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XFX nForce 790i Ultra SLI

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September 18, 2009 3:51:29 AM

So, here is yet another topic about the well known issue packed 790i chipset.

I am making this topic because I have failed in finding an answer and I have for example never had any freezes whatsoever.

The problem I have, and share with quite a few it seems, is games crashing.

When I'm playing a game I sometimes, not very frequent, experience an intense moment of lag, followed by a crash. It is almost like the game is trying to load/handle something huge and very requiring but falls short. I then get a windows pop-up saying the game has stopped working and asking me if I want to close it down. Twice, while playing cod5, such a crash actually resulted in the entire computer crashing.

I have done a lot of testing to try to find a working setup but so far no luck. Most of the testing has been concerning my memories, due to the fact I have never gotten past 45sec without getting errors in memtest64. Everything else is fine, its only in games I occasionally crash.

The setup Im running is the following:

Windows 7
XFX nForce 790i Ultra SLI
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550, 2833 MHz (8.5 x 333)
3x OCZ XTC Platinum 1333Mhz 2Gb
XFX GTX 275 670Mhz

Voltages and timing settings are on auto. Nothing is OC'ed so I didn't feel the need to change anything.

If there's any additional information you need to wrap your head around this issue just let me know. It would be awsome to fix this issue since it is rather annoying playing games like Assassin's Creed only to have the game crash in the middle of a mission. I've redone countless of missions because of that.
a c 135 V Motherboard
September 18, 2009 5:22:16 AM

Does it happen in other games too ?
Also run memtest for 2-3 hours and check whether it reports and error or not ?
September 18, 2009 5:27:25 AM

I actually wrote in my first post that I've never gotten past 45 seconds when running memtest86. Played around with voltages and even end up at 3000+ errors, had to reboot because the error count just kept on rising. The first test, with everything at default, gave me 3 errors. I cannot even run the latest version of memtest86, it freezes after 2 seconds, so the version I used was the previous one.

I've gotten the crashes in every game I've played. Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty 5 and Crysis.
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a c 95 V Motherboard
September 18, 2009 5:36:28 AM

You might want to double check your RAM settings. If the motherboard mis read the SPD values, you might not be running the ram at the correct settings. If the voltage is to low, or the timings to tight, you'll get errors. If they are set correctly, I'd RMA the ram. Once you have good ram, it might/should fix the errors.
September 18, 2009 5:45:37 AM

Well as I sayd I played around a bit with the voltage and timings to see if that would get me past 45 seconds during the memtest, but with no success. I know without looking the settings are not what the webpage says, they are what nvidia control panel says is optimal.

For example the memories are running on 1.5v, while the specs on ocz's homepage says 1.8v(where I bought them it says 1.65v). It also says 7-7-7-20 but they are currently running 8-7-7-16. When I first installed them they ran at 1065mhz, I had to unlink them and manually set the DDR to 1333mhz to get what I actually payed for. With that CL increased from 7 to 8, automatically. I didn't want to mess with the timings because I've heard it can severely damage your memories.

All of this is just one big mess and I have no clue what voltage and timing settings to actually use.

Since english isn't my native language I have no idea what RMA means, but I can guess it means you send them back. If I were to send my memories back I would have nothing to put in my computer, meaning I would be without one. That wouldnt work for me at all.
a c 95 V Motherboard
September 18, 2009 7:56:10 AM

If the memory is running at 1.5 while everywhere else says higher, bump up the voltage to the ram sticks. I'd start with 1.65, but if the homepage says 1.8 you might need that much. Early DDR3 sticks ran on that voltage until the i7 came out. With the i7, you can't go above 1.65, so memory makers started selling ram with that as the voltage. If your running 1333, I'd try these timings. 8-8-8-20 or even 24. Bump the ram up to 1.65, and if that fails, 1.8. See if that helps.
September 19, 2009 12:17:24 AM

I have now sat down and this time I took my time trying to find the cause of the errors. I mixtered with voltage and timing to see where that got me. I have tried every possible combination of 7-7-7-20, 8-7-7-20, 8-8-8-20, 1T, 2T, 1.5v, 1.65v and 1.8v. It was after doing all that it hit me, I never tried running memtest64 with the 3 memories individually. I feel so stupid, that should have been one of the first things on the menu.

So, with the settings on the memories themself (7-7-7-20 @ 1.65v) 2 of the memories did not even make it past 10% of the first pass. I am currently running memtest on the last one and so far so good, currently at 50% pass2. I do believe I have found the cause for the crashes.

When dealing with memtest64, is getting errors final or can something actually be done by myself? I doubt that is the case since one of the memories is actually pulling through, but I am asking anyway.
a b V Motherboard
September 19, 2009 12:34:46 AM

RMA the dead sticks and why did you buy a tri channel kit (three sticks)?
a c 95 V Motherboard
September 19, 2009 12:49:57 AM

If one tests good and two test bad, they are bad sticks. You'll probably have to send all three back however. I would send back and try again.

Nforce4max, he probably has 32bit windows and believed the BS about 32bit windows only handling 3GBs. Or it was cheap.
September 19, 2009 1:33:59 AM

Yea thats what I thought, I hope I won't have to send back all 3 because that won't work. Studying at university without a computer isnt doable, but I could actually manage with the working one if I really have to.

nforce4max: I run win 7 x64. I'm not some computer pro so when I ordered all the parts I did not know what to look for in the specs. Because of that I missed the fact that the memories I have are tripple channel ones(made for i7) and my motherboard only supports dual channel. Lucky me memories are backwards compatible. For CL7 and 6Gb they were pretty cheap too.

How often does this happen? Getting 2 bad out of 3 is pretty messed up.
a c 95 V Motherboard
September 19, 2009 4:03:55 AM

Yes it is. Any chance you can buy a cheap DDR3 stick, just to keep it running while waiting on the RMA? If you can buy a single stick cheap, you can still do your "homework".
September 19, 2009 4:18:52 AM

I guess I could, not sure I want to though. That would be me paying for a mistake I had nothing to do with.

With a fresh installation of XP I could get away with 1Gb which would be like 30 bucks.
Be lazy and keep the Win 7 and it would be the double, minimum.

First I will call them to see if all this can be solved without me having to pay.

To counter all this off topic:
Can games crashing be caused by something other than faulty memories? Might it be something entirely different? I mean, the memories do work as they should.
a c 95 V Motherboard
September 19, 2009 5:49:25 AM

I wouldn't even bother looking for anything else right now. The memory is faulty, so it needs to be fixed/replaced. If when it comes back you still have crashes, then look for heat issue, drivers, power, etc.
September 19, 2009 6:24:08 AM

Well it is not a heat issue, I'm pretty sure of that. Prime 95 for 5 hours and my cores had a temp of 43, 38, 42, 42, +-1. The MCP is sitting at 49-51(nForce fan at 60%) and while playing Crysis at maximum quality and anti-aliasing at x16 on a full hd monitor the video card has a temp of 71-73(fan at 70%).

The drivers are all up to date and about the power.. well.. if my PSU didn't give enough juice the rig wouldn't even start right? Anyway more than one person said 700w is more than enough to pilot this system and Nvidia recommends 550w.

I have now sent an email to the tech support since phone lines are closed on the weekends, I hope the answer will be to my satisfaction.
!