Somewhat new system having trouble running high-end games...

I recently bought and assembled a new system mainly geared towards gaming. Specs follow:

Mobo: ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe WiFi
CPU: Intel Core2Quad Q9300
RAM: Corsair TWIN3X4096-1600C7DHXIN
GPU: HIS Radeon HD 4870X2
PSU: Corsair HX1000W
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit

I've had lots of trouble getting the motherboard and RAM to function well together, and I am still unable to run the RAM at listed speed due to CPU overheating with the increased FSB.
I started out with a different brand of memory, and swapped them for these Corsair ones after I found out the ones I had simply would not work properly. After that, it seemed stable enough.

The problem I'm having now is that whenever I run any new high-end game, it always crashes to desktop after about an hour and a half. (Crysis: Warhead, Demigod, Empire: Total War, Dawn of War II, EndWar)
At first I just figured that it was a software issue, but it's too consistent, so I decided to run Memtest86+ 2.11 overnight, and I yielded 4 errors, 3 on test #7 pass 10 and one on test #7 pass 12. So it took about 8 hours before any errors were found...

Im pretty sure there's nothing wrong with the memory sticks, so I'm thinking its either a BIOS issue or possibly something wrong with the motherboard itself.

I just recently ordered a new CPU cooler, so I can bump the FSB up to 1600MHz and run the RAM at its listed speed.
Maybe that will help, although I doubt it...

Any help in resolving the issue is much appreciated :S
8 answers Last reply
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  1. the reason why it's slow is because your OS can only use 1.5GB of system ram because your gfx card has 2gb and 3.5 - 2 = 1.5. you need to get vista64 otherwise it will still be really slow.
  2. Ya I bet it deals with your 32 bit os. It can handle a max of 3.5GBs of ram/vidoe Ram. Since your vidoe ram is 2gbs that leaves you with 1.5gbs. So if you have more than 1.5 gbs of ram then its not being used. I would highly recommend going to a 64 bit OS.
  3. Helloworld_98 said:
    the reason why it's slow is because your OS can only use 1.5GB of system ram because your gfx card has 2gb and 3.5 - 2 = 1.5. you need to get vista64 otherwise it will still be really slow.

    Um, the problem isn't the speed, it's fast enough, but it keeps crashing. Are you saying that because I don't have 64bit, and because of the somewhat large amount of memory on the gfx card, the pc runs out of system memory and crashes?

    And 3.5 - 2? Where does 3.5 come from?
    No disrespect, I'm just wondering...
  4. well 4gb is the recommended amount from gamers for crysis.

    and 32bit os'es can only use 3.5gb of ram and the 4870X2 has 2gb of video ram. And the operating system thinks the VRAM is more important than DRAM so you have 1.5gb of DRAM that can be used, and crysis needs the extra 1.5gb at least.

    You might also just have a faulty stick of ram.
  5. Windows OS 32bit has 2^32 bit addressing spaces which is about 4gbs total system ram. It reserves about .5 gigs for i/o adresses (USB PCI ect.. There's also a few other items that arn't i/o devices that reserve space but that's more detail than I care to go into). So that's why we said windows 32 bit os really only gives you about 3.5 gigs worth of space for u to play with. Now like Helloworld noted above me The Opperationg system thinks vidoe ram is more important than Dram it'll first use up the available addresses with your vidoe ram. Once all your vidoe ram has been maped it then will fill the rest in with your DRAM. So 3.5 - 2VRAM = 1.5 available for DRAM. If you have more than 1.5DRAM then the OS doesn't have an address for it so in other words it won't ever be used.
  6. Have you manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to the manufacturers specs in the BIOS? You don't have to overclock the CPU to get your RAM running at spec. You just choose a different FSB:RAM ratio. Either way, if you have manually set the RAM voltage to spec I would consider the RAM faulty if you even get 1 error in memtest86+. Properly functioning RAM will run for a week with 0 errors.

    Edit: Everyone else is correct about the 32-bit OS RAM limitation. A system like that needs a 64-bit OS to take full advantage of the hardware.
  7. reading this -

    are you running the ram voltage on automatic or setting it manually to 1.9v? could be worth running the chips seperately through memtest, also consider posting on the official corsair forums about this or look for an existing post in the general questions section.

    also to avoid the cpu issue you'll need to adjust the ratio on the dividers so you dont need to up the fsb so much to yield the higher ram clocks.
  8. Ok, thanks alot guys.. :)
    I'll look through corsairs forum and test my sticks individually, but I do find it a little odd that I still get errors in memtest, this is in fact my 3rd pair of sticks.
    All the previous ones also gave memtest errors, some more than others. I tried quite a few different speed and voltage configurations other than manufacturer specs...

    Is there any way to check if the motherboard might be the culprit other than cross-checking with another DDR3 system?
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