Damn Ram

By Jones
Oct 5, 2003
  1. Hey,

    2X256 PC3200 DDR Infineon

    Ok, here's the situation - I had my computer O/C to 3200+. It worked fine for a few weeks. I installed a Sunbeam case fan today, and when I restarted, BIOS was only reading about 8MB of RAM, I say about,because it was a number like 8093 KB or something retarded like that. So, needless to say it does not boot all the way into Windows XP Pro, although it trys for a while. After restarting, it then reads as approx. 25MB, once again with an odd number. After numerous restarts and cold boots it never changes from the 25MB read. Still, obviously not booting fully to windows. :(

    So, I took out the CMOS battery, reset the jumper, plugged everything back in, and everything works fine, as long as I have my FSB set at either 100MHz or 200MHz, with a multiplier of 11.0. The 1100Mhz is the default setting after resetting CMOS, and 2200MHz is what I was running at before the install of the fan. But, now when O/C'd to 2200MHz or 3200+, it overheats rapidly, so I have no choice but to keep it at 1100MHz.

    If I try to set the FSB to 166, which would make it a 2500+, which is what it is actually supposed to be anyway, it starts reading the RAM as stated above - 8MB, then 25MB.

    This is really bugging me, because I can't even run the chip at what it is actually supposed to run at! I would be happy having it back to a 2500+, I was just overclocking to check out future potential, I currently do not think that I have adequate case cooling anyway. I know I could try messing with the multiplier, but the system just seems to be so picky now. I can not understand it, I have had to reset the CMOS about 20 times today, after trying numerous settings.

    So, I am currently running at 1100MHz, with the RAM reading at 512MB.

    Oh yeah, I disconnected the fan, and set things up as they were before and same deal, so I do not think that is the problem. Just coincidence that it happened at the same time...I think.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Well before I really try to look into this problem try a few things.

    1. Did you use thermal compound on your processor
    2. Is your heat sink fan on backwards? Dumb question, but trust me, it happens. Double check. I've done it before.
    3. Check your MB temperatures in CMOS. What is the temperature?
    4. Move your RAM over a slot if possible.
    5. Touch the heat sink and see how warm/hot it is. If it burns you that usually is a bad sign.
    6. Try the RAM in another system if possible. Does it report correctly? If no, then the RAM must be bad.
    7. In CMOS when you set the FSB speed to 166, do you set the Memory Frequency to "By Speed"? You should see 166 below that if it is set correctly.

    Try out a few of those things and let me know what you find out.

    I just want to make sure your not having overheating problems. Though I'm not sure that would explain BIOS reporting RAM incorrectly. Instinct would tell me first that it's possible the RAM is bad. So the main thing you want to do is try the RAM in another board.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    I would try another memory module if you have access to one. Memory can be sensitive to overclocking and I've seen it get 'burned out' several times, including my own system.
  4. Jones

    Jones TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16



    1. Yes, I used thermal compound on my processor, first I tried the silicone stuff that came with the volcano, then I went out and bought some Startech silver based thermal compound, which is what is on there now. Could not find any other brands locally. I do intend to get a more well known brand like arctic silver or ocz, the next chance I get.

    2. My heatsink is not on backwards, funny you should mention that though, because the first time I put it on, it was on backwards, now the cpu cooler is right in the middle of the heatsink.

    3. My motherboard temperature is roughly around 30-32 degrees celsius. That is using the asus probe utility that came with my motherboard. I checked it against the motherboard monitor and it was the same, so I believe that it is correct, however CMOS settings seem to place the temp. at about 5 degrees higher, both CPU and MB. I do not know why that is.

    4. I have moved my RAM around to every slot, tried using just one stick. Always reading the RAM wrong at FSB 166.

    5. The heatsink is generally warm to hot, but not too hot to touch for sure.

    6. Haven't had a chance to try the RAM in another system. Could I try the RAM in another system that is only PC133?? Otherwise, I do not know anyone else with a MB that can take DDR RAM.

    7. When I set the FSB to 166 the Memory Frequency, whether it is on auto or by speed, it will read 200MHz. The only way to get it to read 166 is to set it on Aggressive and set Memory Frequency to 100%. But, it still reads the RAM wrong on startup.

    I am currently running at the 3200+ level again, the RAM is being read correctly, and my current temp according to Asus Probe, while I am doing this reply is 45 degrees celsius. The temp seems to be doing slightly better, it used to run around 47-48 when I overclocked it before. Another thing is, my computer seems to restart when the temp gets to around 52 degrees. When I am just playing a Super Nintendo Emulator(remembering the gold old days, hehe) The temp would rise to around the 50 mark and my computer would restart. That doesn't give me much room between idle and over-heat. That is frustrating me quite a bit now too. I haven't even tried playing a normal computer game. Actually I tried playing Red Alert 2, which is an old game now, about 3 weeks ago and as soon as I started to load into a skirmish game it would restart. Didn't even get to play, so I haven't tried again, since then.

