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Help Troubleshooting Ram

Last response: in Memory
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June 23, 2011 1:33:22 AM

Ok I've got a desktop that I've custom built. Its been working great until recently when I installed an extra 2 sticks of ram. I'm using a

GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
(link: )

which says it supports up to 16GB (4GBx4) of ram. I've been using

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1333
(link: )

since I first built it, and had 2 sticks installed. I just recently bought another 2 sticks and upon installing them I started receiving a blue screen stating it ran into a memory error anytime I tried to open an executable. At first I figured one of the sticks might be dead so I took one out and started my comp up and it ran perfectly fine then I switched the sticks and did it again and it still ran fine. So then I got to thinking maybe one of the slots on my mobo might be bad so I tried using each stick in the fourth slot since I had been using the third and yet still everything worked fine. So for some reason I can't use all four of my memory sticks at the same time, I can only use up to 3. So I'm completely clueless as to why this is happening and a bit bummed out that i can't use my fourth stick. I am a bit of a newbie so if I overlooked something simple please don't flame me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance! :)  The rest of my comp is as follows:

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 x2 in SLI config
(link: )

Power Supply: Rosewill RV2-700 700W
(link: )

Main Drive: ADATA S599 AS599S-40GM-C 2.5" 40GB SATA II
(link: )

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 635 Propus 2.9GHz
(link: )

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

If I missed any important info that might help solve my problem please let me know and I can provide it.

More about : troubleshooting ram

June 23, 2011 1:51:04 AM

Are you mixing ram or have the same kind? Also I would check and see if there is a bios update for your board. Good luck...
June 23, 2011 4:18:35 PM

All the ram is the same exact kind. I haven't checked for a bios update yet though, I'll do that and see if it helps any.

Edit: I have checked my bios and it is the latest version.
Related resources
a b } Memory
June 23, 2011 8:53:45 PM

Do you know what frequencies and timings your RAM is running at? If not, install CPUZ and report what it says on the "memory" tab.
June 24, 2011 3:13:08 AM

RAM
Memory slots
Memory
Type DDR3
Size 12288 MBytes
Channels # Dual
DRAM Frequency 665.2 MHz
CAS# Latency (CL) 9 clocks
RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD) 9 clocks
RAS# Precharge (tRP) 9 clocks
Cycle Time (tRAS) 24 clocks
Bank Cycle Time (tRС) 33 clocks
Command Rate (CR) 2T
SPD
Number Of SPD Modules 3
Slot #1
Type DDR3
Size 4096 MBytes
Manufacturer G.Skill
Max Bandwidth PC3-10700 (667 MHz)
Part Number F3-10666CL9-4GBRL
SPD Ext. EPP
JEDEC #4
Frequency 685.7 MHz
CAS# Latency 9.0
RAS# To CAS# 9
RAS# Precharge 9
tRAS 25
tRC 34
Voltage 1.500 V
JEDEC #3
Frequency 609.5 MHz
CAS# Latency 8.0
RAS# To CAS# 8
RAS# Precharge 8
tRAS 22
tRC 31
Voltage 1.500 V
JEDEC #2
Frequency 533.3 MHz
CAS# Latency 7.0
RAS# To CAS# 7
RAS# Precharge 7
tRAS 20
tRC 27
Voltage 1.500 V
JEDEC #1
Frequency 457.1 MHz
CAS# Latency 6.0
RAS# To CAS# 6
RAS# Precharge 6
tRAS 17
tRC 23
Voltage 1.500 V
Slot #2
Type DDR3
Size 4096 MBytes
Manufacturer G.Skill
Max Bandwidth PC3-10700 (667 MHz)
Part Number F3-10666CL9-4GBRL
SPD Ext. EPP
JEDEC #4
Frequency 685.7 MHz
CAS# Latency 9.0
RAS# To CAS# 9
RAS# Precharge 9
tRAS 25
tRC 34
Voltage 1.500 V
JEDEC #3
Frequency 609.5 MHz
CAS# Latency 8.0
RAS# To CAS# 8
RAS# Precharge 8
tRAS 22
tRC 30
Voltage 1.500 V
JEDEC #2
Frequency 533.3 MHz
CAS# Latency 7.0
RAS# To CAS# 7
RAS# Precharge 7
tRAS 20
tRC 27
Voltage 1.500 V
JEDEC #1
Frequency 457.1 MHz
CAS# Latency 6.0
RAS# To CAS# 6
RAS# Precharge 6
tRAS 17
tRC 23
Voltage 1.500 V
Slot #3
Type DDR3
Size 4096 MBytes
Manufacturer G.Skill
Max Bandwidth PC3-10700 (667 MHz)
Part Number F3-10666CL9-4GBRL
SPD Ext. EPP
JEDEC #4
Frequency 685.7 MHz
CAS# Latency 9.0
RAS# To CAS# 9
RAS# Precharge 9
tRAS 25
tRC 34
Voltage 1.500 V
JEDEC #3
Frequency 609.5 MHz
CAS# Latency 8.0
RAS# To CAS# 8
RAS# Precharge 8
tRAS 22
tRC 31
Voltage 1.500 V
JEDEC #2
Frequency 533.3 MHz
CAS# Latency 7.0
RAS# To CAS# 7
RAS# Precharge 7
tRAS 20
tRC 27
Voltage 1.500 V
JEDEC #1
Frequency 457.1 MHz
CAS# Latency 6.0
RAS# To CAS# 6
RAS# Precharge 6
tRAS 17
tRC 23
Voltage 1.500 V

