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Bootup problem: Triple channel memory modules in dual channel mobos?

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October 1, 2009 2:49:52 AM

Hello all,

I've been getting bsods on my new rig and it's been locking up at the windows vista welcome screen. I reset the bios settings to factory default (back to ide hdd configuration instead of ahci is the only change) and removed all but one stick of ram to get it running again.

My question is this: I noticed the bsod would state that it was dumping physical memory before the screen was gone and it rebooted. Is it because I've been using triple channel memory modules in a motherboard that's configured for dual channel?

My recent rig:
CPU - Intel Core i7 860 2.8Ghz
Motherboard - Gigabyte P55M - UMD (Socket 1156)
RAM - OCZ Gold Series PC3 12800 DDR3 Triple Channel @ 3 x 2GB PN: OCZ3G1600LV6GK
Videocard - EVGA Nvidia Geforce GTX260 896MB
HDD - 7200 Seagate 1TB SATA HDD
PSU - LSP Ultra 650ATX Power Supply
Case - Coolermaster Storm Scout ATX case.
Optical LG DVD Player/Writer SATA Drive

History
This rig's been a rough road. I had to RMA the videocard back to newegg because it was defective (garbled display). It was working great the past two weeks until the symptoms popped up these last two days. It started from playing Batman Arkham Asylum (the steam download PC version that comes with the purchase of the videocard), there would be random game crashes with error messages of missing files from the program folder. I thought it might have been a corrupted download or steam error. But then the PC crashed for the first time with the bsod while playing another game (Turbine's Dungeon and Dragons Online Unlimited).

It's been working for the past hour so far, but I haven't run any applications/games on it yet. I actually have to go to class. So I'll leave it on for now.

Anyway, any help would be awesome! Thanks much.
October 1, 2009 2:55:24 AM

Have you run memtest to make sure you dont have a bad stick? Also you manually set the timings and voltages correct? It is unlikely for OCZ ram to be stable at JEDEC specs.
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October 1, 2009 2:56:15 AM

There's no way to run triple channel memories in dual channel mobos! How did you get them to fit in the first place :??: 
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October 1, 2009 2:59:46 AM

Huh? You realize that when you put an odd number of ram sticks into a dual channel board it just runs in single channel mode right? There is physically no difference between the sticks in a dual and a triple channel kit.
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October 1, 2009 3:07:36 AM

I meant how could he fit 6 sticks? If not then the title doesn't add anything....
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October 1, 2009 3:29:27 AM

This is a first on this board. Triple channel RAM for a P55 board. Gotta love it.

To the OP...RMA that RAM asap and get yourself DDR3 dual channel. Take a look at the G.Skill "Ripjaws" for a decent price. (2x2 gig sticks)
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October 1, 2009 6:16:42 AM

psycho sykes said:
I meant how could he fit 6 sticks? If not then the title doesn't add anything....

The OP never said anything about 6 sticks of RAM. He said he used a 3x2GB kit. You have to ensure in the motherboard owners manual that you're using the correct RAM slots. You also need to manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to the recommended specs and run Memtest86+ overnight to test for RAM errors like Hunter315 said. Using that kit is less than ideal since it runs in single channel mode.
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October 1, 2009 6:51:32 AM

I'm terribly sorry :??:  i miss typed it!
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October 1, 2009 7:18:12 AM

Sorry about the confusing title. And I'm a bit of a newbie with pc building. I realized the p55 mobo was dual channel but assumed that it would just operate in dual and single channel modes with the ram fine. The sticks advertised as working well with the new i7 intel chips and I read that the new intel cores and windows vista 64-bit handled triple channeling well.

And to be redundant about being a newbie, how do I manually set the ram timing and voltage? And how does memtest work?

And the g.skill ripjaws look nice. I'll see if I can RMA the sticks (I don't know if I still have the packaging).
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October 1, 2009 7:39:53 AM

For the timings (what i can answer). Use the Ram's XMP profile..
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October 1, 2009 1:26:31 PM

Not all ram has an XMP profile. I'm pretty sure the OCZ Gold RAM doesn't. There will be a section in your motherboard owners manual on how to set the RAM settings in the BIOS. Most Gigabyte motherboards require you to press Ctrl + F1 when you enter the BIOS to unlock some of the options.
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October 3, 2009 7:23:32 AM

I changed the timings and voltage of the memory from it's overclocked (turbo) setting in the BIOS to normal. There were still some issues until I reverted back to a single stick. So I've RMAed the sticks and ordered the dual channel Ripjaws that were recommended. With all of the reboots that happened, can memory cause permanent damage to the motherboard or other components?

Thanks again everyone, you've all been really helpful
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October 4, 2009 1:26:17 PM

No.. As far as i can say i don't think it can make any type of physical damage for the Main-board, CPU or any other component.. The Ripjaws are very good Rams according to reviews and users recommendations.. And i believe it has the XMP profile so don't worry about going to the same process again :D 
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December 29, 2009 10:26:49 AM

Yes as hunter said theres no physical difference on the sticks its the mobo that controls the channels and as someone else stated with all 3 sticks in you would be runnning back at single channel. A quick fix would have been to just remove the one stick for the time being and running 2 of them at the dual, or buying a single EXACT MODEL # of a stick ocz (although sometimes difficult to find singles of dual/triples prepackaged set are out there) Another question was whether or not your vista was 32 or 64 (you later stated 64) because the 32 bits of vista or winblows 7 have issues booting with 4+ gigs(although they say can take up to 4gb everytime ive loaded 2 sets of dual equaling 4gb i have boot issues without tweaking the bios) Personally I would have stayed with the ocz running 2 for now and be set with a triple pack for a 1366 upgrade.
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