I recently installed/added a 750gb WD black caviar to my existing system and installed Win7 on it. I left my existing system alone. I am curious that the installation of another hard drive would effect the voltage to my RAM. My system will only work with 2 2gb modules installed. If I install 3, it will work sometimes, 4 not at all. Basically BSOD. It seems logical that the extra hard drive pulls my wattage down across the board. Can anyone tell me if increasing my voltage to my RAM will help or do I need a bigger PS if I choose not to loose the older HD that I am keeping for a back up with Vista Ultimate 64 on it.
Intel qx9770 3.2mhz
Abit x38-I know the board sucks!
8gb patriot pc2-6400
250gb OS partitioned
500gb Storage partitioned
Maxtor 200gb dual boot Vista64 Ult
Maxtor 500gb Storage
Cosair TX650W PS
Windows 7 Pro 64
Abit doesn't list a x38-I motherboard - is it a IX38 QuadGT? I'm using that to answer your questions.
Abit makes it difficult to search their site for motherboard models, so if you include a link to the correct page it makes it easier for others to help you.
Your 650W PSU should be sufficient to power 4 HDs and 4 RAM modules. I doubt that the problem you're experiencing is related to sufficient amperage. The voltage is not really an issue.
It's easy for you to test. Remove all the connections to all but your main system drive and boot the system with 2 modules. Shut down and put in the other two modules - do they work correctly? My guess would be no.
Your system doesn't say you can't work with 3 modules, but it's not designed for such an arrangement. Your choices are 2 or 4 regardless if you want dual-channel support.
Again, your post didn't give enough information about your RAM to fully answer the questions. Need the model of the modules. But Patriot makes DDR2 800 modules requiring from 1.9V to 2.2V - and your motherboard likely sends the RAM only 1.8V by default. When you increase from 2 to 4 modules, the voltage often needs to be increased for it to perform properly. Usually however, it'll just run slower, not fail to run at all.
Find out the model of your RAM and look up the required voltage. Set the BIOS to send that voltage to the RAM - and test with two modules. Then try it with 4 modules. You might boost the voltage for 4 modules by an additional .05V or .1V, depending on your options. (The manual mentions both DDR voltage and DDR reference voltage - I'm not sure what the 2nd does.)
I assume you have a graphics card or two that you didn't mention that takes you from the 450W I get with that calculator to the 750W you mention.
Regardless, did you test the system with all but one of the drives disconnected? Boot with 2 RAM modules and see if it works. Then put all 4 modules in.
If the 4 modules do not work with only one drive attached, then you have removed the power supply from consideration as the cause of your problem.
It sounds to me as though you have either a bad RAM slot or bad RAM. If the 2 modules work in the test - then swap those two out for the other two modules. If ANY two modules work but never four modules, then you've isolated it to a problem on the motherboard.
One thing you should try when 4 modules are installed is to reset the CMOS.
Thanks for responding, again. I added my graphics card below. I will try to see if I have a bad ram slot. That seems most logical. I was running fine until I placed the 3rd hd into the computer and I may have damaged that slot. I have been dying for a reason to rid myself from the Abit board. I ran your suggested calculator and it came up with 400W. Go figure.
I will keep you posted. Please check back time to time.
Yeah, I didn't trust that other calc much. When I went from 1 fan to 3 fans, it added 50 Watts!!! Now, I think most fans draw less than 0.2 Amps X either 12 or 5 volts - that's less than 5 Watts for two fans!!! Seems like a liberal calculation!
Again, if you disconnect the extra hard drives, power can't be an issue for RAM. Gives you chance to test the slots for sure.
Well, It looks like my memory is bad. Memtest and windows memory test shows indications of bad sectors. But, it could be the board because the memory still works. To be honest I have had it with Abit. I want to go to an ASUS board. Do you have a suggestion for the processor I have. My Intel pal gave it to me and he told me it still is one of the most desireable processors out there even with the new I7's. I would like a top of the line ASUS board with this processor with new RAM. Maybe DDR3. Sure would like your thoughts.
You need to test the memory in the two primary slots - total of two modules. Then take those out and test the other two. Then the other two combinations if everything passes. Find out that way if it's the RAM or the 3rd/4th slots that are bad.
I'm not up on Intel processors but that one does seem quite capable and fast. If you're interested in Asus boards, I recommend you try their site to narrow down your choices a bit. You can put in your socket type and review all their boards in that series. Once you have it down to a couple or so choices, make a post in the Asus forum here and get some advice. http://usa.asus.com