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Thread: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500




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    Default GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    I have similar problem to this thread: http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/ga-e...eyboard-26159/ I get post (one short beep) followed by the Giagabyte logo screen. System does not respond to any keyboard input, so I cannot get into the BIOS. I'm using a PS2 keyboard.

    The memory I have (2x1GB Ballistix Tracer DDR2 1066) is rated at 2.2v. I know about the problem where this mobo defaults to 1.8v for the memory. I replaced the Ballistix memory with 2x512MB I had lying around and it boots OK and I can get into the BIOS. In the BIOS I changed the DDR2 OverVoltage Control to +0.4V to match my Ballistix memory (1.8v+0.4v=2.2v). (I also enabled PS2 mouse and keyboard, is there a reason why these are not enabled by default?, it's a bit of hassle trying to find a PS2 keyboard)

    I then put the Ballistix tracers back in, same as before, system posts (one short beep) followed by the Giagabyte logo screen, but no response to keyboard input. I then put the 2x512MB back in and I get post and keyboard access again.

    Logic would suggest that the memory is bad, either one or both sticks (I haven't tried just a single stick yet). While it's possible the memory is bad, it's not likely. Too many posts about this memory having problems on this, and similar GB boards. Then again, many people get the 1066 Ballistix tracers working on this and similar boards. It seems to be a bit of hit or miss. What's the deal?

    I will try a single stick, different slots etc, but I bought a highend mobo with high end memory, I just want it to work. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
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    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    Crucial Die often, sorry to have to let you down there. That is what I would suggest, try one stick, and also try the one stick (if you have a working crucial one) in each slot. Just to be sure each slot is working

    I do suggest to you, read more about crucial. While they are great, they do OFTEN die and it is usually just out of the blue. Most everyone says they work fine undervolted so I would suggest you keep them at 2.1. I just tested some lanfests and they worked fine at 800 + 1000 at 2.1. Voltage is often the culprit, but not always some say they die at 1.8 even.

    But just so you know, I DO see more RMA threads for crucial then anything else. I almost daily see "Third RMA on my tracers anyone else have this issue" threads everywhere. Ballistix's are no different. They are a great company, and great ram.....Usually always Micron and that comes with the RMA might be needed quicker clause

    Any and all brands certainly do need RMA's and even all have DOA but I honestly see this more with crucial then anyone, have a google gander at "Crucial RMA" OR "Crucial Ram Dead" and you will see

    I suggest < Mushkin!!! It is what I have in both of my GA boards without issues, and have used several models and had no problems

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    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    Thanks for the quick response. Yes I was aware of the recent problems with crucial, maybe just a bad batch or something. But I'm still not convinced the memory is bad, I could be wrong ofcourse.

    I put the 2x1GB tracers in my son's Dimersion E520 and ran memtest86, one full pass (about 40 minutes), and no errors on those tracers. It's still running memtest now.

    So the memory seems fine, as I would expect brand new/never used before memory to be. There certainly seems to compatability issues with this memory in Gigabyte boards though. But I don't understand why, it works in some and not others. What is differnet about this memory other then the 2.2v. I'm building a showcase machine so I'd like to get the tracers working, for the LED light show.

    Can you recommend anything else I can try? Did I set the voltage right in the bios? Should I try a lower voltage. Are there any other bios settings that may help with this. The thing about testing this is that every time you want to make a change to the bios you have to put old memory in because the thing won't respond to the keyboard with the tracers in.

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    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    Hmm, well what are your settings? I would think maybe you need some more MCH and Possibly other voltages. Post back, add or remove anything needed>>>>

    Robust Graphics Booster___________ [Auto]
    CPU Clock Ratio ____________ [8]
    CPU Host Clock Control_ [Enabled]
    CPU Host Frequency (MHz)__________ [450]
    PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)_______ [102]
    C.I.A. 2__________________________ [Disabled]
    System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ [2.00]
    DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Manual]

    CAS Latency Time_________________ ?
    Dram RAS# to CAS# Delay__________ ?
    Dram RAS# Precharge Delay_________?
    Precharge Delay (tRAS)____________ ?
    ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD)____________ ?
    Rank Write to READ Delay__________ ?
    Write to Precharge Delay___________ ?
    Refresh to ACT Delay______________ ?
    Read to Precharge Delay____________ ?
    Static tRead Value_______________ 1-31
    Static tRead Phase Adjust________ 1-31

    System Voltage Control____ [Manual]
    DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ [+0.300V]
    PCI-E OverVoltage Control_ [+0.1V]
    FSB OverVoltage Control___ [+0.1V]
    (G)MCH OverVoltage Control [+0.1V]
    CPU Voltage Control_______ [1.25]

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    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    Your last post is a bit unclear. I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at.

    The only BIOS settings I have changed are DDR2 voltage (+0.4 so it's now 2.2v) and enabled USB mouse and keyboard. All other settings are the same.

    Can you be a liitle more explicit about what you would like me to change and perhaps a bit of an explanation as to why that change might be needed.

    I don't understand why this ram will not boot at the mobos default 1.8v.

    Would appreciate comments from anyone who has this mobo with this ram.

