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Mystical System Instability

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Coops, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Coops New Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm at wits end and hoping someone can help me with this.

    I've got a system setup that I've had running for about a year, and through that time upgraded sme components.

    I currently have

    Intel Core2 Extreme QX9650
    Asus P5Q Pro Turbo [Until 2 days ago it was P5QL-E]
    4x 1GB Corsair Twin2X DDR-II 1066MHz 5-5-5-15 [It was 2 Until 1 month ago]
    ATI Radeon HD4890 1GB
    WD Caviar Black 500GB [was Seagate 250GB until 1 month ago]
    Seagate 400GB [D: drive, had it for a few years]
    LG H55N DVD-RW
    Linksys Wireless G PCI Card
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64

    I'm running a very fresh install of 7. And my system has been rock solid for a year.

    When I had my P5QL-E the system ran well, but I had some Crucial Ballistix sticks and used four of them. I started having crashing and blue screens, and ran memory tests only to see bad memory.

    So I put my 2 corsair sticks back in. Everything was fine.

    In September I purchased a Radeon HD4980 1GB and then in November a 500GB WD Caviar Black and 2 of the Corsair memory modules I already had, taking it up to 4 x1GB.

    I ghosted from the 250GB to 500GB and installed the RAM. Everything was great, then 2 days later blue screens etc. I tested RAM and it was bad. I tested each stick and they were all fine. I went back to 2GB and everything worked.

    I decided to do a fresh install of Windows 7 x64, so with the 4GB Installed it and it was fine.

    Then more blue screens etc. I stuck with the 2GB until two days ago I bought a new motherboard.

    I installed the new board because the P5QL-E had one issue I knew about it. That was somebody had installed a 64-Bit PCI card into one of it's 32-Bit slots. The board was actually damaged badly we thought due to the original system it was in was unstable.

    I tested the board a while later and it was perfect, everything was great. I just thought there might have been an issue with running 4 sticks of RAM.


    Now I've got the setup listed as above, and for a day it was perfect. No issues. Now I'm starting to have them more often. Blue Screens are random (Pageflie, IRQ and unnamed issues)


    I'm going nuts. All [pretty much] new hardware, all tests fine now. I can't think of what it is, I even took out my SB X-Fi and it seemed to help a bit. But I'm now writing this while in Safe Mode.

    My drivers are up to date, windows is too. I've built thousands of computers and fixed thousands of computers. I'm just lost when it comes to my own issues!

    Oh, my PS is an Antec EarthWatts 500W. Voltages look good coming from it. System crashes under any load really. Prime95 can run for 48 hours, or I can be listening to MP3's for 30 minutes.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
    Charper2013 says thanks.
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Running 4 sticks of RAM you will need more north bridge voltage for stability.
     
  3. Coops New Member

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    Sounds interesting. I'm used to fiddling around, but wouldn't know where to begin with NB Voltage. any suggestions?

    I do have the RAM voltage to 2.10 as per it's specifications.
     
  4. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent! I believe stock voltage for your NB is 1.1v. I have very little P45 chipset experience (I used x48's which used much more NB voltage), but I think a good starting point would be 1.2v for the NB and check for stability. Also make sure the timings for the ram are set correctly at 5 5-5-15.
     
  5. Coops New Member

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    Change NB to 1.2V Was playing WoW when I Alt+Tab out of it. All of a sudden screen goes blank and mobo speaker emits a constant beep tone. Reset computer, and it's working.

    It's a fun problem :)
     
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  6. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I would say keep upping the NB voltage until stable, but I'll let a P5Q owner chime in first. Try asking how much NB voltage you're going to need in this thread to make sure: http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=89468 Someone with a P45 will be happy to help. :toast:
     
  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    please dont make multiple threads about the same topic. duplicates will be deleted.


    while i too thought it was the typical ram issue, the black screen does not sound like a ram issue.


    My first suggestion: turn ram to 800Mhz, and see if the system is stable.
    The thing is, these motherboards only go unstable with 4x sticks at 1066Mhz - 800Mhz is usually fine.
    If its fine at 800, try raising TRFC (its a memory timing) to 42, NB volts to 1.3 and see if the systems stable at 1066.


    that all assumes ram is the problem, and your diagnosis was correct. Assuming your diagnosis was incorrect, i did some research.

    1. your power supplies specs.

