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Thread: GA-EP45-UD3 with 4 x OCZ PC2 8500 - Unstable RAM




  1. #1
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    Default GA-EP45-UD3 with 4 x OCZ PC2 8500 - Unstable RAM

    Hi,

    We've got two identical machines:

    GA-EP45-UD3 with Q9550 @ 2.83Ghz

    Each has got 4 x OCZ 2Gb PC2 8500 Platinum Edition PN: OCZ2P10664GK modules

    Running XP64 SP2

    We've been using them for just over a year, and they've been mostly OK. Except recently one of them has started temporarily locking-up after rendering a standard def frame (using Lightwave), or just navigating in a modelling window, or other relatively unheavy stuff. So you do that, then go onto the Desktop, click a disk shortcut, or click the Start menu, but you get to wait about a minute and a half every single time before the machine frees up again. It doesn't matter what we do, anything that uses RAM heavily seems to lock the machine for this time.

    So I ran Memtest, and within seconds got errors. Ran it yesterday for three to four hours on both machines this time - neither managed to reach 100% in that time, but each generated alot of errors - 60 to 100 and more. I've tried Prime95 as well, but again, both machines failed the test within 4 minutes.

    This one machine's has got this locking-up thing going on, but the other is OK, aside from alot of program crashes in Lightwave ... but it's hard to say if that's RAM or LW. Either way, clearly there's something up here with both boxes. We have two other quad cores, more basic ones, along with an older dual-core, but they all run Memtest with zero errors for hours - tried that yesterday.

    Some guys over on the Newtek forums suggested I posted here - they're reckoning that this setup is difficult to get stable, especially with four sticks per machine, and that the Northbridge might need the voltage bumping up.

    These machines were built for us, and rightly or wrongly, I assumed they were all sorted and stable, as in fairness they worked great up until a couple of months back - on the box that's locking-up, I spent the back end of last year doing a pretty intense HD broadcast project without any of these issues. I hadn't checked the RAM until now, so for all I know, this instability has been there all along - I guess it may have been.

    We're not overclocking, by the way.

    I'll concede I'm a little out of my depth here, and I do need some advice please - happy to mess about with BIOS, etc., providing I get some pointers as to what's what.

    Thanks.

    Julian.

    Here's the BIOS as it is now:

    MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)
    Robust Graphics Booster -------------- : [Auto]
    CPU Clock Ratio ---------------------- : [8x]
    Fine CPU Clock Ratio ----------------- : [+0.5] <-- ignore if not available
    CPU Frequency ---------------------: 2.83Ghz (333x8.5) <-- this is set by your bios

    Clock Chip Control
    Standard Clock Control
    CPU Host Clock Control --------------- : [Disabled]
    CPU Host Frequency (Mhz) --------------: [266]
    PCI Express Frequency (Mhz) ---------- : [100] <--- Set to 100, never leave this on Auto

    C.I.A.2 ------------------------------ : [Disabled]

    Advanced Clock Control ------- [Press Enter]
    CPU Clock Drive ---------------------- : [800mV]
    PCI Express Clock Drive -------------- : [900mV]
    CPU Clock Skew (ps) ------------------ : [0ps]
    MCH Clock Skew (ps) ------------------ : [0ps]

    DRAM Performance Control
    Performance Enhance ------------------- : [Turbo]
    Extreme Memory Profile --- (X.M.P.) --- : [Disabled]
    (G)MCH Frequency Latch ---------------- : [Auto]
    System Memory Multiplier -------------- : [Auto]
    Memory Frequency (Mhz) ---------------- : [Auto]
    DRAM Timing Selectable ---------------- : [Auto]

    Standard Timing Control
    CAS Latency Time -------- 5 ---------- : [Auto]
    tRCD ------------------- 7 ---------- : [Auto]
    tRP --------------------- 7 ---------- : [Auto]
    tRAS ------------------- 20 ---------- : [Auto]

