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ASUS P8Z68-V PRO doesn't accept any RAM after RMA

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October 30, 2011 12:45:01 AM

TL; DR and where I am now: The board refuses to boot up with either of the two different sets of dual-channel RAM. The DRAM LED lights up and that's as far as we get. Pressing MemOK! doesn't resolve the issue (it goes back to steady DRAM LED). Clearing RTL and trying various other RAM configurations (such as just one stick at a time) doesn't either. Would like some suggestions before I call ASUS again.

System specs:
  • Motherboard ASUS P8Z68-V PRO with latest BIOS (afaik) BIOS version 0606
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K
  • RAM: G.SKILL F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL AND Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 (Both are 2x8GB Dual Channel Kits. The GSKILL kit was purchased originally and worked before RMA. The Corsair kit was purchased the other day to see if RAM is the issue and it is on ASUS's QVL for this motherboard.)
  • PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W
  • SSD: Crucial M4 128GB SATA III
  • HDD: HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723020BLA642 2TB 7200 RPM
  • Cooler: Corsair Hydro H100
  • Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 650D

    Here is the full story:
    1. Purchased components listed above (minus Corsair RAM and cooler, which I got later). Only one stick of G.SKILL RAM worked, so I assumed the 2nd one needed to be fixed, so I RMA'd it.
    2. After the 2nd stick came back, I tried dual-channel on primary (blue) lanes. That didn't work, and nor did the other dual-channel. It only worked if I put the RAM in the first two slots (A1 and B1, black and blue). I was not OK with it, so I set to RMA the motherboard.
    3. Removing the CPU revealed bent CPU socket pins. (s#!t!) ASUS confirmed this and charged me money to fix the bent pins. The board came back and then NONE of my G.SKILL RAM would work. I have tried MemOK!, loading one stick at a time, putting them in different slots, clearing RTL, removing the battery, and combinations of these things.
    4. Went out to get the Corsair RAM to try with different memory off ASUS's QVL. This RAM did not work either, again stopping the system at the DRAM light.

    PS: I did remove the CPU after getting and trying Corsair RAM to check for bent pins again. They are fine.
    a b V Motherboard
    October 30, 2011 5:59:10 AM

    Yes but the RAM controller is on the CPU. I think it more likely that the CPU is at fault at this point, perhaps because of the bent pins.
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    October 30, 2011 1:45:08 PM

    Proximon said:
    Yes but the RAM controller is on the CPU. I think it more likely that the CPU is at fault at this point, perhaps because of the bent pins.

    That sounds plausible, but how does the motherboard determine if the RAM is OK or not? Does this involve communicating with the CPU against what is in the DRAM slots or does it have its own circuitry? The CPU functioned OK before I have gotten the motherboard fixed, only problems being the non standard configuration of RAM. Unless the bent pins have the ability to "reprogram"/fry the CPU, it should have been OK, right?

    Also, I can't think of a simple way I could test the CPU in another system, or my system with another CPU, unless someone has suggestions?
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    a b V Motherboard
    October 30, 2011 2:38:31 PM

    The cpu has an integrated memory controller, so obviously it involves communication between the cpu and ram....................................

    How could you possibly bend pins when installing the cpu, and not even know it?

    Sounds like you were not very carfeful when installing the components and you possibly have a damaged cpu now.
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    October 30, 2011 2:59:50 PM

    geekapproved said:
    The cpu has an integrated memory controller, so obviously it involves communication between the cpu and ram....................................

    How could you possibly bend pins when installing the cpu, and not even know it?

    Sounds like you were not very carfeful when installing the components and you possibly have a damaged cpu now.


    "The cpu has an integrated memory controller, so obviously it involves communication between the cpu and ram"
    1. I understand that the memory controller is integrated and all that jazz, what I would like to know is whether the motherboard turns on the DRAM light based on something it figures out or based on what the CPU tells it. That might help me pinpoint the issue. AFAIK, the board has its own circuitry for that.

