Could my i7 be defective? memory controller?

So 2 weeks ago I bought upgrade parts for my PC. I purchased an Intel i7 920, ASUS P6T motherboard, and a 3x2GB G.skill DDR3 1600 8-8-8-21 memory kit. I am using a Thermalright Ultra-120 extreme 1366 cooler and running Vista Ultimate 64bit.

I had my mobo set to defualts except for using the XMP memory profile to get the rated memory clock speeds. When I run OCCT it blue screens with a memory error as soon at the test kicks in. This also happens on any game a minute or two into it. If I set my memory to the stock 1066MHz speed, everything is fine. I tried swapping in my buddies Corsiar Dominator 1866 memory (3 sticks) with the XMP profile and the same thing happened. We also tried to manually enter these settings and run at 1.65v. No luck. So I RMA'ed the motherboard, which I recieved the new one today. The same issue happens. Could this be my CPU? Could the memory controller be bad? I am new to the i7 arena so I am looking for help.

Thanks,
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More about could defective memory controller
  1. What QPI/DRAM voltage are you running?
  2. Not sure. I am at work so I can't check. But I have everything to auto and let the XMP profile make any changes. I think the dominator memory had more settings it automatically changed, but I do not recall.

    If you are refering to the DRAM voltage and not one of the other dozen. The XMP profile says 1.6 for the G.skill and was 1.65 for the corsair. I tried 1.65 with the g.skill as well and had the same issue.
  3. Maybe you could run the newer memtest that has support for i7 http://www.memtest.org/ and see where that takes you.
    Also see below:

    Memory
    According to Intel, the new Nehalem processors are specified up to a memory speed of DDR3/1066, while the current Core 2 architecture can be operated with DDR3/1600 memory. But according to the benchmark tool Everest 4.60, the internal memory controller supports up to 1333MHz. It could be that the system would not work stably in all situations at that frequency, so Intel opted for the more conservative specification. For optimal performance no more than three memory modules should be used. If four DIMMs are used, memory performance falls because the important memory parameter Command Rate can only handle two wait states.

    You may want to do a search to see if you can find a cpu memory controller test before you rma your processor
  4. jay2tall said:
    Not sure. I am at work so I can't check. But I have everything to auto and let the XMP profile make any changes. I think the dominator memory had more settings it automatically changed, but I do not recall.

    If you are refering to the DRAM voltage and not one of the other dozen. The XMP profile says 1.6 for the G.skill and was 1.65 for the corsair. I tried 1.65 with the g.skill as well and had the same issue.

    No, I'm not referring to that one. It's a separate one, and it includes voltage to the memory controller. Mine ran fine at 1600-8-8-8-24 at 1.28V QPI/DRAM, and I currently have it set to 1600-7-8-7-22 (1T) at 1.35V QPI/DRAM - it wouldn't run stable at the tighter timings without a bit more power, although the RAM did fine at stock voltage. It should be in the XMP profile, but just in case that wasn't set properly, it'd be the next thing to check.
  5. I find it very odd because my buddy can run his Dominator 1866 memory at 1950 at 1.65v and with his CPU at 4.0GHZ without a hitch.

    However I am running 1600 memory and I can't even run stock.
  6. If the memory controller didn't work you would be having so operating system to boot to. You most likely have some damaged memory.
  7. I had tried my buddies memory on the last board with the same issue. And he has been running that memory for 4 months at 1950 with no issues at all. But yet I have the same issue on my board with that memory as the G.Skill I bought.
  8. I found this blip in the Newegg reviews for my memory. G.Skill left a message for someone:
    Dear customer

    Becuase the i7 only guarantee DDR3 1066 with their default QPI voltage, please increase QPI voltage to 1.4v and see it can work at DDR3 1600 or not. if you have any issue please contact our support

    Thank you
    GSKILL SUPPORT

    Quality and customer service are our top priorities.

    Tech Support Email: ustech@gskill.com
    RMA Dept Email: rma@gskill.com
    G.SKILL Forum: http://www.gskill.com
  9. That's the voltage I'm referring to. 1.4 is a bit high (my board shows it as into the red area past about 1.35), but definitely mess with it a bit and see if it helps.
  10. Does anyone know what the stock QPI voltage is? Just curious.