Sorry for the long post but I figured it would be best to copy and paste all the details of my ram in case I missed something.
a b } Memory
June 24, 2011 3:47:16 PM

So, technically, your RAM is running at timings that are very slightly more aggressive than they are rated for. I kind of doubt that this is the problem but lets try to fix it anyway.

Go into your BIOS and find the RAM timings. Set them to:

CAS# Latency 9
RAS# To CAS# 9
RAS# Precharge 9
tRAS 25
tRC 34

You should only have to change the last two. The labels in BIOS might differ slightly but the order should be the same. You are going from 9-9-9-24-33 to 9-9-9-25-34. Give that a shot and report back.
June 24, 2011 7:56:44 PM

I went ahead and gave that a try, it didn't change anything for me. It was set on an auto detect overclock by my mobo.
a b } Memory
June 24, 2011 8:16:17 PM

Ok. Your RAM might not be getting quite enough voltage for some reason. Go into BIOS and manually set your RAM voltage to 1.5 V (this is according to your RAM's spec). If that doesn't help, try again but bump the voltage up by small increments - maybe 0.02 V - your BIOS may allow you to set a value or you may have to select one. Rinse and repeat until you see some improvement. If you get to 1.65 V and it's still not stable, then stop bumping the voltage.
June 27, 2011 2:02:52 AM

Ok I've tested that theory and this is what I got. At 1.52 i lasted maybe an hour before the blue screen. At 1.54 I got 2 hours. At 1.56 I got like 15 minutes. And at 1.58 I couldn't even get logged in without it crashing so at that point I stopped because it seemed like it was only gonna get worse. Also sorry I took so long getting back to you I missed the reply notification email. A thought did strike me though. would it be possible that the one gig of built in ram in each graphics card counts towards the total 16 gig capacity of my motherboard? It never occurred to me before because I figured it wouldn't since it wasn't actually my motherboard's ram but my graphics cards ram.

Best solution

a b } Memory
June 27, 2011 3:43:52 PM
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lurkingwolf said:
would it be possible that the one gig of built in ram in each graphics card counts towards the total 16 gig capacity of my motherboard?


Try backing down your voltage. I should have had you try this. Work your way down from 1.5.

Try underclocking your memory. Pick the next setting down from 1333 MHz. You shouldn't have to run it like that, but we're just trying to get it stable right now.

June 28, 2011 12:42:26 AM

Ok in my BIOS the lowest setting allowable was the 1.5v so I couldn't bring that down. I did underclock the memory one step to 1066 if I'm remembering it correct and its been running without a hitch for almost 12 hours straight now so I think that adjustment has made the system stable.
a b } Memory
June 28, 2011 7:56:20 PM

Cool! It's odd that the memory is unstable at its rated speed, though. It bothers me a little. :) 

You might download memtest86+ (you install it on a floppy or jump drive) and run it overnight just to make sure you don't have a bad stick of memory.
June 28, 2011 10:54:40 PM

Yea it bothers me too. Especially since the motherboard is supposed to be able to overclock any stick of 1333 to 1866 and yet I am having to underclock it to even get them running. Thanks for all the help. I'll try the memtest too. One last question though, since I'm being forced to run the four sticks at 1066 but can run the three sticks at 1333 and possibly 1866, whats gonna give me the most effective use of my ram? In other words whats better to have for a heavy gamer, the ram speed or the ram capacity?
June 28, 2011 10:55:00 PM

Best answer selected by lurkingwolf.
a b } Memory
June 29, 2011 6:22:47 PM

In your case, it's going to be speed. 16 GB is way more than you need for gaming. Even 8 is generally more than is necessary. Your best configuration might be 8 GB (two sticks) as fast as you can run it. The difference might be small, though. You can experiment with Furmark or some other benchmarking software. Keep in mind that small differences in benchmark scores (or even large ones!) might not actually translate into anything you'll notice in a game. You will, however, notice a BSOD. IMO, having a really stable system is preferable than having one that's slightly faster but BSODs occasionally.

If your system is stable very stable with 16 GB RAM@1066, you can try tightening the timings to 7-7-7-20. If that works well, you can try and switch your command rate to 1T. This will help offset having to run your RAM at a lower clock.
June 29, 2011 7:07:04 PM

Thanks you've helped so much I really appreciate it. I think I'm good to go now, I couldn't have done it without you. :D 
!