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Noob trouble manually setting ram timing/clock/voltage

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March 10, 2010 9:34:34 PM

Hello,

I recently finished my first build and am having trouble manually setting my RAM speeds.
I had some initial problems with my build, but finally got it to post and installed Win 7. I am now having a problem with the monitor going into standby and then everything locking up. This also happens when I try to run Day of Defeat source, I can enter servers but as soon as I do, I get stuck in a sound loop and everything locks up.

I am running the latest drivers for my Radeon 5770, and was told this may be a RAM timing problem.
Here are my specs.

CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 3.2ghz 955
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
GPU: ATI Radeon 5770
OS: Win 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

I have set my memory clock to x8 = 1600mhz
DCTS mode is Unganged.
CAS# latency is 9t
RAS to CAS R/W delay is 9t
Row Precharge time is 9t
Minimum RAS Active time is 24t

After setting these, I am sort of lost as to which option changes voltage, and if I need to mess with any of the other settings.

Thanks for the help!

EDIT: Do I need to download an updated BIOS or anything? Thanks!
a c 77 V Motherboard
March 10, 2010 10:06:56 PM

The RAM voltage will be called "DRAM Voltage" in the BIOS. It will be in a sub-menu in the MIT section. Your motherboard owners manual will also tell you how to change the RAM voltage.
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a c 77 V Motherboard
March 10, 2010 10:13:51 PM

ekoostik said:
Start with the easy stuff. Make sure you have the latest video card drivers. You can find them here: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx

willmalcom said:
I am running the latest drivers for my Radeon 5770, and was told this may be a RAM timing problem.

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March 10, 2010 10:21:02 PM

Thank you for all of your help Shortstuff. Do you or a site that you are affiliated with have any sort of paypal donation option? If so, I would like to help out. Ok I have set my speeds and changed my voltage. If I still fail, what would be my next step?
Thanks!
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a b V Motherboard
March 10, 2010 10:26:38 PM

Yep I saw this:
Quote:
and was told this may be a RAM timing problem.

and totally missed this part before it:
Quote:
I am running the latest drivers for my Radeon 5770

Anyway follow shortstuff_mt's suggestion for the V. Also, be sure to test your RAM if you haven't done so yet with memtest86+ http://www.memtest.org

Download and burn it to CD. Reboot and let it run as long as you can, preferably overnight since you're having issues.

If you get the V set and it passes memtest but still crashes, a BIOS update might help.
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March 10, 2010 10:37:23 PM

I tried to run ATITool.exe and it tells me:
"The Kernel Mode Driver does not seem to be running.

A device driver is required for communication with your video hardware.

If you just upgraded from an older driver version i may help to unistall ATITool, reboot, and then install the new version"

Which I have done. When I choose to 'Show 3d View' it shows a 3d view for a split second, then my screen freezes to gray. :/ 

Is it possible my card is bad?
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March 10, 2010 10:45:59 PM

Also, I ran memtest before changing the timings and voltage, but now I can't get it to boot from the CD, but it worked fine last night (and yes, I changed my boot sequence)!!!
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a b V Motherboard
March 10, 2010 11:19:44 PM

What BIOS version are you running? Looks like they're up to F2 with an F3a "beta" BIOS. http://www.gigabyte.us/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Model.a...

Ok so we established that you said you got have the latest GPU drivers. But where did you get them from? What version of the ATI Catalyst Suite did you download?

Also, what did you install? I have seen others report GPU issues when they install the entire Catalyst Control Center. You might try uninstalling and installing just the drivers. Look for the "Display Driver Only" download after following the support link http://support.amd.com
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March 10, 2010 11:27:54 PM

Okey doke,

I am not sure which BIOS version I am running (where do I find this out? . I was looking into downloading the beta BIOS, but haven't yet done that.

As I am writing this and I rebooted, my AMD driver stopped responding and has successfully recovered, and this keeps happening ... ok it appears to have stopped. My screen flickers and has little red x marks all over it, and then clears up.

I got my latest drivers from Game.amd.com. and it is supposedly version 10-2. However, in my device manager it says it is using driver version 8.702.0.0 dated 2/2/2010 and i want to be using 10.2 dated 2/17/2010 ... yes, I uninstalled and reinstalled ... I don't know what I am missing
Does this help at all?

Should I fix it with my sledgehammer? =)

Thanks
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a b V Motherboard
March 10, 2010 11:32:23 PM

The ATI Catalyst version and the driver version do not match. One of the fun things AMD does to keep things from being crystal clear. 10.2 from 2/17/10 is the latest. Download CPU-Z and run it: http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

On the Mainboard tab it will tell you what version of BIOS you are running.
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March 10, 2010 11:39:06 PM

I take it you are a Intel fan? =) Starting to wish I would have gone with my gut and what I was used to, and get the i5.

