I am a system builder and have built a few systems with the gigabyte GA-7VRXP, and although ive read many complaints about the board, I have yet to experience any problems with it locking up etc etc. I also run this board at my house. Im an avid Everquest player (20+ hours a week) and have yet to have a single lockup or other problem.
My question is this... I have tried to setup this board with 1GB memory in a few instances (all of them with samsung PC2700, 2 x 512). EVERY time I put both dimms into the board I get all kinds of errors... windows wont install, win2000/xp stop screens, fatal exceptions etc. But as soon as I take one of the dimms out, everything runs flawlessly. Ive tried using different slots, at one time even ordered about 10000000000 different pieces of memory, all with no go. the other configs have been different each time, used geforce 4 dual rgb out, geforce 2 mx 400, and even just a low end ati. Used the raid in some setups and not in others, but always the same problems.
The thing I havent done yet is try 2 pc 2100 dimms, or 1 1gb dimm, or 2 smaller sized pc 2700 dimms. Im wondering has anyone else encountered this?? If you have a vrxp and some extra ddr memory would you try it and let me know? Im using the latest bios BTW ( I think its up to f7 now.)
The board is the one with the metal clip for the CPU, ver 1.1.
One thing that concerned me is gigabytes remark in the manual that states "Because the quality of PC2700 module is varied, we don't recommend you to use 3pcs of PC2700 module at the same time." Is it possible there is an issue with multiple pieces of pc2700 memory on this board??
Well, I guess there is something about peoples complaints about this board after all. Anyway, from a designers point of view, handling the signal integrity of high frequency DDR ram is very difficult. Especially when mounting multiple memory modules, since signal reflections can occur due to the capacitive loading of the other modules. Thats why the mobo manufactors dont recommend multiple memory modules. Most likely you will not experience the same problem with PC2100 because of the reduced frequency. Smaller sized PC2700 may give you the same problem if they have the same amount of chips. However, if you used double sided dimms you can try single sided. They have fewer chips and will problably perform better. Until then try to increase the DDR voltage slightly. Its possible that will help.
Now that I think about it, the only time I have ever used this board with 1gb is with the amd athlon xp 2100+, when I get the time ill set another machine up with this setup, but a different CPU.
Unfortunately for me, increasing the voltage isnt really an option. As stated I am a system builder (retail store) and cant very well sell my new machines like that. I would sooner just use a different board or convince them to stick with 512mb.
I'd also like to add, in Gigabytes defence.... I have been using Gigabyte boards for over a year now (10+ a week) and only ever had to send 1 back to the manufacture (but it was one that I tested before giving to customer, then customer didnt install heatsink right and blew not only the cpu, but also the board). Ive had better success with Gigabyte boards than even with asus. Ive also never had any problems with this board, other than the memory thing. (Used the board prolly about 10-15 times now)
Ok. Then obviously you must stick with memory voltage and timing as pr. SPD. Then check your modules. If they are double sided you may get better result with single sided. However, most high capacity modules are double sided (now that I think of it, I dont think I ever seen a single sided 512MB module). Thats propably also why you didnt have any succes with zillions of modules tested. So whats left? A board at the edge of the specifications? Perhaps another board will do better.
I'm not an expert but it seems that that anything other than corsair presents a problem with this board. I've been reading and concluded this might be an issue. I started with 1 corsair pc2700, then tax refund and another two and no problem. My problem came when I ordered the 2100+ but needed to flash the bios(stupid me). Ordered the 1500+ only to install the 2100+ and it dident work .I am currently RMAing the 2100+ back to Amd. My mb says ver 1.1 but in management running Win 2000Pro it says ver 1.0 what gives. Otherwise its running o.k I guess.