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Memory instability with Crucial Ballistix


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Hello all,

 

I have been reading your forums over the last couple of days with great interest. I have just put a new computer together and suffered from terrible boot problems and hard crashes in games.

 

Having read through the forums I have made some modifications to the BIOS settings and also reinstalled XP for good measure. Although I have not now had a problem booting the computer at all, I cannot install World of Warcraft (fails with a memory error) and having installed Half-Life 2, to test another game, I find that it crashes out with a memory error too. The settings I have applied were found in this thread : http://www.dfi-street.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21905 and were the settings posted by Angry_Games (including the 2.8v RAM setting). I have simply copied them onto my machine.

 

I have run the Windows memory diagnostic tool in advanced testing mode with no errors and also run memtest86 (v1.6) with no errors. The hard drive has been checked and defragged, the power guage on the PSU reads well within the power rating of the PSU and my system temperatures are fairly low (~40 degrees C).

 

I have overclocked previous PCs so am comfortable with tweaking things in the BIOS, although I am a little overwhelmed by all of the settings in the BIOS at the moment! With this PC I don't want an overclocked machine, I just need it to run at stock speeds and be totally stable for game playing. I selected the components entirely for aesthetic reasons and not performance and so am not at all concerned about the fastest possible speed etc.

 

Can anyone offer any advice that may help me obtain a stable machine?

 

Many thanks in advance.

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how long did you let memtest run for? Do you also have these settings:

 

Genie BIOS Settings:

 

FSB Bus Frequency - 200

LDT/FSB Frequency Ratio - AUTO

CPU/FSB Frequency Ratio - AUTO

PCI eXpress Frequency - 100Mhz

 

CPU VID StartUp Value - 1.500v

 

CPU VID Control - 1.300v

CPU VID Special Control - Above VID * 110%

LDT Voltage Control - 1.20v

Chip Set Voltage Control - 1.50v

DRAM Voltage Control - 2.80v

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hello again,

 

Yes, I have those settings set as you mentioned.

 

The memtest I let run it's course twice through I think.

 

I forgot to mention above that I have all 4 power connectors connected and also that I have run Prime95 for an hour without any problems. Also, when I reinstalled XP I followed the order recommended in the general FAQ set up by Angry_Games.

 

Should I run these tests for longer? I find it quite irritating that the crucial memory selector recommends the Ballistix memory but doesn't mention you need to fiddle around with all these settings really. Still, I am happy to do so in search of a stable system!

 

I'm going to type in all the settings I have in the Genie BIOS section after this to see if that offers any further help.

 

Thanks again.

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OK, Genie BIOS settings:

 

FSB Bus Frequency - 200

LDT/FSB Frequency Ratio - AUTO

LDT Bus transfer width - 16 16

CPU/FSB Frequency Ratio - AUTO

PCI eXpress Frequency - 100Mhz

Cool 'n' Quiet Support - Disable

 

CPU VID StartUp Value - 1.500v

 

CPU VID Control - 1.300v

CPU VID Special Control - Above VID * 110%

LDT Voltage Control - 1.20v

Chip Set Voltage Control - 1.50v

DRAM Voltage Control - 2.80v

 

DRAM Configuration Settings:

 

DRAM Frequency Set - 200=DRAM/FSB:1/01

Command Per Clock (CPC) - Enable

CAS Latency Control (Tcl) - 2.0

RAS# to CAS# delay (Trcd) - 03 Bus Clocks

Min RAS# active time (Tras) - 08 Bus Clocks

Row precharge time (Trp) - 03 Bus Clocks

Row Cycle time (Trc) - 09 Bus Clocks

Row refresh cyc time (Trfc) - 16 Bus Clocks

Row to Row delay (Trrd) - 03 Bus Clocks

Write recovery time (Twr) - 03 Bus Clocks

Write to Read delay (Twtr) - 02 Bus Clocks

Read to Write delay (Trwt) - 03 Bus Clocks

Refresh Period (Tref) - Auto

Write CAS Latency (Twcl) - Auto

DRAM Bank Interleave - Enabled

 

DQS Skew Control - Auto

DQS Skew Value - 0

DRAM Drive Strength - Level 7

DRAM Data Drive Strength - Level 2

Max Async Latency - 8.0 Nano Seconds

DRAM Response Time - Fast

Read Preamble Time - 6.0 Nano Seconds

IdleCycle Limit - 256 Cycles

Dynamic Counter - Disable

R/W Queue Bypass - 16 x

Bypass Max - 04 x

32 Byte Granularity - Disable(4 Bursts)

 

 

Also, the displayed actual voltages (sort of greyed out ones) are:

CPU Core voltage - 1.41V

LDT Bus Voltage - 1.20V

Chip Set Voltage - 1.52V

DRAM 2.5V Voltage - 2.87V

 

Thanks in advance!