Like I said, I have uninstalled and reinstalled the driver and the catalyst versions to their supposed updates, but my device manager is still telling me that it is not correct. At this point, I kind of feel like just wiping everything clean and starting over. How can I do this?

Thanks!
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a b V Motherboard
March 10, 2010 11:45:09 PM

I try not to play favorites. There are cases where I'd advise getting an AMD CPU and cases where I'd advise getting Intel. I currently have an Intel CPU (but I have an AMD GPU), so I know more about their latest architecture than AMDs.

You could do a fresh install of Windows 7, during the install let it completely reformat your harddrive. If you're up for it. If you go that route, run the same tests that are currently failing before you install any other software. Don't even apply any Windows Updates. I don't know if this applies to your situation, but you may want to give it a read: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ATI-Radeon-Gray-Screen...
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March 11, 2010 12:00:23 AM

This is the problem I having! I am getting the 3d crashes.

I am going to try a fresh format reinstall I guess :/  This is quite frustrating, but I appreciate your help. I will be back in touch. Does a site you support accept paypal donations? I try to show my gratitude!
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March 11, 2010 12:08:49 AM

I also just ran CPUID (I was at work on my other PC and have not networked yet, this one had no inet), I am running BIOS F2.
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a b V Motherboard
March 11, 2010 1:01:36 AM

If you decide to update your BIOS, do NOT use the software program @BIOS that runs in Windows. This has been known to brick boards. Instead, use the QFlash utility that can be found within BIOS.
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March 11, 2010 3:53:23 AM

OK, thanks again. I can now use the ATITool program, but Day of Defeat: Source will still not run. The Gray screen issue keeps striking.
Should I update the BIOS? Or RMA the card?
After reading http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ATI-Radeon-Gray-Screen..., it seems like RMAing the card may be the best solution. When I try to Rate my computer, as soon as it tries to detect the 3d setting, zap blue screen. Maybe I will try the ganged RAM option, or setting my voltage higher.
My question is this, if I set my voltage higher, exactly what option do I set higher? Thanks!

Thanks
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March 11, 2010 7:31:55 AM

willmalcom said:
Hello,

I recently finished my first build and am having trouble manually setting my RAM speeds.
I had some initial problems with my build, but finally got it to post and installed Win 7. I am now having a problem with the monitor going into standby and then everything locking up. This also happens when I try to run Day of Defeat source, I can enter servers but as soon as I do, I get stuck in a sound loop and everything locks up.

I am running the latest drivers for my Radeon 5770, and was told this may be a RAM timing problem.
Here are my specs.

CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 3.2ghz 955
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
GPU: ATI Radeon 5770
OS: Win 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

I have set my memory clock to x8 = 1600mhz
DCTS mode is Unganged.
CAS# latency is 9t
RAS to CAS R/W delay is 9t
Row Precharge time is 9t
Minimum RAS Active time is 24t

After setting these, I am sort of lost as to which option changes voltage, and if I need to mess with any of the other settings.

Thanks for the help!

EDIT: Do I need to download an updated BIOS or anything? Thanks!


I have this exact build (piece by piece).I even O/C to 3.7 with stock case fans. I was looking on how to do timing and wondered why my mem clock is lower than 1600mhz when I changed the setting. Thanks to your post..i learned that ..I forgot to change it to x8 :pfff:  . Anyways I'm sure you are crashing because our ram should be set at(unganged) 8-8-8-24 @ 1.6v.(its on newegg reviews) That will do the trick. Let me know if it works because I changed mine right now and its stable. Haven't ran the tests yet tho.

EDIT : I just got a blue screen NM its unstable at those settings i put
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a b V Motherboard
March 11, 2010 9:42:12 AM

willmalcom said:
I got my latest drivers from Game.amd.com. and it is supposedly version 10-2. However, in my device manager it says it is using driver version 8.702.0.0 dated 2/2/2010 and i want to be using 10.2 dated 2/17/2010

I checked my computer's drivers. I was running Catalyst version 9.12 which is driver version 8.681.0.0 dated 11/24/2009.
I upgraded to the latest version for my 4670. When I upgraded to Catalyst version 10.2 installed (I installed only the drivers) the driver version is 8.702.0.0 dated 2/2/2010.

Given that other article, trying your RAM in ganged mode is certainly a good option at this point. You may also want to try your RAM at 1333 and see if that eliminates the problem. And then one other thing you should try if that doesn't eliminate the problem - boot your computer in safe mode and try again. If you still have an issue while in safe mode that would tell us the drivers are not the cause.

