TechSpot

GA-K8NF-9 mobo/RAM problem

By ironarmageddon
Jun 28, 2005
  1. i have 2X pqi POWER Series 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) with a Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 mobo. i bought them both around 5 months ago from newegg.com (when the ram was twice as expensive!) now they are dirt cheap ($34 each). when i first built my pc, i had some very rare problems such as the pc rebooting randomly. then came a distinct problem... playing h.l.2, my pc would always rebootafter about 30seconds of play. (first flashing the blue screen of death of course) i asked a friend about it, and he told me to run a mem test...the test gave a few errors in random sectors each time it was tested so i uped the voltage by .2V and the problem seemed to be fixed, so i assumed that i just bought crappy ram.

    now, as of two days ago, playing bf2, my pc would wither reboot or freeze quickly after entering the game. i had a strong feeling that it was my ram again, so i took one stick out and tried the game...it worked fine. then i tried the other stick, and it also worked fine. i dont know what to do? that tells me that it is a problem with my mobo.

    GA-K8NF-9 mobo
    pqi POWER Series 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200)
    AMD Athlon 64 3200+
    demon 580W PSU (cheap)
    X700 pro 256

    im totally lost...

    please help!
    :)

    EDIT: when i tried one stick at a time, it was on the default voltage, not +.2V
     
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    this may sound like a dumb question: did you check to see if that brand of RAM is compatible with your motherboard? Some motherboards can be picky.
     
  3. ironarmageddon

    ironarmageddon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    you know, i tried to, but i just couldnt find out where to find that information! i looked, but i was unsucessful.
     
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    should be in your motherboard manual.

    If not, check the manufactuer's website.
     
  5. ironarmageddon

    ironarmageddon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the manual for the mobo is limited and doesnt include that information. i didnt see it on the gigabyte website either...where else can you find info like that?
     
  6. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

  7. ironarmageddon

    ironarmageddon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well originally, i had them both on the same color (not sure if that is technically on the same channel or different channels) to run in dual channel mode. after this recent problem, the only way for me to keep the whole gig of ram in at a time is to have them on seperate colors. my pc detects the whole gig still, and they run on stock voltages. this just seems like such a weird problem. is it possible for my ram to not be able to be used in dual channel mode?

    EDIT: that file is the same as my mobo book and i didnt find any answer in there. (but thank you very much for trying to help me!)
     
  8. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    I don`t know if your particular ram is bad, but you did say that Memtest gave you errors when both sticks were connected.

    As far as using dual channel on your mobo, you need to insert the ram sticks thus. One in channel "A" and one in channel "B"

    Please see the jpeg attatchment. You may need to zoom in on the pic to get a clearer view.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards Howard :)
     
  9. ironarmageddon

    ironarmageddon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    that is how i curently have my RAM set up. that is not in dual channel, right? both on the same color is in dual channel mode, right?

    ok, well i am thinking that it has got to be the mobo that is the problem, because like i said before, one of the RAM sticks at a time works fine, but both together(set up like your picture shows) still has problems. during the POST, the pc pauses for about a minute just before it shows the memtest results (shows how much memory is detected; it shows the whole gig) and then it pauses again for about a minute just after the windows XP loading bar thing and just before showing the user selection page. that and i cannot install anything from a cd/dvd without my pc rebooting itself randomly.

    EDIT: the pc seems to be fine in windows just surfing the net/listening to music, etc. just not for installing/booting/playing.

    do i need a new mobo? any other ideas?
     
  10. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    No dual channel is with one stick in each colour, as per the pic.

    This is according to your mobo manual.

    I don`t think it`s a mobo problem.

    I think you probably need either some new ram, cause the ram you have now is faulty(remember the memtest results)or, it`s a psu problem.

    As for your system rebooting itself. You can turn that off by right clicking my computer and selecting properties, then the advanced tab, and under startup and recovery untick the box that says automatically restart.