    Also, a new development as of yesterday, my computer freezes all the time. Sometimes 5 seconds after I start it up, sometimes when it is just about to load onto the desktop, sometimes a little while after I get on. Seems to be working alright now, knock on wood. The weird thing is, it seems to be more stable when I run it at 3200+ levels. This is a 2500+ that will just NOT work as a 2500+...WEIRD.

    Please can anyone help!!??


    P.S. Sorry it took me so long to get back to the last posts. Thanks for the suggestions so far.
  5. dani_17

    dani_17 TS Rookie Posts: 146

    My guess is that you wasted the ram module. That's why it's not running with the FSB at 166. You should try another memory stick.
  6. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    To lower the temperature of your CPU, install CPUIDLE, brings down your temp by about 10 deg. C.
    I run an AMD1900XP with Zalman flower at 32 deg.C under full load, idle around 29 deg. C
  7. Jones

    Jones TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16



    I just bought CPUIDLE installed and noticed no difference in temp on either OS or S1 mode. I have Windows XP, does that make a difference? Because I thought that Windows XP had its own software CPU cooler. I saw that they had a version for windows XP, so I assume it should make some difference in temp. My CPU idle temp is still 46 degrees celsius. Is this high for a 2500+ overclocked to 3200+, since I cannot even run it at 2500+, which I would like to. I have the Volcano turned all the way up to 5700rpm, and 4 case fans(2 in, 2 out). The motherboard is running nicely at 27 degrees celsius. Is there some other setting that I have to change maybe to get cpuidle to run a little better?

    I am also getting random restarts, generally on startup, or shortly after. It seems the longer the computer is running, the more stable it becomes. Although when I leave it on over night, it usually restarts. Could this be the power supply, it is just a 350watt that came with my windows-x case. I am not even sure what brand it is. I have had this setup for about a month now, and it still isn't even close to stable. Well just the temp and restarts anyway. If I could isolate the problem that would be great, I do not have lots of extra money to try swapping things. Has this happened to anyone else? Thanks for the help.

  8. Jones

    Jones TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16


    Oh yeah, and I also tested my RAM with docmemory for about 4 hours and it passed every test, so according to that program my memory is alright. So, still doesn't explain why my computer will not run at 2500+ with FSB at 166. Just stalls on startup or fails memory test. I do not know, maybe Infineon RAM is just no good with the A7N8X Deluxe. Maybe if I changed the RAM, everything would clear up, except the temp. or course.

  9. Supra

    Supra TS Enthusiast Posts: 190

    Yeah, it could be your powersupply. What is the brand on the side of the powersupply? With what your overclocking you should have at least a 400W or more quality brand name PSU. PSU's that come with cases are usually really cheap quality unless you pay over $100 for the bundle. I tried to add 4 80mm case fans to my setup and ended up buying a new powersupply to keep things stable. I recommend Enermax or Antec.:grinthumb
  10. Jones

    Jones TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16


    Seemed to have fixed the restarting problem, just raised the vcore to 1.75, I didn't want to do that before because it was restarting at about 51 degrees celsius, but after raising to 1.75 my computer has been running stready for 2 days and running prime95's torture test for about 24 hours now, with temps reaching as high as 54 with no probs. We'll see how long it keeps up.
  11. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Vcore always needs to be raised appropriately when OCing to high(er) levers ;)
  12. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    under Tab: Start-up did you set Start with Windows and Optimize CPU/CPUset?
    under tab Athlon, use the S1 state
    CPUIDLE does not work when you go into the BIOS, so the temp. will go up during that time. Take a readout from BIOS, then start XP. After a few minutes, check with Asusprobe. You should see a real difference.
    Also check for proper fitting of the fan on the CPU-cooler. Is it on in the right direction? Is your cooler snug on the CPU?
    Improvement can often be achieved with Artic Silver thermal paste.
  13. Jones

    Jones TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16


    Yeah, both options are checked off, and the level set to S1. Have tried OS as well. There is absolutely no difference in temp. 46 degrees celsius while cpuidle is running and still 46 after it has been shut down and idling for 30 minutes. I noticed before that Asus Probe always showed the temp as 10 degrees lower than the bios. I don't know, a waste of money as far as I can tell so far, I guess a different thermal compound is the next try, no Arctic Silver, or OCZ, or anything like that locally here, just Startech(which is what I am currently using):( . I have no idea what is up with that. I guess I will have to get it the next time I go out of town to find some decent thermal brands.

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