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Thread: Asrock Z97 Memory Voltage Issue...




  1. #11
    PowerPie5000 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z97 Memory Voltage Issue...

    I think the RAM is running at maximum power/voltage no matter what is selected. I was just messing with the A-tuning utility and I set the RAM to 1.2v to see what would happen... Nothing happened! I expected the PC to crash or not startup when I rebooted it! I then increased the RAM voltage to 1.7v to see if any values change in any of the monitoring utilities and guess what... Everything stayed the same (including that 1.696v reading that Speccy shows as the memory controller and HWMonitor shows as VIN1 & VIN11).

    Is it possible that Asrock have set a single voltage of 1.7v (probably supposed to be 1.65v) for the RAM and it just can't be changed? It may show the DRAM voltage in the bios or A-tuning utility, but I don't think they're actual readings from sensors, it just shows the values we have selected and doesn't actually apply it. I could be wrong of course, but I feel something is not quite right here.
    Last edited by PowerPie5000; 10-10-2014 at 05:13 AM.

  2. #12
    PowerPie5000 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z97 Memory Voltage Issue...

    Ok, I just re-flashed the bios, cleared the CMOS and also reinstalled the A-Tuning software for good measure. I then proceeded to see what would happen if I applied the lowest DRAM voltage in the A-Tuning software (1.165v)... The PC powered off and then restarted again with default 1.5v values. Now i'm getting somewhere as the DRAM voltage was obviously applied this time .

    EDIT: I just dropped the DRAM to 1.250 and then 1.200v volts again and the system carried on normally without it rebooting like it did when I selected the lowest 1.165v option. Check out the weird voltage results below, particularly most of the the minimum and current values shown in HWMonitor (it even added an extra temp at just 7C for some reason!). Speccy also shows the memory controller as 0.400v when my RAM is set to 1.250v! I can't explain this








    Last edited by PowerPie5000; 10-10-2014 at 06:23 AM.

  3. #13
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z97 Memory Voltage Issue...

    I can't explain those readings except for what I know about sensor readings and software that reads them:

    There are no standards for sensor readings, and there are multiple sensor chips available. There are some specifically identified inputs on the chips that should be used for VCore, for example, but the other inputs are labeled as VIN1... VIN11. A mother board manufacture can connect them to whatever they want. If there were standards, why do the programs reading them use the VIN4, VIN5, etc, labels if they knew that VIN4 was say DRAM voltage?

    The answer is they don't know what those readings are unless the mother board manufacture provides that information. Do we know if CPUID requested that information? I know in at least some cases, requests for that information from mobo manufactures are not answered, they won't provide it.

    I've worked with the programmer of one hardware monitoring program to help them label a couple sensor readings correctly, because of the things I listed above.

    All of the third party monitoring programs have at least the following variables to deal with:

    Processors from AMD and Intel, that use completely different methods to store temperature and voltage data.

    Within each manufacture, each generation of processors can do things differently as they evolve over time. Haswell and their internal voltage regulators is a perfect example of that.

    So at any time there are multiple processor models from multiple manufactures, and each manufacture has multiple generations of processors in use in our world at the same time.

    Sensor data may also be provided by the board's chipset(s). Each processor generation has multiple chipsets. Some processor generations use two chipsets, others use one.

    Then we have multiple mother boards per processor and chipset generation, and the different sensor chips that each of them use. Then there is the way data is connected to the inputs on the sensor chips. Almost forgot, now some boards have two sensor chips.

    Fortunately the processor manufactures supply most of the information about the basic sensor data, how it can be read and how to interpret it. But each step we take down into the mother boards and sensor chip usage, the less we know.

    Interpretation of the data is another subject entirely. Do the temperature sensors on processors output data that can be displayed as is, and will be "50C" for example? No, it's much more complicated.

    Which is why many of the monitoring programs just don't bother, and spit out whatever they basically can read, and label it "VIN6", for example. They also don't tell us any of the other details I listed, or warn us that the values shown is raw data, that has not been interpreted into a valid value.

    So we can't look at the output of these programs and decide one thing or another is not right, or something is being done or not done.

    Is it impossible that your memory cannot run at any other voltage than 1.5V? Have you ever tried that before?

  4. #14
    PowerPie5000 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z97 Memory Voltage Issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Is it impossible that your memory cannot run at any other voltage than 1.5V? Have you ever tried that before?
    My RAM appeared to be running ok at 1.250V without any other adjustments (which it really shouldn't be able to do)... That's if Asrocks own A-Tune utility is to be believed. Look at the A-Tuning DRAM voltage in my last post (1.250v with DDR3 1600 RAM). I set it to 1.250v and it actually changed the values in Speccy and HWMonitor (shown in my last post). Setting the RAM to 1.7 or 1.8V doesn't change any readings at all as far as I can tell. Dropping it to 1.65V (lowest) causes the PC to instantly reboot.

    This now makes me think the RAM can be changed, but there must be some kind of voltage overshoot (I set the RAM to 1.250v for example and it could actually be running at 1.450v). Could the system agent offset have anything to do with this? It defaults at 0.199v when set to auto. I really wish Asrock had implemented DRAM voltage sensors (amongst a couple of other sensors). I think i'll just leave everything set to auto and i'll see over time if my CPU degrades at all. The temps seem fine so hopefully there won't be any problems using auto settings in the long run. On auto the VID hits 1.263v at stock and the CPU cache can hit 1.29V at stock (despite being auto set to 1.20v in the bios). The CPU cache ratio is also set to x44 but it never goes over x40 for some reason.

