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Problems with new RAM on Gigabyte board

By DrCraniax ยท 27 replies
Dec 10, 2005
  1. Hi everyone,

    I've recently bought 2x 512 DDR400 RAM for my ol' Gigabyte 845PE (GA-8PE667) board. I admit this was not the best of ideas, since it only officially supports DDR333, but hey.

    The PC would run fine until I started playing a game, then it would freeze or reeboot. It got to a point where the PC was then freezing when I was doing nearly anything.

    At first I thought it was the video card but then I figured it's the RAM. However, I tried replacing the DDR400 with my old DDR333 but now the same thing happens when I play games, and sometimes when I'm burning DVDs etc. I haven't flashed the BIOS cos I'm paranoid I might use the wrong update.

    I've never OC'd the system, all BIOS settings are at default, I have all drivers updated... does anyone have any idea why this might be happening?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Gigabyte GA-8PE667 mobo
    P4 2.40b
    1gig A-Data DDR400 / 512meg V-Data DDR333
    Radeon 9800 Pro 256meg (tried Cat 5.8-5.11)
    80gig Seagate HDD
    Pioneer DVR-A10XL burner
  2. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 801

    Check all your connections especially the mobo power plug.
  3. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks IronDuke. I tried that and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

    The GPU seems to get quite hot - I was using ATiTool which was telling me it was staying around 70f, but when I placed my fingers on the heatsink it was extremely hot. I've purchased some thermal paste and am hoping that'll make a difference. Until the paste arrives I've placed a fan next to the open case and it seems to make it last a little longer.

    I'm pretty sure it's the video card now. If I try to play a game, artifacts will appear and textures will go a little nuts before the PC finally freezes or reboots.
  4. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 801

    Worth checking if there is a newer driver for the graphics card.
  5. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've tried Catalyst versions 5.8 through to 5.11 - no good. Same problem still occurs. I'll give 5.13 a go today methinks...

    But it's definitely a video card problem and not a RAM problem right?

    The system seems to run okay on the DDR400 RAM too - so it's safe to run DDR400 RAM at 333mhz by the seem of things...?
  6. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341

    Remember, hot=good when it comes to heatsinks, this means it is transfering heat well (so i would not reapply thermal paste). I would look into the fan on the heatsink if i were you.

    If your temps are at 70F (70C is a bit hot for idleing tho), then you have nothing to worry about! that is very cool. I have seen some cases however where there is a sensor conflict and the temp is way off.

    My advice would be to try another card...

    You could try the omega drivers found here

    What brand is the ram? It should work fine, but sometime (more often with cheaper modules) the RAM wil not work.

    But i would still say the Video card seems to be the source of the problem.

    return to the orginal good hardware config and try it again.
    also what make is the power supply?

  7. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    PSU is an Eagle 350w - it's done me fine so far. What gets me is that everything was fine until I put the new RAM in. I was stupid enough to have 1x 512 DDR333 and 1x DDR400 in at the same time - that's when the trouble started. But then I've tried all combinations possible with the RAM - both DDR400s, 1 DDR400, the DDR333, all in different slots etc, and it just doesn't like me. I hadn't changed the Catalyst drivers throughout that period.

    The RAM is cheapo. One is A-Data and the other is V-Data. Nothing spesh.

    I've got an old 32meg GeForce 2 which I could put in for a while... That should help determine the prob. I'll give it a go.

    Thanks AtK SpAdE
  8. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I bought a new video card...

    Just a 128meg BioStar GeForce 6200, nothing special... But the PC still crashes! It takes a lot longer and it actually just freezes now instead of rebooting... But thinking about my PSU made me wonder... On the GeForce box I read that a 400w PS is preferred. Could this have been the problem all along? Could it be that the PSU isn't adequate for running what I've got? I've had this PSU for 3 years now, should I be looking at a new one?
  9. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341

    well a 350w should run that system, but i am not familar with the brand, so im not sure that it is actually putting out as much power as it would seem.

    What are the Amps on the 3.3 5 and 12 volt rails (should be on the side of the unit)

  10. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    24, 35, 13 respectively.

    I was reading some other threads and decided to do another check on all the cables etc... I also decided to take off the fan and heatsink of my cpu. Did it and somehow the CPU came off with the heatsink.