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Given that the memory appears to be a problem, can anyone suggest which settings I would need to change in order to encourage stability?

 

I assume that if I change some of the timing or delay settings this may help but I'm afraid to change random things as I don't know what the impact may be and also what other complimentary settings may need to be changed.

 

Thinking about it, I guess there must be a guide somewhere, but I haven't found it yet

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Hello,

 

Default timings are 3-4-4-8 @250Mhz.

@200Mhz, 2.5-3-3-7 should be possible.

 

 

GENIE BIOS Setting

>DRAM Configuration..................Press Enter = New Menu

FSB BUS Frequency....................200

DRAM Voltage Control.................2.8V

 

GENIE BIOS Setting >DRAM Configuration

DRAM Frequency Set (MHZ).............200 (DRAM/FSB:1/01)

Command per clock (CPC)..............Enabled

Cas latency (tCL)....................2.5

RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)..............3

Min RAS active time (tRAS)...........7

Row precharge time (tRP).............3

Row cycle time (tRC).................11

Row refresh cycle time(tRFC).........14

Row to Row delay (tRRD)..............2

Write recovery time (tWR)............3, try 2 later

Write to read delay (tWTR)...........2, try 1 later

Read to write delay (tRWT)...........Match to above value

Refresh period (tREF)................AUTO

Write CAS latency (tWCL).............1

DRAM Bank Interleave.................Enabled

 

DQS Skew Control.....................Increase

DQS Skew Value.......................0

DRAM Drive Strength..................AUTO

DRAM Data Drive Strength.............AUTO

Max Async Latency....................6ns

Dram Response........................Normal

Read Preamble Time...................5ns

Idle Cycle Limit.....................AUTO

Dynamic Counter......................Disabled

R/W Queue Bypass.....................AUTO

Bypass Max...........................AUTO

32 Byte Granularity..................Any value

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Hello,

Have you tried with different memory voltages?

Mine wasnt stable at 2.8v but once i lowered the voltage to 2.7v its rock solid.

Try voltages from 2.6 to 2.9. The only thing i changed in bios is tcl,trcd,trp,tras,trc. Try setting it to 2-3-3-8-12 and see if that helps. The rest i left it to auto.

Hope it helps :)

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Hello again,

 

I tried the new settings last night by leaving memtest86 running for 8 hours and then Prime95 running for 6hours. No errors were generated by these 2 programs.

 

When I had a go at HL2 though it wasn't long before I got a memory access error and the same thing with WoW (World of Warcraft).

 

My original insatbility in booting etc.. and the subsequent "fix" by changing the DRAM voltage to 2.8v indicates that this is a RAM problem but would memtest pick up any instability problems or just "bad memory"?

 

The way I understand it now is that the following settings are the most important when considering system stability: (I have left in my current settings)

 

Cas latency (tCL) - 2.5

RAS to CAS delay (tRCD) - 3

Min RAS active time (tRAS) - 7

Row precharge time (tRP) - 3

Row cycle time (tRC) - 11

 

Is this correct? and would changing these to higher values promote stability or is it a range of values we are looking for? Also, is there a program that can simulate the very intensive memory usage of say, WoW? Am I even on the right track here? I am still assuming that the memory timings are the problem.

 

Any advice welcome.. thanks.

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Hello,

 

I might not be the memory then.

 

Remove your sound card.

 

And when you instal the nvidia chipset drivers,

- do not install the IDE SW driver

- do not install the firewall, NAM software.l

 

Also make sure that all 4 power connectors are plugged into the board.

 

And see what happens.

 

Its not bad Blinky, but for a few pounds more you could have got some BallistiX PC3200 2-2-2-6. :)

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