RAM problems...

  ptrafc 23:06 27 Jun 05
Locked

I have recently purchased 2 sticks of 1gb Ballistix RAM from Crucial.
The initial stick was bought about 3 week ago. I had planned to use this alongside the current 512mb (2x256mb) I had, but this caused crashes for some unknown reason. Anyway, I removed the old sticks and just used the 1gb stick on it's own, which was fine, up until I purchased the second stick this week. My Mobo is ASUS A7N8X Deluxe, and it uses dual channel RAM slots, so I figured they would work a lot better together. However, the crashes have started again, and only seem to occur when playing games (or at least World Of Warcraft), so I figured maybe it's something to do with the settings? I changed my mem settings Page File size so that the initial size was 2gb and the max was 4gb, as advised by Crucial the first time around.
I have tried Microsoft's Memory tester, showing no faults.
Does anyone have any other ideas why this could be happening?
Thank you.

  ptrafc 07:07 28 Jun 05

Your help would be much appreciated...

  ptrafc 08:43 28 Jun 05

Also, in the error reports I mostly get a 'Hardware Fault', although I once got one saying it was to do with my ATI Radeon 9800 graphics card, but these error hove only just started happening since the new RAM was installed.

The errors also usually say something like:
memory could not be 'read', or 'written'.

  Micro-Man 15:47 28 Jun 05

My son has an Asus P4S800 which states PC2100/1600 support up to 3 DIMMs; PC3200/2700 support up to 2 DIMMs; 1GB PC3200/2700 with 32 DDR chips support to 1 DIMM only. See page 14 of click here . This may apply to your mobo too.

  Jdoki 17:06 28 Jun 05

Are both sticks the same spec? I believe Crucial do the DDR Ballistix in PC3200 and PC4000?

If they are the same spec try each one individually - if one causes crashing then you know it is probably a dodgy stick.

If both run OK on their own then make sure you are using the correct slots. Some motherboards require slots 1 and 3 to be populated, others 1 and 2 etc.

From having a look at the Crucial website, the two part numbers they list that are compatible with your board are BL12864Z503, and BL12864L503 (in the Ballistix range).

Now for the clutching at straws bit...
There's a jumper on your mobo that changes the FSB speed. This might need changing. If you don't have the manual you can get it from click here but as I mentioned, I'm clutching at straws and going from personal experience!

It could be that the combination of components you are using are causing problems, so you may have to adjust the memory timings for your sticks through the BIOS.

Crucial are a great company, so it might be worth giving them a call - I've always found them helpful in the past. click here

  ptrafc 18:04 28 Jun 05

Hi, thanx for your replies.
Micro-man:
my mobo definately supports these modules, I had several conversations (well, email conversations) with crucial to make sure. They are PC4000 sticks, but they automatically reduce themselves down to PC3200 to suit my PC.

Jdoki:
Sorry for the lack of info. Yes they're both the exact same spec:
click here
And it seems you found it already!
They both run fine on their own. They're in the correct slots - they're colour coded in blue, with the 3rd in black, and the previous 2x256 ones supplied were in there too.

Got a reply on the matter from crucial (and I agree the service is top-notch), and they're saying I should lower the settings in BIOS from 200Mhz to 166Mhz, since these are known problems with this Mobo OR use single channel at 200Mhz (which I know is stable as I had this setup before).

Before I try, I have one last question for you:
which is the fastest/best solution? If it's single channel at 200Mhz, I've just wasted £122 buying another!! Also, lowering them to 166Mhz is also not using them how they should be used... :(

Again, thanx for your responses.

  Jdoki 20:02 28 Jun 05

I'm no expert on this, but there appears to be a known problem on 939socket AMD boards where if all four slots are populated with sticks then the speed of the memory drops in dual channel mode.

Sounds like there something similar on your board.

2Gig vs 1Gig is debatable at the moment. I have 2GB in my machine and have noticed marginal improvements in general use (I no longer have a swap file and so the caching to disk is gone which stops a bit of hard disk chugging). But apps etc don't seem to run faster.

In games I noticed some improvements, particualrly in EverQuest 2 and apparently in BattleField 2, 2Gb shows a big improvement.

I'd go with 2Gb.

Finally, you may want to check how you actually change the FSB speed, as it may be in BIOS, but it may be the jumper I mentioned in my previous post.

  ptrafc 20:08 28 Jun 05

I have changed the speed to 166Mhz in the BIOS...
I got some strange results on 3D Mark '05:
2GB RAM Dual Channel 200Mhz = 2563
2GB RAM Dual Channel 166Mhz = 2605!!
Now I'm baffled!! Both tests were from cold startups.
Maybe this refelects the instability of the config?

  Rayuk 20:13 28 Jun 05

What version of the board do you have ver 2.0 should be ok if its an earlier version that could be your problem,You should find version number near or between the pci slots.

  ptrafc 20:15 28 Jun 05

Yes it's version 2.0 :)

  Rayuk 20:18 28 Jun 05

click here
Of course if you have ver 2.0 this doesnt help.

Jdoki
Your link is for the A7N8X-E Deluxe

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