    Now instead of your system rebooting when there`s a problem, you should receive an error message(BSOD) telling you what caused the error. Pay particular attention to any drivers identified in the stop message.

    You can find an explanation of Windows stop messages HERE.


    Regards Howard :cool:
     
  11. ironarmageddon

    ironarmageddon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you so much for your input! i think ill start with a new PSU. also i thought i would bring up...you said that having one stick in each color is in dual channel mode? the manual that i have shows (P. 15 - - link listed above for the online manual) that if you have 2 mem moduals, to install them in the same color (ddr1 and 2 or ddr 3 and 4) only thing is that when they are on the same color is when the problem is really bad.

    if it were you, would you start with the psu and see if that fixes the problem, or would you replace the psu and the ram right away?

    any suggestions for a good brand of ram (good value)?
     
     
  12. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Here is a direct quote from your mobo manual.

    Channel A : DDR 1, DDR 3

    Channel B : DDR 2, DDR 4 If you want to operate the Dual Channel Technology, please note the following explanations due to the limitation of nVIDIA chipset specifications.
    1.
    Dual channel memory cannot be used if one DDR memory module is installed.

    2.
    If two DDR memory modules are installed (same storage capacity), one must be added to a Channel A slot and the other in a Channel B slot in order to use dual channel memory. You can simply install the memory modules into slots of the same color but we recommend slotting them into DDR1 and DDR2. Dual channel memory cannot function if both DDR memory modules are installed on the same channel.

    This shows that in order to use dual channel, your ram must be one stick in each channel. I.E one stick in each colour.

    I am still of the opinion, that it`s far more likely that your ram is at fault. Although, I wouldn`t rule out you psu as a possible culprit.

    Put you ram in the dual channel configuration, and see what happens.

    Regards Howard :cool:
     
  13. ironarmageddon

    ironarmageddon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    p. 6 shows that the 4 ddr slots are numbered 1-4 in order. on this mobo, ddr1 and ddr2 are one color, and ddr3 and ddr4 are another color.

    p. 15 shows a table of how to insert the ram to be in dual channel mode. it shows either putting the two sticks in ddr1 and ddr2 or putting them in ddr3 and ddr4. doesnt that mean that the colors are not by channels, but reather by where you should put the mem sticks to operate in dual channel mode?

    i have seen mobos that are colored the other way (each channel is a color) so i really dont know if it is me that is mistaken (this is kinda confusing) or not. so you thinkthat i should put the sticks in in order to operate in dual channel mode and see what hapenes? ok, so i guess that means both in the same color.(??) ill give that another whirl...

    so if it was you, the first part that you would replace would be your ram to see if that fixes the problem (given that the problem cant be fixed with the current hardware)?
     
  14. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Yes you are correct. sorry I got it wrong doh lol

    You need to have your ram in slots ddr1 and ddr2 or ddr3 and ddr4 in order to use dual channel.

    yes I would look at replacing the ram first.

    personally I recommend Kingston ram. This is what I use, and have never had a ram problem.

    My appologies for the wrong info.

    Regards Howard ;)
     
  15. nimo333

    nimo333 TS Rookie

    I had almost the same problem as of where the Ram sticks should be so I read the manual book and I figured out that my brother put them in the wrong place. So next time look in the book first or at least double check. Btw, you can buy Samsung DDR 400 1GB of dual channel Ram for about $77. If you want the website link, I'll ask my brother for it.
     
  16. ironarmageddon

    ironarmageddon TS Rookie Topic Starter

  17. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Nice choices mate.

    I especially like the psu should keep you going for a while :p

    Regards Howard :)
     
  18. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    I've become pleasantly surpised at Samsung products in the last few years. Korean products used to be real crap ( a lot of them still are), bu Samsung seems to have pulled itself up. I remember Goldstar TVs weren't too shabby. I believe Samsung bought them out.

    Having lived in Korea for two years and been on assignment there 3 times (and once more this year), I'll see what's changed.
     
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