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Thread: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies




  1. #1
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    Default How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    I'm rebuilding a system for a friend and I'm replacing the MB, CPU, PSU and OS and adding 2 GB of DDR2 RAM. I didn't check quite close enough on the RAM modules and now find that I've ordered a 2 GB Dual Channel Kit that is identical to the existing RAM except that the latency is different. Existing RAM has 4-4-4-12 latency and the new RAM is 5-5-5-18 latency.

    Both sets are CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel and the only other difference is the voltage. Existing RAM lists voltage as 2.1V and the new set lists voltage as 1.9V.

    MB for this rebuild will be a GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H. I've checked other forums about running RAM pairs with different latencies and understand it can be done but the suggestion is made to set the memory timings and voltage for the 4-4-4-12 pair to match the 5-5-5-18 pair to avoid issues.

    My plan is this. Install the original 2 GB RAM on the board and during first boot go into the BIOS and reset the timings and voltage. Install the OS (Windows 7 64-bit) and after that install the new sticks, necessary MB driver updates, etc.

    Does this sound like the correct way to get the RAM to play together with no issues and are there any recommendations on tutorials or guides on how best to accomplish this on the MB listed? I've built a system before but have never gone into the BIOS to change memory timings or voltage. No OCing planned, no gaming or video editing, etc on this rig.

    TIA and regards.

  2. #2
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    They both should be able to run with 1.9V using 555-18 timings. You may be able to get them both to run at 444-12 timings using 2.1V, but that is up to you.

    You can't set them separately like you are asking about, and they may or may not work together at all - you will just have to try and see.

    Ya just put in one set, I'd try the 444-12 first to see how it's going to go. Put those in and go into the BIOS and set 555-18 with 1.9V and reboot and test with memtest86+

    Then if all is well put in the second set, when using 4GB you may need to increase the NB VID, keep that in mind.

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    Default Re: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    Thanks for the reply. Looking at the manual for the MB I see where the Memory timings are set. It looks like I want to manually set 1-4 to 5-5-5-18, is this correct? The screenshot from the manual already has this but I assume that it will show as 4-4-4-12 with the original RAM I have installed first. Correct?


    After I set the timings it looks like I go here to set the DDR voltage. Is this correct?


    If I access the above this looks like I can only up the voltage. Will it also allow me to reduce the voltage to 1.9V to match the 5-5-5-15 settings?


    Thanks for the help.
    Last edited by highcountryrider; 09-19-2010 at 04:19 AM.

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    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    Then if all is well put in the second set, when using 4GB you may need to increase the NB VID, keep that in mind.
    AMD has a built in memory controller.

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    Default Re: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    It doesn't matter. The IMC is still refered to as the Northbridge, and the setting is usually called NB Voltage or Northbridge Voltage Control in the board's BIOS.
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    Default Re: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    @Chike & @Psycho101
    Not sure if that means I will or will not have to increase the NB VID as Lsdmeasap wrote and if so where do I accomplish that? Also, will I be able to change the voltage for the 4-4-4-12 RAM in BIOS from 2.1V to 1.9V? The manual for the MB only shows the option to increase voltage.

    Appreciate the help. I'm anxious to use the newly purchased 5-5-5-18 RAM instead of having to purchase 2 GB of 4-4-4-12 for $70 if possible but not at the expense of problems or issues with trying to mix the different speeds.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    If needed, Northbridge Volt Control is the setting that you might need to increase.
    It's just below the yellow boxed DDR2 Voltage Control in your screen-shot from post #3.
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    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    No I think it is the CPU NB VID Lsdmesap was referring to.

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    Default Re: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    How I would procede would be to install the 4-4-4-12 RAM, boot to the BIOS, then manually set the 4 primary timings to 5-5-5-18. Next immediately set the DDR2 voltage control to +0.1. Note that if set to Normal, the board will set 1.8V (Unless the 4-4-4-12 RAM has a voltage designation in its SPD, manually setting 2.1V would be required if running the set solo). Now save and exit then power off the system.

    This RAM should run at 5-5-5-18 and 1.9V no problem but to be sure I'd first boot Memtest86+ v4.xx from CD right away and run a complete loop followed by ~30 minutes of test #5. I wouldn't load Windows until this is done and completes OK as you could potentially corrupt the Windows installation and any data on the HDD.

    If everything goes OK, it's time to install the new RAM . Obviously make sure not to mix the old and the new on the same channel. Simply installing the new sticks into the two vacant slots will ensure this. When installed, enter the BIOS again and check that the board hasn't decided to change any settings after detecting the new sticks. If it hasn't, again, exit and boot straight to Memtest86+, repeating the earlier tests.

    If you encounter any errors in Memtest at 4GB, the first thing I would try would be to raise the Northbridge voltage control by the lowest increment possible, then retest. If you have gone through all the +voltage steps on the northbridge and still get errors in Memtest then it would be perfectly acceptable to raise RAM voltage up to 2.0V. It's a slight over volt for the new sticks, but within acceptable limits IMO.

    If Memtest passes right away, or after tweaking voltages with 4GB, continue to load Windows. Run LinX for ~10 passes using maximum RAM, followed by Prime 95 Large FFT/Blend for as long as possible. 8 hours would be ideal.

    @Chike, CPU Northbridge VID and Northbridge Voltage Control refer to exactly the same thing. There are screenshots provided above of the BIOS in question which do indeed call it Northbridge Voltage Control. It's pretty obvious this is what was being refered to.
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  10. #10
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How to set memory timings - 2 different latencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho101 View Post
    @Chike, CPU Northbridge VID and Northbridge Voltage Control refer to exactly the same thing. There are screenshots provided above of the BIOS in question which do indeed call it Northbridge Voltage Control. It's pretty obvious this is what was being refered to.
    Then why do both needed in BIOS? The screen shots do not show all BIOS options.

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