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Ganged vs. Unganged, Unganged Giving Massive Errors in Memtest

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June 22, 2010 4:31:06 PM

I will preface this by saying i believe 99% of answers are on google if you look hard enough...but from what i'm finding my situation is the reverse of normal. So i'm confused.

I'm running:
GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ

Built in January of this year. Problems started in mid-April, ramped up current BSOD rate.

Over the past month or so, i've been averaging over one BSOD per day, and hadn't had time to deal with it. Well Sunday i finally got to sit down to get to the root of it.

Sunday
I ran memtest86+ for about 9 hours while i was away. Got over 26,000 errors. Went to bed thinking of what to do.

Yesterday
-Opened the computer and reseated both RAM, along with power cords and everything else (not the CPU though). Ran memtest for 8 minutes...got massive loads of errors, so i stopped it.
-I noticed that i had mis-entered one of the timings for the RAM, so i fixed it. Ran memtest again. 8 minutes later i had hundreds of errors, i stopped it again.
-I double checked all settings in the BIOS. Finding nothing wrong, i decided to tinker since it was already screwed up. I changed the clock rate to auto (comp. chose 1333 Mhz, i had it set to 1600 manually) and switched from Unganged to Ganged. I started memtest. 8 minutes in i had no errors, but i wasn't sure which change made the difference.
-So i went back in and upped the clock rate to 1600 Mhz on the RAM. Ran memtest. Went to bed. I got up in the morning, and memtest had went 8 passes without error.

So here's the question:
Why did changing to Ganged make a difference? Isn't Unganged supposed to be more stable?

Things i didn't try:
1) Messing with the voltage. It was already set at 1.5V, just as the RAM was specified. This is in Auto.
2) Testing one stick at a time. That was next on my list, but i found no reason to try it since dual channel worked in Ganged mode.

Is there anything else i should try, or should i just leave it alone since it passed? Unganged is supposed to better, but if the performance upgrade is not worth messing with, i'll just leave it (assuming the BSOD's stop).

Thanks guys (and girls).

Best solution

June 24, 2010 7:49:33 AM

Unganged works better for single-threaded apps. (128-bit memory streaming). While Ganged works better for multi-threaded apps. (2 64 bit memory streams).
You may want to test 1 stick at a time with MemTest86+ to see if it's a weak stick. If they bother pass, you may have exposed a weak IMC (Integrated Memory Controller) on the CPU or a weak North-Bridge chipset on the MotherBoard.
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June 24, 2010 11:49:57 AM

unclefester said:
Unganged works better for single-threaded apps. (128-bit memory streaming). While Ganged works better for multi-threaded apps. (2 64 bit memory streams).
You may want to test 1 stick at a time with MemTest86+ to see if it's a weak stick. If they bother pass, you may have exposed a weak IMC (Integrated Memory Controller) on the CPU or a weak North-Bridge chipset on the MotherBoard.


After sleeping on it, i was sort of thinking the same thing. I'll test them one at a time tonight and tomorrow and report back.

One other thing to note: yesterday afternoon after i got back from work, i turned on my computer. It made this strange buzz/beep, then made the normal POST beep. Then BSOD. I turned the computer off, then turned it back on. No strange buzz/beep this time, and it booted just fine. Any idea what that could be? That's the first time that happened.

Side note: no BSOD's (besides the start up BSOD) since i switched to Ganged mode.
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June 25, 2010 3:52:59 AM

You may want to double check the rated voltage to make sure your running them at spec.
The errors may go away with a little more voltage, but I wouldn't raise it any if it voids the warranty.
If you are running them at spec. you may want to contact G.Skill Tec. Support about an RMA.
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July 2, 2010 1:41:16 AM

They're running at spec voltage. Well, actually spec is 1.5 and the default is 1.584 or something close to that. I cannot decrease that voltage that i know of, but i can increase it.

Half of me wants to mess with it more to really find the problem, but the other half is content to ride it out because i haven't had any problems since i switched to "ganged" mode.

It think i'm just going to close this one out and come back with a new thread if i decide to mess with it further.

Thanks for the help.
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July 2, 2010 1:41:24 AM

Best answer selected by theJ.
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