New RAM is causing games to crash

Hi, I just bought some new RAM for my ancient PC, I upgraded from a single 512MB stick to two of these:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-1GB-...5682910&sr=1-8

I got them in the post and installed them without problems. My motherboard manual says it should all work automatically, no need to fiddle with jumpers and things so I just stuck them in. The memory check at startup counts up to 2GB fine, windows boots fine and so far I've had no problems at all until I try to run a game.

Nothing spectacular, the games just crash to desktop with no error message coming up, doesn't seem to be any specific event that triggers it. Also it's happening with multiple games running in different engines and I've never had any stability problems before today so it's 99.99% likely to be a problem with the new memory. All crashes so far have happened within 15-20 minutes of running the game.

There was actually one crash to desktop that did have an error message associated with it, I was connecting to a server in Call of Duty Source, hadn't got into the server when it crashed. The error message was:

The instruction at "0x14417F72" referenced memory at "0x0de22c34" The memory could not be "read"

That's the situation at the moment. Please help me, the games are running so much more smoothly now, until they crash that is...


My system specs copied and pasted from everest:


3D Accelerator: ATI Radeon 9600 XT (RV360)

CPU Type: AMD Athlon XP, 1833 MHz (11 x 167) 2500+

Motherboard Name: Shuttle FN41 v1/v2 (1 PCI, 1 AGP, 2 DDR DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN, IEEE-1394)

RAM: DIMM1: 128X64K-33B 1GB (PC2700 DDR SDRAM)
DIMM2: 128X64K-33B 1GB (PC2700 DDR SDRAM)

Power supply: 200W
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  1. Won't let me edit my own post for some reason, at any rate, the amazon link which doesn't seem to work should be:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-1GB-DDR-PC2700-RAM/dp/B0002IP2TY/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1225682910&sr=1-8
  2. Ok, I got memtest86+ working, I'll list the specific tests I did (using both new RAM sticks and the old one) in a bit but first I'll try to summarise what I seemed to come up with:

    Any configuration including either or both of the new RAM sticks in either DIMM socket will boot up and into windows without difficulty but will still cause games to crash (although in varying ways: crash to desktop, game freezes up or total blue screen lock up). It is possible to get a clean result in memtest86 by putting either of the new RAM sticks into DIMM1 however this still produces game crashes, and any other combination of new RAM also gives multiple reproducable errors in test 5 of memtest. The only completely stable configuration (giving no memtest errors or game crashes) is the old RAM alone in either DIMM socket.

    Hope that makes sense, if not here's the exact results I got:

    Test 1 DIMM1: New RAM 1 DIMM2: New RAM 2 Results: Errors in test 5, games crashing

    Test 2 DIMM1: New RAM 1 DIMM2: Empty Results: No errors in memtest, games crashing

    Test 3 DIMM1: New RAM 2 DIMM2: Empty Results: No errors in memtest, games crashing

    Test 4 DIMM1: Empty DIMM2: New RAM 1 Results: Errors in test 5, games crashing

    Test 5 DIMM1: Empty DIMM2: New RAM 2 Results: Errors in test 5, games crashing

    Test 6 DIMM1: Old RAM DIMM2: Empty Results: No errors in memtest, games stable

    Test 7 DIMM1: Empty DIMM2: Old RAM Results: No errors in memtest, games stable

    Test 8 DIMM1: Old RAM DIMM2: New RAM 1 Results: errors in test 5, games crashing

    Test 9 DIMM1: New RAM 1 DIMM2: Old RAM Results: errors in test 5, games crashing


    The only combination I didn't try is the last two again with the 2nd new RAM stick, but I thought there was just a little bit of a pattern emerging by that point so I didn't bother.

    Over to you for a more technical interpretation of those results, hope they're helpful.


    Also here's some voltage and temperature and stuff I copied down from BIOS that someone on another forum thought might be useful:

    CPU voltage 1.64V
    AGP voltage 1.52V
    3.3V VIN 3.32V
    +5V VIN 5.13V
    +12V VIN 11.71V
    -12V VIN (-)13.34V
    Chipset voltage 1.68V
    5V 5BVIN 5.16V
    Voltage Battery 3.2V

    System temp 37C
    CPU temp 46C
    PWM temp 40C
  3. That table again with the headings in bold because THAT s**t was indecipherable:


    Test 1 DIMM1: New RAM 1 DIMM2: New RAM 2 Results: Errors in test 5, games crashing

    Test 2 DIMM1: New RAM 1 DIMM2: Empty Results: No errors in memtest, games crashing

    Test 3 DIMM1: New RAM 2 DIMM2: Empty Results: No errors in memtest, games crashing

    Test 4 DIMM1: Empty DIMM2: New RAM 1 Results: Errors in test 5, games crashing

    Test 5 DIMM1: Empty DIMM2: New RAM 2 Results: Errors in test 5, games crashing

    Test 6 DIMM1: Old RAM DIMM2: Empty Results: No errors in memtest, games stable

    Test 7 DIMM1: Empty DIMM2: Old RAM Results: No errors in memtest, games stable

    Test 8 DIMM1: Old RAM DIMM2: New RAM 1 Results: errors in test 5, games crashing

    Test 9 DIMM1: New RAM 1 DIMM2: Old RAM Results: errors in test 5, games crashing
  4. Hey, I managed to get it working and stable!

    Thanks for pointing me towards memtest86, I read the FAQ and saw that repeated test 5 errors could indicate bad timing settings, and sure enough the default 'optimal' settings in BIOS were what was causing the problem. I guess that's probably a really obvious mistake to make but I really am a layman about these things.

    Anyway, thanks again.
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