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AsRock 990FX Extreme4 won't run 32GB DDR3-1866 at more than 1600Mhz

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November 24, 2012 12:45:52 AM

Greetings Forums.

I have an ASRock 990FX Extreme 4 with Kingston Hyper-X Preditor DDR3-1866 RAM.

When I only have slots A1 and B1 filled, with two 8GB DDR3-1866 DIMMS respectively, it recognizes the correct speed of each dimm.

However, if I fill all four DIMM sockets with the same 8GB DIMMS, the speed is decremented to DDR3-1600.

I have flashed the UEFI to the 10/2/2012 build from ASRock's website and no changes were observed in this problem.

(However, I have this nifty new Astronomical photo in the background of UEFI, so I know it is the new ROM installed.)

The list of "tested ram" is a joke because they list stupid dimm sizes that would never be used, like 2GB blahblah, for 1866.

Any assistance is appreciated.

It is almost like this board is designed not to have access to 32GB of RAM at the native FX-8150 socket speeds of 1866, even though it is supposed to support 2166(OC) speeds and default to 1866 for FX series chipsets.

I have attempted to set the appropriate features within the UEFI interface, to no avail.

It just fails to reboot and then the UEFI defaults are restored and all four slots indicated 8192MB (DDR3-1600)

I am at a loss.

Any assistance is appreciated.

Specifications for build:( This is not a gaming rig. I use "gaming" overclocked machines to do desktop cloud and HPC research)

ASRock 990FX Extreme4 w/ P2.00 UEFI Bios installed
32GB DDR3-1866 Kingston HyperX Preditor (4x8GB)
Cooler Master Black Mistique case
FX-8150 3.6Ghz (standard air cooled)
NVidia 640 GPU
500GB 6.0 GB/s SATA HDD
a c 241 } Memory
November 24, 2012 2:31:06 PM

This is a common problem with all slots populated but in all reality there is not much of a performance difference, certainly not noticeable.
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November 24, 2012 6:43:13 PM

I appreciate the input, however, it is not really an option when you have purchases something like Dominator 2166 memory at something like $200/8GB DIMM and the only answer is that which has been posted.

If this is the case then why produce memory that is higher than standard speeds at all???

There must be a legitimate solution,

"Dealing with it" isn't an appropriate option for me, because I would have been even more super pissed if I had invested in the highest speed dominator memory and the board decides that it won't adhere to its own documentation when I go to use it.

This is a test rig, before I get into more "high-end" builds for my research purposes.

Also, if this is what happens then how the heck are any of these BS reviews even able to work out, when they build out full slots in their test rigs?

I also remembered this pseudo thing called *channel kits. I guess I have been using two "Dual-Channel" kits, instead of a single "Quad-channel" kit, which I am hoping is the reason for the discrepancies.

(The hope is that this board will act right when i have a Quad-Channel kit, where all four dimms have been tested to work together in the same build.)
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a c 241 } Memory
November 24, 2012 6:58:33 PM

marteswigg said:
I appreciate the input, however, it is not really an option when you have purchases something like Dominator 2166 memory at something like $200/8GB DIMM and the only answer is that which has been posted.

If this is the case then why produce memory that is higher than standard speeds at all???

There must be a legitimate solution,

"Dealing with it" isn't an appropriate option for me, because I would have been even more super pissed if I had invested in the highest speed dominator memory and the board decides that it won't adhere to its own documentation when I go to use it.

This is a test rig, before I get into more "high-end" builds for my research purposes.

Also, if this is what happens then how the heck are any of these BS reviews even able to work out, when they build out full slots in their test rigs?

I also remembered this pseudo thing called *channel kits. I guess I have been using two "Dual-Channel" kits, instead of a single "Quad-channel" kit, which I am hoping is the reason for the discrepancies.

(The hope is that this board will act right when i have a Quad-Channel kit, where all four dimms have been tested to work together in the same build.)

Most people use half their slots and many motherboard manufacturers state this limitation in their board specs. You are using a budget board with expensive memory, a higher quality board might solve the issue but in any case it takes a lot of tweaking. Quad channel or identical dual channel kits does not matter but command rate will especially if yours is set at 1 then relax it to 2 and you might have to relax timings on top of that.
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November 25, 2012 1:36:18 PM

Thanks so much for this verification of my assumptions about the level of this board.

I was in a rush and thought it said "Asus" on it, when in microcenter. I am going to get a CrossHair V and see what happens. However, in the mean time, I will just return this memory and put the old Vengence 8GB back in, so I can "use" the system for simple development work.
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December 1, 2012 8:18:19 PM

Your assumptions are wrong, this is not a budget board at all, it uses all solid state caps and has a good power plane. I have OC'd my 1100T 10hrs Prime stable to 4.2 Ghz and run it at 4.0 non stop with C1E enabled! The trick with any MB is trial and error! I am able to run all 4 dims at 1866 with 11-11-11-30 timings but after testing I found 1600 at 8-8-8-24 (it is actually at 1566 with 8-8-8-22) performs better in Windows and gaming.

