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RAM problem on Asus P5Q SE motherboard?

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  • Asus
  • RAM
  • Motherboards
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December 10, 2009 8:58:32 AM

I have an Asus P5Q SE motherboard and have 2 GB (2 x1) Corsair XMS DDr2 800 ram located in 2 of the 4 available memory slots.
My problem is that sometimes the computer works perfectly, however other times when powering the computer on I get no display and my monitor power light just flashes. Another problem is that I sometimes can’t boot into windows 7, where the screen just hangs when it says loading windows. Other times the computer can hang in windows for no good reason.
All these problems seem to be fixed by opening the computer case, taking out a memory module and placing it in another slot. The computer will then work for a while, however problems repeat again and I have to follow the same procedure. I have tried this using just one stick of ram; however I get the same problems.

Is there anything I can do to fix this problem? Is my memory incompatible with my motherboard – I have had this problem before when RAM modules are temperamental with a particular motherboard and I have had to buy another brand? If this is the case can anyone recommend memory that is testing and fully working with my board?

If it helps my other system specs are:
Windows 7
Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 processor
Asus EN8800 GS HTDP 384mb Video card

More about : ram problem asus p5q motherboard

a b } Memory
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December 10, 2009 10:00:25 AM

Welcome to the forums!

In your BIOS, manually set the RAM speed, voltage and timings (you should be able to locate it on the side of a DIMM).
After you are sure they are properly set, use Memtest to check your RAM.
If you have any errors, individually test each stick of RAM and each RAM slot.
If you have no errors after a few passes, it is time to start testing your other components.
December 10, 2009 10:40:08 AM

Well my memory has a label on it saying:

Corsair XMS2 Extreme performance DDR2 Memory
CM2X1024-6400
5-5-5-18
800MHZ
1024MB
XMS2-6400

1.90V ver5.2
634486 08241450

I also looked up this memory on google and Corsair state the following:

*Each Module is tested in an intel based motherboard at 800MHZ
*Tested at the low latencies of (5-5-5-18) at 1.9V
*SPD programmed at 5-5-5-18 Values


Am I correct in thinking I have to set the RAM speed to 800MHZ, the Voltage to 1.90V? What do I set the timings to?

Thanks for your help.

Dave
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a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 10, 2009 10:51:54 AM

Yes, you want to set the RAM speed to 800Mhz and voltage to 1.9v.
The RAM timings would be 5-5-5-18.
You will need to turn Dram Timing Control to Manual and set the first 4 values manually.
The first three will be fives, the fourth will be an eighteen, leave the rest on auto.

Also, make sure you have the RAM sticks in same colored slots (both in the Yellow or Black slots).
This will ensure your RAM is running in dual channel mode.

December 10, 2009 11:33:21 AM

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/9646/57650267.jpg
http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/5339/19836111.jpg

Well if you see the picture of my bios screen shown on the links I set DRAM frequency to DDR2-800MHZ, so I presume that is the speed and I was correct in setting it to 800MHZ. I also set the voltage to 1.9v

As for the timing control I am a little confused about this. As you can see on the first picture the DRAM TIMING CONTROL has 1st, 2nd and 3rd information. If I select Manual for this I then get various subheadings for 1st 2nd and 3rd as shown on the second picture. I have no idea what to set these to?

I am really grateful for your help
Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 10, 2009 11:40:25 AM

Do not worry about the 2nd and 3rd information sets, leave them on auto.
The values we need to work with are the first four that are currently set 5-5-5-15.
Change the 15 to an 18 and you have the timings properly set.
If the voltage is already set to 1.9v, everything is good to go.

Give it a run through memtest and see if you get any errors!
December 10, 2009 11:48:27 AM

You mean the line on the picture that says: DRAM RAS# Activate to Precha needs to be changed to 18 DRAM CLocks instead of 15 DRAM clocks?

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 10, 2009 11:55:43 AM

Yup, that is the one.
December 10, 2009 12:11:09 PM

Thanks I just changed the settings and am running the memory test now. How long do you think it will take?

Also does it matter that I don't have my monitor cable plugged into my graphics card or keyboard plugged in while it is running? The reason I say this is I only have one keyboard / monitor and need to use my freinds computer.

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 10, 2009 12:19:15 PM

lol
No, it will make no difference if you have the monitor and keyboard plugged in.

It is a little hard to say exactly how long a pass will take.
On my machine, with 6Gb of RAM, it takes a few hours a pass.
With only 2Gb, I would guess it is only going to take an hour or so for each pass.
If there are no errors after the first pass, your RAM is probably in good shape.
December 10, 2009 1:52:17 PM

Well it has been running for a few hours now and it has done 4 passes, and everything seems ok. It has reported no errors.

