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NF7-S v2 OC issues w/ RAM

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dcg4403

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2003
I'll try to keep this short. I've got a case with 7 internal fans, a Volcano9, etc. Cooling isn't an issue.
So I had what I thought was 2 stickes of 512MB Samsung running on XP. Got the thing to 200 X 12 at 4/4 ratio for RAM. CPU @ 1.85V. Ram @ 2.9V. It would boot in XP just fine but would eventually fail in 3DMark2001. I was disappointed and questioned my RAM. I then found out the RAM was not Samsung...some inferior generic **** that buyAIB.com sent me (that's another issue altogether).
So I purchased Kingston HyperX thinking it would be easily stable at 200 X 12 with the same voltages. Nope. In fact, my computer was far less stable than my generic RAM. I'm almost positive it is the RAM. I lowered the mulitplier to 11 and then thing was still immediatley failing in 3DMark. I even dropped it to 190 X 12 and I'm still failing in 3DMARK2001...my generic RAM passed the benchmarks at this setting.
I'm ready to call it quits. Any suggestions? BTW, I ran Memtest86 last night and my HyperX resulted in 501 errors in test #5. I'm new to this program.
Is it just hard to find good RAM? Is 2 sticks of 512MB too much? Or could it be something else? Suggestions/comments? Should I go home and shut up?
 

formosian

Registered
Joined
May 30, 2002
Magic Bios

Before the beta bios, I could only get to 200FSB dual channel. After flashing the new beta bios, I am running 220 FSB rock solid.
 
OP
D

dcg4403

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2003
So then what are good compatible RAM sticks? Crucial XMS? Others?

I've been able to boot into XP with DDR frequencies of 434mHz on my PC3500. Although I can't say for sure that RAM is the problem at this levels. At 205 X 12, 410Mhz DDR I'm stable. Just seems I should be able to run at 440Mhz with a low mulitplier b/c it is PC3500 HyperX.

Dev
 

rangi

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2001
Location
Christchurch New Zealand
Hi all,
I've been doing alot of testing of Corsair,Geil,Mushkin (3200,3500,Geil 3700) flavors and only the Mushkin stood up to the mark...
I have a new NF7 2.0 and yeah I can get to 205 but any higher in duel channel and it fails prime within seconds...this may suggest the cpu ceiling may have been reached @1.85v vcore
I have tried alsorts of variations with multiplier and fsb and yeah i have hit a wall...bugger...lol

so hey this beta bios will help me achieve better fsb o/c?
 

Audioaficionado

Sparkomatic Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
My cheap $80 512Mb PC3200 DDR400 Samsung works fine at it's rating. I'm not sure if there's any real world performance gains to be had by overclocking it. That beta bios seems to make things more stable.
 

the hammer

Member
rangi said:
Hi all,
I've been doing alot of testing of Corsair,Geil,Mushkin (3200,3500,Geil 3700) flavors and only the Mushkin stood up to the mark...
I have a new NF7 2.0 and yeah I can get to 205 but any higher in duel channel and it fails prime within seconds...this may suggest the cpu ceiling may have been reached @1.85v vcore
I have tried alsorts of variations with multiplier and fsb and yeah i have hit a wall...bugger...lol

so hey this beta bios will help me achieve better fsb o/c?

I have been testin Muskin PC3500 for the last week. Here is my general impressions. For starters, this memory hates voltage. Any voltage greater than the minimum 2.6v selection in Bios (2.69 volts actual), the memory loses stability.
I originally installed this memory as dual channel in slots 2&3 (two slots furthest from CPU). I was having all kinds of problems with stability, windows crashing all the time, etc. I started to think I had a bad stick of ram.
I proceeded then to test each stick individually using Memtest86. This is where I discovered the High voltage problem and I discovered how finnicky this ram is about timings. This memory will run up to about 205Mhz @ 5,2,2,2. After that you have to start increasing latencies. The most aggressive timing it would take in single channel mode at 217MHz is 5,3,2,2.5. Both sticks tested good, Btw.
Next I placed both in slots 2&3 and commenced dual channel testing. Again I started having severe stabilty problems with any latency choices. I then moved the the stick of ram from slot 2 into slot 1. Now I started getting somewhere. I was able to run stable at similar timings from single channel testing. One thing though, I had to change the 5,3,2,2.5 to 5,3,3,2.5 @ PC3500 speeds in dual channel. Not much of a difference but still different non the less.
Let me tell you, I put a lot of time in this testing. I have over 7 written pages of tested memory latencies, probably close to around 80 or so settings total. Let's just say I had alot of free time to do this. This memory is guarenteed to work at 7,4,4,2.5 @ 217 MHz, so it did exceed it's ratings, but in my opinion did not live up to some of the aggressive timings I have seen in professional reviews.

Hammer
 
OP
D

dcg4403

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2003
Thanks for the info. I don't quite understand why people want to push the latencies so low. I'm no expert, but in my performance testing it made little if any different. In fact, I produced better numbers running 7-3-3-2 than 5-2-2-2. By better, I'm talking like 0.3% of a difference. I did see my 3DMark numbers improve with lower settings but only around .07%. Thus, I see no need to push the RAM so far vs. the improvement in stability you get.
So I tried generic ram PC3500 which I thought was Samsung. I could not achieve stable levels on my NF7-S v2 running the latest bios (not beta version) beyond 190X20 (380mhz ddr). So I purchased Kingston HyperX PC3500. I saw an improvement for sure. I could achieve stability at 200X12 (400mhz). My voltages are set to DDR = 2.9V, CPU = 1.9V, default chipset. Idle temp is at 42 Celcius with the beta bios version. I saw my CPU temps drop by 10 degrees Celcius with the beta version...thus I could increase my voltages to as much as 2.06 with air cooling. However, at 2.06 and 2.03 my temperatures were above 50 degree celcius at idle. Too much for me.
Finally, I heard there are some compatibility issues with NF7 and HyperX. So then what? Cosair XMS PC3500. Big, big difference. I am now running very stable at 220 X 11.0 (440Mhz). Latencies of 7-3-3-2. I could run stable at 5-2-2-2 at these frequencies but I saw no significant performance increases so I left at 7-3-3-2. CPU volt is 1.9V. At 40-42 celcius during idle. Running no cooling apps.
Here is an important observation with my AMD2700. You must perform the L12 bridge mod. http://www.beachlink.com/candjac/fsbsense.htm. It is key to running the AMD2700 and above chips on the NF7 board. Also, my AMD2700 was limited to an overclock of 2.5Ghz. Anything even slightly above that produced unstability in 3dMark. So I was forced to stay below this mark. But I'm happy with a 11% increase in processor speed and bandwidth.
So overall this has been some learning experience. My first complete computer built and first OC. As you hear, buy the best RAM...makes a difference. But it also matters on your board. I HIGHLY recommend Corsair XMS for NF7 boards.

Devin