AMD has a known IMC issue being slower than Intel's, but their not too worried about it as memory bandwidth is almost never a bottleneck. If you haven't returned it already don't bother, jut try upping the timings to 11-11-11-30 at 1866, and then compare that to 1600@8-8-8-24. I highly doubt you will get better memory performance from Asus, but if I am wrong please let me know your results.
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December 2, 2012 7:15:34 PM

I thinik you may have missed what my original issues was.

NO SETTING WILL ALLOW ALL 4 DIMMS to run at 1866. (The caps are not meant to indicate a rude response, however I am unable to wave my hands in frustration, in a forum post's body. )

There is no "timing" settup issue, or even the ability to muck around with such settings, because nothing produces a state which runs any of the dimms at 1866, unless only a single "dual-channel" setup is being used, and even then it won't let me change any of the timings to what they are supposed to be. (9-10-9-24) without producing an unstable system.

It will always take my settings and then fail, and then revert back to default settings. I am just talking about memory.

No other "OC" stuff is being done at all, and I am having trouble like this??? Just doesn't make any sense. This should just work without my having to muck around with anything.

What ram are you using which allows for all four dimms to be registered as 1866.

This is not going to be a major "OC" rig. I am not going to go and get any liquid cooling, etc.

I just want to be able to run the ram at the speeds for which I paid extra.

I am using Kingston HiperX Predator DDR3-1866 dimms.

What memory will work, if I am simply using the wrong memory, since it won't even let me change the settings so that option is out, or simply doesn't work from my experimentation.

I am running linux so the windows-centric speed indication may help me, but I really am not concerned since this is a small test rig for HPC not gaming.

Also, this is a budget board, from others on the internet, not my novice professional opinion. However, I am having trouble doing what the documentation says should just work, for an AM3+ processor, and it isn't doing what is documented to happen at all, so who is more close to being correct in this situation or assumption????

(It was only $144 bucks, in contrast to an Asus CrossHair which is close to $100 more, at $229, or even a Sabortooth which is $189)

Cheap stuff always works great when you don't have the money to do what the more expensive stuff can do.

However, when you do get to a level where you are able to play around in the larger area of expense, and you are still using that stuff that you could afford at the time, you start to see unstable behaviour...

Then you are sitting there wondering why stuff that should just work out of the box, doesn't.

This is what happens when you try to stop abruptly in an economy car like a Chevy Prism, on the highway at speed, and find that you are still about to hit the vehicle in front of you, because ABS was an "option" for whoever bought your used car when it was "new." People that can't afford a MB or whatever, will say, "hey it has four wheels and runs, blahblahblah" and that works until you need the features that non-economy products provide, such as standard ABS that will actually stop your car when driving over 55 mph in a high traffic situation.

That is how I feel about this supposed "OC-able" board that somehow can't manage to run memory at the advertised "AM3+" native memory speed without being a computer engineer working at ASRock, in Taiwan...

Bottom line, "I shouldn't have to tweak the board to get its advertised default functionality to do what the documentation says. That is a true sign of a 'budget' product."

That is the only reason why I am more likely to lump these boards in with the "budget" crowd, even aside from the fact that they are cheaper than the other competition.

Anyhow, thanks for the input, and if you post what specific memory you have, I will just go and get that and test it out. I already took the other memory back because there was no point in keeping it.
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December 2, 2012 11:19:09 PM

Ah, you my friend have sadly won the reverse lottery. I would try an RMA if you still want but I assure you that with the AMD IMC (integrated memory controller) 1600 @ 888-24 or 22 timings will give better results (than 1866 @11-11-11-30 with 1.6 or 1.65 on the V and 1.15-1.25 on the CPU NB) on even the higher end board. If you got 20-30 extra bucks go ahead and get the pricier board and give a try with both settings if they work. But I think you will find it is the IMC of the CPU that is the issue. I would actually like to be wrong because I have been buying AMD as sudo charity lately because I don't want them to go under; I would love it if AMD fixed the IMC! They need to go to 512 bit or something now already. I am just saying from about 2- 3 water cooled AMD rigs in the last 5 years, AMD IMC SUCKS compared to my Intel rigs I put together.

And like I said, if the higher end board pulls it off please let me know!
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December 2, 2012 11:24:41 PM

And I would never consider spending that much on an AMD board again- the CPU cannot really benefit!
I had a nice budget and under shot this time around to keep AMD afloat- GOT an AMD HD 7970 and CPU-but the old 1100t cause the DP is what counts to me.
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December 2, 2012 11:49:46 PM

Oh man I forgot the most important part- I know you don't want to OC but if you don't mind giving it a try start at 1600 and up the NB/HT link (I found that keeping them at the same speed helps. For instance, on mine I have it at 2520 MHZ which is a bus speed of 230. I have built an FX based system lately and was not impressed but the customer was happy. It has 32 GB at 1866 with an Asrock. Just FYI. I had that rig (FX8150) for a week to play with. Same GPU, 7970- no difference. I use Gskill in both rigs.
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December 3, 2012 1:35:27 AM

Sorry man, but I am still not finding what memory you used which ran at 1866 on the FX build you referenced.

