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HELP! RAM sticks dropping like flies!

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June 26, 2010 5:41:33 PM

Hi all, I'm having some problems with my system and it's RAM as of late and I'd like to see if these are just symptoms of a bigger problem.

Details:
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 + i7 920
Nvidia Quadro 3800
LianLi 750w PSU
OCZ 120gb Vertex SSD
WD Black 1Tb
OCZ Gold 12gb RAM 1333

This is my HD video editing rig, built last year in may. I haven't had any problems with it until recently. Back in April one of the RAM sticks went bad, so I went through the RMA process with OCZ and got a triple channel replacement. I sent back three sticks and got a new set.

Everything was fine until about a week ago when I started getting the same problems. I found that two more of the sticks had gone bad, one of the old ones and one of the new ones. Then a day later another of the new sticks went bad! I'm currently running the system on the three remaining good sticks, but I just got another blue screen telling me that it was dumping physical memory. AFAIK I had plenty of memory though.

I'm not sure if I just got a bad batch of RAM or if perhaps there is something wrong with my MOBO. I was under the impression that OCZ had a good reputation when I bought the parts, in fact I recently built a HTPC with OCZ Reaper and another Vertex SSD, but thus far I've had to send back one of the vertex SSDs and now four RAM sticks.

Any ideas on what might be causing this, or is it just bad luck? :heink: 
a b B Homebuilt system
June 26, 2010 5:56:36 PM

Maybe set up a monitor program and find out what voltage the ram is running at?
Compare that to the specs for the ram and see if youre under/over volting it.
I dont know if undervolt would kill it, but sure if something has got the volts to high on it it will fry it. A fault in the mb control for the voltage could be getting it.
June 26, 2010 6:12:13 PM

can you recommend a program for that, I'm not a tweaker. I've left everything on auto.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2010 3:26:59 AM

I dont have one off the top of my head, but i will look around and see what works!

Dead
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2010 3:40:16 AM

Take it off auto, memory can start throwing errors if the voltage is too low. Up the memory voltage to 1.65V in bios and see if it fixes things, all OCZ memory kits require 1.65V, Auto will only set them to 1.5V but wont adjust the speed and timings to make them stable.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2010 3:47:18 AM

OK, lets go at this from another angle while I'm looking, if you know how to get into your BIOS screen, do that and find the voltage setting for the ram. You need to know for sure what the voltage requirements are for the OCZ ram, you didn't list the model #/name so i cant look it up for you. Anyway, go into BIOS and set ram volts to manual, and adjust it to the exact volts required by the ram.

BTW, are you overclocking this rig with all the settings on auto??

Dead
June 27, 2010 7:23:42 AM

It's OCZ Gold 3G1333lv6GK PC3-10666 Low Voltage RAM 3x2Gb

I am not over clocking, as I said this system has been running fine for nearly a year before the first stick went bad.

Edit: I went ahead and changed the voltage to 1.65 and set the speed at 1333Mhz. I guess I should do the same for my HTPC downstairs. I didn't realize that the auto setting was unreliable.

If it helps, the system has locked up three times today, each time I was streaming something either off myspace or youtube.
June 27, 2010 3:12:29 PM

The system failed to boot twice so I switched it back to auto for now. when I put in the voltage the Bios showed the numbers in red, not sure if that is normal.
June 27, 2010 8:07:29 PM

I ran memtest today, 4 out of the six sticks performed perfectly through at least two passes, the other two (both from the replacement kit) either failed to boot or caused the test to freeze.

Oddly, memtest kept coming up with different settings for the RAM, listing DDR3 1066 or 1069, and different timings 77720 and 99924, it also listed the modules as PC3 8500 instead of PC3 10666 as on the sticker. ???

I've got my resource monitor open and I'm wondering what these "Hard Faults/sec" are, I keep getting spikes on this graph.

The system keeps locking up when ever I stream something, so I've been streaming eps of Zero Punctuation all day to try and get it to repeat the problem. My browser is chrome btw, not sure if that would make a difference though.

Any thoughts?
June 28, 2010 3:58:21 AM

What operating system you got now?

And what operating system did you have back then?
June 28, 2010 5:08:12 AM

I'm running Win7 Home Premium. The thing froze up again, and now it takes forever to load.

