v if the BIOS will do so), set the CAS LAT to 5 (5-5-5-15 timings if posssible) and reduce RAM speed to 533Mhz. Also, in BIOS when using the 8600Gt, set the PCIE as the primary video device and disable onboard graphics memory.

    System Memory Features
    The board has four DIMM sockets and supports the following memory features:

    1.8 V (only) DDR2 SDRAM DIMMs with gold-plated contacts
    Unbuffered, single-sided or double-sided DIMMs with the following restriction: Double-sided DIMMs with x16 organization are not supported.
    8 GB maximum total system memory using DDR2 667 or DDR2 533 DIMMs
    4 GB maximum total system memory using DDR2 800 DIMMs
    Minimum total system memory: 512 MB
    Non-ECC DIMMs
    Serial Presence Detect
    DDR2 800, DDR2 667, or DDR2 533 MHz SDRAM DIMMs
    DDR2 800 DIMMs with SPD timings of only 5-5-5 or 6-6-6 (tCL-tRCD-tRP)
  2. badge, thanks for your quick reply. Couple of points:

    1) I've already set the primary video in the BIOS to pci-e.
    2) I'll try the timing settings.
    3) Under the BIOS (the latest version, 1729), where can you adjust the voltage my friend? I've read other forums that suggested the same thing, but my dumb behind can't seem to locate the voltage setting.
    4) As far as the speed, it's already at 533mhz since the RAM I have is PC2-4200.
    5) What do you recommend I set the following BIOS setting to:
    a) PCI Latency Timer, should I introduce any more delay than 32?
    b) HPET, enabled or disabled?
    c) EIST, enabled or disabled?
    d) S.M.A.R.T., enabled or disabled?
    e) CPC Override, Automatic or disabled?

    Again, I REALLY appreciate your time,
  3. Well, the short answer is just make the board work the best you can and go with it. Three RMA's would convince me of that. Intel micro boards are generally cheap workstation solutions, not top notch gaming, enthusiast products. You might consider getting something from ASUS or Gigabyte (x38/X48) built for high power hardware, like 8 gigs of super fast RAM, high power video cards, enhanced BIOS features. These type 'enthusiasts'boards are built for it. They have 16/20 phase voltage regulators, enhanced BIOS features, etc.

    As far as the BIOS peticulars on your MB, I have no idea. I'm sure the BIOS provided has very few adjustment for the CPU, RAM, voltages, RAM timings, etc. (I have an Intel socket 775 micro remember, LOL.). At best, you could probably only adjust the RAM voltage to 1.9v (and maybe not that, Intel says RAM MUST BE 1.8v.) . There may be no voltage adjustment at all. Anyway, I would just use 4 gigs and use the board that way. I would think seriously about building my high powered system around a much better MB than an Intel micro. I use mine at an office/work station at one of our offices. It is pitiful, LOL.
  4. I mentioned getting an x38 or x 48 MB. I want to mention, your 533MHz RAM will not work in those chipsets, 667MHz or hgher is required. Check the P35 for 533MHz compatibility if you plan on using your 8 gigs.
  5. Bought a new ASUS motherboard. Now 8GB of ram works fine. You were right Badge, the Intel DG965MS board is a lightweight (along with the replacement DG965MQ Intel sent to me), and can't handle both 6-8GB of ram AND a PCI Express video card. It'll work with 6-8GB with just the onboard video, but once you add the PCI Express video card, it won't post with 6-8GB ever again, even without the PCI Express video card plugged in; you have to reinstall the OS.

    False advertising on Intel's part in my opinion.
  6. Good you got your rig working. That's one crazy problem you had there.....There is no telling, computers can get infuriating at times.....
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