|17 May 2011||#1|
I am using now 6 GB of RAM instead of 8, is this STILL okay???
Hello. I need your honest opinion. This is very interesting and COULD BE detrimental to my computer regarding RAM...
For a couple of years now since I built my own ASUS P5Q system, I have been using a total of 4GB of RAM (Corsair XMS2 4GB 2x2GB modules; TWIN2X4096-6400C5) since I was using Windows XP 32-bit at the time. As you know, that is the max. amount of RAM that XP can use for 32-bit (Technically, just over 3 GB.). Several months ago, I upgraded to Windows 7 Professional with 64-bit. Since then, I even purchased more memory, exactly the same type and design I am currently using. The only difference is that the new twin RAM kit is labeled version 6.1 and my original twin RAM kit is labeled version 3.1. Both new and original RAM kits ahve the same 1.80 V ratings labeled on each module. I know my ASUS P5Q can handle up to a max. of 16 GB, so I figured I would take it to 8 GB having 2 sets of 2 kits of the TWIN2X4096-6400C5 modules. So I installed them. For the few months I had 8GB of RAM, the system ran fairly okay most of the time (say 95% good) except for playing longer online videos (like from YouTube) where the system would BSOD and/or the system would freeze during playback (later in the playback). Other than that it ran great. The system seemed more perky than 4 GB! I never modified the BIOS and left everything on "Auto" configuration (like timings and voltages) even after installing the added 4 GB of RAM. However, I never had this random freezing and BSOD happen before since I installed the additional RAM. It always ran great with only 4GB. I have been putting up with this issue for months. Then I decided to get to the bottom of it. I ran Prime95 Torture Test and other software tests to see what the issue was. The system froze exactly 6 minutes into the Prime95 test each time. I decided to take out the added 4 GB of RAM (left with 4 GB) and ran Prime95 and the tests ran smoothly. I played longer online videos with only 4GB of RAM. The videos played smoothly too.
One of things I did is that I looked into ASUS User Guide and RE-CHECKED the QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists) for compatible RAM. I realized I misread the module type in the QVL list before I purchased the same RAM kit thinking just adding another 4 GB to my system would be fine since I know my motherboard can handle up to 16 GB. According to the QVL list, for my type of modules I ALREADY HAD, I CAN NOT add anymore modules. For DIMM socket support per QVL list, these modules do NOT support FOUR modules inserted into both the yellow and black slots as two pairs of dual-channel memory configuration. *ONE* RAM kit only supports *ONE* pair (TWO modules) dual-channel memory configuration per QVL list. WELL, THAT MIGHT EXPLAIN THE ISSUES!!!
Well. I cannot get a refund now and I am stuck with the modules. I wanted and needed more memory too. At 4 GB of RAM, running Prime95 uses ALL the 4 GB of RAM. Also, I do video editing and needed a little more RAM anyways. So I got curious! What if I just install ONE of the TWO modules in the RAM kit (or only add 2 GB) to the already installed 4 GB of RAM for a total of 6 GB of RAM? I would have more RAM (greater than 4 GB)! Would that be okay? BUT WOULD MY SYSTEM BE STABLE??? I knew that my system was "fairly" stable at 8 GB most of the time. Lowering to 6 GB, but more than 4GB MIGHT be a good choice.
I added ONE 2 GB RAM module to the second DIMM slot between the other pair. I ran Prime95 at 6 GB of RAM since Prime95 always seemed to catch issues. RESULT: NO ISSUES!!! Prime 95 ran smoothly. I notice that using 6 GB of RAM, I was left with at least 50% free unused RAM even using labor intensive Prime95. I figure I should be fine for video editing now. I have ran several long You Tube videos for testing purposes. NO SYSTEM FREEZES EITHER!!! I figure if my system is stable at 6 GB of RAM FOR A SHORT TIME NOW. My system seems more perky now than with just 4 GB of RAM. I did not make any modifications to my BIOS either.
What is your honest overall opinion of this scenario??? Do you think I am okay or not with 6 GB of RAM???
Some basic general stats of my system:
- Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit.
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 -- Yorkfield 2.83 GHz 1333 MHz processor.
- ASUS P5Q desktop motherboard.
- 6 GB of Corsair XMS2 3x2 GB DDR2 RAM.
- XFX Radeon HD5670 GDDR5 1GB RAM Graphics Card.
|My System Specs|
|17 May 2011||#2|
I think you may be running all 6 gb in single channel mode with that configuration. Or at least the single stick would be in single channel. It's OK, won't hurt anything.
What happens if you remove the original 2 sticks and just use the new 2 sticks? Can you then run Prime 95 with no errors??? I'm just wondering if one of the 2 new sticks is in fact defective??
