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Issues with new DDR2 800Mhz RAM

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Alcyone

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Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Really hoping someone can answer a few questions that have me a bit stumped. I'm not overly knowledgeable but I kinda get the basics. This is a bit of an old system but it seems to run nice so I thought I would get my friend some extra RAM. He mainly uses it for games as long as the GPU can handle them. I've had to work on it over at his place but now I have the system with me for a while. Current specs are;

AMD Phenom II x4 955 CPU
DFI Lanparty 790 AM2+ Mobo (shouldn't the CPU above be running in an AM3+ motherboard??)
AMD HD 6850 1GB PCI-E
(? x ?) DDR2 800MHz
120GB SSD
3TB SATA

I originally picked up 4 x 2GB DDR2 800Mhz modules but had issues running all 4 at once. I thought maybe a bad 3rd slot and then maybe a bad chip but just ended up going to get him 2 x 4GB DDR2 800MHz chips. I didn't realise until too late that I had gone and got him high density RAM. It was cheap off eBay. Well needless to say that it was unbranded and if it did get past the BIOS then it would crash getting into Windows. I got another 2 x 4GB kit from eBay and the same thing happened. Thankfully I got my monies back. I then bought some Hynix 2 x 4GB modules and it was happy with that although I'm pretty sure that it's still high density. I think?!?! Currently running Memtest86 on it as I have the system here at home with me for a while.

The BIOS has a heap of advanced features and one of them is the option for ganged vs unganged mode. I've learnt the difference in that ganged runs the memory at 128bit and unganged runs at 64bit. One of my questions is - does high density RAM require it to be run at 128bit mode? The reason I ask is that at first, I couldn't get past post without it being in ganged mode. Now it seems to boot in both ganged and unganged mode. CPU-Z is showing the RAM to be running at command rate 2T which might help too. I upped the RAM voltage in the BIOS from 1.8v to 2.0v hoping that might help a bit? Would that help?

All seemed to be good until last night when Windows rebooted while I was in Tekken 7. With the previous 2 x 2GB RAM modules, the system NEVER had an issue and has only ever had rebooting problems since I tried to get 8GB running in it. The motherboard does have support for 8GB RAM because it says so in the manual. I've also read online that it runs 8GB fine with 2 or 4 slots populated. I guess what I'm trying to find out are the best settings to run this RAM. I'll put some pics up from CPU-Z. Or if I can locate an AM3+ board, should I bite the bullet and just plonk the stuff in there and grab some DDR3 1333Mhz? Monies are tight so getting it running with the best BIOS settings for now would be preferred. Upgrade would have to be next year some time.

Cheers to anyone who can lead me on to a happy resolution :)

CPU-Z Full Info - 2x4GB Unganged.jpg

DFI Lanparty Specs.jpg

Hynix DDR2 800Mhz Jed.jpg
 
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Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
First thing I notice is your ram frequency and timings are way off what the SPD is for those sticks. You should also be in unganged mode. Adding voltage won't always stabilize the ram eithe. Right now it appears that it's running at 400 MHz with 5-3-3 timings. Set that to 800 with the timings listed on the SPD tab of CPUz
 
OP
Alcyone

Alcyone

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Jan 5, 2016
Dunno what happened there. Everything was set to auto in the BIOS. Now after a reboot, it's gone back to FSB : DRAM 1:2 rather than 1:1 - for a quick test I threw in 4 x 2GB DDR2 800Mhz chips in unganged mode and it also set it to 1:1 - 6/6/6/18/24 was showing as 3/3/3/9/12.

Put the DRAM voltage back to 1.8v.

Can't get into Memtest86 either. Tried the latest version as well as v6.2 but keep getting the blue screen just before it kicks in and then it hangs there with a flashing cursor. Managed to load up an old v3.4 from CD which works but it's dog slow.