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    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    I wanted you to change your MCH voltage because you are using 1066 ram. And I wanted you to copy what I posted and paste back your settings so I can see if maybe I see another issue. More MCH voltage would be needed to make 1066 stable. And even if you are trying 1.8 auto is not always stable or correct.

    So simply I am trying to help you set things up to work. Overclocked or not you should manually set things in the MIT section

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    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    Ok, thanks. I will go through what you suggested but first I'm going to put the Ballistix aside for the moment and concentrate on getting something working with the 2 sticks of 512mb memory I have. I just want to rule out any problems with the motherboard.

    I wanted to do a memtest86 on these 2 sticks of 512mb (Kingston PC4200) with those sticks in the x38 motherboard, (just to ensure memtest86 is working OK before I run it on the Ballistix). If you remember the system posts (one short beep) and I get into the bios (keyboard responds) when I have those 2 512mb sticks in the new build. But memtest freezes before it even starts, it kind of half loads the startup screen and doesn't start any tests. I don't think there is a problem with this memory (although I have neved specifically memtested it, it's been running in another machine with absolutely no problems for 18 months). The memtest boot CD has been used in other machines without problem. Is there something I need to do to configure my DVD drive, like enable SATA or something? The thing boots OK with the XP pro startup disk. As an aside, is there any particular SATA port I should use for the boot disk.

    I tried booting with only a single 512mb stick, posted (one short beep) but no keyboard access, exactly the same problem as with the Ballistix, just sits at the Gigabyte logo screen. I then tried the other stick in the same slot, same result, posted but no keyboard access. I tried each 512mb stick in various slots, booting with just one stick each time, all with the same result. Can this board not support a single stick of 512mb PC4200, or is there something wrong with the board?

    There shouldn't be any need but I'll let you know what else is in this build, maybe there is something peculiar about connecting certain devices to certain SATA ports or something. I have 2 SATA drives, 2 GFX cards (Geforce 7600gt and 7300le for triple monitor setup) and Xeon 3110 CPU.

    Something else I should let you know. Most of the time (not always) when I turn the system on (this is with 2x512mb ram in it) it powers off after a few seconds then powers back on a couple of seconds later. Sometimes it will do this twice (it's never done it more then 2 cycles so far). Then it posts and and I can get into the bios. When I first saw this I thought, oh no..... the continuous reboot cycle. Any thoughts?

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    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    No, ports will not matter for disks, unless you dont have the bios setup right for certain controllers/ports. The yellow ones are controlled by The intel chip and are the top settings in advanced BIOS pages, and the purple ports are jmicron/gigabyte ports controlled by the gigabyte/jmicron chip and are the setting toward the lower are dealing with drives in the advanced BIOS page.

    What memtest86 version are you using? If it is 2.1 do you have a floppy to try instead of CD? If so I suggest that, if not let me know. And if you can please post all your bios pages when this happens so I can see if indeed maybe you do have something set funny. And also, tell me what disks you have plugged in where when you do post those images. You can zip them or just post the images right here, either way is fine with me

    I would imagine the board should run fine with one 4200 stick but maybe not. I can tell you for sure the double reboot is your board resetting the BIOS because of incorrect overclock settings.


    I suggest also only have one gfx card in there for now (I dont think two Nvidia cards is going to be a easy thing to setup on a Crossfire board either), and add some voltages to everything. Like +.1 on MCH,FSB, and set your ram to what is should be. If it is 1.8 dont leave it on auto, go ahead and set it to +.1=1.9 (Just so we can be sure that isnt the issue)

    Please fill out the table I posted above with the settings you are trying, otherwise I am just trying in the dark to help you and we are not going to get anywhere. you can take pictures of the MIT page if you think that would be easier for you.

    But yes, I think you need to set somethings in the bios, that is why the double reboot.

    What BIOS are you using, and is it the only one you have used?

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    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post

    I do suggest to you, read more about crucial. While they are great, they do OFTEN die and it is usually just out of the blue. Most everyone says they work fine undervolted so I would suggest you keep them at 2.1. I just tested some lanfests and they worked fine at 800 + 1000 at 2.1. Voltage is often the culprit, but not always some say they die at 1.8 even.

    Indeed. If you filter a forum to just look at a memory section, hands down the majority of the posts with RAM errors involve Crucial. Here is an interesting Anand thread. I got the 2x2GB DDR2 800 Ballistix set but haven't ran them yet. I am thinking about trading them in for a set of Corsair or Mushkin just to avoid any potential problems. There seems to be something hairy going on with their batches these days.

    AnandTech - Crucial's Response to Problems with Ballistix Memory

    The good news is that Crucial seems to be replacing them without hassles.
    Last edited by SpinachEater; 04-11-2008 at 02:32 PM.

