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DRAM tRFC setting (timing change in BIOS)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Sig rig. Dual channel motherboard.

http://www.overclock.net/amd-memory/291525-trfc-settings-ram-modules.html

Effectively relates to the thread above. I have the following RAM: XMS3 2x2GB DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit CMX4GX3M2B1600C9

I have 2 sticks of 2GB RAM, with the following timings:

13.5
13.5
13.5
26
DRAM tRFC = 110
15
7.5
7.5
7.5
37.5
50.625

Now, I've just tried putting two of the EXACT same memory in (same model number, frequency and 2 more sticks of 2GB).

PC wouldn't POST and cycled through powering on and off. Took out the memory, got to Windows logo, Blue screen. Discovered that SATA mode had somehow managed to change itself from AHCI mode (set before Windows 7 install) to IDE Mode, no problem, set it back, gets to login screen.

I did a Memory Test via BIOS on all four sticks, with the original two paired in DIMM slot 1 and 3 and the new two in the same slots.

They were correctly seated before anyone brings that up. Tried all four sticks (two pairs) in all combinations.

Now the reason I posted the timings is because on the old RAM, the Version number was 2.3, but the NEW RAM version number is 2.12, which is odd. I don't know if this is relevant, important or irrelevant, I just noticed it today.

Then I checked the timings on the new RAM and the DRAM rTFC value was much higher at 160, not 110. I have a feeling this may be causing issues in regards to getting past POST and working with my "old" RAM.

My question is, is it safe to change the DRAM tRFC timing from 160 ns to 110 ns to match the old RAM, or vice versa?

P.S. A separate question is, why does the XMS3 1600Mhz series come at 1333Mhz by default? Seems strange to do that. Easy to change it just seems odd, unless it's for compatibility reasons for older motherboards.
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post #2 of 5
Where are you getting those timings? They look like they are in nanoseconds and not clock cycles, which is what I would expect to see in a technical whitepaper, not a standard spec list.

Anyway, those sets of memory aren't the same. Corsair memory of a different revision often uses completely different ICs from the same model of a different revision number.

You should still be able to get them to work together, but you may have to use the loosest timings of each set/stick.

It's perfectly safe to loosen tRFC to match the new memory, but tightening it to match the old stuff will probably cause issues.
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
The timings from the BIOS.

What would you advise then? Just fiddle with the timings to get them closer together? :/

They're all running at the default 1333Mhz (even though they're 1600Mhz). I'm not sure if the RAM settings are kept on the BIOS or the RAM itself.

For example if I was to set the old RAM as 1600Mhz, take it out, put the new RAM in and set that as 1600Mhz and then put them all in together.

Seems a bit limiting by Corsair that the exact same model of RAM with the same frequency and almost the same timings aren't compatible.
Edited by Zippyduda - 10/12/11 at 4:28pm
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post #4 of 5
a high tRFC won't cause system instability.. a low tRFC will. Also bios will revert to high tRFC and slightly more laxed subtimings when using 4 modules vs 2 modules.

Your instability happened when you added the other two sticks?
this usually means you need to supply more voltage to imc.. so increase vccio and you should be fine

and if you are trying to overclock all for sticks to 1600mhz you might need more vdimm since you are using more than 2 sticks of ram.
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Managed to get this working now biggrin.gif Very happy indeed.

What I needed to do was put both sets in separately and set them in the BIOS to Link, use XMP profile (so it uses 1.65v and 1600Mhz), and then put them in together.

Set it so the timings are 9-9-9-24 instead of 9-10-10-25 and the motherboard/BIOS has set the voltage correctly automatically to 1.648, nice to see it do that, as well as setting the DRAM tRFC to a value bang in between the old RAM (110ns = 88CLK) and the new RAM (160ns = 107CLK) at 129 nano seconds = 97/98 Clock Cycles

Something I don't get is why when I first put them all in together this time, it got past POST, but blue screened because SATA Mode had changed from AHCI back to IDE. Fixed obviously by putting it back, just odd behaviour.

Thanks for the help Blameless and badatgames18 smile.gif
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