    Advanced Timing Control
    tRRD ------------------- 4 ---------- : [Auto]
    tWTR ------------------- 4 ---------- : [Auto]
    tWR --------------------- 8 ---------- : [Auto]
    tRFC ------------------- 72 ---------- : [Auto]
    tRTP ------------------- 4 ---------- : [Auto]
    Command Rate (CMD) -------------------- : [Auto]

    Driving Strength Profiles
    Driving Strength --------- : Press Enter <--- press ENTER to modify memory sub-timings when overclocking

    Channel A
    Static tRead Value --------------------- : [Auto]
    tRD Phase0 Adjustment ------------------ : [Auto] <-- leave this and below set to AUTO
    tRD Phase1 Adjustment ------------------ : [Auto]
    tRD Phase2 Adjustment ------------------ : [Auto]
    tRD Phase3 Adjustment ------------------ : [Auto]
    Trd2rd(Different Rank) ----------------- : [Auto]
    Twr2wr(Different Rank) ----------------- : [Auto]
    Twr2rd(Different Rank) ----------------- : [Auto]
    Trd2wr(Same/Diff Rank) ----------------- : [Auto]
    Dimm1 Clock Skew Control --------------- : [Auto] ps
    Dimm2 Clock Skew Control --------------- : [Auto] ps

    Channel B
    Static tRead Value --------------------- : [Auto]
    tRD Phase0 Adjustment ------------------ : [Auto] <-- leave this and below set to AUTO
    tRD Phase1 Adjustment ------------------ : [Auto]
    tRD Phase2 Adjustment ------------------ : [Auto]
    tRD Phase3 Adjustment ------------------ : [Auto]
    Trd2rd(Different Rank) ----------------- : [Auto]
    Twr2wr(Different Rank) ----------------- : [Auto]
    Twr2rd(Different Rank) ----------------- : [Auto]
    Trd2wr(Same/Diff Rank) ----------------- : [Auto]
    Dimm1 Clock Skew Control --------------- : [Auto] ps
    Dimm2 Clock Skew Control --------------- : [Auto] ps

    Motherboard Voltage Control
    CPU
    Voltage Types------------ Normal -------- Current -----
    Load-Line Calibration ----------------- : [Disabled]
    CPU Vcore --------------- 1.22500V ---- : [Auto]

    CPU Termination --------- 1.200V ----- : [Auto]
    CPU PLL ----------------- 1.500V ----- : [Auto]

    CPU Reference ----------- 0.760V ----- : [Auto]
    CPU Reference2 ---------- ?.???V* ----- : [Auto]

    MCH/ICH
    MCH Core ---------------- 1.100V ------- : [Auto]
    MCH Reference ----------- 0.760V ------- : [Auto]
    MCH/DRAM Ref ------------ 0.900V ------ : [Auto]
    ICH I/O ----------------- 1.500V ------- : [Auto]
    ICH Core ---------------- 1.100V ------- : [Auto]
    DRAM
    DRAM Voltage ------------ 1.800V ------- : [Auto]
    DRAM Termination -------- 0.900V ------- : [Auto]
    Channel A Reference ----- 0.900V ------- : [Auto]
    Channel B Reference ----- 0.900V ------- : [Auto]

    Advanced Settings
    Limit CPUID Max. to 3 ------------------ : [Disabled]
    No-Execute Memory Protect -------------- : [Enabled]
    CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) ---------------- : [Disabled]
    C2/C2E State Support ------------------- : [Disabled]
    x C4/C4E State Support ----------------- : [Disabled]
    CPU Thermal Monitor 2 (TM2) ------------ : [Enabled]
    CPU EIST Function --------------------- : [Disabled]
    Virtualization Technology -------------- : [Disabled]

    Integrated Peripherals
    Legacy USB Storage Detect ------------- : [Disabled]

  2. #2
    profJim's Avatar
    profJim is online now Chief Munchkin + moderator
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 with 4 x OCZ PC2 8500 - Unstable RAM