    [​IMG]

    2x17A rails for 12V power

    2. your video cards requirements from the PCI-E rails

    Funnily enough, i got a thread with a guy with the same motherboard, same video card and same PSU... go figure
    http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=260&threadid=112886

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm.... 22.5 amp required, and yours has 17A. might be the problem.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  8. Coops New Member

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    Hmmm

    Quite interesting. I never even thunk about the PSU needing more amperage! Ugh and I used to build custom server systems!

    I am happy that I did switch out my board from P5QL-E as it was possibly damaged, but maybe I can sell it off now.

    A summary of the recent BS's

    No Message
    0x000000xC4

    No Message
    0x000000x7E

    MEMORY_MANAGEMENT
    0x0000001A

    I ran a video card stability test, GPU went up to 80C for over 10 minutes. I closed it and a minute later the thing crashed.

    It seems odd that the system can be under load and run fine. Random at best is the issue.

    RAM Timings in the BIOS are currently 5-5-5-15-3-52-6-3

    NB is set to 1.3V and RAM at 2.1V but I have bumped it down to 800MHz.

    I shall see if this works, if not maybe time to look into a capable power supply.

    Thx much, sorry for the reposting!
     
  9. Coops New Member

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    Update,

    I'm playing WoW and Alt-Tabbing in and out. The system is stable and I was successful in running a Windows assesment.

    Running at 800MHz seems to work. Why in the hell does Asus have a motherboard they say will take up to DDR-II 1200 without overclocking to get there, but when you use 4 DIMM the system can't run.

    If anything I'll be on a Core i5 in the summer I guess and none of this will matter :)

    I'll report back if the thing has any other issue but so far so good.

    Thx!
     
  10. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I've notices Intel chipsets can be rather picky with RAM, especially with 4 sticks. More than likely, ASUS only qualifies two sticks up to 1200MHz. If you look on the QVL for that motherboard, I bet all the sets listed on it are two stick sets.

    According to ATi, the only PSU requirement is 500W or greater with two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors. Though I wouldn't rule out the PSU being a factor, especially with only two 17A rails.

    Though if pulling two sticks of RAM eliminates the problem, then I would suggest you start by selling off the 4x1GB set and buying a 2x2GB set. After that, a better PSU couldn't hurt.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  11. Coops New Member

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    Yeah, I literally just bought the 2x 1GB kit for about $85.

    I guess I could sell all four, but I don't mind running them at 800 when I'm thinking of a mobo/cpu/ram upgrade in 6 months.

    I'm going to heavily consider the power supply upgrade in the next couple of months I think, if anything it might give proper stability at 1066.

    And yes, I may have forgotten to mention. The system runs perfect with 2GB (and I believe even with 3GB), it's only once I put in 4GB @ 1066 it seems.
     
  12. Grnfinger

    Grnfinger New Member

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    Have you botherd to test the ram with memtest?

    I'm leaning towards your PSU 17amp is a little weak my Enermax 465 watt has 33 amps on the 12 volt rail powers a P45 overclocked to 4.0GHz with a 8800GTX
     
  13. Coops New Member

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    Ran GoldMemory (in dos of course) which tested 3.8GB passing with flying colours.

    I would have hoped that my Antec EarthWatts would be good enough for anything I threw at it. No OC going on, and it's quite a hefty powersupply. I used to like Enermax but from personal and professional experience I found their quality had gone down hill a couple of years back.
     
  14. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    If running them at 800MHz works, go with it.:laugh:

    It actually has two 17A rails, for a total of 34A.

    Well, at least if you go with a very nice power supply upgrade now, you can re-use it when you go to an i7 in a few months.:toast:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  15. Grnfinger

    Grnfinger New Member

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    ooops missed that, well doubt its the PSU then
     
  16. overclocking101

    overclocking101

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    sounds like your psu is maxing out causing instability before you get anything else get a better psu corsair seems to be the best now a days or pc power and cooling
     
  17. Coops New Member

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    Currently playing WoW, running Prime95 on all 4 cores and typing this reply. I've had no system instability since moving down to 800MHz.


    ---------------------
    Update@ 3:00

    I noticed under CPU-Z that the FSB was only 1333MHz and was thinking "hey this cpu should be 1600MHz!"

    So I have manually changed the FSB from Auto to 400MHz in the BIOS. Now CPU-Z is showing proper FSB and the CPU at a 6x multiplier, which I thought was strange cause that doesn't get it to 3.0GHz.

    Then I turned on Prime95 and the CPU is at 3.6GHz. I'm assuming this is an auto frequency thing kicking in.

    I will check for stabiliy and then maybe now see about running 1066, maybe something was causing the failure because of that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  18. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    The QX9650 should be a 1333 not 1600. The stock multiplier is 9(333x9=3000). It was dropping the multiplier to 6 when idle because of Speedstep, and of course 400x9=3600. The QX9770 was 1600.
     
