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Intermittently Bad RAM

By ccumbie2889
May 23, 2009
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  1. Hello, this is my first post here. I've got an issue with some new RAM I just bought. I bought 8GB of PC-6400 DDR2 RAM (4x2GB DIMMS). They are Buffalo Firestix. I installed the RAM after I bought it, and the computer wouldn't post. So I removed an reseated the RAM, and it booted fine. It recognized all 8GB. So I ran PCMark 05 under Windows XP Professional x64 to see what kind of performance gain I would get. I left to run an errand and came back to the BSOD. I tried to reboot and it wouldn't. Eventually, I've got it to reboot, and decided to run Memtest from a Ubuntu CD. After 18 hours of testing, there were a massive number of errors and it failed every test. I then removed the DIMMS and tested each one by itself. All four sticks passed. Now I know there isn't a problem with my RAM slots, and that my old RAM is good. I moved from 4GB PC-5300 DDR2. Any one have any suggestions?
  2. ccumbie2889

    ccumbie2889 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nevermind, think I figured out the problem, RAM voltage isn't high enough, and it cannot be changed in the BIOS.
  3. antil0ck

    antil0ck TS Rookie Posts: 24

    Just some food for thougth. I am assuming that your motherboard can handle all that ram right? Also, how big is your power supply? If your PS is being loaded by too much, then even an extra stick of ram could cause RAM issues.

    Antil0ck
  4. ccumbie2889

    ccumbie2889 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I looked up my motherboard before I bought the RAM, and yes it supports that speed. My PSU is a 550W Thermaltake. I put the old RAM back in and ran Memtest, and it passed everytime. The RAM may have loaded the power supply, or the motherboard is not capable of that voltage. I checked voltages with Speedfan, but all that told me was that my -12 V rail was off by about a volt. CPU-Z showed the low RAM voltages. It was at 1.8 V rather than the 2.1 recommended by Buffalo.
  5. Tedster

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

  6. ccumbie2889

    ccumbie2889 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, I read it. It doesn't explain why the DIMMs pass memtest individually and fail collectively. Still think it's the motherboard. Appreciate the link though.
  7. antil0ck

    antil0ck TS Rookie Posts: 24

    Have you updated your MoBo BIOS? I would try that first and see if that takes care of your issue. At the very least, you will now have your MoBo upto date. Also, I just wanted to clarify, make sure that your MoBO can both handle the speed and the amount of RAM installed. Some MoBo's only support 4gigs of RAM.

    Antil0ck
  8. ccumbie2889

    ccumbie2889 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Antil0ck, I looked on Acer's website, and they do not have any BIOS updates for my model desktop, which is surprising. It says in the system specs that it does support 8 GB RAM, and all 8 GB showed up in the BIOS. I emailed Acer tech support to see if they could help, I'm waiting for a response. The motherboard does support that speed, plus it ran for a short time before the restarts and BSOD's, and CPU-Z confirmed it was operating at 800 Mhz. I may have to buy PC-5300 RAM instead. I know PNY generally works at 1.8 V, as I currently have that in my desktop. I know its really cheap on Newegg, but I prefer not to order online, just personal preference. Plus I just spent $200 on that Buffalo RAM, and if it isn't bad, I can't return it since it's opened. I'm going to build my next desktop, and I'll just buy a motherboard that supports that RAM so it wasn't a total waste. (Though I'd like to get it working with what I have if possible to save some hassle.)
  9. ccumbie2889

    ccumbie2889 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Got a reply from Acer tech support, and they basically told me I got the BSOD from putting 800 MHz RAM into an 800 Mhz compatible slot. Fantastic. Gee thanks.
  10. Tedster

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

    you didn't state what type of mobo you have - and as the guide says, some mobos are very particular with brands of ram.
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