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Dual-channels issues on an old motherboard

By StopMakingSense ยท 7 replies
Jan 21, 2010
  1. Dual-channel issues on an old motherboard

    In an attempt to squeeze a little more life out of an old computer, I decided to upgrade the RAM. Here's what I'm working with:

    Motherboard: Soyo KT880 Dragon 2
    RAM: G.Skill F1-3200PHU2-GBNS (2x1G modules)
    CPU: Athlon XP "Barton" 2800 AXDA2800DKV4D (333 FSB)

    Now, when I try to use the RAM in dual-channel mode, either by using sockets 1&3 or 2&4, only 1G of RAM shows up in BIOS. If I place both sticks side by side, like sockets 1&2, 2G of RAM registers in BIOS. I've tried adjusting BIOS setting so that the RAM runs in dual-channel mode, but that didn't seem to work. Does anyone have any ideas on what could be the problem?

    I'd like to update the BIOS but SOYO has been out of business for years so there's no website to check. Does anyone know of a reputable site for older motherboard BIOS and drivers?

  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,402   +875

    If there isn't a bios update on the manufacturers website then googleing is the only option.
    the problem is most likely a compatibility problem which a bios update usually solves.

    first check your version of the bios and try here (i don't know which is is the corect bios):
    http://www.updrivers.com/bios/Motherboard/Soyo/SY-KT880_Dragon_2-BIOS/11800.html (the link is in the middle of the page)

    PS: is your mb Soyo KT880 Dragon 2 Value or Soyo KT880 Dragon v2? there are 2 models of kt880 dragon and you need to be sure which one you have
  3. StopMakingSense

    StopMakingSense TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the response, Puiu.

    I still have the instruction manual that came with my motherboard and I can't find anything about the board being a value or a v2 even after going through it several times! It simply says the board is a Soyo KT880 Dragon 2, that's all. I had to do a little research and I can tell you it's not a value board because those only had 2 DIMM slots and my board has 4. I received an e-mail from G.SKILL which said to ramp up the voltage to the memory from 2.5 to 2.75, which i tried but seemed to have no effect.

    Well, I'm about to give up on this one. Maybe it's compatibility problem between new and old hardware. In any case, the board recognizes it has 2G of RAM installed, just not in dual-channel mode - and really, that should be good enough for a XP machine!
  4. gguerra

    gguerra TS Maniac Posts: 317

    It may be a compatibilty issue with the RAM. Make sure it is rated as Dual Channel RAM. Even if it comes in a 2 pack (2x1GB) does not mean that is Dual Channel,
  5. StopMakingSense

    StopMakingSense TS Rookie Topic Starter


    It is sold as dual-channel RAM, so that shouldn't be the problem. I can't link yet but here's the URL:

  6. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,402   +875

    It's more than enough for XP and the problem most likely is the new vs old conflict.

    If you want details about your hardware then use Everest or Aida32.
  7. StopMakingSense

    StopMakingSense TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the suggestion, Puiu.

    I'll run Everest on it when I get home and see what information I can get about the RAM.
  8. ucould2

    ucould2 TS Guru Posts: 271

    Kingston (http://www.kingstonmemory.net.au/Search) put out a warning about "on sellers" of their RAM modules, their Value ram to be exact was being marketed as Dual channel in that it behaved that way when placed in the MB ~slot comparative eg 1~2 or 3~4. This gave the buyer a Cloud type of memory based on the firing order.
    However the unscrupulous seller on such re-seller site(s) saw the quick dollar value and on sold the components as something that looked like what it said on their site(Kingston.com.au). But. When the product arrived all the marking that indicated that it was Value RAM were removed or tamped with. All the poor buyers who thought they were getting $160AUS worth of ram for $100AUS that didn't perform at all to expectations. And left a large whole in their pocket because their ram was often one of a matched set meaning that the ram (one stick) would by itself lock-out the paired slot, thus dropping the potential computing output by exactly half. :zzz:
    So look on the bright side :) you already have one matched set !
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