Unganged 2-1 ratio.jpg
 

||Console||

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Have you cleared the Cmoss with ram changes ?
Most current bios ?
is this your mb ? if so looks like it supports up to 8 gig @ 1066

DFI
Model
LP DK 790FXB-M2RSH
Chipsets
Chipset
AMD 790FX
South Bridge
AMD SB750

I had ddr2 that wanted 2.2v
can it boot with one of the 2x4 sitcks installed ?
 
OP
Alcyone

Alcyone

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Jan 5, 2016
Did a bios default load. Is that enough or do you mean take the battery out? Same probs with Memtest86 loading - not loading I should say.

Bios reads - 08/21/2009-RD780-SB750-8A66AD4YC

I bought the box inc mobo and ram a couple years ago for one of my ex's sons who uses it now. At the time, I tried to get an updated BIOS but couldn't source one anywhere and I think from memory that DFI stopped supporting this motherboard? I couldn't find anything about it at all until I stumbled upon a pdf manual pretty much the same revision as this one.

I've always used Intel myself so not up to speed on AMD stuff. Am I right in thinking that this CPU will run in an AM3+ mobo?

System boots fine with only the 1 x RAM module. Memtest86 still won't run with the 1 x module.

1 x 4GB.jpg
 
OP
Alcyone

Alcyone

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Jan 5, 2016
Had a bit of a hunt online and managed to find the correct manual for the 790X. I also read that when these boards came out, they had issues with the Phenom CPU's and required a BIOS update. The young bloke I bought this from was right into his computers so I presume he updated the BIOS when he had it. I still can't find anywhere to show the BIOS revisions and DFI appear to have nothing out there. I'll keep hunting to see if I can find something on a forum somewhere.

Why do you think Memtest86 won't load properly? Would it have something to do with the SPD? In CPU-Z SPD information, it only shows one column for JEDEC. The BIOS reads the information from the RAM fine. I 'forced' the RAM timings for what I could see in CPU-Z even though the BIOS had them greyed out the same when set to AUTO but that didn't do anything. Actually, rather than a 5 second boot into Windows, it took 30 seconds. Might put it all back to AUTO for now. Maybe I just bought dud RAM? Wish it was cheaper lol then I would be able to get something better...*sigh*...

Running 'Realbench' on it atm and watching some temps. Everything seems to be okay for now except I can't test the RAM. Any thoughts as to what else I could run to check the RAM out?
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
DFI boards have been known to be finicky with ram. If you're using slots 1 and 3 then try slots 2 and 4 or vice versa
 
OP
Alcyone

Alcyone

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Jan 5, 2016
After plenty of testing with other smaller chips, all slots appear to be fine. Filling all banks up with 'good branded' RAM also has no issues. Alas that won't get me to 8GB. It's this 'supposed' high density stuff that is causing the issues. The manual states that the motherboard has support for 'dual channel 128 bit wide memory interface'. Is this what it means when it says that it can run RAM in ganged mode? Does a high density module require it to be run at 128 bit? Is this why you asked me if the system would boot with just the 1 module? For a while I thought that the sticks were actually 128bit wide but that's a tad silly. Crucial declare that "The density of a memory module is basically determined by the DRAM chips that make up the memory module. For example a 1GB DDR2 module like the one in your system can be made up of 8x 1Gb (gigabit) chips or 16x 512Mb (megabit) chips. The fewer chips on the module, the higher the density. This is because the individual DRAM chips have a higher density to make up the full megabyte value of the actual memory module. " - in other words, the fewer the chips, the larger the size of each chip. Then why do these modules have 32 chips to only make 4GB? Wouldn't that be considered very low density? I wonder if because of the design of these chips and the lack of information in the SPD or maybe it's inability to be flexible with it's timings, that they declare them high density because they are so incompatible with the bulk of memory controllers? I thought that all memory modules were 64 bit and the addressing was all done via 64 bit data paths. I've tried to read what high density RAM is and how it supposedly only runs in AMD systems but I can't figure out 'how' the AMD architecture accommodates it. Is there a setting in the BIOS for it? Does it detect it automatically and correct for it? Is there something that I'm meant to do in regards to the setup of these modules to make them run smoothly? So far not all is running well and I have no idea what to do. The supplier of the RAM is clueless and says that they will refer it to their technical department but they're an eBay seller from China and they have NO technical department lol...I would really like to get Memtest86 to work with these chips. The other high density modules would be read fine by Memtest86 and I think from memory that they also had more than the 1 JEDEC setting in the SPD columns of CPU-Z. Might go and plonk a couple back in to check that out. Please tell me if I'm confused by any and all of this. Kinda sleep deprived right now and trying to get a grip of how this RAM should be setup or whether it's best to just leave the old 4GB in and wait until a new AM3+ mobo can be purchased. Just don't want issues with the system when it goes back to my friend.
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
You're right in the fact they're low density but they are also what is called dual rank meaning chips on both sides which have their own quirks. Could be simply that board doesn't like that ram.
Is that motherboard the model that Console posted earlier? You can get the info from CPUz mainboard tab if you don't know for sure
 