Have you considered running memtest on the RAM?
|My System Specs|
|17 May 2011||#3|
Yes, I have ran both Memtest and Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool (WMDT) on all 4 modules (when I had the full 8 GB RAM installed) a few weeks ago. After 5 passes (approx. 12 hours of testing) with Memtest, the results were fine. WMDT even passed when I set the most comprehensive test settings. Yah, I know the tests are not 100% accurate, so there STILL could be a faulty module.
I even have ran for testing purposes both 4 GB kits (original and new) SEPARATELY in my system. I never saw any issues -- testing or just using them.
I have to think it is the "FULL" 8 GB gets the system a little cranky at times! Yah, have to remember ASUS's QVL list does NOT recommend more than TWO of THESE PARTICULAR modules in my motherboard.
I read online that you can mix and match modules (to some degree) and you will still get more RAM?!?!? (My 4 modules are almost matches which goes against the QVL requirements for this particular RAM for my motherboard.)
|My System Specs|
|17 May 2011||#6|
If you are sure the RAM modules themselves are good, the problem obviously lies elsewhere.
I would try as suggested, and take a look at what CPUZ has to say.
Then, manually set the Voltage/Timings/speeds in the bios to match whatever the weakest kit is of the bunch.
Again, as mentioned, knowing more about your system will be beneficial.
Its possible that the NB may need a slight little bump in voltage to stabilize the system with 4 DIMMS in use.
Or, that the the DIMMS will need to run at a slightly lower frequency.
My board for example will run my 2 DIMMS at thier 1066 speed all day stable as can be.
Throw another 2 in there for a total of 4, 8GB, and theres a stability issues at 1066 speed and stock voltages.
4 DIMMS put more stress on the NB, so youll need to find where its happy to run them all. No board/config is the same.
Some will have no issues, some will be get grumpy.
Manually setting the RAM to run at DDR 800 5-5-5-15 (1.8v) may actually stabilize it.
|My System Specs|
|21 May 2011||#10|
Hello. I am back. I have been quite busy and I will not drop this issue!! I apologize for my tardiness!
First off, thanks for ALL your responses!!! I see I have friends here!
Okay, regarding the requested screen shots of CPU-Z. These CPU-Z screen shots are regarding this STABLE system with 6 GB of RAM. I have attached ALL (more than you requested) of them (All its tabs except the "About" tab, obviously.) for your information. I figured more information the better for you to get a better idea of what is going on here. I see you can tell A LOT about my system from this program. Yes, slot number 4 is empty because there is no RAM module in there.
What to additionally note to assist you and some of you even asked for as well:
1. Yes, I stable right now as I said in my initial post with the 6 GB of RAM. It's when I go to 8 GB of RAM when that random video freezes and BSODs happen during playback (later on during the playback) like watching a long You Tube video (BCCode: 117 & 119) -- see my initial post.
2. I have all my BIOS settings set to default or "Auto" with *NO* BIOS modifications of any kind (voltages, timings, temps, etc.) at this point because at 6 GB of RAM things are working fine.
3. You may be wondering on the way my motherboard configures memory -- like single or dual channel configuration with my installed odd 6 GB. This is what my ASUS User Guide states in regard about this:
"You may install varying memory sizes in Channel A and Channel B. The system maps the total size of the lower-sized channel for the dual-channel configuration. Any excess memory from the higher-sized channel is then mapped for single channel operation."
So... ...I take it to mean that since my ASUS P5Q has 4 RAM slots called Channel A that is DIMM_A1 and DIMM_A2 (These are paired together in terms of proximity -- yellow and black slots.) and likewise Channel B that is DIMM_B1 and DIMM_B2, where Channel A has 4 GB installed and Channel B has 2 GB installed; I STILL HAVE SOME *DUAL* channel configuration for both channel slots DIMM_A1 & DIMM_B1 since Channel B is smaller than Channel A and Channel B determines the minimum mapping for dual channel configuration. The excess RAM (2 GB) in the Channel A (DIMM_A2) is the SINGLE channel mapping configuration. So I have BOTH kinds of mapping channel configurations. My system can do both and not just stick with complete single channel mode.
4. With the Corsair XMS2 4GB 2x2GB modules; TWIN2X4096-6400C5 -- They are double banked or chips on both sides of each module covered by heat-sinks on both sides.
5. In terms of the BIOS Update for my particular ASUS P5Q, I am running the latest from the ASUS website: that is 2209. It was flashed quite some time ago.
...BUT I WOULD LOVE TO GET IT TO UP TO *8* GB OF RAM!!!! THAT IS MY GOAL!!!!
Let me ask you this... ...Would you like or need to compare this CPU-Z data with current stable 6 GB RAM system to the similar CPU-Z data when I am running my system with *8* GB of RAM and this particular issue???????????? Let me know!
I hope all this data helps you get to the bottom of this issue with 8 GB of RAM!
Any more questions, please let me know.
|My System Specs|
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