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    Default Re: GA-EX38-DS4 with Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500

    Long post, but I think I'm getting somewhere:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    What memtest86 version are you using? If it is 2.1 do you have a floppy to try instead of CD? If so I suggest that, if not let me know. And if you can please post all your bios pages when this happens so I can see if indeed maybe you do have something set funny. And also, tell me what disks you have plugged in where when you do post those images. You can zip them or just post the images right here, either way is fine with me
    I am using memtest86 v2.01, I thought that was the latest version. I don't have a floppy in this build, haven't had a floppy for may last 3 or so PCs

    This is a brand new build, the first boot was yesterday. On this first boot with the Ballistix in I got post but no keyboard access, hence no BIOS access. This is when I took the Ballistix out and put 2x512 Kingstons in. Then I could access the BIOS. I then enabled USB keyboard/mouse and increased DDR2 voltage by +0.4. That is all I have changed.

    I have 2 hard drives, one plugged into SATAII0 (that will be my boot drive) and the other in SATAII2. The DVD is plugged into SATAII1. These hard drives have not been setup yet.

    Here are my settings. I assume BIOS sets some of these depending on what memory etc you have installed.

    Robust Graphics Booster___________ Auto
    CPU Clock Ratio ____________ 9x
    CPU Host Clock Control_ Disabled
    CPU Host Frequency (MHz)__________266
    PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)_______ Auto
    C.I.A. 2_________________________ Disabled
    System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ Auto
    DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ Auto

    Note: DRAM timing is set to Auto
    CAS Latency Time_________________ 5
    Dram RAS# to CAS# Delay__________ 7
    Dram RAS# Precharge Delay_________ 7
    Precharge Delay (tRAS)____________ 24
    ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD)____________ 4
    Rank Write to READ Delay__________ 4
    Write to Precharge Delay___________ 8
    Refresh to ACT Delay______________ 68
    Read to Precharge Delay____________ 4
    Static tRead Value_______________ 6
    Static tRead Phase Adjust________ 0
    System Voltage Control____ [Manual]
    DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ Normal
    PCI-E OverVoltage Control_ Normal
    FSB OverVoltage Control___ Normal
    (G)MCH OverVoltage Control Normal
    CPU Voltage Control_______ Normal

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    I would imagine the board should run fine with one 4200 stick but maybe not. I can tell you for sure the double reboot is your board resetting the BIOS because of incorrect overclock settings.
    The board does not boot with a single stick of PC4200, not in any slot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    I suggest also only have one gfx card in there for now (I dont think two Nvidia cards is going to be a easy thing to setup on a Crossfire board either), and add some voltages to everything. Like +.1 on MCH,FSB, and set your ram to what is should be. If it is 1.8 dont leave it on auto, go ahead and set it to +.1=1.9 (Just so we can be sure that isnt the issue)
    I will take out one of the gfx cards. I'm not setting up crossfire, I just need triple monitors, therefore 2 cards, there is no gaming involved, I don't game at all, this is a business machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    What BIOS are you using, and is it the only one you have used?
    I am using F2 BIOS, that's what the board came with. I have not updated it.

    An update:

    Well, I thought I'd tried this before, maybe I hadn't. I initially had the 2 Ballistix sticks in the red slots (furtherest from the cpu). I put them in the yellow slots (closest to the cpu) and it boots. This is with DDR2 voltage at the normal setting, i.e. no increase in DDR voltage. It does not boot with the Ballistix in the red slots. Maybe I'm showing my ignorance here but shouldn't I be able to use either the red slots or the yellow slots when using 2 sticks. I didn't think you had to use the ones nearest the cpu. The 2x512mb run Ok in the red slots, very odd. I tried 4 sticks, the 2x1GB Ballistix with the 2x512mb Kingstons and that booted as well. I booted it several times with all 4 sticks in and it did fail once (posted but no keyboard access).

    I don't know a lot about memtest86 either but when I ran that against the 4 sticks together it came up with the half loaded memtest screen and then froze, just like it did with a single stick. Does this suggest there is something wrong with the one or both of the red memory slots? I ran a full pass of memtest with just the Ballistix (in the yellow slots) and got no errors. But later passes got errors on several tests. These tests were run with NO changes made to the BIOS, except for the USB enabling.

    I will probably overclock this build but for now I am not overclocking. I just want a stable system running at stock speeds. OK, I've been running some tests while writing this. With no changes to the BIOS the DDR18V reading in PC Health Status is 2.24v. Boots Ok with this but gets memtest errors. I then increased DDR voltage in 0.05v steps up to 0.4, no other BIOS changes. All these tests give memtest errors. The middle range voltages (around 1.90-1.95v) seem to get less errors.

    I then did the same tests (DDR in 0.05v steps) but this time increased MCH by +0.1v. Actually got one full memtest pass without any errors but errors on subsequent passes. This was with DDR voltage at +0.15v.

    Anyway I haven't been able to get it stable yet but it boots with the Ballistix (but only in the yellow slots). There are a lot of combinations to tweak so I'm looking for advice on what settings to tweak to get this memory stable. I'm not overclocking.

    I have just run a test with the DDR set to 800 rather then 1066 (setting SPD to 2.40, no other BIOS changes) and this is the first time I have been able to get 2 memtest passes with no errors. DDRV18 is 1.88v.

    Based on the above can I be confident the board is OK. And I'm not sure about the memory yet. It certainly doesn't seem to run at what Crucial rates it at, not on my board anyway.

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