can't get dual channel memory to run

We’re building a machine with the specs below. We’re having trouble getting the dual channel memory to operate correctly. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Either 512MB stick of DRAM works fine in Slot 1 or 2 of the Mobo’s four DRAM slots. Put both of them in as ABIT directs (slots 1 & 3 or 2 & 4) in any combination and the Mobo freezes with post code “AF”. Put the sticks in DRAM slots 1 & 2 and everything works and the machine “sees” 1GB of memory.

The POST screen displays the following message with either stick in slot 1 or 2:

Memory Testing 524288 OK
Memory Frequency for DDR2 533
Host/DRAM Frequency is 200/266 MHz

The POST screen displays the following message with both sticks in slots 1 and 2:

Memory Testing 1048576 OK
Memory Frequency for DDR2 533
Host/DRAM Frequency is 200/266 MHz

This happens despite having flashed the BIOS to v12 (the board shipped with v11).

All of the above happened with “Advanced Chipset Features” BIOS page’s “DRAM Timing Selectable” set to AUTO. When this is set to “by SPD”, the post screen changes slightly to read:

Memory Frequency for DDR2 533
Host/DRAM Frequency is 204/272 MHz

With either one stick in slot 1 or both sticks in slots 1 & 2.

They still cause post code “AF” in slots 1 & 3.

One final point. When we use the ABIT CD of drivers that came with the MOBO and we try to install the driver “Intel Application Accelerator RAID” driver we get the message “Incompatible hardware. This software is not supported on this chipset.” But the read me file says one of the supported chipsets is Intel’s ICH6R which is on our motherboard. Does this chipset control DRAM and could it be malfunctioning?

Any insights or suggestions would be appreciated.

Motherboard - ABIT AA8 DuraMAX LGA775 processor with 800 MHz FSB; 925x & ICH6-R chipsets

Memory - Crucial CT6464AA53E 2 sticks 512MB 240 pin DDR2 – 533 or DDR2 – PC2 - 2400

Processor - Intel Pentium 4 540 3.2 GHz
PCI Graphics Card - Diamond ATI Radeon S80PCI PCI card, 128MB on-board memory
Power Supply - Vantec VAN-470A 470 watt
Monitor - Viewsonic VP171B using DVI connectors
CD / DVD Drive - Plextor PX-712SA On SATA 1 interface
Floppy Drive - Sony
Modem - TRENDware TFM - PCIV92I
Case - Thermaltake Xaser III - V1000A
Hard Drive - Maxtor 6Y080P0 On IDE interface, 80 GB, 7200 RPM
Mouse - Microsoft Wireless Optical
Keyboard - Microsoft Wireless Optical
Speakers - Altec Lansing 251 5.1
Operating System - Windows XP Pro
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  1. Let's get the easy one out of the way first: If you're not using SATA, you can't use the RAID driver. If you have SATA ON but RAID mode OFF, you can't use the RAID driver. Non-RAID SATA drives are treated as standard by the controller which is updated using the Intel INF update. So unless you have an SATA RAID array on the ICH6 controller, the RAID driver won't install, giving you the error you described.

    OK, now it appears you're using a QDR800 bus with a DDR2 533 RAM. The proper speed would be DDR2 400, but it appears the board uses the rated speed. Hopefully you'll get dual channel mode working when you manually set the memory at 200MHz (or 400MHz in many BIOS options which use data rate rather than clock speed).

    That doesn't mean you can't use the memory in dual channel at the faster speed, it simply means that your base setting should be synchronous for dual channel mode. If you DO overclock, having the memory at the synchronous rate means it will increase in speed as you increase the CPU bus speed.

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  2. Thought I'd let you know it was the motherboard. Newegg sent a new one and it works fine. The start-up screen shows 1 GB of memory running at 533 MHz.
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