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Only half my ram is showing on new build

Last response: in Memory
February 6, 2013 5:58:30 PM

So I just built my first PC and powered it up today. I gotta say it's a pretty rewarding feeling and I'll never go back to pricey pre-built systems. Anyway after powering on and installing all the necessary drivers (as far as I know) I ran the evaluation to see what my Windows score was and got all 7.9 except the memory/ram. After checking I saw that only 8gb out of the 16 (2x8) I have installed is showing. My old PC only allowed a max of 8gb but would show all 16gb was there. The Biostar TA990fxe mobo I have accepts up to 32 gb so I'm not sure what's up. I'm assuming it is only reading one stick but I'm not sure if I missed something or what the cause is.

These are my Specs in case it makes a difference.

AMD FX-8350 Black Edition 8 Core CPU
Biostar TA990FXE
Power Color Radeon HD 7879 LE Myst Edition
16gb (2x8) Patriot 1600mhz
Corsair TX650w 80+Bronze Certified
1TB Western Digital Black Caviar HDD
NZXT Guardian 921RB Case

Also having a little blurriness on the edges of letters and such but I'll save that for a different time

More about : half ram showing build

a b } Memory
February 6, 2013 6:19:48 PM

Download and install CPU-Z. Click on the memory tab. Check to see if both sticks are being read.
February 6, 2013 6:31:26 PM

Ok so thats a relief it is showing 16384 MBytes so it is reading all 16gb but why in windows is it showing only 8? Maybe some settings I missed
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February 6, 2013 6:50:09 PM

Is there something in the BIOS I need to do so I can get access to all the ram
a b } Memory
February 6, 2013 6:59:25 PM

Did you do a clean reinstall of the OS or did you just swap the drive?
February 6, 2013 7:02:22 PM

A clean install
a b } Memory
February 6, 2013 7:06:30 PM

What version of windows are you running(win 7 pro x64 for example)?
a b } Memory
February 6, 2013 8:26:42 PM

Showing 8 gigs, must be x64 bit.

Have you verified that both sticks are good and both sockets are good.
ie try one stick at a time in on socket, the repeat with 2nd socket.

To test I'd boot to memtest 86 to verify both sticks/sockets are good.
Have to ask, are you using the correct (prefered) pair of sockets.

Added: Had this happen once and it turned out that I had NOT properly seated one stick. So Try remove/re-inserting.
February 6, 2013 8:29:56 PM

Someone ealerier asked...what verison of windows do you 7 home basic only supports 8, windows 7 home premium supports 16, Windows 7 professionl / ultimate support 192...

Windows 8 is 128 for the standard version and 512 GB for the profesional / enterprise.
a b } Memory
February 6, 2013 8:41:47 PM

^ Good catch on home basic, Forgot about that as not many use it, espeacially home DIYers
February 7, 2013 1:41:33 AM

I have window 7 home premium. I went and got CPU-Z as someone had recommended and it is showing 16gb. In BIOS it shows 8gb and in windows task manager it shows only 8gb. So I'm confused. It is performing great though and handling games like a champ so as long as i'm not damaging anything I can get by untill whats causing this is figured out. Just finished building it around 10 and fired it up about 8 hrs ago so might be something small I missed. Any suggestions?
a b } Memory
February 7, 2013 5:28:08 AM

Most likley that one of the sicks is loose, but odd that CPU-Z would show full amount.
I would try SIW for checking up on ram over CPU-Z, though im not sure if thier portable version is still available.
Only other thing to try, and it is a long shot, is run msconfig, "boot" tab, "advanced options, make sure maximum memory is unchecked.
Any other things i can think if are irrelevant on a new build...
a b } Memory
February 7, 2013 10:49:52 AM

Concur ith Possible seating proble (I also mentioned).
1st reseat ram modules, then
also try prime95 to see if also only sees 8 Gigs (or the full 16 Gigs) and see if you get memory errors.

In CPU-z, o the memory tab, does it also show daul channel or does it show single channel.