OP
Alcyone

Alcyone

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Jan 5, 2016
Console referenced the LP DK 790FXB-M2RSH but this is the LP DK 790X-M2RS edition. This one has less PCI-E slots and less SATA and USB ports I think. Top post shows the CPU-Z reference to the mobo model. I would really like to know if there is a BIOS update but I fear that all my Googling won't shed any more light on it.

Yep these are dual rank modules but dual rank (from what I have read) can also just have chips on one side of the module. A Rank is a data block that is 64 bits wide, or 72bits for ECC RAM. The only thing which distinguishes single and double sided chips are the terms single-sided or dual-sided because that's where the sets of DRAM are located. So if this means that these modules have 2 x 64bit ranks, does that make them 128bit wide or are they still only 64 bit modules with a CS between each rank? I have both chips running in the same slotted banks currently. The system had a wobbly when I tried to run them in different slotted banks. Hence my confusion about telling the BIOS to run them in ganged (128 bit) mode. It's weird in a way because at first, I could ONLY get the 2 chips running when I set the BIOS to ganged mode.

It's frustrating playing with settings when I don't really know what to set things to because I don't really understand the actual specs of the chips or how the BIOS should be setup to accommodate them.

The only thing I have learnt (I think) about these modules. apart from the timings, is that they are 2R x 4 (dual ranked with 4 banks), 32 chips (thus each bank having 8 chips and each rank having 16 chips). Which we both agree really makes them low density and not high density as advertised. Wish I had another AMD DDR2 mobo to test these on.

So why on earth is this advertised as AMD only RAM? What makes it NOT run on Intel systems? What is it that causes all the fuss? Please help me to understand this :-/ And why can't I get Memtest86 to load lol...there's no reason it can't pick up the SPD or JEDEC information like the BIOS and CPU-Z. I saw a post where someone had to rewrite some of the Memtest86 code to get it to load while ignoring some parameters. Bugger that! If Memtest86 has issues reading RAM then there is something lacking. I feel like such a complainer right now :)
 
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OP
Alcyone

Alcyone

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Jan 5, 2016
I agree Johan45. It's the RAM for sure. Say the BIOS is running the RAM on auto - if I were to force the 'same' settings rather than it running on auto, would that make any difference to how Memtest86 would read the RAM?
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Only way to find out is to try. Too bad our resident DFI guy is MIA lately
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Have you tried bumping of the RAM voltage a tad or the CPU/NB voltage?
 
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Alcyone

Alcyone

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Jan 5, 2016
Johan45 - Tried but still the same thing alas

Console - Initially I got the SMP Boot Timeout Error with Memtest86 on these Hynix 2 x 4GB DDR 800MHz modules. In the past, with the original 2 x 2GB 800Mhz modules (as well as with other high density modules) Memtest86 would run fine. The program had always worked with this system. Today I got around to swapping the RAM back to it's original pieces and also tried 2 x 2GB and 4 x 2GB unbuffered 800Mhz modules. Now the SMP error is appearing with ALL RAM :( ...I finally got MemTest86 running by telling it to just run with 1 core. From what I have read, the SMP error relates to the timing between the CPU and the RAM. Is that correct? Windows boots fine and not having any issues. I had a look at the link you provided and there doesn't appear to be any reference to this motherboard on it. Thank you heaps for the link though. I will go through it a bit more later to see if I can source anything that might help.

