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Intel CPU RMA and RAM speeds

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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 17, 2012 6:30:59 PM

I've just completed the first step of an RMA of my i7-2600K. It's been a long troubleshooting process, and I actually think the Asus P8P67 Pro died and took out the processor as it went.

I wanted to pass along a few things I have learned along the way, one of them very important to everyone here.

1. Intel does not ask you if you overclocked your K series processor. They DO ask if you overclocked the memory! Intel processors are designed to operate the memory at 1066MHZ or 1333MHZ ONLY. The minute you run that memory at anything higher, you void the warranty.
Since this is the official stance from Intel, it would be prudent to let people know up front when you recommend higher clocked memory what the rules are. Most or all memory will default to 1333MHZ initially for this reason.
We all know that memory speeds play a very tiny role in overall performance anyway. Those who feel compelled to complete honesty in any future RMA process would be well advised to refrain from higher memory clocks.

2. Intel wants complete troubleshooting steps. If you are sending them a CPU they expect that you have proven that the CPU is defective. In my case that meant either paying a shop or buying another CPU. I bought an i3-2120 so that I could swap it out and prove that the i7 was indeed fried.

3. Do not throw away your stock fan. They want it back, and will ask for the numbers off of it.
January 17, 2012 6:35:42 PM

Thanks for this advice, i just ordered my SB system about an hour ago.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 17, 2012 7:03:18 PM

Yes, thanks Proximon. This is good info to have. So it looks like the board took out your processor, eh? That's an expensive accident. bummer.
Related resources
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 17, 2012 7:32:29 PM

The board was RMA'd first :)  Asus took my money for a 2-day delivery of a new board, and then shipped it ground anyway..... Grrrrrrrrr. Their solution to that theft is to extend my 3-year warranty by 3 months, not to refund my $20.
My system went down Dec 25th and it was Jan 10 when the replacement board arrived.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 17, 2012 7:41:06 PM

Proximon said:
The board was RMA'd first :)  Asus took my money for a 2-day delivery of a new board, and then shipped it ground anyway..... Grrrrrrrrr. Their solution to that theft is to extend my 3-year warranty by 3 months, not to refund my $20.
My system went down Dec 25th and it was Jan 10 when the replacement board arrived.


OH man! :o 

I've had my issues with them. I had a crosshair 1 board they refused to do an RMA on, even though it never worked properly from day one. Worst $240 I ever spent, but this is when I discovered what horrible customer service they had. Hence they do not get any of my hard earned cash now.
January 17, 2012 8:07:42 PM

These days it's SOP to make people jump through as many hoops as possible to obtain warranty service or even to get a rebate. Companies look for any reason to void warranties. I'm no Intel fanboy but they aren't alone.
a c 82 B Homebuilt system
a c 150 } Memory
a b å Intel
January 17, 2012 8:24:13 PM

Good to know that about the RAM speed. You really should include that in a sticky. I have not seen that listed anywhere before and that includes the 8 or 10 review sites that show DDR3 1600 cas 9 as the optimal memory for Sandy Bridge.

Just curious but what errors were you having with your CPU? I have been trying to help a guy on the forums for about 2 weeks with a 2600K that might be bad. He is on his second Asus P8-Z68 Pro and still can not boot.

Long thread but here is the link.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/323126-28-2600k-pinni...
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 17, 2012 11:20:32 PM

I'll work on including that in my guide, and spread the word a bit more :) 
January 18, 2012 12:22:53 AM

didn't know after you run higher then 1333mhz you void your warranty that sucks...wait where you over clocking because you said after 1333mhz you voided your warranty so did you get the RMA? Even though this incident happened it doesn't changed my mind about Intel beside the fact that it's pretty dumb they don't not to tell people that after 1333mhz they void your warranty, etc. I'm still purchasing my processor from them just not over clocking, not because of what you said but because I don't feel it's necessary. Thanks for the info too. :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 18, 2012 12:36:59 AM

I remember the olden days (my 3500+) where your warranty was void if you didn't use the included HSF. Any aftermarket HSF would void your warranty. Not sure they still follow that or not.