    Over time, the on/off heating & cooling of your system might cause cable connections and/or plug-in hardware to have less than optimal physical contact. Every 4 - 6 months, I give my systems a "tune-up" and thorough cleaning where I:
    1) Turn off my system
    2) Turn off the psu using the psu on/off switch
    3) Clean out dust from all components and fans
    4) Disconnect and reconnect each of the following, one at a time
    - all cable connections
    - memory modules
    - plug-in cards
    - hard drives, I don't remove the sata cable where it connects to the drive, but I carefully make sure that the connectors are fully seated

    If you follow steps 1 -4 in this post, this will provide useful information that will let us best help you with recommended bios settings to improve stability and optimize system performance even if you don't want to overclock.

    Please include information about your cpu and case cooling setup.
    What are the normal room temperatures in your computer room.
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


  3. #3
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 with 4 x OCZ PC2 8500 - Unstable RAM

    Hi,

    Thanks. I have recently cleaned the inside of both machines, and checked connections, along with removing and reseating major suspects.

    The room we work in is well ventilated, ie. we have the windows open most of the year, and the ambient temp hovers between 15 and 25 degrees C depending on the season. Today, it has been about 20 degrees C.

    The spec in my signature applies to both machines, though as I said, one of them is showing this odd lock-up after working in Lightwave, or indeed After Effects. Someone suggested today that the 500W PSU may not be sufficient for a system like this, and the GPU may be running slow.

    That aside, it's the memory instability I'm concerned about here, so I've done the screengrabs and the BIOS info, posted below, and don't think I've missed anything ... !

    I'm not averse to overclocking by the way, it's just I'd like the systems stabilised first.

    Thanks.

    Julian.

    MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)
    Robust Graphics Booster ...............: Auto
    CPU Clock Ratio ..........................: 8x
    Fine CPU Clock Ratio.....................:.+0.5
    CPU Frequency ...........................: 2.83Ghz (333x8.5)


    Clock Chip Control

    Standard Clock Control
    CPU Host Clock Control..................: [Disabled]
    CPU Host Frequency (Mhz) ............: 266Mhz
    PCI Express Frequency (Mhz) .........:100
    C.I.A.2 .................................:[Disabled]


    Advanced Clock Control [Press Enter]
    CPU Clock Drive...........................: 800mV
    PCI Express Clock Drive.................: 900mV
    CPU Clock Skew (ps)....................: 0ps
    MCH Clock Skew (ps)...................: 0ps


    DRAM Performance Control
    Performance Enhance...................: [Turbo]
    Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.).....: Disabled
    (G)MCH Frequency Latch...............: [Auto]
    System Memory Multiplier ..............: [Auto]
    Memory Frequency (Mhz) ..............: 1066
    DRAM Timing Selectable ................: [Auto]

    Standard Timing Control
    CAS Latency Time........................ 5
    tRCD ......................................... 7
    tRP'........................................... 7
    tRAS.......................................... 20

    Set all Suggested below to highest Values first. Then later you can lower, one at a time, testing as you go

    Advanced Timing Control
    tRRD........................................... 4 Auto
    tWTR.......................................... 4 Auto
    tWR............................................ 8 Auto
    tRFC........................................... 72 Auto
    tRTP........................................... 4 Auto
    Command Rate (CMD) .................... 0 Auto

    Driving Strength Profiles
    Driving Strength ............................

