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Gigabyte GA-P43-ES3G rev 1.1, Corsair XMS2 DHX 2x2GB DDR2 800 (PC6400)

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July 17, 2010 1:50:15 AM

After receiving my new computer parts I did a 24-hour burn test with Memtest86+. I was dismayed to see a large number of errors.

Right now I'm running all automatic settings in the BIOS & stock speeds. I had reset to optimized or default values prior to the burn test. Is this ok, or should I set the RAM timings manually? I guess I should have checked because I will probably be underclocking the RAM so I get 1:1 ratio with the bus speeds, but I just let it do it automatically.

Right now I'm testing the RAM one stick at a time in different slots of the motherboard. This will help me determine whether one of the sticks is bad or whether the mobo might have a bad slot. (Someting gonna get RMAed!!!!)

Am I doing everything right so far? My ultimate objective is a gentle overclock of the CPU but overall what I want is stability over speed. Right now I have neither. This computer will be used for multitrack audio recording, and production of very large posters at 300dpi in Photoshop.

Any advice would be appreciated! I'm sure I'm gonna need some advice throughout this project. It's been years since I've done any computer building, and a lot has changed. Plus I've never overclocked, and all this FSB quad-pumped 1:1 ratio crap is really confusing :ouch: 
July 17, 2010 6:50:53 AM

In my first burn in test, lets call the stick of RAM in slot 0 "RAM A" and the one that was in slot 2 "RAM B". So RAM A was the suspect stick, since that's where the errors showed up in the overnight test.

So far I've had RAM A in slot 1 for 6 hours with no problems. I'll check again tomorrow. If it passes all the tests I'll try RAM A in slot 0, or maybe RAM B in slot 0, so I can see if it has to do with running 2 sticks at once, versus a bad stick, versus a bad slot.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
July 17, 2010 4:14:56 PM

I always test 'em 'one-at-a-time', prior to ever putting any more in the board at once... Procedure is in: Memory - Part IV - "Tweaking and tuning"

Have done a few successfull OC's for P43's here - don't have one for that exact board, but shouldn't be much to modify - likely take less than a half-hour... Here's a sample:

A lot of this is 'canned' - so if you've seen parts of it before, skip ahead!

GA-EP43-UD3L E4500 to 2.93 GHz
Intel E6300 1066FSB x10.5mult 2.8GHz .85-1.3625V Core R0 sSpec SLGU9 CPUID 1067Ah
Crucial CT2KIT25664AA800 R 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin SDRAM DDR2 800 memory: 6-6-6-?? nominal 1.8v

Gentle (but noticeable), no-risk, low-voltage Overclocking parameters (assuming anything but stock HSF...) are in italics...

If you haven't yet done it, pull out all but one stick, start with a BIOS' "Load Optimized Defaults"

Before we start ramping things up, I want to teach you a new skill involving the BIOS: Do the <DEL> at the boot to enter the BIOS;
notice, at the bottom, the <F11> "Save CMOS to BIOS" - hit this, and you should get a menu that will show a number (the count varies by BIOS) of empty 'slots', each of which will store an entire set of BIOS parameters, to be re-loaded from the corresponding <F12> "Load CMOS from BIOS"; this is a wonderful overclocker's feature. What I do with it, is to save my 'baseline' working parameters, so if I change something that 'irritates' the board, and forces a reset of all the parameters to defaults, or, even worse, get so screwed up I need to do a 'clear CMOS', I can get back to my starting point with no effort, and without having to remember 85 separate settings! Another thing it prevents is two hours' troubleshooting, having forgotten a change to a crucial parameter - like, "wait a minute - didn't I have the Trd at seven?!" It's pretty self-explanatory, and I alway urge people to start right away by taking the time to give the 'slots' names that mean something: in two hours, "Try2" and "Try3" will not be very helpful, but "450@+10MCH" and "450@+15MCH" will! Another use is for 'green' settings; overclocks, as a rule, do not 'play well' with green features, such as 'down-clocking' and 'down-volting'; with the storage slots, you can set up one profile, say "Green", with all the settings at 'stock' values, and all the 'green' features enabled; another, say "Balls2Wall" with a full overclock, and all the 'green' stuff turned off... Another neat feature of this 'slot' system is, for most BIOS, the mechanism itself will keep track of which ones have booted successfully, and how many times (up to, I believe, a max of five)!


On the "Advanced BIOS Features" page:

"CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)" to "Disabled"
"C2/C2E State Support" to "Disabled"
"CPU Thermal Monitor 2 (TM2)" to "Enabled"
"CPU EIST Function" to "Disabled"
"Virtualization Technology" to "Enabled" - this allows use of Win7's fantastic VirtualXp feature...
"Full Screen LOGO Show" to "Disabled"

On the "Integrated Peripherals" page:

Your manual shows "Legacy USB storage detect", but later BIOS say "USB Storage Function" - either way, set to "Disabled"

On the "Power Management Setup" page:

"ACPI Suspend Type" to "S1(POS)" (for now...)
"HPET Support" to "Enabled"
"HPET Mode" to whichever OS type you're running - "32-bit" if an x86 version, "64-bit" if an x64 version...