Re-reading your thread I realized I don't know what RAM you have. Please list the full model, and if you have a link to NewEgg or where ever you bought it from that would help too.
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March 11, 2010 7:39:19 PM

Okey doke,

My RAM information and some updates:

My RAM kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

New Information:
I formatted my HDD and reinstalled Win 7. I then just installed my chipset/MOBO drivers. Next, I downloaded and installed the latest Radeon display driver, then the catalyst system.

Then, I was able to Rate my computer using the Windows Experience Index. I don't know how useful the windows tools such as these are, I just wanted to see if it would get through the 3D processes.
Previously, it had crashed when trying to benchmark 3D applications.

This time, the driver stopped responding and recovered during 2 of the 3D tests. They were:
Direct 3D 10 texture Load Assessment and:
Windows Media Decoder

They stopped and recovered, and the final base score was 5.9. Here is a breakdown of the different scores:

Processor (calculations/ sec) 7.3
Memory (Memory operations/ sec) 7.5
Graphics (Desktop performance for Windows Aero) 6.0
Gaming Graphics (3D business and gaming graphics performance) 6.0
Primary HDD (Disk data transfer rate) 5.9

Making my base score 5.9

I don't know if any of this helps, but seeing as how it was able to rate my graphics performance, maybe the card itself isn't bad.
Does the driver not responding and then recovering help anyone understand what I might be going on?

Someone also told me that windows 7 runs a scheduled video card check that can crash games. Does anyone know anything about this?

Also, when you suggested I boot in safemode and try again, what exactly should I be trying? Sorry, I just didn't understand.

Thanks for all the help!
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March 11, 2010 8:12:05 PM

I just tried to re run the assessment, and it crashed again. To black screen :/ 
Also tried it in ganged mode, completed again, but still driver crashing.
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Best solution

a b V Motherboard
March 11, 2010 8:16:13 PM

EDIT: One other thing you should check is that the GPU and RAM are all seated completely. And that the power connector to the GPU is firmly seated. If in doubt, take those apart and put them back together.

We should probably get a little more organized in our approach here. Let's start with the suggestions from this article: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ATI-Radeon-Gray-Screen...

Quote:
#2 is people experiencing 3d crashes: to these, it's a little bit more complicated. A lot of people had success by setting the voltage higher, or downclocking the core and memory for more stability. It certainly is a more complicated problem than the 2d crashes.

If this is your problem then with luck it will also be your solution. So the first two things to try are:

1. Up your DRAM Voltage. Based on the spec from your link, the RAM is 1.5V RAM. Earlier in the thread you mentioned that you set your RAM voltage, I'm assuming to 1.5V. So the DRAM Voltage setting in BIOS to 1.55V and try again. If that doesn't work try 1.6V. If that doesn't work, move on to step 2.

2. Try downclocking the core. In BIOS, change your multiplier so that the RAM runs at 1333 MHz, instead of 1600 MHz. If that doesn't work, move on to step 3.

3. Boot into safe mode, instructions can be found here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial61.ht...
Do a clean install of the Graphic card driver by removing all ATI and/or other Graphic card software from Windows Control Panel -> Program and Features. While in safe mode, run the test that crashes. Then reboot in normal and try the test that crashes. If that doesn't work, move on to step 4.

4. Do a clean install - you've alredy done this. Moving on to step 5.

5. Go back into BIOS and set your RAM to run in Ganged mode.

And I don't see a 6th option. Those are the five suggestions I found in the article. Give them a try and report back what you find. Please be as specific as possible at each step. Hope one of them works for you!
Share
March 11, 2010 8:55:16 PM

Thanks again, I'll be doing all of these as I work over the next 3 hours.

Also, is there any point trying my other PCI-E connector coming from my PSU?
And, is there a possibility here that we are looking at an issue of the card itself being bad?
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March 11, 2010 9:52:33 PM

I will probably post my results as I perform the tests.

Step 1: Tried both RAM voltage settings, 1.55 cause a lot of lines and noise on my monitor, and seemed unstable in general. 1.6 Windows would not even start.

Step 2: Downclocked to 1333 and 1066. This just made it worse, it wouldn't get as far through the test as it did clocked to 1600.

The test is still crashing when it tries to perform "Tuning Windows Media
Decoding". This is when the Display driver stops responding, but recovers.

I am about to do step 3 now.
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March 11, 2010 10:25:59 PM

Ok,

With 0 (none) ATI software installed, my computer breezes through the 3D tests. Of course, my Graphics and gaming Graphics subsets are the lowest possible (1.0), but everything breezes through. I will now go into safemode again and reinstall the drivers.

Also, Should I update to Direct X 11? I am currently running 10. I don't know if that matters. I really feel like it is the card that needs to be RMA'd.

