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Bad RAM or Bad Motherboard

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January 19, 2013 5:53:57 PM

I have just purchased some new components for my computer:

CPU: Intel core i7 3770k
MOBO: ASRock Extreme 6/TB4
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP 1600 16GB (4x4GB)

Older components include:

PSU: Corsair 650W
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7500 320GB
GPU: GeForce GTX 560ti

Now, I have a fresh install of Windows 7 64 with all the latest drives on everything imaginable, including the latest BIOS. The system still runs stupidly slow. It takes extremely long to boot and is sluggish with everything I try to do with it. Even though it has never crashed or BSOD'd on me, I thought the next step was to test the RAM.

Bring on memtest86. With all 4 sticks in, I get errors. (At least I've sort of narrowed down my problem now.) I go ahead and test each stick separately and receive errors on each individual stick. I then try a different slot interchanging each stick, and again I receive errors on each stick.

Now, I know it is entirely possible to have bad sticks, but a full batch? I am now beginning to wonder if the motherboard is to blame, or even worse the memory controller on the CPU.

Since I don't have anybody close to me with nice desktops to cross test components, I guess my main question is: Is there any way to determine which piece of hardware is at fault? Or am I better off just RMA'ing everything? Or am I thinking way too in depth about the situation?

FYI: I am using the xmp profile set for the memory, which correctly matches its factory settings. The RAM is also compatible with the motherboard, according to ASRock's website. The system shows all 16GB installed and it received a 7.8 on the windows scoring system (haha, for whatever that's worth).

I hope I covered everything, but I'm sure I missed something! Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance for anyone able to shed some light on the situation.
January 20, 2013 1:21:23 AM

cin19 said:
Do you check the HDD (320GB) using the "SeaTools for Windows"? Because if PC runs slow HDD can be the problem too.

SeaTools for Windows http://www.seagate.com/as/en/support/downloads/


I have already checked as I thought that was the original problem. It tested fine then. Just testing it now has lead to a different story, however. It failed the short DST test. Hmm time to try another drive.

But what about the memory inconsistencies I am seeing in memtest86? That should have nothing to do with the hard drive..
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January 20, 2013 4:06:12 AM

Just did a long and short test on the drive using SeaTools for DOS and the drive passed both. Now I did have to change the controller to IDE (normally AHCI) for SeaTools to view the drive.

I don't think that would change the errors SeaTools found earlier. I still think it has something to do with the RAM.

Edit: The first test I am referring to is the one I ran in Windows (not in DOS).
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January 20, 2013 4:20:08 AM

Having all 4 sticks of your RAM turn out bad is very unlikely. Memtest86+ is a very good tool to find errors in your RAM, it doesn't necessarily mean the RAM is bad but may be unstable, It doesn't hurt to try and increase your Ram voltage by 0.05V to something along the lines of 1.55V if your system is having a hard time getting the RAM stable. Some situations the 1.5V settings doesn't actually run at 1.5V and may be 1.45 but this is dependent on the motherboard and how sensitive the RAM actually is.
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January 26, 2013 11:45:31 PM

ZeroWhite said:
Having all 4 sticks of your RAM turn out bad is very unlikely. Memtest86+ is a very good tool to find errors in your RAM, it doesn't necessarily mean the RAM is bad but may be unstable, It doesn't hurt to try and increase your Ram voltage by 0.05V to something along the lines of 1.55V if your system is having a hard time getting the RAM stable. Some situations the 1.5V settings doesn't actually run at 1.5V and may be 1.45 but this is dependent on the motherboard and how sensitive the RAM actually is.


Thanks for the input. I have tried raising the voltage and still sluggish. I even tried under clocking the RAM to no avail.

As of now I have sent my components back and expect replacements within the week. I will also be getting a new PSU just to level the playing field as my original PSU is quite old.

I'll update again when I get things working!

Thanks again.
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a b } Memory
January 28, 2013 6:44:06 AM

Try avoiding memory of such low quality.
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February 6, 2013 2:53:50 AM

Well, I decided to RMA everything and I have just put the PC back together now. It works flawlessly. So there was something wrong with the new parts. I am assuming it was the RAM, but it really could have been anything.

Just wanted to say thanks for the few who provided feedback.

Feel free to close this thread.
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February 6, 2013 2:56:30 AM

Best answer selected by The Bomb.
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