Would like to point out that you shouldn't OC out of the box. You should always run stock for a couple of weeks to make sure you don't have any flaky parts. Get to know your rig before you start pushing it.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
a b å Intel
January 18, 2012 1:34:58 AM

Had not heard about the 1333 limitation, Was aware that there was a possibility of problems if the Ram was 1.65 V, (which most older 1600 modules were). The Intel spec on Ram Voltage for SB is 1.5V ± 5% (max Vdimm = 1.575V.

When SB first came out, a good % of DDR3-1600 (espeacially CL 7 and 8) was 1.65 Volt (ripjaws CL 7 were 1.60 V)
January 18, 2012 1:42:53 AM

Just one more reason to stick with the team AMD. :p  Most games still work fine on an AMD chip, even if they aren't quite as fast.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
a b å Intel
January 18, 2012 2:25:37 AM

There are just as many problems with AMD builds.

I suspect that what Intel is objecting to is not the speed of the RAM, but the greater than 1.5 volts.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 18, 2012 5:29:56 AM

It's what the tech told me, but I have read it in other places also.

On this page:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-co...
Click on the "product and performance information" at the bottom of the page to expand it... and you will get this.

Quote:

1. Warning: Altering clock frequency and/or voltage may: (i) reduce system stability and useful life of the system, processor, and other system components; (ii) cause the processor and other system components to fail; (iii) cause reductions in system performance; (iv) cause additional heat or other damage; and (v) affect system data integrity. Intel has not tested, and does not warranty, the operation of the processor beyond its specifications. Intel has not tested, and does not warranty, the operation of other system components beyond their industry standard specifications. Intel assumes no responsibility that the processor and other system components, including if used with altered clock frequencies and/or voltages, will be fit for any particular purpose.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 18, 2012 5:50:51 AM

I will keep recommending 1600MHz RAM , because if you run it at 1333 MHz you may well be able to tighten the timings

But this information does seem to suggest that Intel regard the memory controller to be a potential weakness .
Proximon did they ask you the VOLTAGE of the RAM you used ? Or even just the model numbers ?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 18, 2012 6:12:01 AM

Both. Model number was asked first, then he commented that it was a good thing the G.skill Sniper set I use runs at 1.5V, then he asked if it was overclocked, and stated clearly that any frequency other than the specified 1066 or 1333 voids the warranty.

The actual warranty refers to exceeding specified limits (my paraphrase). The only specified limits I have found so far ALSO specify TIMINGS:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/core/...
So apparently 1333 CL9 is as fast as allowed.

I don't plan on changing recommendations either. I just want people to be aware of a potential RMA pitfall.

It would be great to get an actual Intel rep to comment on this.... hey wait a minute, there's one of those lurking around here somewhere. What's his name again? Anyone remember? I'll shoot him a PM.

Aha, here we go:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/311050-28-what-gaming

a b } Memory
a b å Intel
January 18, 2012 9:37:02 AM

waitaminute..
Quote:
Intel assumes no responsibility that the processor and other system components, including if used with altered clock frequencies and/or voltages, will be fit for any particular purpose.

does this mean that the cpu would be inelligible for rma if even the igpu or gfx card's voltages/frequencies are changed?
what will happen if one uses a factory overclocked gfx card?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 18, 2012 9:49:22 AM

That line is more about them not making any claims... for instance they might sell a CPU with a low TDP, but that does not mean they are promising it won't raise the temp in the closet where you keep it.

You can't return a CPU just because it doesn't run Civ V the way you were expecting.
a b å Intel
January 18, 2012 2:04:25 PM

I am sorry that I missed out on commenting on this thread yesterday. Now since I am not an engineer I can only pass along what they have told me.
Since the release of the 1st generation Intel® Core™ processors where we moved the memory controller on to the processor; finding memory that is supported has become more important than ever. While I haven’t seen or heard from anyone who damaged their processor by using some DDR 3 1600 I have heard from a number of people who have damaged their processor by using memory that had a higher rated voltage then the 1.5v ±5% (so 1.425v to 1.575v). When I asked about this I was told that it is pushing the voltage tolerances on the processor.