    I guess the i7's are not as friendly as the Core2's when it comes to memory. What ever happened to plugging in memory and it just taking off?
  11. I found it 1.1v on the QPI is stock. It says 1.3 is a good starting point for Overclocks and faster RAM. I'll try that out.
  12. The QPI voltage was fine with the "stock" settings stored in XMP for me (1.3V IIRC - it just loaded from the XMP profile). You do need to up this voltage some for nonstandard (>1333 9-9-9-24) memory from that 1.1V, but it should usually have it in the XMP profile. Your situation seems unusual.
  13. I tried setting it to 1.3v and it won't even boot. AT 1.4v it boots but isn't totally stable. It seems better though. I upped the voltage to 1.65 for the DRAM though and that didn't do much.

    Me and my buddy were testing some things and if you lower the multiplier to 18 and then set it to 1600 it works fine. He seems to think it's the memory controller to.
  14. We also tried each DIMM individually and at 1600 they are fine. As soon as you stick 2 in it blue screens.
  15. jay2tall said:
    We also tried each DIMM individually and at 1600 they are fine. As soon as you stick 2 in it blue screens.


    Did you install the ram in the Orange slots? It is not the usual closest to the cpu location, but with only three slots it is necessary. The mobo manual does have this info.

    Are there any bios updates? Early on, there were several that addressed ram issues.

    As long as you are stable,I don't think the speed has much effect. The memory controller seems to be able to keep the cpu filled with data easily.

    In my P6T deluxe, I used patriot 1600 without a problem. It runs at 1.5v, freq=480(1440) 4-6-6-18-1T
  16. Are those GSkil PI silver?

    Have you tried lowering the voltage to 1.5v? Also make sure you are using 8-8-8-21 2T. 1T will fail testing.
  17. We have tried so many things. We tried the ram voltage on auto and under 1.6 which is what is in the XMP setting. The XMP profile gives it the 8-8-8-21 2T timing, which we have also tried manually. I am using the Orange slots, as the black ones won't even boot. I tried the single DIMM in A1 which is the closest Orange slot to the CPU. Individually they all work. But when you hit dual channel they fail.

    I am going to RMA my CPU. My buddy built one for a friend with the same Mobo and CPU and didn't have any issues with it on auto running the XMP profiles. He seems to think it's the memory controller.
  18. If the extra memory controller voltage helped, then yes, that seems to be the problem.
  19. jay2tall said:
    So 2 weeks ago I bought upgrade parts for my PC. I purchased an Intel i7 920, ASUS P6T motherboard, and a 3x2GB G.skill DDR3 1600 8-8-8-21 memory kit. I am using a Thermalright Ultra-120 extreme 1366 cooler and running Vista Ultimate 64bit.

    I had my mobo set to defualts except for using the XMP memory profile to get the rated memory clock speeds. When I run OCCT it blue screens with a memory error as soon at the test kicks in. This also happens on any game a minute or two into it. If I set my memory to the stock 1066MHz speed, everything is fine. I tried swapping in my buddies Corsiar Dominator 1866 memory (3 sticks) with the XMP profile and the same thing happened. We also tried to manually enter these settings and run at 1.65v. No luck. So I RMA'ed the motherboard, which I recieved the new one today. The same issue happens. Could this be my CPU? Could the memory controller be bad? I am new to the i7 arena so I am looking for help.

    Thanks,



    NO

    WE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE AND RAN A FEW SYSTEMS LIKE THIS, here is the story: when we switch from giga mobos to asus we misread the bios names and crossed the voltage for the memory controller with the dram voltage

    key is too keep all under 1.65v and most under 1.45v or even 1.4v (intel spec is 1.38v)

    keep in mind we break many of intels rules on every system sold and have done so for over 6 years, We only build oc systems. We have had ZERO FAILURES DUE TO OVERCLOCING IN 6 YEARS! ZERO OR NONE!

    we ran the memory controller at 1.65v instead of 1.25-1.4v (i have not posted are i7 settings like i did q6600 in aug of 2007).

    system started crashing with time, when the mistake was caught some systems had run the memory controller for over 4 weeks at up to 8 hours a Day at 1.65v. (NOTE WE MODded THE COOLING FOR THE MISTAKE NOT KNOWING WHY, eventually the cpus did not like 1.65v for mem control and air cooled stock heat sink)

    we still have zero failures - once the setting where reversed all systems run perfect at 4.1ghz (920 blck plus turbo) and time will tell if we damaged them. - i might make a post on this?????