Where does this leave me now? How can I go about diagnosing other problems? I guess it is probably my motherboard or would it be something else??

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 10, 2009 2:05:17 PM

That is good, we just took one component out of the equation ;) 

Could you please post information on your PSU, including the brand, wattage and +12v amperage, along with any overclocks you have?

It would probably be a good idea to test you hard drive and CPU next.

Test the CPU with Prime95 and use Coretemp to keep track of your temps.
The standard stress test should suffice and you want to make sure both that there are no failures in the test and that the CPU temp does not go over 70°C while under a load.
Please post back your idle and load temps along with the results of the stress test.

Check which brand hard drive you have.
Most manufacturers have proprietary testing software available on their websites.
I would hold off on testing this until you confirm the CPU is working properly.
December 10, 2009 2:32:13 PM

My power supply says Silver Power model number: SP-600A2C
Wattage is 600 Watt

As for overclocks I don’t have any that I am aware of. The only weird thing I notice is when the machine first boots it reports Intel core 2 Duo E8600 @ 3.33Ghz, however it also lists this as a 2.83GHZ speed. I don’t understand this, is this problem?

I am just now going to do the CPU test so will let you know the results as soon as it is finished.

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 10, 2009 2:44:19 PM

Sounds like something may still be off in the BIOS.

Perhaps you could use CPUz to make sure you CPU is running at a 10x Multiplier and a Bus Speed of 333Mhz while under a load.
At idle it is normal for the Multiplier to drop to 6x but that would have you running at 2Ghz, not 2.83Ghz :/ 
If it is not reporting the proper values, manually set the FSB, CPU Multiplier and CPU voltage in the BIOS.
You can locate the Vid (Voltage id) in Coretemp, set the voltage to this value.

I have not heard of your PSU before but it seems to have enough power for your system.
Should be no issues there.
December 10, 2009 3:01:01 PM

Well I don’t know if I described the CPU reported speed correctly (on boot screen) so here is a picture

http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/5506/75527932.jpg

Please let me know if this is usual to see this and why it may say 2.8GHZ and 3.33GHZ

Thanks Dave
December 10, 2009 5:21:06 PM

Well I was not sure which test to go for on prime95 so I selected torture test and then Blend test. I let things run for about 30minutes and there were no faults reported. I then went to do something in the house for half an hour or so and when I returned the monitor light was just flashing and there was nothing on the screen. I then had no choice but to power the computer off.

At idle CPUZ reads a multiplier of 6, which then raises to 8 when I do the stress test on prime95. So you can see all the readings I have uploaded 2 pictures. The first picture shows CPUZ and core temps at idle and the second picture shows everything under stress. Please see the two links:

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/7956/51389927.jpg
http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/2353/38577458.jpg

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 10, 2009 7:15:02 PM

Yup, it looks like it is not properly configured in the BIOS.

Manually set the:
AI Overclocker Tuner to Manual
CPU Ratio Setting to 10 (it should be as high as it goes)
FSB Frequency to 333Mhz
PCIE Frequency to 100Mhz
FSB Strap to Northbridge to 333Mhz
CPU Voltage to 1.25v
and recheck your RAM settings.

Afterwards, save and exit the BIOS then try running Prime95's Blend test for a few hours.
If it passes, and does not lock your system up, I think you should be in pretty good shape.
I am thinking your troubles are mostly due to these BIOS misconfigurations in the BIOS.
December 10, 2009 10:55:47 PM

I just went into the Bios and manually set all things you suggested. The only thing is I could find no menu saying CPU RATIO SETTING. Do you know how to access this? Also I know you said the CPU should be running at 11x Multiplier (is this the same a CPU RATIO SETTING), however the technical specifications of my CPU (E8600) on Wikipedia state a Multiplier of 10x. In any case I can’t find any menu in the Bios to set this.

Also I just wanted to check with you what the following should be (they are currently set to auto):
FSB termination voltage
North Bridge Voltage
South Bridge Voltage

Once I clarify these things I will then run the CPU test again.

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 11, 2009 5:13:34 AM

Erm, yeah.
Middle of the night brain freeze/math failure.
Yup, 10x333Mhz sure is 3.33Ghz, not 11x333Mhz :lol: 

Yes, CPU Ratio Setting is the same as the CPU Multiplier.
I was using a BIOS screen shot from a P5Q-E as reference, though it would be the same.
Do not worry about any of the other voltages for now, they should be fine on auto.
December 11, 2009 8:29:50 AM


Just one other thing I could not find a menu in the bios to set the CPU Ratio Setting / CPU Multiplier. Where abouts is this menu?

