RAM - I'm doing something wrong here

I just recently build a new Athlon machine with 2 x 512mb of PC 3200 RAM. Thing is ... when I have both stick in the recommeded(by the manual, at least) slots, my computer doesn't like it. Random reboots, game/program crashes constantly. I take one stick out, it works beautifully. So I'm wondering if I can get a little help narrowing down what the problem is. I'm thinking I have something set incorrectly(even though everything is default on the mb/bios) or possibly my power supply isn't strong enough, even though it's a 430 watt. Let me post my components and perhaps you guys can spot something obvious that I missed.


MSI "K8N Neo2 Platinum" NVIDIA nForce3 ULTRA Chipset Motherboard For AMD Socket 939 CPU -RETAIL

AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 2.2 GHz, 512KB L2 Cache 64-bit Socket 939 Processor - Retail

Antec 430W Power Supply, Model "TRUE430" -RETAIL

Geil Ultra X Series 184-Pin 1GB (2x512MB) DDR PC-3200 w/ Platinum Heat Spreader and Themometer Sticker - Retail

Thermaltake Venus 12 CPU Cooler For AMD Opteron and Athlon 64, Model "A1744" - RETAIL

Speeze 80mm DC Case fan x 2, Model "FD08025S1M4"

74gb WD 10k RPM SATA hd

200gb Maxtor 7.2k RPM SATA hd

eVGA 6800GT 256mb

Pioneer DVD-RW

A floppy too!

Is there something I need to check out in the bios before I insert the other stick of RAM in there?
9 answers Last reply
More about wrong here
  1. You could have a bad stick of RAM, try switching them to see if one is bad.
    Or it could be that they together don't run at the low timings you have set, you could try raising thier timings...

    <pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
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  2. I've switched them out. Tried both for 3 days. Both of them work perfectly.

    How exactly do I change timings? I've changed nothing in the bios. Is there something I should change?
  3. In the BIOS, this information setting is in the memory section where you set the speeds and timings.

    <pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
    And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
    So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
  4. What settings are the ones I will want to check?

    Edit: I have:
    Max Memclock (MHz) [Auto]
    1T/2T Memory Timing [2T]
    CAS# latency (Tcl) [Auto]
    RAS# to CAS# delay (Trcd) [Auto]
    Min RAS# active time(Tras) [Auto]
    Row precharge Time (Trp) [Auto]

    Am I looking in the right spot?

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Bratley on 12/31/04 00:14 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  5. Well there is something not completely right.

    Are you trying to run in Dual Channel Mode? If you are, read your motherboard handbook again and try to put the chips in a non-dual channel configuration.

    I'm guessing that you are trying to run dual channel.

    Also check your BIOS. See if there is a way to up your voltage on the memory? (add 0.1v) This will give more stability as will the suggestion for relaxed timings suggested previously.

    There is also a program called "Memtest86" that you can use to test your memory. <A HREF="http://www.memtest86.com/" target="_new">http://www.memtest86.com/</A>

    The loving are the daring!
  6. Yes, there is an option to raise memory voltage. Right now the setting is "Auto". Do you have any suggestion on what voltage I should be using?
  7. Well I seem to have installed the RAM incorrectly. On my board there are 4 slots, green purple green purple in that order. I had them both installed in the green slots, since in the board manual it states that you should fill the green slots first. Apparently this does not apply with a dual channel configuration.

    So now I have another question. Since I already have a thread open, why make a new one? Here we go: What settings do you suggest I "tweak" based on my PC config listed above? Meaning things like a hard setting instead of "auto" or things of that nature. I do not wish to overclock, only to get my PC running at it's best with a stock setup.

    Thank you all for your help thus far. :)
  8. Hi,

    Glad you found the problem more or less by yourself.

    Most things are best left <b>on auto</b> in the BIOS. However, again I will suggest that you read your Motherboard Manual and decide what you might like to tweek.

    I do have a few suggestions if you have an AGP card:
    1) The bios probably has a setting that defaults to start the gracphics card search. Change that from PCI to AGP.

    2) As you have a fair bit of memory you can change the AGP aperature size from the default (probably 64M) to 128MB. This memory is not automatically used but is if lots of texture work is required.

    Here is some more detailed explanation of some BIOS settings if your manual is a little short and your can find a match to yours: <A HREF="http://www.rojakpot.com/default.aspx?location=9" target="_new">http://www.rojakpot.com/default.aspx?location=9</A>

    The loving are the daring!
  9. Most MSI boards run best with Vdimm at 2.8v. Try your timings at CAS-(first #) 2.5,3,3,10 - 1T. If timings are too tight you can adjust from there. MSI makes it real easy.

    Abit IS7 - 3.0C @ 3.6ghz - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
    Samsung 120gb ATA-100 - Maxtor 40gb ATA - 100
    Sony DRU-510A - Yellowtail Merlot
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