    Coops says thanks.
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  19. Coops New Member

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    Ah yes, I was looking in the wrong place.

    Well it works well on a 1600 FSB, so I think I'll keep it :D

    Nothing helped the RAM tho, so 800MHz is stays.
     
  20. Cratzky New Member

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    So, raising the NB voltage worked? i must try that out on my system then when i get come from holiday.
    I have the exact same issue as u have, but i got a corsair vx550w PSU and 2pairs of Corsair Twin2x-1024 (4 sticks with 1024mb each) PC-6400 DDR2 800mhz
    Ive tried to run them at 667mhz and that seems to be working, but 800mhz is pushing it and i can get these random bluescreens with everything from pagefile to memory_management messages.

    I will be posting here with the result when ive tried this and in my own thread.
    http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=111547

    Keep us posted Coops, i read this everyday
     
  21. Coops New Member

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    What I have done and achieved in a stable system for almost 24 hours has been

    Raise FSB to 400MHz (CPU from 3.0 to 3.6GHz)
    Set NB Voltage to 1.3V
    Set RAM Voltage to 2.10V
    Set RAM to 5-5-5-15-52-6-3 timings
    Set RAM to 800MHz [no matter what I tried, I could not run stable at 1066MHz]

    This seems to be the most "optimal" setup I have at the moment. Everything is running well so I'm not going to bother trying to do any more on the RAM speed.

    Windows system rating is 7.4/7.4/7.6/7.6/5.9
     
  22. Cratzky New Member

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    Alright. Last questions:
    What is your default voltage settings for your RAM?
    What is your default Timing settings for your RAM?
    And, What was your default voltage for the NB?
     
  23. Coops New Member

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    The RAM timings and rated voltage are5-5-5-15 @ 2.1v. Default is 5-5-5-18 @ 1.8v

    My RAM with 4x at defaults and 1066MHz still doesn't work, so it's at 800 with the lower latency settings.

    NB I don't know, it was at Auto until a suggestion was made here to bump it to 1.3v
     
  24. Cratzky New Member

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    Thanks ! i got 5-5-5-18 on my memory aswell.

    However, a friend of mine has the exact same memory, but with another asus p5 motherboard, and he had the exact same issues as you and me have.

    I checked he's bios yesterday, and he has lowered the memory timings down to 4-4-4-12, down from 5-5-5-18, and raised the voltage to 2.2v instead of 1.8v which is default.

    he also uses 4 memory sticks.
    Also he has raised he's NB voltage to 1.38 if im not wrong.

    Now, he has 0 issues with it. Before he had alot of bluescreens and random issues.
    Very odd !

    But anyway, thanks for answers!
     
  25. BababooeyHTJ New Member

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    Listen to Mussles. Pull back on your TRFC (42 should be fine for 1GB sticks, I use 55 for my 2GB sticks), give your NB a bump in voltage and possibly your VTT. If your sticks are rated for 1.8 at 1066 don't feed them 2.1 at 1066 this is due to you MCH so that won't make a difference. There is a memory performance option in bios, try setting that to lighter as well as disabling all of the other memory enhancement options that don't net you much bandwith anyways. Also make sure that your NB sink is doing it's job. You could reseat it with better TIM and be sure that it sees airflow. The heatpipes on my Deluxe didn't even work and that aluminum foil that Asus calls fins don't do much either.

    I had that same freeze up with my deluxe after switching to four occupied dimms. You should also try updating your bios if need be. My board would freeze up at random times (different freeze than I mentioned earlier)for a second or so but would pass any stress test that I threw at it, a quick bios update did the trick. Well I tried a few and 2001 worked for me.

    Keep in mind that at least the Pro and Deluxe tend to overvolt the ram by about 0.08 on most bios' and at least with most 2GB sticks especilly with four occupied dimms overvolting you ram will hurt more than it helps.

    There is also a stress test that will help a lot. I passed Linpack, Prime small fft, blend and Memtest 3.8 and I'm talking long runs too but failed this in two minutes (no joke).

    Run Prime 95 x64 and select torture test, then select the custom tab and run this test Enter all of your available ram into where it says Memory to use (for example I use 7100MB.

    [​IMG]

    Prime will either freeze up, fail on a core or two, or just make you rig BSOD. Just do some tweeking untill you pass this for a couple of hours. Once I passed this test I haven't had a BSOD that wasn't related to Beta Nvidia drivers in over a year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009

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