    "How could you possibly bend pins when installing the cpu, and not even know it?"
    2. I had to correct this in my OP, but on the LGA1155 socket the pins are on the socket itself and not the CPU. The socket looks trippy when you look at it closely, as you can see here, so it is not immediately obvious that there is a bent pin. I am actually thinking that the motherboard was originally delivered damaged and I somehow did not notice the bent pins, not to mention the system worked to some capacity, so I didn't think much of it until later. That is how "you possibly bend pins when installing the cpu, and not even know it."

    "Sounds like you were not very carfeful when installing the components and you possibly have a damaged cpu now."
    3. The jury is still out on the CPU being damaged. I am yet to get any information that proves it to be so.
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    a b V Motherboard
    October 30, 2011 7:00:52 PM

    I think you need a functioning CPU to pass the DRAM test stage.

    Bent pins could cause electrical damage to the CPU, sending current to the wrong spot or sending the wrong current. This could involve damage over time.

    I don't know that the CPU is damaged, but as you say you are limited in ways to test the theory.
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    a b V Motherboard
    October 30, 2011 8:22:55 PM

    Just from reading this thread, I too am inclined to think that that there are bent pins on the CPU, or the CPU is damaged. Whether at fault of the OP or not, I cast my vote as well that there most likely lies the problem.
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    October 30, 2011 11:48:51 PM

    Alright, seeing as there is more leaning to the CPU, I will call Intel tomorrow and come back to this thread when the CPU goes through the process (hopefully).
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    November 2, 2011 4:54:54 AM

    I got the replacement CPU today. (Intel shipped it overnight, wow.) The system still doesn't work for the same reason. Time to call, ASUS, again, I suppose.
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    a b V Motherboard
    November 2, 2011 5:20:36 AM

    Yep. Well, the CPU might still have been damaged. Now you don't have to worry about it ;) 
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    November 2, 2011 5:28:28 AM

    I suppose I don't. I just hope I am not part of some sort of bad statistic where every new and replacement part I get is not functional.
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    November 6, 2011 12:11:46 AM

    ASUS is sending me a (new?) replacement board now, should be here next week, hopefully. For the record, their North America motherboard support has left me somewhat dissatisfied, almost to the point where I am likely to not go ASUS next time. I will try to remember to leave a message here in case there are further issues with the build, but for the record assuming it was a hardware issue.
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    November 22, 2011 4:07:42 PM

    I have this same issues on my ASUS P8Z68-V LX board with my new i5-2500k. My board will not post if the RAM is in dual channel mode. I can swap it to single channel with the same RAM and it works just fine. This is with 2x4GB of Patriot Viper Xtreme DDR3-1600 RAM.

    My issue is different though. My board HAS POSTED with this very same RAM and CPU in dual channel mode. I had originally installed the stock CPU cooler while waiting for a new retention bracket for my Cooler Master V8. After receiving it, I installed the new CPU cooler (I did not remove the CPU from the socket every while doing this, so bent pins cannot be the issue) and ever since the new cooler was installed I cannot boot in dual channel mode with my RAM. Pretty frustrating.

    I'm about to go exchange the motherboard at the store I purchased it from. Unfortunately I cannot exchange it for a different board, I have to get the same one. Hopefully it works...

    FWIW, I did the following to no avail:

    -Loosened CPU cooler thinking maybe it was on too tight and it was causing issues with the memory controller since the cooler was the only component that changed between the prior working setup
    -Changing timings on my RAM rather than running XMP profile
    -Swapped out to completely different RAM, used 2x2GB of OCZ Platinum DDR3-1600 RAM and still no dual channel boot
    -Changed between both A1/A2 and B1/B2 channels and neither would boot with either set of RAM
    -Called ASUS and they suggested to change RAM timings but otherwise exchange the board

    We'll see how today goes after I swap it out...the store is like 30 minutes away so I'm hoping an hour drive (plus exchange time) is the first and last trip I have to make for this.
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    November 22, 2011 9:03:16 PM

    Microcenter was out of the LX version, so I got the opportunity to change out for a different board completely. I went with a more expensive Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4 and it boots right up with dual channel DDR3-1600 recognized.

