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Unmatched RAM set giving me trouble

Last response: in Memory
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April 4, 2012 12:28:09 PM

I have been banging my head against a wall for a long long time with my build and finally I believe I have the cause of my crashes narrowed down to memory.

I have four sticks of RAM. Two I bought with my build and since the beginning I've had these crashes. After a while a friend upgraded and gave me two more sticks. The crashes continued after adding two more, but didn't get worse (and didn't get any better either).

The original two sticks are ADATA brand and say this on the sticker:
"DDR3 1600G CL 9-9-9-24" and on the back "AX3U1600GB2G9-2G 10240373"

The two additional sticks are Corsair XMS3's
"CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 1600MHz 4GB (2x2GB) 9-9-9-24 ver 2.3"

Now, under stress testing using Prime 95, the four of them together freeze my system, same as the system crashes I get during games and other programs, which is a frozen screen and sound looped requiring hard reboot. This was also true when it was just the two ADATA's.

However recently, thanks to this awesome community, I learned that this problem might be memory related and I took out all sticks but one and stress tested each one individually, all in the same slot on the mobo. Only one froze my system (strangely one of the Corsairs).

My queston is: is this stick inherently faulty beyond remedy? Throw it in the trash? Or can I manually set voltages, speeds, etc. to get the set to work together.

If so, how?

If not, can the three work together, or even two of the three? Do I have to change settings for this to happen? (remember that the problems occurred before I even got the Corsair sticks)

Thanks for reading the long post and please help if you can.
April 4, 2012 12:40:59 PM

Oh and a somewhat related question: my mobo has two RAM slots that are blue and two that are black. Doesn't seem to matter where I put the sticks they behave the same either way. What's the deal, just for looks or something I don't know?
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April 4, 2012 1:38:51 PM

You should have the two pairs in corresponding colored slots. ADATA in one color, Corsair in the other color since they are different pairs.
If the problem was pre-existing I would guess the ADATA were the cause if the problem is coming from the ram that is.
You should try installing the Corsairs only and letting the pc run for a few hours, to see how it goes. If the pc keeps crashing then you will know that the problem is not coming from your ram.
I have 4x2GB Corsair XMS 1600 myself, two bought with the build and two a couple of years later. I have never had any problems with them at all even though the version numbers are different.
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April 4, 2012 1:56:43 PM

Yes I figured as much with the 4 installed, two matching in black and two matching in blue. I guess I was wondering if I only have two does it matter which I put them in, blue or black. I assume it doesn't but the reason I ask is when I was testing each stick individually just now and the 1 Corsair stick gave me a crash, I put it in a different colored slot (all by itself) and no crash. All the rest of them gave me no crash either way. Strange, maybe just random chance.

I am currently testing with just the Corsairs installed. So far no crashing. Crossing my fingers that it stays that way. If the problem is with the ADATA's, is there a remedy or should I just replace them/stick with 4GB?
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a c 347 } Memory
April 4, 2012 2:18:35 PM

First, you'll never catch me recommending any mix-matching especially IC's.

Assuming both kits ; look at the CPU-z 'SPD' tab to verify
DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24-2T @ 1.65v Corsair
DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24-2T @ 1.65v ADATA
========================
DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24-2T @ 1.65v

Next, keep the Corsair and ADATA in their own colored DIMM slots. Finally, set the Frequency, CAS, and Voltage manually and if needed +0.10v~+0.20v to the CPU's IMC voltage (QPI/VTT/VCCIO).

Q - What MOBO?
Q - What BIOS version
Q - What CPU?
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April 4, 2012 2:30:40 PM

Actually I was noticing this in the cpu-z SPD tab:

both kinds are 9-9-9-24 but only the Corsairs say 2T under command rate. Incompatible?
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a c 347 } Memory
April 4, 2012 2:34:12 PM

Most all DDR3-1600 have a Command Rate of '2T' aka '2' aka '2N'.