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 11, 2009 8:32:58 AM

After you turn the Ai Overclock Tuner to Manual, the CPU Ratio Setting (Multiplier setting) should be directly underneath.

a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 11, 2009 9:20:25 AM

Hrm, that is odd.
In that case, try going under the Advanced tab and see if you can locate it under the CPU Configuration section.


December 11, 2009 9:32:46 AM

Well I did find it under the advanced tab located under CPU configuration. Seems strange it was not in the other menu? I changed it to 10.0

Please see below for a screen picture

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/7746/92878091.jpg

If everything looks ok on the picture I will run the test

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 11, 2009 9:36:41 AM

Looks good.
Hopefully this solves you issues!
December 11, 2009 9:47:43 AM

Thanks for all your help I will now run the test for a few hours and report back later.

Just out of interest is looks like you are running an overclock? What settings are you using for this in the Bios, as I presume if I wanted to overclock at a later date the setting would be very similar to yours?

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 11, 2009 11:48:17 AM

No problem, hopefully everything is working now!

Yes, I have my system overclocked but I highly doubt my settings would work for you (those BIOS shots are just something I pulled off the net).
Luckily, overclocking is quite easy to do once you get a grasp of the basics.
Reading through the Core 2 Overclocking Sticky should give you a good overview of the process.

With your hardware, I would probably start by changing the FSB to 400Mhz, CPU Multiplier to 9x and double checking none of your other settings have changed (RAM settings, CPU Voltage, PCIe Frequency, etc.).
This would give you a mild 3.6Ghz overclock and should be stable at stock voltages.
Use Prime95 again to test for stability.

If you want to take it higher, give either the FSB or CPU multiplier a further boost and raise your CPU Voltage as needed (try to keep it under 1.3625v to be safe).
You may need to add more voltage to your RAM, or relax the timings, if it becomes unstable with the FSB over 400Mhz.

Just keep in mind there is no cookie cutter solution for overclocking.
Different chips have wildly varying overclocking potential.
While the above should get you running at 3.6Ghz with no issues, there are no guarantees.
December 11, 2009 6:34:01 PM


Thanks for your info on the overclock I will have a look at it later.

I have run the speed test for a few hours, and have experienced no problems. I have posted two pictures at the following link showing my settings and temps etc. The first link shows the CPU at idle and the Second link shows it under load.

http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/6262/37068877.jpg
http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/411/90875561.jpg

I would be grateful if you could confirm whether all readings are as they should be?

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 11, 2009 6:44:14 PM

Looks good.
Enjoy your system now that it is working properly!
December 11, 2009 7:41:07 PM

Ok thanks very much for your help; I am really happy this is sorted as I really feared the worse!

Just one other thing I have a Seagate 500GB hard drive - model number: ST3500320AS

The drive is shown at this link:

http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=c89ef14...

The problem is it seems really noisy with clicking etc. I have tested it with Segates diagnostic software and it reports everything is ok. Do you know if these drives are noted for being noisy? I am running this drive with clean install windows 7 with hardly any programs loaded.

Thanks Dave
a b } Memory
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 11, 2009 7:58:19 PM

A clicking noise from the hard drive is not usually a good thing.
Every time I have heard it, my drive has failed in short order.
I recommend backing up all your important data as soon as you get the chance.
December 12, 2009 9:52:38 AM

Yes I know what you are saying on the hard drive. I don’t know about you but I find Seagate drives particularly bad. About 8 years ago I had to RMA a Seagate drive 3 times. In the end I got fed up with this as no matter what replacement they sent it kept failing. When it failed for the 4th time I did not post it back as the postage was costing more than buying another drive! Also I have had other Seagate drives fail on me regularly and vouched I would never buy another Seagate. When I got this computer it already had a Seagate drive in it so thought I would give it a go. On the other hand I find Hitachi drives very reliable. I still have a Hitachi drive going strong from 1996! I have a Hitachi drive in my laptop and have been running it for 5 years without problem. Do you think Seagate drives are particularly bad or is it just me?

Also with regards to an overclock to 3.6 MHz - should the FSB Strap to Northbridge also be set to 400Mhz?

Thanks
February 4, 2010 9:57:57 PM

Hi! Did all this things you did solved the problem you had on your computer? Im wondering cause I have exactly the same problems that you described on my computer. Thanks!
February 5, 2010 6:20:01 AM

Yes did everything that was said and it solved the problem. Let me know how you get on. Dave
February 5, 2010 7:27:50 AM

Okej. Well as it seems to be a lot of things to do I´ll have to do it when I got more time. I let you know when I´ve done it! Thanks!
!