    I suppose it's almost impossible to determine the real voltages (as you said before in detail) without using a decent multimeter. I've heard that fully digital boards are better with sensor readings compared to analog or analog/digital hybrid boards (like the Asrock Z97 series), not sure how true this is though? I'll try and get a full digital board next time when Sky Lake or AMD Zen arrives :).
    Last edited by PowerPie5000; 10-11-2014 at 03:31 AM.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Asrock Z97 Memory Voltage Issue...

    I saw that Memory Controller voltage reading before, but got side tracked with my previous post/blab-fest.

    So I tried lowering my DRAM voltage in A-Tuning OC Tweaker, and ran Speccy afterwards. This is what I got:

    Asrock Z97 Memory Voltage Issue...-z97-atuning-speccy-jpg

    I set the DRAM to 1.200V in A-Tuning, and you can see the Speccy reading for Memory Controller did not change, still at 1.696V. Why yours changes, I don't know. Why would the Memory Controller Input voltage change with the DRAM voltage? We don't expect or see the CPU Input voltage changing with different VCore settings. They could behave differently, but mine does not change at all. Is that your BIOS being different? Speccy being buggy?

    After this, I restarted into the UEFI, and set the DRAM voltage to 1.200V. I'm using the Samsung "Green, Miracle" memory that can be run at 1.35V, which I do all the time. I only have it at 1600, 9 9 9 24 1T now, but have 16GB installed, 4 x 4GB. Surprises me it runs at 1.200V, with 16GB, typing this now with that voltage, so far not any problem with the PC.

    That kinda makes me wonder if that is really the true voltage. But how often have we tried lowering the DRAM voltage below its spec, I never have, we usually increase it. Any OC of the memory could fail, I've had this memory up to 2000 at 1.35V with this board and CPU.

    Might try CPU-Z just for the memory tab.

  6. #16
    PowerPie5000 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z97 Memory Voltage Issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    I set the DRAM to 1.200V in A-Tuning, and you can see the Speccy reading for Memory Controller did not change, still at 1.696V. Why yours changes, I don't know. Why would the Memory Controller Input voltage change with the DRAM voltage? We don't expect or see the CPU Input voltage changing with different VCore settings. They could behave differently, but mine does not change at all. Is that your BIOS being different? Speccy being buggy?

    After this, I restarted into the UEFI, and set the DRAM voltage to 1.200V. I'm using the Samsung "Green, Miracle" memory that can be run at 1.35V, which I do all the time. I only have it at 1600, 9 9 9 24 1T now, but have 16GB installed, 4 x 4GB. Surprises me it runs at 1.200V, with 16GB, typing this now with that voltage, so far not any problem with the PC.

    That kinda makes me wonder if that is really the true voltage. But how often have we tried lowering the DRAM voltage below its spec, I never have, we usually increase it. Any OC of the memory could fail, I've had this memory up to 2000 at 1.35V with this board and CPU.

    Might try CPU-Z just for the memory tab.

    What happens if you set your DRAM below 1.200V? I really think the voltages we set are not the true values and *might* even be the reason why Asrock don't have DRAM voltage sensors onboard. The DRAM reading in A-Tuning and the BIOS is definitely not a real time sensor reading. I just hope the real voltage is not too high as I hear about IMC degradation a bit too often with Haswell based chips.

    I'm glad Intel are removing the voltage regulator from the CPU die with Skylake as Haswell is certainly a bit of a headache. I'll hang on to my 4790K and Asrock Extreme4 board until Skylake. Hopefully Biostar come out with a decent board for it. I know Biostar is a bit of an underdog company (like ECS too), but I've never had an issue with their boards and my other PC is still running a Biostar TH67XE with i7 3770K CPU (used to run a plain i5 2500 before the Ivy Bridge Bios update), Radeon R9 280X and 8GB Avexir DDR3 1600 RAM. I've not had a single issue with that board and it's now over 3 years old and was pretty cheap to buy when new.... And it has DRAM voltage sensors . It's a shame Biostar Z97 boards are a bit lacking here the UK, so I chose Asrock instead (it's my 3rd Asrock board over the years).
    Last edited by PowerPie5000; 10-11-2014 at 03:52 PM.

  7. #17
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z97 Memory Voltage Issue...

    I've never had a board that had DRAM voltage sensors, and my building of PCs goes back to the socket 775 days, Pentium D and Core 2 Duo. That includes boards by ECS, Intel, Gigabyte and Asus. I imagine DRAM voltage is a set and forget thing, or considered to be.

    I got my Z87 EX 6 board to fail to POST by setting the memory voltage to 1.200V, with the same Samsung memory as in my Z97 board. Runs fine at 1.250V @ 1800 9 9 9 24 1T, still hilarious IMO. I must try that on my only board with G.Skill memory in it, specs of the usual 1.5V. But it seems that the memory voltage setting is doing something, and that memory is more flexible about its operating voltage than we think.

    The main thing that scares me about Biostar or ECS (my first board, an ECS with the Pentium D, still works) is their UEFI, and I must have UEFI firmware with the right option ROMs. I'm not talking about the GUI interface, that is the only thing most board manufactures and users actually use that UEFI firmware allows. I UEFI POST/boot all my Windows installations, so much faster that legacy booting. ASRock knows how to provide that capability, which goes back at least as far as their Z77 boards. Can't say that about some other mother board manufactures, even their most current products.

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