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wierd RAM problem, please help

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
this is on a customer's computer of mine. i haven't phisically used the PC to help diagnose this problem, just by what he has told me.

here are the (relevent) specs of the system:
mobo: ASUS m4a88td-evo usb3
CPU: AMD phenom II 955 BE (oc to 3.6ghz)
RAM: Mushkin Silverline 1333 (2x2gb) (not sure on frequency)
PSU: corsair enthusiast series 650W
GFX: XFX 5770 (oc to 900)

he has noticed in his art programs, sometimes it seems to run out of RAM. it has 4gb, so i assumed it would run photoshop fine. however this is where it gets wierd. he has seen windows register only 1.5gb of ram under system in the past. i just had him check and it was only registering 2.36gb.

could this be RAM instability? i have a big CPU cooler, and decent airflow in the case (will attach photo of computer)

I really don't know what this could be, so any help is greatly appreciated. i could get access to the computer tomarrow if need be. i want my customer to be happy.
computer:
Attachment 216240
post #2 of 13
that definitely sounds like malfunctioning ram. I had my S939 rig blow a stick and when i was troubleshooting it the total reported ram size kept fluctuating.

See if you can get some known working sticks inside of it and see if that resolves the problem.
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post #3 of 13
What OS is he running?

32-Bit PAE is like 3.2-3.3GB and won't show 4GB. 64-Bit will show all 4GB of memory and more. If the memory was unstable then the PC would most likely have their applications keep crashing and when you download files you will get errors.

Check to see if the default voltage spec matches what is printed on the sticks. You can stress test the memory with Memtest86 or Memtest x86+, or Memtest Windows by HCI Design. Other things you can do is to test the DIMM slots with a good known working pair of memory. There isn't much more else you can do, I have only had faulty DIMM slots once and it was an Intel 975XBX2. So it is possible that DIMM slots could be damaged or faulty.
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
he is running ultimate x86 (32 bit)

I installed the ram in the primary slots (blue ones), could i install them in the black slots to see if that fixes the problem? i don't want to ruin anything, and don't want to take the CPU cooler off if i don't have to

edit: that board has the "memOK!" feature from ASUS, do you guys think that would help?
Edited by rocker22dallas - 6/20/11 at 8:17pm
post #5 of 13
GPU memory counts as part of the 4GB limit on 32-bit OS'es.
That means if your 5770 has 1GB of VRAM, that's an instant 1GB slash to the system memory you can use. Other factors such as the size of the BIOS ROM may affect available system memory to the user.
post #6 of 13
Beaten to the punch ^
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post
GPU memory counts as part of the 4GB limit on 32-bit OS'es.
That means if your 5770 has 1GB of VRAM, that's an instant 1GB slash to the system memory you can use. Other factors such as the size of the BIOS ROM may affect available system memory to the user.
really? i thought that the graphics RAM was on the chip itself. so when his ram is going down, is that the graphics pulling more ram off of the system?

i want to understand this. even if it was pulling 1gb off of his system, he should never have 1.5gb for programs. does he just need more ram?
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker22dallas View Post
really? i thought that the graphics RAM was on the chip itself. so when his ram is going down, is that the graphics pulling more ram off of the system?

i want to understand this. even if it was pulling 1gb off of his system, he should never have 1.5gb for programs. does he just need more ram?
Where the ram is located in the system (on the mobo/video card) is irrelevant. It is counting the 1GB vram, for sure, no question. There is a way to trick out 32 bit os's to use 4GB...but his system still has 5GB total, so it's a non issue.

The only way it will recognize the total available system ram is with a 64 bit version of 7 (or Vista 64, or XP X64). 32 bit operating systems have an inherent limitation of only being able to address 3.5 GB of ram maximum. Whereas windows 7 64 bit operating system versions, can address up to 192 GB's.

More ram without the proper OS to run it...is a waste of money.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...(v=vs.85).aspx
Edited by Lucky 13 SpeedShop - 6/21/11 at 7:27am
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
i understand that. but he is an artist, and runs a lot of legacy programs, i believe 64bit ultimate (i can use the same key) has full legacy support, but we used the 32 bit version just to be sure. so let me get this straight.

system ram = 4gb on mobo, 1gb on gfx card = 5gb
32 bit OS can only use ~3.5gb, gfx card is using 1gb from that
total displayed in windows is 2.36gb (which makes sense considering the above)
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker22dallas View Post
i understand that. but he is an artist, and runs a lot of legacy programs, i believe 64bit ultimate (i can use the same key) has full legacy support, but we used the 32 bit version just to be sure. so let me get this straight.

system ram = 4gb on mobo, 1gb on gfx card = 5gb
32 bit OS can only use ~3.5gb, gfx card is using 1gb from that
total displayed in windows is 2.36gb (which makes sense considering the above)

Everything ^ is correct.

For clarification, anything you can run on 7 32 bit, you can also run on the 64 bit version w/ no problems at all. Legacy program support from one version to the other is np

Also, yes. As long as it's not an OEM installation disc of Windows, you can reuse the key with the 64 bit version of 7 (it is however, tied to the original windows type. eg: Basic/Pro/Ult.).

Btw, with 7, it's possible to install the new version without having to reformat. Keeping important documents/programs/etc...etc in place w/o needing to backup data.

Any other ???'s, feel free to ask
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AKG K701's Lil Dot MK.III hp amp Burr-Brown OPA627SM opamp upgrade Custom built MTM style transmission line 
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