    YOU BE FINE -- I JUST LIKE TO TYPE CRAP WHILE I DO OTHER CRAP!
  20. ^
    I'm confused by Dragon's post. The QPI is clearly labeld in the bios as well as the DRAM voltage.
  21. I think he's saying you can run QPI/DRAM at 1.65V and not hurt anything. You could try it if you really wanted to, but I think RMA is the better option here.
  22. My thought has always been, if it can't run what it's supposed to, send it back. I have no issues if something is just not a good overclocker, because you OCing can be hit or miss sometimes. But, if I can't run at stock speeds without pumping alot of voltage to it. Something is wrong.

    Newegg sent me a UPS return label.

    Here is a hint. Always call newegg for an RMA. They have always given me a return label even though their site says you are responsible for return shipping.
  23. Ok so today I got my replacement CPU. Popped it in and ran everything like a CHAMP! Actually it warned me to update my BIOS and it wouldn't run my memory at 1600 until I did so. Apparently the replacement i7 I got was the new D0 stepping chip. Oh darn, it OCes to 4.0GHz at 1.325v with everything else on auto. Now that is what I am talking about. I would have been happy with 3.6 or 3.8. I could probably press it more but I'm not sure about temps. It idles around 55-57C and in OCCT with Large Data set, High Priority, and HT as Dual Core, it sits around 86-90C. Is that to hot? I was told it is fine for an OCCT test and will never hit this in reality.
  24. 86-90 is a bit hotter than I would run, but I run folding on mine (SMP client), so I run at 75-80% load 24/7. Because of that, I like to keep mine at <80C linpack temps, which translates to <70C Prime95 or so (and my current 4GHz OC is pushing that a bit - I actually run at 75C prime or so, but it still isn't that bad, because my folding temps are in the mid 50s). If you don't run yours at that kind of load though, it should be fine.

    Oh, and glad to hear the new CPU works fine. Sounds like the memory controller was at fault after all. What is your current memory controller voltage for DDR3-1600 CAS 8 by the way? Mine runs CAS 8 at 1.30V, and CAS 7 at 1.34V.
  25. I lowever the voltage to 1.3125 to see what if it runs stable. It seems to run a bit cooler, not much. I think I might be able to lower it even more, I had started at around 1.35 but was able to lower it. Initially I had run OCCT with the stock settings, and was getting about 80-82C temps on load. My buddy gave me crap because I didn't do a custom run with everything cranked and Hyperthreading on. That is what gave me the 90C temps. I still have to fiddling to do so we will see.

    As far as voltage. I left everything on auto except I turned off Turbo and Speedstep. Turned off Line-lock. Left the memory XMP profile select the timing and voltages which was set to 1.6v. Then I set the CPU voltage. That was it. I'm sure I can play around with this, but I've only had it a day.

    Any suggestions?
  26. I wonder if I am having a similar problem that you did before the RMA... here is my post.. new here btw :)

    I thought it could be my board but haven't tried RMA'ing...

    My new setup:
    Asus P6T Deluxe V2
    Intel i7 920 w/ Cooler Master V8
    6GB of 1866 Corsair Dominators
    Corsair 750tx
    BFG GTX 295
    Xclio windtunnel
    1TB Samsung F1 Spinpoint
    My system is running all stock HT on, no Speedstepping, Turbo v, or Epu-6.

    For some strange reason I cant seem to pass prime95. It also BSOD while playing 20mins of CS: Source for a test run....

    @auto CPU vcore = 1.05 Fails 8thread prime95 after 20mins Worker#7 stopped.
    @CPU vcore = 1.2v Fails 8 thread prime95 after 50mins Worker #1 and #7.

    I used the XMP profile that was recommended with the ram and it changed my QPI/DRAM core voltage to 1.6 and Dram bus to 1.66(1.65v)... and my CPU vcore read around 1.05v so i upped it to 1.2v where I was informed was the stock number.

    However, in reading alot of post, many people say that they CPU vcore and QPI/DRAM core voltage should be around .05 or .5 within each other....