    Luckily none of the pins were killed... cleaned off the heat pad or whatever it was sticking the cpu to the heatsink, cleaned all the residue off with some acetone, then put some Arctic Silver on the CPU and reattached everything firmly. (It mustn't have been in firmly?? Don't know how it would've happened, it should've been locked in)

    Since then, everything's been running fine using the new GeForce and the 512 DDR333 RAM. I'm gonna enjoy the stability a little longer before trying the the DDR400 Ram, then with my 9800 again.

    Fingers crossed!
  11. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well gee.

    My so-called stability crapped out on me.

    I've now reformatted and reinstalled everything, and tried all different combinations of the RAM and Video card in, and there's no difference with any combination whatsoever. So I know it can't be a RAM/Video card problem.

    So I'm assuming this must be a PS problem? It only seems to crash when I'm a) playing games, or b) running a lot of progs at the same time. There's thermal paste on the CPU and both GPUs now so it can't be overheating... Unless the mobo is what's at fault here? Would that be likely?

    If there's any more suggestions, it'd be greatly appreciated.
  12. Vaerilis

    Vaerilis TS Rookie Posts: 52

    Regarding the power consumption:
    The 6200 requires much less juice than the 9800. The "requires a 400W PSU" is just a general warning.
    The 13A 12V rail might be weak, but since I've ran a 5900, a 2.8C, 2x512MB RAM, two optical drives and 4 HDs on a PSU with the same output without problems for months (in the past, that is), I can't honestly say that it is the cause of your problems.

    Are your voltages stable? Are there any fluctuations on the 12V, 5V, or 3.3V rails? Use a program like Speedfan or Motherboard monitor to find out.

    If all else fails, try eliminating problem sources. Your video card is probably fine, since the problem persisted while using a different card. It's also highly unlikely for all those sticks of memory to be out of order...
  13. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Vaerilis,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I downloaded Speedfan. No fluctuations on any voltages. The Raw Read Error Rate on my 80gig HD is approaching threshold though. Value 72, worst 58, warn 34. Everything else looks okay, but the "fitness" looks to be around 40%.

    So does this mean it's the HD? I noticed sometimes it'd make noises when the PC crapped out, like it was kicking up it's spin cycle or something... other times the HD LED light would stay on.

    I've had the HD for around 3 years... I guess that's the standard lifespan now isn't it.
  14. Vaerilis

    Vaerilis TS Rookie Posts: 52

    Don't worry about the "fitness" rating, the brand new Samsung P80 120GB drives I have get a rating of ~50-60%, yet they are in perfect shape. It's very unlikely that your hard drive is the reason of your problems.
    Having no significant voltage fluctuations is good news for your power supply. However, I forgot to ask something: how high are your voltages? They should be ~10% or less away from 12V, 5V, and 3.3V on the 12V, 5V and 3.3V rails (look it up in Speedfan).
  15. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 475

    I noticed that you said the problems started occuring after you inserted your new ram.
    Is it possible that inserting the ram might have reset your AGP voltages somehow.
    If you have a bad mobo battery and you unplugged your pc to insert the new ram your bios settings could have been lost and your AGP voltages could have been reset to values your GFX can't take.
  16. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Now that's interesting... The 3.3v is around 3.26, the 12v tends towards 11.97, but the 5v... Looks like it hovers around 5.11. Can this be fixed in the BIOS? (I'm at work at the mo so I can't check).


    I checked my AGP voltages... For a while I even tried increasing it by +.1 but there was little difference at all. I don't think any change was made to the voltages though. Everything is at standard voltage now. Again, I'm at work so I'm just going off memory. I'll check it when I get home but I'm pretty sure it's the normal voltage (1.5 yeah? Can't remember)

    Thanks guys
  17. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 303

    Here is a list of good and not so good power supplies. I would suggest you get a better power supply than the one you have. My reason is the amount of ram you are running coupled with the vid card you are running. Just those items alone means you need a better ps.
    If i recall correctly, you said you have an eagle ps?

  18. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I DID... until around 12 hours ago when I decided it would be a good idea to "clean it out" to try and remove dust. I must've done something to it cos now the PC won't even turn on - so a new PS is a must now! I'm bloody brilliant, aren't I.

    Hopefully the new PS will resolve these problems... I'll post when it's up and running (and tested).