    Channel A
    Static tRead Value.........................: 6 Auto
    tRD Phase0 Adjustment...................:Auto <<< Leave for all below as well
    tRD Phase1 Adjustment...................:Auto
    tRD Phase2 Adjustment .................:Auto
    tRD Phase3 Adjustment..................:Auto
    Trd2rd(Different Rank)....................: 8 Auto
    Twr2wr(Different Rank)...................: 8 Auto
    Twr2rd(Different Rank)...................: 7 Auto
    Trd2wr(Same/Diff Rank)..................: 9 Auto
    Dimm1 Clock Skew Control...............:Auto ps
    Dimm2 Clock Skew Control...............:Auto ps

    Channel B
    Static tRead Value.........................: 6 Auto
    tRD Phase0 Adjustment...................:Auto <<< Leave for all below as well
    tRD Phase1 Adjustment...................:Auto
    tRD Phase2 Adjustment .................:Auto
    tRD Phase3 Adjustment..................:Auto
    Trd2rd(Different Rank)....................: 8 Auto
    Twr2wr(Different Rank)...................: 8 Auto
    Twr2rd(Different Rank)...................: 7 Auto
    Trd2wr(Same/Diff Rank)..................: 9 Auto
    Dimm1 Clock Skew Control...............:Auto ps
    Dimm2 Clock Skew Control...............:Auto ps

    Motherboard Voltage Control

    CPU
    CPU Vcore….……….........................: 1.22500V Auto

    CPU Termination…..... 1.200V .......

    CPU PLL………………….... 1.500V .......
    CPU Referen.………….... 0.76V .......

    CPU Reference2……… 0.800V .......

    MCH/ICH
    MCH Core……………..... 1.100V ...........
    MCH Reference….…….0.760V...........
    MCH/DRAM Ref.…......0.900V...........
    ICH I/O……………….....1.500V............
    ICH Core…………...……1.100V............

    DRAM
    DRAM Voltage ……....2.200V............
    DRAM Termination .…0.900V............
    Channel A Reference 0.900V............
    Channel B Reference 0.900V............
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3 Rev. 1.0 BIOS Version Award Software F3
    Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83Ghz - CPU Fan/Heatsink: Intel E30307-001
    RAM: 2 x OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Platinum Edition 4GB(2x2048) D/C Kit PN - OCZ2P10664GK - http://www.ocztechnology.com/product...n_dual_channel
    GPU: Nvidia GeForce 9800GT with Driver 197.45
    PSU: OCZ OCZ500SXS 500W
    Fans: Yate Loon Electronics GP D12SL-12
    Win XP64 SP2

  4. #4
    kick's Avatar
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 with 4 x OCZ PC2 8500 - Unstable RAM

    Heya pro Jim.....
    The xp 64 system has very limited support(afik)
    2 identical systems..swop the memory and see if the instability crosses over.
    if it does,some memory stick is gone or perhaps allways has been gone a slight memory voltage increase may fix it.

    running your memory on turbo,is in itself over clocking,tho in a very limited way if you arent touching anything else.

    Turn your memory performance setting to standard.

    Save your bios settings on the problem machine (f11 and f12 keys save and load bios settings)
    Once you have your current settings saved , load and save optimised defaults and see if you still get errors.
    Normally id say,undo whatever change u made that caused the problem to happen,but your not sure if this was prexisting or not.

    In your posted bios settings 266 mhz for cpu host frequency cant be correct if cpu is running on x8.5x333 etc.
    check bios settings all the way thru to make sure they are they same on both machines.
    Do all the "tests on the "good" machine.
    Replicate the exact bios settings from the good one to the "bad" one after loading optimised defaults and see what happens.



    If oerclocking/overvolting is anathema to you.you may be in trouble.As it is your voltages may only need very slight increases,but its possibly just a memory stick gone bad/was allways bad.

    It could be something like one memory stick is a little bit worse than the others and .01 or .02 v extra would cure that..or return the stick and get a replacement.

    also the applied voltage on the memory on these "built machines" seems a little high. the sticks themselves arent state of the art.,im just wondering are they being run v close to their max voltage while the rest of the system is understressed.
    Your bios version is very old, ..but upgrading bios is something id hesitate to recommend on the "arrgh you suggested I upgrade it and now my motherboard is junk" principle.
    However it may need to be done.