ADDED: also Monitor temps as prime 95 runs CPU at near 100% (Also a good check on +12V rail stability - should not drop more than 0.3 V and should be above 11.6 V
Link to Prime95:
February 7, 2013 5:19:28 PM

So I took one stick out and started the system and just got beeps but with the other stick it booted. Weird CPU-Z showed all 16 GB but I am guessing 1 stick is bad so I'm just going to purchase new memory. That was the only thing I used from my old system on my new build. So now I think I have that solved and I have a new question if it's not to much trouble.

Is 16gb overkill and does 1600 or 1866 make a big difference? I was thinking either 8gb or 16gb at 1600 or 1866. I have 4 RAM slots on my MOBO so is it better to get 8gb or 16gb in dual channel or get 4 sticks. This will be mostly a gaming rig but also some web browsing, Youtube and would like to start recording gameplay.
February 7, 2013 5:21:11 PM

Dont know if it will make a difference but my computer specs are in the first post
a b } Memory
February 7, 2013 5:33:42 PM

There really isn't a noticeable difference between 1600 and 1866, unless you're doing benchmark testing. Also, 8GB is plenty for any game. Using two slots or four slots doesn't make too much of a difference, either. Using four slots, though, often requires bumping up your RAM voltage to retain stability.

February 7, 2013 5:54:56 PM

I know there was quite a few questions in there but I think you answered them all. Thats what I had read before but just wanted to confirm. 8 gb 1600 it is.

On another side note I wanted to thank everyone who helped on this thread and all the others I had in the past week while ordering and during my first build. I wouldn't have even attempted to build a PC if not for everyone on this site. Toms Hardware is awesome!
a b } Memory
February 7, 2013 5:57:38 PM

Did you move the 2nd stick over to the first slot and retry. It could be a bad slot, or as I indicated a setting error.

>8 gigs is only need by some specialized programs (ie some photo editing programs can take advantage of all ram.
As stated above, diffenence in ram speed between 1600 and 1866 will normally only be found in benchmarks, NOT in day-2-day performance.

My preference would be to go with 2 sticks verses 4 sticks as this does leave open the possibility of increasing ram downstream.
February 7, 2013 6:28:00 PM

yes i tries the 1 stick in slot 1 and when powered on i got a continuous beep meaning there is a memory error. put the other stick in slot 1 and fired right up
a b } Memory
February 7, 2013 7:47:37 PM

Yep, souunds like time to RMA it.

Just a caution, Make sure you ground yourself to get rid of any charhe before even removing the new memory module from it's packaging.

It's winter time with LOW humidity and you can build up a charge and NEVER know it. Typically it takes >1KV charge to even feel it and Ram operates at only 1.5 V
a b } Memory
February 8, 2013 1:00:30 AM

Great article comparing frequencies here. Doubling frequency does 20-25% better in synthetic benchmarks, but in real world test there is no discernable difference.

With regards to adding new ram, the working 8 gb is plenty for normal use, you may want to add more if you are opening a huge amount of files at once (say for photoshop etc.) in which case you would ideally use another identical 8gb in the second chanel (same coloured slot as the first stick)
In theory 2 sticks are better, as dual channel doubles available speed from your ram, however 4 sticks (2 per channel) is pointless with regards to performance but would be slightly cheaper to buy if starting from scratch. As you already have a 8gb stick to start with the only reason you would want 4 sticks in the system is to max it out at its 32gb limit, but unless youre doing something crazy, like running a os from ram, you're really just showing off at this point.
February 9, 2013 1:52:07 AM

Haha I do like to be able to brag but i'm thinking 16gb 1600. The price difference is $20 from 8gb to 16gb so why not. Plus with my single stick of 8gb RAM my CPU monitor is showing up to 50% use on some moderate use so when I get on a graphicly intense game I would assume the ram is close to maxed out. Granted it is 1333
a b } Memory
February 9, 2013 4:54:29 AM

The speed of the ram won't affect what you can open before it gets maxed out, just how fast the same amount if data will fill it up.
Be aware that as long as the ddr3 1333 is in along with whatever else you buy the maximum speed for both sticks will be 1333, they cant be run at separate speeds. Certainly not a reason to discard the old one, just something to be aware of. Also its a possibility that two different speeds will not work dual channel. Again not i big issue, just something to be aware of. Both ram speed and dual channel have been shown to make little difference to real world usage speeds.