I am pretty sure at this point after running all of the tests and doing everything that I can possibly think of to do, that I need to RMA the card. The bad thing about that is that I need have this computer running ASAP.
So I need some more help with another subject. I was planning on crossfiring in the future, so I guess I can go ahead and order another card and RMA this and await for it's return.
SO, suggestions on what card to get?!

Thanks again!
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a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2010 1:34:54 AM

If you haven't yet, try step 5. It's the last one so worth a shot at this point.


willmalcom said:
Also, is there any point trying my other PCI-E connector coming from my PSU?
And, is there a possibility here that we are looking at an issue of the card itself being bad?

Sure trying the other connector could be worthwhile. If it's a power issue then maybe there's somethign wrong with the connector you've got plugged in. Long shot, but everything is at this point.

It's also possible you've got a temp issue. Download GPU-Z and run it at the same time you run the performance test, see if your temps spike during the 3D test. You can set it to save results to a file so if it crashes you can check the file. http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/

willmalcom said:
Also, Should I update to Direct X 11? I am currently running 10. I don't know if that matters. I really feel like it is the card that needs to be RMA'd. I am pretty sure at this point after running all of the tests and doing everything that I can possibly think of to do, that I need to RMA the card.

I don't know about Direct X 11. Could be worth a shot.

You've tried a lot of things. If you think you're ready to RMA, you should do it.

Quote:
So I need some more help with another subject. I was planning on crossfiring in the future, so I guess I can go ahead and order another card and RMA this and await for it's return.
SO, suggestions on what card to get?!

What are your needs? What is the resolution on your monitor? What are you planning to use the PC for? And finally, what's your budget?

But try step 5 and let me know how it goes.
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March 12, 2010 4:18:59 AM

Ok thanks, yep I tried the RAM in ganged mode, no change. I also tried the other PCI-E connector, no luck. I even changed the GFX card to the other slot, and no change again. I did however notice that where two of the connectors fit into the PCI slot, there is a slight bit of the metal that looks to be missing, not much but a little bit.

I am using this new build for gaming mostly. The only game that I play currently is Day of Defeat: Source, competitively. But, the game is on it's last leg and I want something that will be able to handle most games that will be coming out over the next 8-12 months.

My monitor resolution is kind of odd, 1600x900. My budget isn't too limited, but at this point I am not sure that I want to stick with ATI. Is there a new GPU series on the horizon from nVidia or ATI where maybe I should buy something sort of cheaper to get me through while waiting for the new GPU? I was interested in crossfiring two cards in the future, but know nothing about it. I don't even know if one can crossfire an ATI and an nVidia card. If that is the case, I would like to get something in the 200$ range as far as an nVidia card and RMA this POS ATI. When I got the replacement back, I would crossfire the two cards (if it's possible). But, I also think that getting a more expensive card and not worrying about xfiring might be a good option. I am open to anything, all suggestions are welcome!

Thanks Again!
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a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2010 9:30:23 AM

Ok so to answer some of your questions:

Nvidia does have a new product launch, supposedly sometime this month. Google "Nvidia Fermi". I won't speculate on its performance since there's not much out there yet.

As far as using two cards go - AMD calls it CrossFire, Nvidia calls it SLI. You can't join one Nvidia with one AMD. Also, to use two Nvidia cards in SLI your board has to be able to support it and the motherboard manufacturer has to pay a licensing fee to Nvidia. I don't see anywhere on your board specs where it says SLI is enabled. http://www.gigabyte.us/Products/Motherboard/Products_Sp...

If you haven't seen this yet, Tom's does a monthly "Best Graphics Card for the Money" article. It doesn't tell you a lot about performance, but it does rank them in tiers which is useful and calls out some winners at various price points. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

Here are two articles from the release of AMD's most recent top card, the HD 5970. I point these out not because I'm pushing this card (it's very expensive), but because the reviews have stats on the top of the line AMD and Nvidia cards.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3679&p=1
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5970,2474...

The first article probably has more in your price range.
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March 12, 2010 6:13:41 PM

Best answer selected by WillMalcom.
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March 12, 2010 6:30:56 PM

Thank you Ekoostik for all of your help, I truly do appreciate the effort you put forth in helping me try to solve my issues!

What I decided to do was give the 5770 another shot. I ordered the one by Power Color, because of all the different 5770's available, it was the only one that got 5 eggs from NewEgg. 42 different people had reviewed it, and only 1 person ran into the horrible problem.

If it fails again, I will get the 5850 (which I was really close to buying anyway). So, well see how quickly it gets here, and I will report back!
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a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2010 6:57:53 PM

Good luck!
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