    I love ASUS, but ultimately decided to change brands after a poor experience with my last LX board, and their mid-$150 range boards lack the options this Gigabyte one has. Providing two 6.0Gbps ports is pretty lame, my RAID0 SSDs consume them both and I'd like one for my larger storage drive.
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    November 23, 2011 1:46:11 AM

    I have the Gen3 version of this board.
    Here are my specs.

    Intel i7 2600K @4.2 Ghz
    AsusP8Z68-V Pro/Gen3
    16GB Corsair Vengeance Blue 1600Mhz RAM @1.5v
    HAF X RC-942 black full sized tower
    Corsair HX1050
    Corsair H80 Liquid Cooler
    1x 240Gb OCZ Vertex 3 Sata 600
    1x 1TB WD Caviar Black WDFAEX1002
    LG SuperMulti Blue BH10LS30
    Scythe Kaze Master Pro fan control KM03-BK
    2x MSI n580GTX Lightning sli
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

    I haven't had any problems at all. So far, this is one of the best and easiest to use boards that I've owned.
    Also, the V Pro manual should show you how the cpu is correctly installed. So you can line it up properly, and more specifically so the pins don't end up bent. If it isn't explained, here are a few easy steps to follow to get you through it. Take care before touching anything, and ground yourself. Don't put any components on a rug, or cloth. Set them on the antistatic bag that they come with. Anyway, 1st, you unlock and open the metal bracket. 2nd, you remove the plastic cover inside the bracket. 3rd, you hold the CPU so the writing is facing you, the arrow on the corner edge should face the bottom left corner of the CPU, and the 2 indentations on the cpu should line up with the board at that point. They won't line up if the Cpu is in the wrong position. Those pins will bend, if you place it in any other position. Just be sure of the position before you attempt to place it. Also, don't touch the pins or the part of the CPU that connects to the pins with your hands. The slightest pressure against or static touching those areas can damage them. After being properly placed, you can carefully close and lock the bracket.
    Also, do your best not to touch the board capacitors. Try not to drop screws on the mainboard, or tighten the mainboard screws too much. As far as your cooler goes, there is a professional video on youtube that shows you how to correctly install the H80/H100 cooler. So, you don't damage any other components.
    Next.The RAM installation can be tricky sometimes. You should be using the 2nd slot from the left and the 4th slot. Open the lock, and carefully push the RAM into place. Take care that the RAM is not on an angle and that it is pushed firmly and evenly, but not roughly. If you try to rush it and press too hard, you will damage the RAM or the mainboard and possibly both. I only say this, because you already sent one mainboard back, and I'm sure you don't want to do it again. Here is one last note for the RAM installation. If you install 1600Mhz RAM you may need to manually change the memory settings in the advanced mode from auto to 1600Mhz@1.5v, because the default setting in auto is set to 1333Mhz@1.5v. Once you have the memory installed, working, and set properly, try not to change it again. You don't want to risk damaging them by taking them out and putting them back in multiple times.

    Anyway, after reading everything above, it is best that you sent the mainboard back, because you couldn't rule out any other damage to the mainboard at that point. Unless the RAM or the new CPU were damaged during installation on the last board, they should work, when the new board comes. Good luck with the new board.

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    January 31, 2012 10:35:17 PM

    I've got the same issue with my p8z68-m motherboard and i've found the solution with this thread Thx Guys !!

    There was a binded pin on the processor connector of the motherboard for no reason .. in the middle of nowhere :/  I've payed attention during the installation of the processor so I don't know if it was my fault or the motherboard was already in this state .. but with a little surgery everything is working fine now !! Thx all

    Dual channels ON !! :D 
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    a b V Motherboard
    January 31, 2012 11:23:36 PM

    The pins on modern Intel socket boards are very delicate. More so than past platforms. Utmost care is needed.
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    a b V Motherboard
    January 31, 2012 11:29:52 PM

    Best answer selected by Proximon.
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    a b V Motherboard
    January 31, 2012 11:30:04 PM

    This topic has been closed by Proximon
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