    I tried to change the QPI/DRAM core voltage to 1.2v to match my cpu and the PC will not boot up and I had to hard shut down and reset the settings on power up.

    I tried to adjust all the voltages to where it showed as standard/stock and the system and this also resulted in no bootup and hard shutdown. (On restart it reads: Warning !! Overclock failure!! so I just went in and changed it back to XMP and voltages on auto.)

    I am definitely no expert at adjusting bios but I know a little bit of info about it....

    Btw, Speedfan temps, cpu 34-36 idle, 55-56c prime95, however the Core #0-4 temps are around 40-44 idle, and around 60-68c prime95. (I also checked with Coretemp prgm and its about the same). I have a Silverstone 103cfm fan at max speed swapped into the CM V8 hsf.

    (Note: the 6GB set of RAM together has passed memtest86 v2.11 for 8hours with no errors at that XMP)

    Any advice or thoughts would greatly be appreciated!! Sorry for the ultra long post.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tomshardwareus.inc&cat=30&post=259082&page=1&p=1&sondage=0&owntopic=1&trash=0&trash_post=0&print=0&numreponse=0&quote_only=0&new=0&nojs=0
  27. ^

    1) Set the memory to auto and let it run 1066MHz just to see if it runs stable. (if it doesn't pass It could be anything, if it does, I'd think it's the RAM or CPU)

    2) Set the memory to the XMP Profile, but drop the CPU ratio to 18 instead of auto or 20. This underclocks the CPU but allows the memory to run it's rated speed. (if it passes it probably isn't the memory)

    3) Try increasing the vcore to like 1.3V and see if it passes, just watch your temps. (if it passes, if could be the CPU)
  28. Thank you for the quick reply!

    I am at work but will be testing it a bit in a few hours.. I found it strange that QPI/Dram core volts auto set from XMP to 1.6... It shows as red and scared me a bit. I read alot of peoples posts that they run CPU vcore and QPI/DRAM core is usually around identical like 1.25v and 1.25v for each then 1.65 for DRAM bus volts.

    I also forgot to mention that when Bios was all on auto with XMP only set and speedstep/turbo-v/epu6 off the system would crash/reset/bsod"physical memory dump" on all testing - prime95, OCCT and usually doesnt get far into it.... (remember auto CPU vcore was around 1.05 for some reason).

    I suspected the Ram too but it is weird that all of them in at once set with XMP passed memtest for 8hrs.

    I will try to run prime95 at those settings 1-3 haha. Thank you.
  29. Since memtest passes, your ram is ok.

    My suggestion is to let the ram default. Do not use XMP. It will probably go to a slower than 1600 speed and 1.5 volts.
    The extra ram speed is not really necessary for i7 performance, so it is not necessary to tweak the ram to it's optimum. At issue is perhaps 1-3% real application performance.

    1.05 vcore seems unusually low. Let all the performance bios parameters run at default. Prime95 should be stable.

    Are there any bios updates that might be relevant? They might be needed for the new new D0 stepping.
  30. The motherboard came with the latest bios already loaded - "ver. 0302"

    If I leave all of the settings on auto it sets my ram to 1066 at boot up... Seeing that 1866 RAM set w/fan i bought costs $250.... I really hoped to run it around that speed, the very least would be 1600.

    I also tried to set it to DDR3 1866 and 9-9-9-24 2T @ 1.65v manual which didn't help either.

    I have the revision: c0/c1 stepping i7 920 also.

    When I read those vcore auto settings of 1.05 I was really shocked as well. That is why I upped it to 1.2v which seemed to help but only let prime run for an additional 30mins before it failed.

    I checked the voltages in Bios bootup, Cpu-z and Asus probe II.

    I will try to do "load default options" (which will probably do all auto) and try a prime test on that, if that fails then i will try to set everything manually to the "stock voltage settings" with the lower ram speed.

    Thanks for the reply.
  31. Stock vcore is 1.2, try setting it to this. 1.05 for an i7 won't fly.

    I would definitly update your BIOs to the latest version. When i got my replacement CPU it wouldn't boot unless it was at 1066, after flashing it was fine.

