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Windows 7: Random freezes: Need RAM settings advice

23 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 - SP1
Random freezes: Need RAM settings advice

I'm posting this in the Overclockers section as my question (at this stage) is specifically about memory settings/timings etc and overclockers are likely to know more about this than anyone else (and as I didn't see a general hardware/memory section here).

I've been having random freezes ever since I upgraded my system from XP-SP3 a few weeks ago. I had a stable system for 2 years with XP, the system with XP was the same as in my System Specs; the only hardware change I made was to replace this
A-Data AD31333002GMU, 1x2GB, DDR3-1333, DIMM
with this
A-Data SU3U1333C4G9-B 1x4GB, DDR3-1333, PC3-10600, CL9, DIMM
Supreme Series DDR3 1333 240pin Unbuffered-DIMM Non-ECC Memory, Specifications, Memory Modules, DDR3 1333, Desktop Supreme, DRAM Moudule, Welcome to ADATA

So, upgrading from XP to Windows 7 while upgrading from 2GB to 4GB (and of course upgrading drivers) has caused instability. The freezes happen about twice daily on average (longest with no freeze is 3 days, my PC is on 24/7). Sometimes 4 freezes in a morning. Freezes manifest as sudden loss of mouse and keyboard control, screens stay on, sometimes with animated cursor still animated (for about 20 seconds then it stops), and if sound is playing then it goes onto a 0.1s loop (sounds like a machine gun), then I'm forced to hit the reset button. Event Viewer shows nothing of interest. I've never had a BSOD.

I've done everything I can think of so far to solve this problem, including:-

1) Installed all Important Updates
2) Installed all Recommended Updates (apart from stuff like languages etc that aren't relevant)
3) Uninstalled ASUS EPU 6 Engine and replaced with Speedfan 4.44
4) Uninstalled soundcard and tablet
5) Unplugged / not used other peripherals (webcam, camera etc)
6) Moved keyboard from PS2 to USB (it has both connectors)
7) Set Windows power plan to High Performance
8) Updated monitor and GPU drivers from manufacturers (even though Windows reported my current ones were up-to-date)
9) Removed 2GB RAM from Channel A and moved the 4GB chip from Channel B to Channel A orange socket (although ASUS manual says the channel shouldn't matter, but recommend the orange sockets). The system had recognised 6GB with the two plugged in, and now recognises 4GB after removal of the 2GB chip.
10) Run MemTest86 v4.0, it showed no errors after 8 passes on an overnight test.
11) Upgraded BIOS to latest version (version 1102), upgrade was successful and everything is on defaults
12) Run chkdsk on all partitions
13) Updated Intel chipset etc here
Intel® Driver Update Utility

BIOS voltages are:-
CPU Voltage: 1.22
3.3V: 3.30
5V: 5.18
12V: 12.20

So, the next thing to check is whether the MoBo/BIOS has the RAM on optimum settings. 36 hours ago I manually set the DRAM voltage at 1.5V (manufacturers recommended voltage), no freezes since then. (Every other BIOS setting is default.)

ASUS Bios page
ASUSTeK Computer Inc. -Support- Drivers and Download P5Q3

I am unsure as to whether ASUS has included this memory stick in it's latest BIOS; the latest BIOS is a year old, and their most recent QVL for memory is 18 months old (and does not include my memory stick). So I'm not sure if my RAM is being run by the system correctly. Are there other settings I could change to aim for maximum stability? I am not interested in performance (I don't do gaming), I really want stability at all costs.

So, I'd be grateful if someone who knows more about memory than me (I know little about latency etc) could have a look at the CPU-Z logs and tell me if anything problematic jumps out. If I could change something that may benefit stability, then please suggest BIOS settings etc. I've never overclocked anything or played with memory settings before so am somewhat of a n00b here.

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Random freezes: Need RAM settings advice-tweaker1.jpg   Random freezes: Need RAM settings advice-tweaker2.jpg  
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My System SpecsSystem Spec


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