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Can a wrong ram destroy your motherboard and processor?

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September 6, 2011 9:22:05 AM

Hello,i used a wrong memory in my PC and it my pc never worked,i thought there was something with the power supply and i went to buy another computer case and left the technician fitting my old motherboard. when i came back he told me the RAM burnt the processor and the motherboard and i am wondering if it is possible because i feel the technician might have powered my PC twice using IDE and Sata.
September 6, 2011 12:45:13 PM

this sounds very unlikely as the dimm slots output and external voltage to your memory dimms so more then likely the dimms would have shorted, the rest of the system would not have been effected also the only way to really over voltage dimms is to use the wrong dimms in which they will not fit into the sockets so he could have forced them, the only other thing i have heard is when somebody tried FB dimms in a ddr2 motherboard that did not support Fully Buffered memory dimms. You should maybe have another talk with him and find out what really happened.
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September 6, 2011 1:09:24 PM

Yes it's possible if you used the wrong RAM with a Core i7 setup. At least the 1366-pin CPUs require RAM at 1.5v or lower (slightly higher is usually OK if you have a good motherboard), but much higher than that could fry the CPU. What hardware do you have?
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September 6, 2011 2:43:53 PM

This does not make sense to me please explain to me how a motherboard that will require the specific generation of ram will flaw that memory because of voltage EG.. A motherboard supports DDR3 RAM when they specify this they run there dimm slots on the output of the lowest voltage of compatible hardware within that range, so if ram modules do not get the voltage they require they shall not post this should not have any such retroactions to the rest of the system. Another thing as far as i am aware there are only to standard voltage types in the DDR3 range that is 1.35V and 1.5V this excludes any overlocking headroom you may incorporate on your system. So therefore how on earth would this mainstream of voltage move across onto your CPU or Mainboard? Also with compatibility on your DDR3 main-boards they support both voltages and allow the increase of voltage rendered on those dimms through there bios console. I am sorry should memory be affected by over voltage this will only suffocate you memory dimms and not other hardware through out your system
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September 6, 2011 2:50:27 PM

Sorry just touching o the variation of voltage equivalents i have made a mistake there are higher voltage ranges in the DDR3 Range all the way up to 1.8V. THis does not have contradict to my previous statement higher voltaged memory put on a lower voltage output board will not damage other hardware components through out the system, and neither the actual memory dimm as the voltage is lower then the over voltage of the hardware.
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September 6, 2011 2:52:18 PM

not sure about destroying MB but could possibly damage the cpu, It said ram volts should never exceed 1.65 or risk damaging cpu in the manual but im not sure. my Gskill ram is exactly at 1.65
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a b V Motherboard
a c 353 G Storage
September 6, 2011 3:23:48 PM

??? What MB and what CPU and what RAM??
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Incorrect vs not compatable are two different things.
Most ram when first installed will default to the Standard for that type of System.
Example using DDR3 which comes in three flavors, 1.35V, 1.5 V (standard) and overclock Ram (ie 1.6 V and 1.65V) Note standared refers to the specification.
Ex: if you put DDR3-1600 cl7 @ 1.6 V into a system, when you first power up it will normally default to 1333 speed @ 1.5 V (Listed as SPD)and you have to manually change it to the 1600 @ 1.6V Which is listed as XMP profile x. This is a compatability issue, NOT incorrect RAM.

Incorrect Ram would be putting DDR2 into a DDR3 system and Vs versa - Don't think it is possible with out excess force as size or slot is different.

Two Possible conditions to distroy your MB/CPU.
(1) The memory was defective and created (A) overvoltage to CPU memory controller or (B) it shorted out the MB supply voltage.
(2) This requires changing the voltage from the default to a Higher value (ie DDR3 from 1.5 -> 1.65 ). For older systems like I5-760 1.65 should not be a problem as long as the memory is spec'ed to run at the higher Voltage, BUT the newer I5-2500k has a spec (from Intel) of 1.575V so it is possible (Small) that runing the Ram @ 1.65 V could damage the CPU which in turn could damage the MB.

Another possibility along these line is using 1.35 V Ram and some older MB defaults to 1.5 V. Although the RAM should handle 1.5 OK there is again a small possibilty that running 1.5 V on 1.35 V Ram could cause it to malfunction and then take out the CPU/MB.
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September 6, 2011 3:31:00 PM

Retired Chief makes a valid point Incorrect and not compatible. We need to stipulate on that first, then move forward.
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September 6, 2011 4:01:40 PM

That reminds me of a friend that once called me out and wanted that I repair her computer. So upon arrival she tells me she built the computer herself and it never worked since then. I immediately saw that she forced sd-ram into an old HP ddr-ram slot. Those were almost identical but it's not supposed to fit anyways. But she did it ^^ So I removed those sticks, have put real & working ddr in it, but it refused to work at all.

She ended using all hardware pieces inside another computer but the ram and motherboard, the latter being dead because of bad ram inserted and power on... So yes it seems ram can indeed destroy a motherboard, either physicially or electronicaly.
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a b V Motherboard
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September 6, 2011 4:05:34 PM

Also there have been a couple of cases of putting Molex connector on a HDD/DVD which reverses the +12 and +5 V rails - Ouch. Also reverse pluging a 4/8 ATX MB connect - Does take some force.
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September 6, 2011 4:51:13 PM

Whoa that would be monstrous to do something like that. Caution is our best friend ^^ I recall a cousin that plugged his computer at the wall, then he saw his optical drive not connected. His computer was already powered on, I don't know why he did not shut it down first. He connected the molex to the dvd-drive and it made a loud explosion and lightning sparks that came from the computer. After a while laughing at him, we rebuilt the computer after close examination. The motherboard was busted, and so was the dvd-drive. ^^
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a b V Motherboard
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September 6, 2011 7:13:03 PM

Personal experience.
An engineer reprogramed an eeprom, but stuck the label on upside down. I did NOT (My Bad) verify pin 1 and inserted it 180 out - Fits just fine. This was on a data combiner that collected all research data on a research B737. It was a Wire wrapped board (a real nightmare) and we could not get it to work ever again. Had to design and build a repacement. Delayed all research flight for 2 months.

A little wee bit more expensive error!!!
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