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Crashing after recent upgrade

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May 24, 2012 1:52:22 PM

i just upgraded my ram and graphics card and started getting a weird crash i never experienced before. the screen goes blank and i get the "no signal" message from the monitor but the tower still has power and i have to do a hard reset to get back to windows.

i upgraded my my video card from SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 to a 7870 and got an extra 4 gigs of kingston hyperx ddr2 1066 for a total of 8. my first thought was that i didn't have enough power so i bought a OCZ ZS Series 750W and still have the same problem.

after doing some research and talking to friends i am pretty sure the problem is the ram's compatibility with my mobo which is a GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H. the board worked fine with 2 sticks of the hyperx but i started getting blue screens with 4 2g sticks running at 1066. so i turned it back to 800 and the blue screens went away but then these new crashes started while playing demanding games such as diablo 3, bf3, and swtor. i noticed that i can still play oblivion just fine though. i only got 1 blank screen with that.

i started monitoring the temps and saw that i am not breaking 70c at all which could be better but shouldn't be the issue. i think if i can configure the ram properly through my bios it may fix my problem. running at 1066, kingston suggests that the timings should be 5-5-5-15 at 2.2v. my bios doesn't give the option for 2.2v only 1, 2, and 3 and 3 is highlighted red with a warning that it may damage my system. so what timings should i be using when running it at 800 instead of 1066? also should i be using ganged or unganged?

i really hope a simple adjustment will fix this. otherwise i will probably have to get a new mobo hence new ram because it wouldn't make sense to get a brand new ddr2 mobo and by doing that i would probably need a new cpu also. i currently have a Athlon II x3 445 with the 4th core unlocked.

any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks.
May 24, 2012 2:12:05 PM

I've never known RAM to cause the screen to go black. I'm thinking its the video card. Try it with just the RAM and your old card, like wise the old RAM and new video card. Pinpoint the exact cause first.
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May 24, 2012 2:16:02 PM

I have the same motherboard, but mine is revision 1.0 with the F4 BIOS. The 1, 2 and 3 settings for DDR2 voltage on mine are +0.1V, +0.2V and +0.3V with the default starting at 1.8V. So yea, I can only increase the voltage to 2.1V total.

Your revision and BIOS version may be different to mine. What revision and BIOS are you using and is there a BIOS update you can flash?

If you run your RAM at 800Mhz though, setting your voltage to +0.3V for 2.1V would be fine. The +0.3V being red is because the BIOS is defaulted to support 1.8V DDR2. And your PSU is a single rail PSU so as long as you have all the PCI-E ports on your video card connected to the PSU, you should be good on power to your card. Also, you mentioned temps only getting up to 70c. Was that for your GPU or CPU? If GPU, yea that's just fine. If CPU, your max CPU temps are 75c just fyi.

The other thing I can think of to check is problem I ran into myself after I upgraded to 4x2GB sticks of RAM with with my PII 940BE. Make sure your RAM is running in Unganged mode. Ganged mode works fine with only 2 sticks, but 4 sticks won't work. I researched it back in the day when I encountered but I don't remember the reasoning now. I can try to look that up again in a few though.
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May 24, 2012 2:18:30 PM

price_th said:
I've never known RAM to cause the screen to go black. I'm thinking its the video card. Try it with just the RAM and your old card, like wise the old RAM and new video card. Pinpoint the exact cause first.


I have experienced it in one and only one situation and that's the situation with 4 sticks running in Ganged mode with a Phenom II like I mentioned in my previous post. The blank screen wasn't the only sympton, it did all kinds of random sh*t. Blue screens, blank screens, reboots, freezes and instant power offs. It took me 3 god d*** days to figure it out and I was highly pissed on that 3rd day lol.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 24, 2012 2:20:54 PM

i would first off tell you to download and run cpu-z and look at the spd info tab. i would also write down what rev your mb and bios rev is at and check to see that your bios is up to date. in the spd tab cpu-z going to read the jdec info of your dimms and give you a few rows of speed settings that the ram is qal for. one is called xmp for over clock profile. (most dims that the one that used for max rated speed.) i would look to set your dimm speed and timming up to 800. I would also look on your mb vendor web page to see if your new and old ram on the mb qal list. when you add ram it not only the speed the kit is stamp at 800/100/1300 ext.. but the timing that each ram chip uses (9-9-9-9) or 7-7-7-7. never a good idea to mix ram..
have you tried plugging your monitor into another pc to check that it not shutting down?
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May 25, 2012 2:58:04 PM

thanks for the advice guys. i pulled the 7870 and replaced the 5770 which fixed the problem. i didn't know about the max temp on my cpu, would hitting 75c cause this type of crash? i hope you say yes because that would be an easy fix even though i'm pretty sure it has never gotten that high i will keep a closer eye on it.

i flashed the bios before i made this post but it doesn't seem to have worked because cpu-z still shows it as f11 instead of f12a which is the latest version. i was confused even more by the info about my ram. it shows it running at 400mhz.

either way, thanks again and i'll keep you updated.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 26, 2012 5:13:14 AM

ram can be read in the bios two ways. the vendor can show it true speed ie 1066/1300/1600. or it can show the bus speed the ram is running at. as with ddr2 ram you have to multi the bus speed by 2. to get the ram speed. so if it running at 400. the ram right now is running at 800. to get to 1066 the bus speed has to be 533. *2=1066.
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May 31, 2012 2:50:40 PM

Good luck
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September 10, 2013 5:53:36 AM

I have the same Gigabyte motherboard, getting game errors and thinking this can be the problem.
I was able to play more in time on onboard video card, than on geforce I have, and more (but extremely laggy, long-loading) with 1 RAM stick than with 2 sticks.
This must be it, needs replacement.....
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