IMAG5367 (Medium).jpg

Trents - I had already tried upping the RAM voltage from 1.8v to 2.0v but that didn't help. I have now altered some setting in the BIOS to see if that helps but so far no luck.

EDIT: Can someone please tell me if I have adjusted my ratios and voltages correctly please? There is the CPU-NB VID option left but it wants a HEX value. Should I be adjusting that? HT Link is back on AUTO as I adjusted it to 1,800Mhz and Windows crashed pretty quick with no load. Should I try anything else? Did I even adjust the CPU-NB voltage correctly? Essentially, what is now causing the SMP error? I have read that MemTest86+ (non genuine) has caused errors like this but I am using software directly from the PassMark website. I have been able to get an older version of MemTest86 working - v3.4 I think it was.

IMAG5401 (Medium).jpg

IMAG5402 (Medium).jpg

IMAG5403 (Medium).jpg

Edit 1 (Medium).jpg
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Can't help you with that CPU-NB hex value. Never seen it presented that way. Can you find something on the net that would help?

I'd like some clarification here. My understanding is that the issue only presents itself when you use high density RAM. Is that correct?

I can tell you that aftermarket motherboards don't usually play well with high density RAM. HD RAM is widely used by the OEM mass computer producers because it's cheaper to produce and buy. But it can be very specific to certain OEM bioses and not work correctly or not work at all on other motherboards.
 
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Alcyone

Alcyone

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Jan 5, 2016
Trents - Your right about the high density RAM. In my first post, I mentioned that I had already gone through 2 sets of high density RAM until I purchased this Hynix kit. This kit at least boots into Windows and appears stable for the most part. The first kits would either cause issues post BIOS or upon hitting Windows desktop. At the post BIOS level, it would just hang. In Windows, the system would literally drop its guts and reboot. Strange thing is that with the initial kits, MemTest86 loaded and passed tests fine.

I've been reading this and other forums re similar DFI boards and overclocking. Trying to find some BIOS pics which I think would help. Slowly getting there. My intention is not to overclock, but rather to stabilise this system to a point where I KNOW that everything is fine. My fears are based on using this high density RAM (or so the seller declares it to be) and past experiences mentioned before. I can't afford the good stuff and the 1066Mhz is way out of budget. If all else fails, I will just get my friend an AM2+ board (approx $120) and some DDR3 (8GB approx $60 I think) - but that won't happen until next year due to funds.

So...what I'm aiming at now is to find out the best BIOS settings for the Phenom ii x4 955 CPU and these 2 x 4GB DDR2 800Mhz modules. Not to overclock, but to stabilise everything. Yet now I have this weird issue going on with MemTest86 telling me I have an SMP issue. To me, this shows that the timings between the CPU and RAM are not correct. I'm not up to spec on all the terms, speeds, multipliers, voltages etc but have my head down and am learning very quickly now..I hope lol...
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Another issue is that RAM manufacturers typically cater to Intel with their JEDEC timings and there are instances where with AMD systems the JEDEC timings simply don't work well. All that to say you might try relaxing the timings in bios a tad and see if that helps.
 
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Alcyone

Alcyone

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Jan 5, 2016
The eBay sales page for this RAM declared it to be only compatible with AMD systems. Why I don't know. They say it is high density RAM and only compatible with AMD systems. Maybe a way to curcumvent returns because it is so fussy. Not sure. When you say to relax the timings, is there anything you would recommend? Currently on 5/6/6/18/24 which is the only JEDEC option showing in CPU-Z...