Here are the listed memory specs for the 2nd generation Intel Core processors in socket H2 or 1155. On page 11 of the data sheet http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/core/...

System Memory Support• Two channels of unbuffered DDR3 memory with a maximum of two UDIMMs or SO-DIMMs (for AIO) per channel • Single-channel and dual-channel memory organization modes• Data burst length of eight for all memory organization modes• Memory DDR3 data transfer rates of 1066 MT/s and 1333 MT/s • 64-bit wide channels• DDR3 I/O Voltage of 1.5 V• The type of memory supported by the processor is dependent on the PCH SKU in the target platform— Desktop PCH platforms support non-ECC un-buffered DIMMs only— All In One platforms (AIO) support SO-DIMMs• Maximum memory bandwidth of 10.6 GB/s in single-channel mode or 21 GB/s in dual-channel mode assuming DDR3 1333 MT/s• 1Gb, 2Gb, and 4Gb DDR3 DRAM technologies are supported— Using 4Gb device technologies, the largest memory capacity possible is 32 GB, assuming Dual Channel Mode with four x8 dual ranked unbuffered DIMM memory configuration.• Up to 64 simultaneous open pages, 32 per channel (assuming 8 ranks of 8 bank devices) •Command launch modes of 1n/2n• On-Die Termination (ODT)• Asynchronous ODT• Intel® Fast Memory Access (Intel® FMA)— Just-in-Time Command Scheduling— Command Overlap— Out-of-Order Scheduling

Now since most “6” series chipset based boards will default to a 1.5v memory profile and a speed of 1066 or 1333 in order to run any faster you need to manually change it in order to reach the higher speeds. Since this issue first came to my attention about a year ago I have been actively trying to make sure the word gets out on the on supported memory.

In the years since I got in computers I have never had to return a processor. So I am going to check to see if I can go through the process so that I might be better informed about what you. So if you are going to be calling our technical support on a processor, please make sure that your system is using memory that is within the supported specs so they able to process your RMA.


Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 18, 2012 7:07:43 PM

Thanks, so there really does seem to be a 1333 MT/s CL9 limitation to operating specs.

I also have the impression that this is asked consistently. It's not just one support staff enforcing a rule that is mostly ignored by other support staff.

It's much like any law on the books, just because it's a law does not mean the police choose to enforce it. So, that's why the concern here. The enthusiast community needs to be aware of exact risks. Risks to the CPU directly, and risks to the RMA process.

I'm changing the name of this thread so that it reaches more people who need it. Others are looking into this also so hopefully we'll have more certainty on risks to the CPU.
a b å Intel
January 18, 2012 8:05:12 PM

Well I just received word on a new program that we are offering. The Intel Performance Tuning Protection Plan is being made available from http://click.intel.com/tuningplan/

So in this case if you had this Performance Turning Protection Plan no matter what you do on voltage, RAM. etc. you are covered. I had not heard of anything on this until I found it listed on another site.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 18, 2012 8:13:06 PM

That's a deal for sure. And it makes a lot of sense for Intel to do this. Thanks!
January 18, 2012 8:35:26 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
Well I just received word on a new program that we are offering. The Intel Performance Tuning Protection Plan is being made available from http://click.intel.com/tuningplan/

So in this case if you had this Performance Turning Protection Plan no matter what you do on voltage, RAM. etc. you are covered. I had not heard of anything on this until I found it listed on another site.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team

That's a pretty awesome deal, def gonna spend the 20 bucks there.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
a b å Intel
January 18, 2012 8:53:24 PM

3rd, 4th ....10th that, since my Ram is a cary over from my I5-750 16 gigs DDR3-1600 Cl7 @ 1.60 V
Great find/post IntelEnthusiast
a c 82 B Homebuilt system
a c 150 } Memory
a b å Intel
January 18, 2012 10:38:25 PM

I agree that is a great find. I also have 1.6v DDR3 1600 cas 7.