Again, if you want to possibly solve the problem:
Q - What MOBO?
Q - What BIOS version
Q - What CPU?
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April 4, 2012 2:39:32 PM

The ADATA command rate is blank in CPU-z.

MS-5799 mobo
BIOS 10.8
AMD Athlon II quad
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a c 347 } Memory
April 4, 2012 2:54:06 PM

Okay, it's really not a good idea to run the RAM faster than DDR3-1333. The 'problem' is pre-FX AMD's have weak IMC's. Running DDR3-1600 even on any Phenom requires either a FSB (CPU Host/Bus Frequency) set to 240MHz <or> CPU-NB Frequency set to 2400MHz to remain stable.

Since I don't feel like trying to figure-out what MSI is MS-5799 please provide a link to the actual MOBO.
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April 4, 2012 4:12:22 PM

I know this is going to bug the heck out of everyone but it seems like all I needed to do was to remove all the RAM and replace each one by one. I am now back up to 8GB with all four sticks and the stress tests are running without issue, and to confirm I have run iTunes and a graphics-intensive game at the same time for the past hour and a half, which would always have resulted in a crash by now. I don't understand it but it seems to have worked. I'll start a new thread if crashes continue in the future.
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a c 347 } Memory
April 4, 2012 4:19:35 PM

Each set needs to be in it's own color DIMM slots and properly seated. So I can assume that the RAM is not running at its' Rated Frequency and instead @ DDR3-1333.
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April 4, 2012 4:25:19 PM

Each pair is dual-channeled according to the mobo's colored DIMM slots. I don't know if I'm finding this in the right spot but in cpu-z it seems that each stick is running at 667 MHz, much lower than both the rated requency and 1333.
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a c 347 } Memory
April 4, 2012 6:33:13 PM

REF:
MSI 870-G45 - http://www.msi.com/product/mb/870-G45.html

Keep in mind Frequency is half the equation. There's little difference between DDR3-1333 CAS 8 and DDR3-1600.

IF you want I can take the time to post a How to OC for your RAM to run at DDR3-1600,but it requires one of the (2) OC methods I placed above. I generally go for the FSB OC approach.
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April 5, 2012 5:06:05 AM

jaquith said:
REF:

IF you want I can take the time to post a How to OC for your RAM to run at DDR3-1600,but it requires one of the (2) OC methods I placed above. I generally go for the FSB OC approach.


I'd be interested in learning how if you don't mind :D 
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a c 347 } Memory
April 5, 2012 2:33:02 PM

Duh, I was looking at your manual and your MOBO had dip-switches and BIOS that appears to allows the same. Therefore, this is a BIOS tweak and if it fails then maybe the dip-switch approach might be required.

Math:
note: there are several possible "AMD Athlon II" models so you'll need to adjust the following calculation:
Example 2.60GHz (2600MHz)
2600MHz / 200MHz (FSB) = 13
2600MHz / 240MHz (FSB) = 10.83 ; closest rounding = 11
____MHZ / 240MHz (FSB) = X.xxx ; closest rounding = Y to be used with the closet value per 'Adjust CPU Ratio'

RAM:
DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24-2T @ 1.65v

BIOS:
Adjust CPU FSB Frequency (MHz) -> 200MHz
Adjust CPU Ratio -> 11
FSB/DRAM Ratio -> 3:8 (assuming I did my math correctly) 240:800 = 3:8
Verify, the goal is to get '1600': //Adjusted DRAM Frequency (MHz) = 1600 (approximately)//
Memory-Z / Advanced Memory Settings
tCL -> 9
tRCD -> 9
tRP -> 9
tRAS -> 24
1T/2T Timing -> 2T

CPU-NB Voltage -> 1.20v
DRAM Voltage -> 1.65v

Save & Exit = Yes
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April 6, 2012 12:04:44 AM

This is super helpful! I have never tweaked my BIOS because I'd hate to get something wrong, but you also showed me in a different thread how to clear my CMOS. You've got an answer for everything, I really appreciate the help. I'll post if I have trouble with the BIOS tweak. Thanks again :) 
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