    Thats an advantage of having 2 machines of the exact same spec.It should be easy enough to cross check.
    Then again something as simple as boosting your mch core voltae to 1.2v might solve everything since your other components are understressed.
    Last edited by kick; 05-30-2010 at 07:52 AM.
    Current Systems:

    Asrock p67 Extreme6.............. Gigabyte EP-45 UD3 ...................... Gigabyte 73 PVM S2
    Intel i5 2500k 4.8ghz................ Intel Q8400 3.8ghz......................... Intel D820 2.8ghz
    Zalman 10x cooler.................... Coolermaster V8............................ HP cooler
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    60GB ssd/500GB HDD .............. WD 1TB hdd.................................... Seagate 160GB hdd
    GTX 460 1GB x2 SLI ................. Msi 9600GT 512MB(died) ........... Onboard gx
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 with 4 x OCZ PC2 8500 - Unstable RAM

    Thanks kick.

    Overclocking/overvolting isn't anathema to me - curious to push the machine and happy enough to mess about with it, including BIOS update, etc. I guess all I meant was that all that wasn't high on my list - I just need our machines stable and working!

    These were built by the small shop down the road here, early May 2009. Don't know what to make of all this - neither machine is good, as such.

    Note both machines generate alot of RAM errors in testing - we've already tried swapping RAM around, testing with just two sticks, etc. Errors all the time. So it doesn't look like just one stick at fault, which is why I think this is something other than faulty sticks.

    The BIOS settings in both machines were identical - I've just gone through them - the other one's CPU Host Freq was also set to 266. When I set Optimised Defaults, the CPU HF changes to 333.

    But that has made no difference.

    So I set the MCH Core Voltage to 1.2. Again no difference.

    I then increased the RAM to 1.82 (from 1.8) and altered the Turbo down to Standard.

    Then the machine wouldn't even boot as far as the Gigabyte intro screen (where you launch BIOS, etc). I restarted, this time it did, but once in BIOS got a warning that overclocking/settings didn't match current hardware. So I went back to Optimised Defaults, and the machine boots again.

    Still have the locking-up problem, still have the RAM errors (as reported by Memtest and Prime95).

    So at this point, well, don't know.

    Julian.
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3 Rev. 1.0 BIOS Version Award Software F3
    Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83Ghz - CPU Fan/Heatsink: Intel E30307-001
    RAM: 2 x OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Platinum Edition 4GB(2x2048) D/C Kit PN - OCZ2P10664GK - http://www.ocztechnology.com/product...n_dual_channel
    GPU: Nvidia GeForce 9800GT with Driver 197.45
    PSU: OCZ OCZ500SXS 500W
    Fans: Yate Loon Electronics GP D12SL-12
    Win XP64 SP2

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 with 4 x OCZ PC2 8500 - Unstable RAM

    Meant to say also on the RAM voltage - the max voltage is stated as 2.2, so the fact we've been running them at 1.80, and only yesterday I tried them at 2.1, and then at 1.82 this morning (which in combo with the upped MCH Core seemed to cause the machine not to boot), surely we haven't been running them close to max.

    Or do you mean some other setting that they seem too high on?

    Julian.
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3 Rev. 1.0 BIOS Version Award Software F3
    Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83Ghz - CPU Fan/Heatsink: Intel E30307-001
    RAM: 2 x OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Platinum Edition 4GB(2x2048) D/C Kit PN - OCZ2P10664GK - http://www.ocztechnology.com/product...n_dual_channel
    GPU: Nvidia GeForce 9800GT with Driver 197.45
    PSU: OCZ OCZ500SXS 500W
    Fans: Yate Loon Electronics GP D12SL-12
    Win XP64 SP2

  7. #7
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: GA-EP45-UD3 with 4 x OCZ PC2 8500 - Unstable RAM

    MCH may need to be 1.2-1.24, and if that fails some boards need less than stock for some reason, so try 1.0-1.1 if you think this may be your board may be one of these abnormal ones.

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