Personally, I think that this should be included in the price of a "K" processor. I mean that is the whole point of buying an unlocked model. Oh well, I'm not going to complain too much. Not having to worry about frying a chip is a pretty sweet deal for $25.
January 19, 2012 12:20:48 AM

I just RMA'd my CPU yesterday. I have a thread in homebuilt that explains it all...but basically it looks like my PSU died and took the motherboard and cpu with it. (Seasonic Motherboard). I was notified that RAM needs to be at 1.5 v and they asked about the model number. No specifics about RAM clocking though (it was 1600).

I just had to return the CPU though. The email confirmation said it wanted me to keep accessories and ship only the part specified, the CPU.

This was done through the Livechat system. It was quick and fairly painless.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 19, 2012 4:29:37 AM

So RAM frequency checking is not completely uniform.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
a b å Intel
January 19, 2012 6:40:14 AM

This needs to be a sticky. I'm just not sure where we would put it.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 19, 2012 9:03:56 AM

We can condense the data and link it prominently from other stickies.
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 146 } Memory
January 19, 2012 5:08:40 PM

It looks like Intel read your RMA experience and decided to roll out Plan Just for Overclockers : )

The Performance Tuning Protection Plan covers the following CPUs:

Core i5-2500K - $20
Core i7-2600K - $25
Core i7-2700K - $25
Core i7-3930K - $35
Core i7-3960X - $35


--
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-Overclocking-Pro...
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 19, 2012 9:18:00 PM

If you scroll up you'll see we talked about that :)  But thanks for pasting it, others that read the thread might miss it.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 19, 2012 9:46:07 PM

I actually don't see what DRAM voltage has to do with it. It's clear it does, but the power to the IMC, the part that is apparently vulnerable is called, I think, VCCIO.

So, if VCCIO is left as auto, which would be the default setting on all boards, and the DRAM frequency was increased beyond spec, wouldn't the amount of voltage to the VCCIO be the concern? Or is that auto feature linked directly to DRAM voltage?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
January 20, 2012 12:48:46 AM

I'm still trying to figure out the point of a K series of chip then having people buy insurance to use the chip for OCing... As someone else said, make the insurance automatic and put the cost of it in the CPU.
January 20, 2012 11:52:37 AM

4745454b said:
I'm still trying to figure out the point of a K series of chip then having people buy insurance to use the chip for OCing... As someone else said, make the insurance automatic and put the cost of it in the CPU.


That is a stupid idea.

I don't want the insurance. Why would I want to pay more?

Warranties are silly.

I would rather self insure.

I never lost a processor ever... from about 20. ANd I overclocked most of them.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
a b å Intel
January 20, 2012 1:09:44 PM

^ The insurance is only needed if you exceed design specification, ie VCore and As this post is all about - Ram Voltages. No RMA if you exceed ratings. Also it "reduces" the hassle of stating which ram you are using and at what voltage.

OCing the processor, as long as NO specs are exceeded should still be covered.
A fair number here moved their 1.65 Volt Ram over to the NEW SB build. Myself I had 16 gigs of DDR3-1600, CL7 @ 1.60 Volts that I moved over. At the time of purchase this was the Lowest priced quality ram @ 1600 cl7. With 1.60 V for ram the CPU is NOT covered under warrantee.
a c 347 } Memory
a b å Intel
January 22, 2012 2:06:14 PM

Proximon said:
I wanted to pass along a few things I have learned along the way, one of them very important to everyone here.

1. Intel does not ask you if you overclocked your K series processor. They DO ask if you overclocked the memory! Intel processors are designed to operate the memory at 1066MHZ or 1333MHZ ONLY. The minute you run that memory at anything higher, you void the warranty.
Since this is the official stance from Intel, it would be prudent to let people know up front when you recommend higher clocked memory what the rules are. Most or all memory will default to 1333MHZ initially for this reason.
We all know that memory speeds play a very tiny role in overall performance anyway. Those who feel compelled to complete honesty in any future RMA process would be well advised to refrain from higher memory clocks.

2. Intel wants complete troubleshooting steps. If you are sending them a CPU they expect that you have proven that the CPU is defective. In my case that meant either paying a shop or buying another CPU. I bought an i3-2120 so that I could swap it out and prove that the i7 was indeed fried.