If this wasn't bad enough my tv decided to die last week and run off to the shop, and just as I was getting home tonight my internet connection decided to go all wonky on me for an hour and a half! I'm about two crisises away from pumping every piece of electronics I own full of 9mm hollow points! >.<b
June 28, 2010 6:34:19 AM

I found a post that recommends changing the timings to stop the freezing. I couldn't look up the recommended timings on Asus's site b/c it was broken for some reason, but the article had the same RAM on a near identical board, the regular p6T.

Set to freq 1066 1.6v 777-16

Still booting really slow, will see if it freezes again.
June 29, 2010 7:34:58 AM

my, the system froze again. I'm going to try switching browsers to see if that stops it.
June 30, 2010 2:11:41 AM

Well, it's not the Browser, I loaded up firefox and it still froze while streaming. Could it be Flash?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2010 2:40:25 AM

If I may jump in here, I recommend you examine each stick of RAM in CPU-Z. Verify that all sticks are identical in the SPD tab, and that your settings match one of those sets listed.

You seem to be assuming the sticks are bad because you are getting errors. If you are not verifying they are bad in another machine then that's where you are going wrong.

Filling up all the memory slots on a board is always tough. It's quite common that you have to loosen timings, reduce frequency, and/or increase voltage to get them all to work.

After that you might start looking at some other things. 3 come to mind:

1. Bad power. Lian Li 750W is probably a Sirtec built PSU... Not the worst certainly but could be failing. This could cause instability and simulate RAM issues.

2. Bad board supplying unsteady current to the RAM.

3. Bad memory controller on the CPU.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264823-31-progess-tro...
June 30, 2010 3:16:14 AM

Thanks for jumping in!

Well, I ran CPU-z and it did not correctly ID my RAM. It did ID them as all being the same OCZ3G1333LV2G, but the sticker says OCZ3G1333LV12GS. At the moment I have them running at their spec 9-9-9-24, only I put them at 1.6v instead of 1.65 b/c the Bios warned that 1.65v might cause damage. I'm presuming that the time tables provided are for that RAM and not the kind I have.

As for the bad sticks I couldn't even get the system to post with them plugged in, I tried them all individually and ran memtest.

I'm not sure how to test the other three possibles.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2010 3:43:43 AM

CPU-Z is usually right in these cases, and the sticker wrong.... looking at your number though, I see that it's the same. You just have a bunch of supposedly matched 2GB sticks. The sticks are named that individually but the kit is called the larger "12GS" name.

So individual sticks won't run at all? That does seem bad, but if the memory is physically bad as it appears then it makes it more likely that it's bad luck. If I were you I would consult closely with the experts at the OCZ support forums. They really are pros there, much more than anyone you will find here. They can advise you on tweaks to get the RAM running properly on your board, and expedite the RMA process also.

If they can't solve this, then I would go back to looking hard at the PSU or board. If one of those are frying your RAM it would be good to know before warranties expire.

If this was a professional rig and you were loosing money with downtime, then I would say go with Mushkin or Kingston. And for most builds I favor G.skill over OCZ as value RAM.... OCZ has a kind of high volume philosophy. They sell a lot of stuff and allow for a higher fail rate.
June 30, 2010 4:00:10 AM

So should I go with the timings on the table instead of what is on the sticker as well?

I have always used Kingston in the past as a recommendation from another friend. When I built this new setup OCZ was recommended to me on these forums. I don't think I will go with them again. As for my rig I'm still in school at the moment but it will be used for pro work after graduation this december (if I can find a decent job...) >.<b
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2010 4:11:56 AM

That would depend. It would probably be safest to choose the most relaxed 1333 settings are listed and go with those, perhaps raising the voltage slightly over whatever the voltage listed is... because running 6 sticks is harder than 3 and your board might droop slightly with the extra load, so you have to push just a bit harder, if you see what I mean.

I think your board allows you to leave the voltage on auto but add a + to it... like auto + .04 volts for instance, just for this reason. That's what I recall right off.

Of course, if individual sticks are dead it's moot until they are replaced.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2010 4:13:01 AM

WOW some of the above grammar is really bad. Maybe I need a break ;) 
June 30, 2010 5:15:53 AM

Well I already sent the kit back today, right now I'm just running the three. I'll take a look at the OCZ forums.
!