    Also, to comment on Geofelt's "run it at a lower speed" DDR3 at 1866 is going to perform MUCH better than running it at 1066. Plus my thought is, if it is sold as 1866 memory, then it should run at 1866 by gooly.

    I do think something is wrong, you just have to figure out what. Try setting the CPU to 1.2V and see what happens, and leave the XMP on for that.

    Oh yeah and the 1.6 QPI is fine, my buddy had Corsair Dominator memory and it loads the same setting in the XMP profile. Once you are stable and OCed to what you like. You can manually lower that setting and test stability. I have mine set to auto and Dram set to 1.6 as per my XMP profile.
  32. I was also wondering why my multiplier keeps changing when I disabled speedstep. I also uninstalled turbo-v and epu-6 as well so shouldn't my cpu run at constant 2.66ghz (BLCK:133 x20)? Does it change by itself even when there are no prgms installed and no settings for it to do so?...

    Right now it seems like its hovering from x16, - 19-20 mutliplier (In Real temp application)

    hmm I checked cpu-z and Coretemp and it both shows around 2.66ghz... though.
  33. The Vcore might actually be fine at 1.05 - mine will happily run all day at 1.1 at 3.2GHz. That is set by Intel at the factory, and is very rarely set to something that will result in instability. However, in order to run the memory at DDR3-1866, you'll need a pretty hefty voltage on your memory controller. It probably will take over 1.4V. Mine won't run at DDR3-1600 at under 1.27V, and won't run DDR3-1600 CAS 7 at under 1.32V. DDR3-1866 is harder still (I haven't tried it though, as my memory is only rated at DDR3-1600, and I'm happy with it at stock speed and tighter than stock timings). Try starting at 1.35 and go up from there until it is stable (make sure to manually set the memory to the specified DDR3-1866 timings and voltage).
  34. Thanks for all the help guys... I decided to go on ahead and Return my i7 920 for a new one at Microcenter - which was another c0/c1 revision. (I bought it there for $210 with tax on a special deal.) It turns out after I set everything up again I was failing prime95 at the xmp again of 1866 @ 9-9-9-24 2T 1.66v and the manual settings of the ram as well.

    I decided to try and overclock a little bit and underclock the ram. I got my BLCK to 150 and multi I had at 20 still for an OC of 3.0ghz. The ram was running at 1805 I believe (can't remember exactly because I am at work) @ 9-9-9-24 2T 1.64v. The CPU vcore is at 1.2v and the everything else is on auto. I actually passed prime95 for 8 hours!!! It was hotter than normal yesterday but my cpu was idling around 36-40 @3ghz, and about 56-65 mostly but it did climbed as high as 72c but never over.

    I tried some gaming and it did not crash either so I think I may actually be in the clear! I think the ram is able to pass memtest86 but for some reason it will not work at 1866 with prime95. I mean 1805 is plenty fast so I am still happy.

    Once again thank you everyone for your input!! now my i7 is flying :D
  35. jle617 said:
    I was also wondering why my multiplier keeps changing when I disabled speedstep. I also uninstalled turbo-v and epu-6 as well so shouldn't my cpu run at constant 2.66ghz (BLCK:133 x20)? Does it change by itself even when there are no prgms installed and no settings for it to do so?...

    Right now it seems like its hovering from x16, - 19-20 mutliplier (In Real temp application)

    hmm I checked cpu-z and Coretemp and it both shows around 2.66ghz... though.


    RealTemp does the same thing to me to. Use CPU-Z or something else. Not sure why Realtemp is the only one I use that does that.
  36. One observation I want to point out after reading multiple threads on this issue at multiple sites:

    A commonality is that the overwhelming majority of folks experiencing these memory set-up issues are running both i7 920's w/C0 stepping and some variant of the ASUS P6T family of non-workstation boards, be it the P6T, P6TD, or the latest P6TDv2.

    I am also experiencing these issues using a P6TDv2/i7 920 C0/Dominator 1600 matched set DIMMs.

    After two weeks of fiddling around with different memory and every setting known to man, I am also going to RMA the CPU and see what happens. Hopefully, I will get a D0 chip.

    I can't help but wondering, however, why this is happening to us poor slobs that chose these boards. All things considered, there appears to be something different in the memory management features when compared to the same class of MSI and EVGA boards.

    Opinions Welcome, Please...!
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