On the "MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)" page:

"Robust Graphics Booster" to "Auto"
"CPU Clock Ratio" to "10"
"Fine CPU Clock Ratio" to ".5"
"CPU Frequency" - this one can't be set, it's calculated, and will change when we set the next few items...

******** Clock Chip Control ********
>>>>> Standard Clock Control

"CPU Host Clock Control" to "Enabled"
"CPU Host Frequency (Mhz)" to "267"
"CPU Host Frequency (Mhz)" to "334"
"PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)" to "100" (not auto...)
"C.I.A.2" to "Disabled"

******** DRAM Performance Control ********
"Performance Enhance" to "Standard"
"(G)MCH Frequency Latch" to "266"
"(G)MCH Frequency Latch" to "333"
"System Memory Multiplier (SPD)" to "3.0 A"
"System Memory Multiplier (SPD)" to "2.4 B"
"Memory Frequency (Mhz)" - again, can't be set, it's calculated...
"DRAM Timing Selectable (SPD)" to "Manual"
You should be able to leave the rest of the memory settings alone; we haven't changed its actual speed, so the "LoadOpt" settings should keep working...

"Load-Line Calibration" to "Disabled" (this works differently on different boards - on mine, it's worse "enabled" than "disabled" - the function is supposed to cure a phenomenon called Vdroop - the CPU voltage regulation circuit causes the CPU core voltage to sag, or 'droop' under high loadings; hopefully, we're going to be at a low enough voltage to just ignore this...)
"CPU Vcore" to "1.2500V"

And that should do it!

I should point out that getting two reboots in a row here is perfectly normal behavior; it seems that, when you change certain settings (and we don't exactly know which ones - the only sure one I know is Trd - if you change it, I think you get the 'twin' reboot) it boots once to 'see where it's at', recalculates its remaining 'auto' settings, saves them, and then boots again. Three reboots in a row, however, usually indicates that the board was 'given indigestion' by your settings, and is going back to defaults. This sometimes goes astray, and it doesn't get back into proper operation - for example, at this point, mine will sometimes 'lock' itself into 111MHz x a six multiplier - and take a week to do a whole boot - that's time to do a CMOS reset, and use your 'stored' <F12> profile to get back to where you were...

Good luck!

Bill
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July 18, 2010 7:10:52 AM

you totally rock!!!

so one of the two sticks consistently fails (reproduced it in 3 different slots) when both chips are tested together, but it passed when they were alone. I'm thinking of RMA'ing the RAM and having them ship me another set.

I wasn't running 1:1 ratio tho, does that matter? the proc is 8.5x333 and the RAM was 2x400 with stock timings.

I'm going to go through your procedures & start with that next time. I really appreciate the guidance :) 
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July 19, 2010 4:14:47 AM

I'm running one last test overnight with RAM at 333 x 2.0 = 666MHz and at 2.1 V instead of 1.8 V.

I *think* it pulled the 1.8 V setting from XMP, but the specs say the memory either can or should do 2.1 V so we'll see if the frequency mismatch 6:5 or the voltage was the problem. Timings are still default 4-4-4-12, & I'm still testing both sticks in together since I never did get a problem testing one stick by itself.
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July 19, 2010 5:22:18 AM

bilbat - thanks again for the link to your memory guide. I've made it all the way through part 4 and halfway through part 3.

btw the tests that fail in Memtest86+ are 4, 5, & 6, when it fails. i'm not even sure if the test I'm doing now is productive since I'm underclocking the RAM & allowing it more milliseconds for all the timings as a result.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
July 19, 2010 1:34:34 PM

There is some info on the 'magic' 1:1 ratio (and a bit about what's really happening), in the sixth post here, as well as a bit about OCing later on... If you'll give me a thorough 'run-down' on your parts (CPU#; RAM qty, mfg, p/n; CPU cooling), I'd be happy to turn out a parameter set, like the one I showed you, specific to your system...
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July 19, 2010 7:46:34 PM

thanks bilbat! I read the rest of your guide as well as the "sixth post". So far no RAM errors overnight with testing RAM underclocked to 333 bclk 1:1 and at 2.1 V.

I found spec sheets for my RAM and Corsair's testing procedures, and they did 5-5-5-18 at 1.8 V, and they did 4-4-4-12 at 2.1 V. For some reason my "auto" settings had me at 4-4-4-12 at 1.8 V which is not tested or supported. So for one thing the voltage was a problem.

http://www.corsair.com/_datasheets/TWIN2X2048-6400C4.pd...
http://www.corsair.com/testreports/report_print_new.asp...
http://www.corsair.com/testreports/report_print_new.asp...
http://www.corsair.com/testreports/report_print_new.asp...
http://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52351

SO!!!!! here's what I've got in my computer:

Intel Core2Quad Q9550 (I don't know which subversion or stepping of this chip but after I finish this Memtest run I could look in the BIOS to see; Windows is not installed yet so I can't run CPU-Z)
PCG 05A
Prod Code BX80569Q9550
MM 899133
FPO/Batch
L944B645
S Spec SLB8V
Ver E44557-005
Malaysia 12/10/09

Stock cooling on the CPU; case has excellent large fans. (I checked the CPU temp in BIOS immediately after each Memtest run, and never saw more than 39C. I realize the CPU was idle while rebooting, so it could have gone down a couple degrees and also that the basement is the coldest part of my house, but I thought those temps were pretty good.)

