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Is my Motherboard destroying my memory?

Last response: in Memory
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June 8, 2009 8:36:38 PM

I purchased my DFI Lanparty SLI-DR exactly 4 years ago and since then I have probably gone through 4 or 5 different kits of memory. It seems that after about 6 months, the memory I am using starts to fail. I originally bought 2x512MB sticks of Crucial Ballistix 2-2-2-6 @ 2.8V with the system 4 years ago and went through about 3 of those pairs every 6-12 months. I finally got a new set when I RMA'd to crucial since they stopped making the Ballistix 2-2-2-6. They sent me Crucial Tracer Ballistix 2.5-3-3-8 @ 2.8V PC4000. I've been using them for about a year now and I recently purchased a set of my old Ballistix 2-2-2-6 online to bring my system up to 4x512MB. If I set my voltage in BIOS to 2.8 and leave all of the other settings set to auto, I get errors in Memtest86 in about 30 secs. Even if I change the timings from auto to the loosest settings that support the tracers 2.5-3-3-8, I still get the errors. Is this mother board simply defective and destroying RAM? Is this possible? I will probably be upgrading soon anyways as this system is a bit outdated.

AMD 3700+ San Diego 2.2GHz
DFI LanParty SLI-DR (supports 64-bit)
Nvidia BFG 7800 GTX 515/1330
Crucial Ballistix 2x512 2-2-2-6
Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2x512 2.5-3-3-8
WD 74GB Raptor
Seagate 320GB
OCZ Powerstream 600W PSU
June 9, 2009 12:34:56 AM

Very likely, yes. It has been well known back then with those DFI LP NF4 SLI-DR boards and their highly tweakable memory selections that they an provide a higher current (not just only voltage) through something called 'drive strength' in the RAM timing section I think.

Couple with chips like Winbond BH-5 they can provide extremely high RAM frequency for benchmarking use, but those sticks generally don't last very long if constantly used under those condition. Some last as short as two weeks.

Your best option is to tune down all the areas in the RAM section of the BIOS to a much more relaxed setting.
June 9, 2009 1:33:25 AM

wuzy said:
Very likely, yes. It has been well known back then with those DFI LP NF4 SLI-DR boards and their highly tweakable memory selections that they an provide a higher current (not just only voltage) through something called 'drive strength' in the RAM timing section I think.

Couple with chips like Winbond BH-5 they can provide extremely high RAM frequency for benchmarking use, but those sticks generally don't last very long if constantly used under those condition. Some last as short as two weeks.

Your best option is to tune down all the areas in the RAM section of the BIOS to a much more relaxed setting.



I've tried messing around with the drive strength setting (default is auto) and have still gotten errors within 30 secs of memtest86. So it could be that the damage has already been done. Its surprising for a board to damage ram when it is only run at the boards "optimized settings". This will be the last time I get a DFI board as there is way too many options that I don't even understand anyways.
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