I didn't see that you listed "G-Skill" on your post last night, 12-2-2012, however, my inquiry still needs a bit of a more specific answer.

I am looking at only CAL-9 memory and there are still three choices on NewEgg.

You are referencing really high-latency, i.e. timing numbers of 11-10-11...., so did you buy high latency memory? (above 9)

I am looking at memory that is 9-10-9-28 down to 9-9-9-24, and I want the 9-9-9-24 because it is obviously the lowest latency and timing.

Given the higher latencies that you listed previously, it makes me wonder if you purchases a different memory set than the 4-channel kit(s) that I am looking at. (G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C9Q-32GZH)

I also noticed that the ram that I have since returned was PC3-15000 and not PC3-149000, so do you think that this slight difference had anything to do with the memory not being recognized automatically in the four-channel configuration? (Again, I don't see why, since the board is said to be able to run memory at 2166Mhz....)

Thanks again for the input.
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Best solution

January 17, 2013 9:43:35 AM
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January 19, 2013 2:06:50 AM

Good greef where the heck was this link when I was troving through google?

Thanks so much.

That explains exactly what I was suspecting about this setup.

Thanks so much.

I think your input can allow me to post this as solved.



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January 19, 2013 2:08:51 AM

Best answer selected by marteswigg.
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June 18, 2013 4:05:04 PM

marteswigg said:
Greetings Forums.

I have an ASRock 990FX Extreme 4 with Kingston Hyper-X Preditor DDR3-1866 RAM.

When I only have slots A1 and B1 filled, with two 8GB DDR3-1866 DIMMS respectively, it recognizes the correct speed of each dimm.

However, if I fill all four DIMM sockets with the same 8GB DIMMS, the speed is decremented to DDR3-1600.

I have flashed the UEFI to the 10/2/2012 build from ASRock's website and no changes were observed in this problem.

(However, I have this nifty new Astronomical photo in the background of UEFI, so I know it is the new ROM installed.)

The list of "tested ram" is a joke because they list stupid dimm sizes that would never be used, like 2GB blahblah, for 1866.

Any assistance is appreciated.

It is almost like this board is designed not to have access to 32GB of RAM at the native FX-8150 socket speeds of 1866, even though it is supposed to support 2166(OC) speeds and default to 1866 for FX series chipsets.

I have attempted to set the appropriate features within the UEFI interface, to no avail.

It just fails to reboot and then the UEFI defaults are restored and all four slots indicated 8192MB (DDR3-1600)

I am at a loss.

Any assistance is appreciated.

Specifications for build:( This is not a gaming rig. I use "gaming" overclocked machines to do desktop cloud and HPC research)

ASRock 990FX Extreme4 w/ P2.00 UEFI Bios installed
32GB DDR3-1866 Kingston HyperX Preditor (4x8GB)
Cooler Master Black Mistique case
FX-8150 3.6Ghz (standard air cooled)
NVidia 640 GPU
500GB 6.0 GB/s SATA HDD


Hi marteswigg,
Per Kingston today, their correct ram for the AsRock 990FX Extreme4 board is (Newegg price today):
"($116.99) Kingston 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model KVR16N11K2/16 "
Like you, I needed two of these "kits" (for a total of 32GB) for VM work.
Not very pretty looking, but yes, they are Single Rank sticks :-)

I'm anxious to see how they "Rock" with the AMD FX-8350 (4GHz, 8core), SAMSUNG 840 SSD (for OS), and three Seagate ST1000DM003's (for VMs) I bundled them with.

Special thanks also to PremKumarU for that excellent link above to AMD's "DDR3 Memory Frequency Guide". I've been trying to get a straight answer on that topic for years. Like I say, "You can teach an old dog new tricks."

Arf Arf ,
Brcobrem

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a c 1942 } Memory
June 18, 2013 4:15:30 PM

And an additional few tidbits on that 'guide', as to the FX CPUs....the 1866 at 1 DIMM PER CHANNEL is a result of testing with 4 GB sticks, most assume that 8 GB sticks are included, another is that the 1866 really only pertains to their top 2 FXs, the 8350 and the 8150, some 8120 and 8320s can run 1866, but below that you have to hope you got a 6100 or whatever with a strong MC (memory controller)....I got involved in this (and have kept the emails with AMD), when they first brought the 8150 out they advertised it as native 1866, implying 4 sticks of 1866, when originally it was to have run slower to be with 1333 (it's real native freq) and they raised the multiplier, basically overclocked them so they could touch 1866 in an effort to 1 up Intel, sadly there's been no improvement in the MC (well very little) since the 8150
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November 13, 2013 4:40:30 PM

My friend, I am afraid you have been very busy and gone in great pains (flashing BIOS etc) because you don't spend much time reading.
Your "problem" doesn't come from the motherboard. Not even from the memory.
It comes from the CPU itself.
It only supports 1866 speed if you use two modules ONLY.
With 4 modules it reverts automatically to 1600 speed.
It's simple as that!
The only way to get 1866 is to manually raise the FSB to 233 and lower the multiplier to 8.
That should do the job.
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a c 1942 } Memory
November 13, 2013 4:53:00 PM

If only it were that simple ;) 
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