    Cheers nork
  19. fury

    fury TS Rookie

    I'd highly recommend an Antec 500w or better, P4s are power hogs.
  20. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 303

    Not that I know all there is to know becuz i dont but so far I have seen a lot of good info and advice here on this thread.
    Actually the readings you have given for your ps were not bad, but the thing is that there are a ton of other readings to go before you can pronounce a ps good anyway, so dont be so down on yourself. Its a cheapo ps to begin with and you got your moneys worth out of it.
    Thing is, you can always tell wether a person really knows pc's or not when he lists his pc in all its glory, this cool vid card, this cool case, but then no listing for his power supply when the power supply is THE most important item in any pc! Junk power supplies are responsible for a good 30 to 40% of all pc failures yet people dont even mention their power supply.
    When you buy a case with a power supply for $40 how much can the power supply be worth, $15? Should you be trusting a $200 to $400 cpu with a junky $15 power supply? Heck no. You should buy a good quality case w good quality ps or buy a standard case and a good power supply separately.
    You can get a decent power supply at places like newegg.com or directron.com for $45 on up, so you dont have to spend a whole lot, just more than $15, please!
    Another issue. Some thieves lie and try and sell cheap, junky power supplies by lying about the wattage with claims of 680 watts and stuff like that. Its similar to those cheap speakers that claim to have 600 watts, just lies.
    Wattage is not the reason to buy a power supply. Voltages and amperage on certain rails, like the 12 volt rail, are good reasons. Just remember that the junk mfgrs lie and the good mfgrs go by all the rules and tell the truth about their power supplies.
    Here are some places to get more info:

    Also, be aware that one can get badly hurt from the inside of a power supply even when it has no power to it, similar to a monitor.
  21. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 303

    Just one other thing. It wouldnt be right if i didnt post info about re-setting your power supply. A lot of people know about re-setting the bios but dont know about re-setting the the power supply, so here it is.


    Having problems with computer, cant get it to boot? Tried re-seating your components and other troubleshooting methods have failed?

    Reset the power supply by turning it off at the back and removing the supply lead, then press and hold the computers power on button for one minute. This is with the motherboard connected to the power supply.

    This is a very handy piece of info, can save you hours of work!
  22. fury

    fury TS Rookie

    Hehe, I didn't know anybody else did that.

    I used to use the power supply draining (or resetting) technique when I needed my motherboard to reset the BIOS...since the power supply was giving the 5v standby voltage, even though the CMOS battery was out, it was retaining the data due to that power. Although I didn't really have to wait that long. If I turned the power switch of the PSU off and waited for about 15 seconds or hit the power button on the front of the computer, I'd hear a "zap" noise and the light on the motherboard would switch off, and then I could reset the BIOS.

    I don't need to do that anymore with my new board. I kind of miss having to babysit the thing so much (e.g. sitting next to the computer on the floor ready to yank the plug and set the BIOS reset jumper) when trying to tweak it. Now if I screw up a tweak all I have to do is reset it and it reverts.


    Sorry :p
  23. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks heaps for your posts guys, much appreciated. That PSU drain trick is nice, I should've tried it before I blew the thing up :p

    I'm not expecting to have this system much longer - I'm looking to buy a whole new system in march-april, so all I need is something to last that long.

    I've gone with a cheapo (sorry!!) 450w power supply - I think this is all I'll need. Readings are as follows (or so it says on the unit)

    +12v 18A
    +5v 30A
    +3.3v 20A
    -5v 0.5A
    -12v 0.8A
    +5vsb 2a

    I'm sure this'll do the job... It only needs to last me what, 4 months max? So it should be fine. I'll update you when I get something going!
  24. DrCraniax

    DrCraniax TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, everything looks fine! New PSU went in, I've now got my Radeon 9800 and 1gig DDR400 RAM in and just enjoyed an hour of The Movies with no hitch at all. So it appears the problem has been resolved.

    Thanks for your help everyone, and for spending time assisting a hardware novice. I think I've learnt a fair bit from you all... Much appreciated!
  25. fury

    fury TS Rookie

    Cheapo 450 is probably about as good as a brand name 350. Just make sure you don't overclock it like crazy or use PSU-powered watercooling or anything fancy like that. Lighter loads are less likely to make the PSU generate out-of-spec voltages and other problems that can cause irreversible damage to your hardware and your home's electrical wiring.
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