Gigabyte GA-P43-ES3G LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard rev 1.1

CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX

generic ATI X1300PRO vid card with 128MB, PCIe x16

SilverStone 650W PSU, kind of an older version of this PSU, like the 2nd or 3rd revision of it, from about 2005 or 2006.

then a DVD+-RW drive, that's all that's hooked up right now. Oh, and maybe the floppy, and definitely the USB headers to the front-of-case USB ports. I have the "front panel" lights & switches hooked up. That's IT ;) 
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July 19, 2010 7:56:14 PM

I had one more idea I wanted to run past you . . . . . .

ok, so since I was running fast timings with not-enough voltage, I think this is totally my bad, not bad RAM. But . . . in testing this I might have found out where the weak areas of my RAM chips are?

Since I have to run 32-bit to accommodate legacy pro-audio recording cards in 5v PCI slots, I will run Windows XP, which can address a max of 4GB. So my vid card & whatever other hardware is gonna shadow over part of the RAM anyway and make that part of the RAM inaccessible. It will never be used, right?

I wonder if I can set the BIOS to put the RAM shadow over the weaker areas of the RAM, so I'm only using the stronger parts that never failed Memtest?
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July 19, 2010 7:57:14 PM

Best answer selected by d0s4d1.
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July 20, 2010 4:59:35 AM

24 hours of Memtest86+ with the slower timing & increased voltage, no errors running both sticks dual-channel.

So . . . . my lessons learned thus far are:

1) don't trust "auto" settings
2) Corsair RAM that qualifies 4-4-4-12 at 800MHz probably will, but barely; & maybe only with some finagling. If it was capable of running better than that, they would have rated it higher & charged more ;) 
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July 20, 2010 5:33:25 PM

AUTO settings will not work with this memory. You definitely need to manually set the rated timings and voltage.
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July 20, 2010 9:44:32 PM

I thought one of those links had complete timing data including things like tRRD tRTW tWCL tREF etc but I can't find that.

Anyone know where I can find complete timing & technical data for Corsair modules?
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July 20, 2010 10:56:22 PM

Here is my frustration with Corsair: There is wide disagreement over what timings to use for the "advanced settings". I'm being told to use auto for these advanced settings, but I just saw how badly "auto" works, so I really want real specs! Corsair doesn't provide them.

***If I had it to do again, I'd buy G-Skill or OCZ. Corsair: I am not impressed.***
<tt><code>
CAS 4 4 4 4 4 5
tRCD 4 4 4 4 4 5
tRP 4 4 4 4 4 5
tRAS 12 12 12 12 12 18

tRRD 3 3 10 3 11 4
tWTR 3 9 10 9 11 4
tWR 8 5 10 5 11 6
tRFC 52 52 52 52 57
tRTP 3 10 11 4
CMD 0 2T 1T/2T 2T
tREF 7.8uS 7,8uS
tRC 21

tRead 10 7
tRDp0 0
tRDp1 0
tRDp2 0
tRDp3 0

Trd2rd 6
Twr2wr 6
Twr2rd 5
Trd2wr 8 </code></tt>

The first setting in each column is my motherboard's default auto settings for fail-safe and optimized defaults. The other columns are from these sources:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/249592-30-twin2x4096-...
http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=68859
http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=74012
http://www.evga.com/forumsarchive/tm.asp?m=100532630
http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=74784
http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/ga-ep45-dq6-q6600-g0-2-...
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July 21, 2010 1:06:45 PM

Loosened my RAM timings to leave room to overclock & still be safe, installed XP, Acronis, CPU-Z, Prime95, CPUID Hardware Monitor, & Core Temp. Running blend test Prime95 has me peaking at 64C tops so far, but that's a little high, yo! Still stock cooler, so whaddya expect? I guess I'm not gonna overclock it yet . . . I don't want to cook anything. Hmmmm need a good cooler . . . . .

here's my RAM timings that seem to work well (definitely in the *safe* range since I'm going for stability)

CAS 4
tRCD 4
tRP 4
tRAS 12

tRRD 4
tWTR 5
tWR 9
tRFC 52
tRTP 4
CMD 2T (when my mobo says "0" it means auto, which is 2T)
tREF 7.8uS
tRC 21

tRead 10
tRDp0 0
tRDp1 0
tRDp2 0
tRDp3 0

Trd2rd 6
Twr2wr 6
Twr2rd 5
Trd2wr 8
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