3. Do not throw away your stock fan. They want it back, and will ask for the numbers off of it.

Simple solution, LIE!!!
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
a b å Intel
January 23, 2012 4:24:34 PM

Or just run your RAM at DDR3-1333 speeds and 1.50 volts.
a c 347 } Memory
a b å Intel
January 23, 2012 5:42:43 PM

Or know their math:
21GB/s SB bandwidth limit = 21504MB/s = XMHz * 2 * 64-bit * 1/8
X = 1344MHz = DDR3-2688 and there are DDR3-2600 Kits in the works.

Further, to air your laundry list to Intel of How you Abused the CPU then having the 'nerve' to request an RMA...seems IMO a little 'off'.

If you choose not to 'LIE' fine, then pony up and buy a new CPU...Simple solution again.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
a b å Intel
January 23, 2012 6:35:38 PM

^ read somewheres that DDR3-1600 was the sweet spot for SB. Very little diff in most tasks above that - infact not much diff going from 1333 -> 1600. Just that 1600 cost diff wqas so small that 1600 was thr recommended.
a c 347 } Memory
a b å Intel
January 23, 2012 6:56:05 PM

I'm not nor do if rarely push >DDR3-1600 unless your whole SB's purpose is to OC the CPU into oblivion. Keep in mind, 99% of the Benchmarks out there are using CPU @ stock and then benching the RAM kits. Things change depending on the CPU OC.

If your 'plan' is >4.5GHz then DDR3-1866 or faster helps everything.
February 17, 2012 1:06:37 AM

how did your processor get fried?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
February 17, 2012 2:00:40 AM

I think the board took it out. I did see two CPU pins on the board that were slightly out of place. When I touched them with a toothpick they seemed kind of loose... but they were only slightly out of alignment, and certainly they were never bent by accident, as the CPU had not been out of it's socket in 9 months or so.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
a b å Intel
February 17, 2012 11:07:02 AM

Anybody remember when they had a rash of Bad MB CPU Sockets, I was thinking it was when the SB first came out - but could have have been when I was shopping for My I5-750.
a c 347 } Memory
a b å Intel
February 17, 2012 3:16:52 PM

^Yeah, lost count on LGA 1156.

If you had CPU pin 'misalignment' then it depends on 'what' pins where off/shorted. I don't really recall any LGA 1155 confirmed bad pin issues. Damage to the CPU is generally pretty obvious e.g. blackened or burnt-off pin connections.

Most blown CPU's are from extreme OC'ing plus where any BIOS inhibiting parameters are (all) Disabled, bad PSU and or poor power protection, bad MOBO, or simply the CPU had a flaw from day 1 that just needed a little 'push' to kill it.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
February 17, 2012 5:30:53 PM

I still haven't put the replacement in. The i3 2130 I picked up as a temp compares well for most things. It's just occasionally that you miss the extra cores.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 21, 2012 6:52:38 AM

Proximon said:
...and stated clearly that any frequency other than the specified 1066 or 1333 voids the warranty.

The actual warranty refers to exceeding specified limits (my paraphrase). The only specified limits I have found so far ALSO specify TIMINGS:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/core/...
So apparently 1333 CL9 is as fast as allowed.

According to the Intel link you provided, that tech basically lied to you. Both 1.65v and 1600 speed and higher are on that approved list. Now if you altered the speed or voltage of those modules, he may have a case. But saying flat out that anything other than 1066 and 1333 voids the warranty is a lie. Perhaps the tech was not ware of it.

I saved the link and a copy of the document just in case Intel decides to accidentally delete it..
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
February 21, 2012 8:22:35 AM

I just poured over that document and several more, and see no reference to anything higher than 1333.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b } Memory
February 21, 2012 8:57:05 AM

Hmmm and here is the i7 version
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-co...

I don't think it's considered an official document like the spec sheet. We've seen this same confusion between marketing and support on other pages at Intel. Kind of looks like they are just saying "These companies say this RAM works with our CPUs on these motherboards."

!