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CL4 RAM (4-4-4-12) shows up as 5-5-5-18 (unable to change in BIOS)

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October 6, 2008 12:49:23 PM

I just setup a new rig :

Processor: Intel Xeon 3110 (identical to E8400)
Mobo: MSI P45 Platinum
RAM: Team Xtreem Dark DDR2-800 (TXDD4096M800HC4DC-D)
Rated CL: 4-4-4-12 (2.0V - 2.1V)
PSU: Silverstone Strider 560W
Graphics: Sapphire HD4870
HDD: 1 x 640GB Sata

When I 1st enter BIOS, I noticed the ram timings were running at 5-5-5-18 and DRAM Voltage set to AUTO around 1.8V

I tried to reconfigure the DRAM Voltage to 2.0V & 2.1V, reboot, then set the timing to 4-4-4-12.
However, after rebooting, the timings were unchanged.
I've tried different configurations like 5-5-5-15, 5-4-4-15, 5-4-4-12 but nothing works.
I'm kinda upset to have paid more for CL4 modules that run worse then 5-5-5-15.

There were some detailed info provided in the Bios, saying per cycle is 2.5ns, CL is set to 12.5ns (I guess there's where the CL5 came from). This is just an info screen, can't change the values, but I don't know what to make of this either @_@)

Someone please help?

a b } Memory
October 9, 2008 12:48:21 PM


Do you have one memory kit (2 modules) or two kits (4 modules)? Advertised timings for a two module kit are tested and approved only for a two module configuration. Four modules create a significantly altered set of conditions for the memory controller and timings for two modules are no longer valid.

Also check for an updated BIOS. The latest BIOS on MSI's download page is V1.4, though it is possible for a newer version to exist that is accessible only through the MSI LiveUpdate utility/server. According to the CPU support list, E8400 with C0 stepping was added in BIOS 1.0 while E0 stepping was added in BIOS 1.4.

Although these Xeon parts are identical to corresponding C2D parts, there is enough difference for the BIOS to tell them apart. If the BIOS does not explicitly support Xeons, it can conceivably affect things like ratios, divisors, and boot straps that are exposed and configurable through the BIOS.

MSI has the most sketchy or baffling CPU support coverage of any company I've seen. CPU support charts for numerous MSI models defy the customary CPU support coverage of most comparable competitor products, with a suggestion there may be some tactical withholding of support for certain CPUs in order to more quickly cycle-out existing motherboards or steer buyers to more expensive models (e.g. a server or professional workstation board). I wouldn't put it past them to have written a BIOS that results in odd behavior or glitches when Xeons are detected.
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