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Issues with new RAM (Corsair XMS3 4x2Gb)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I just created an account cause I'm having a small issue with my computer. I built my computer last year and originally bought this dual channel kit http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145251. It has been running great and I decided to buy two more sticks to fill up my remaining RAM slots. At first when I put them in it ran for about an hour and blue screened. After that it would blue screen within 15 minutes of it being turned on. I removed the new RAM and everything worked perfectly fine again. I then put the 2 new sticks in by themselves and got the blue screen again. This obviously pointed to one of the two new sticks being bad (even though they both passed on memtest86 without a hitch?) so I RMAd them and got a new set.

Well the new ones came yesterday and threw them back in. I used the computer a little bit last night and everything was working fine. Today, I was watching a movie and got the blue screen again. I took them back out and am running with the original 2 sticks right now. There is no way I got two more bad sticks so I'm starting to think something else is up. Before I waste a bunch of time with trial and error swapping RAM around again, I read somewhere that I may need to bump up the voltage a little bit or underclock them to a lower speed. I am not overclocking anything and I had my mobo set to automatically detect the default settings (9-9-9-24 @ 1.5V running in unganged mode). Here is the rest of my major computer specs if it helps at all.

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) x2
EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550

I am not trying to push this thing to the limit just want to get it working! Thanks.

post #2 of 8
Welcome to OCN. thumb.gif

Your situation is precisely why RAM mfgs. recommend buying ONE, matched, tested RAM kit. Even the addition of a second RAM kit of the same part number does not guarantee that the mixed RAM kits will function without errors at the advertised RAM latencies, frequency and voltage - per Corsair as these latencies are for the specific kit you buy.

In theory all DDR3 RAM should work with other DDR3 RAM on all mobos - without issues. In reality this is NOT always the case as your experience demonstrates.

No one can guarantee that mixing of RAM will work without issues but there are some BIOS settings that might improve mixed RAM compatibility if you have individually tested each DIMM with memtest86+ from a floppy, CD or flash drive and determined that all of the DIMMs are error free. I do agree that it's highly unlikely that you received bad RAM twice... This sounds more like a common DDR3 RAM compatibility issue.

If you loosen the RAM latencies and/or up the RAM voltage and possibly also the CPU-NB voltage - you may get the mixed RAM to run without errors? Only trial and error can determine if this will work but sometimes it will. That being the case I'd recommend trying one change at a time if you want to determine what works or all of the changes at once if you just want a good shot at system stabilty and don't really care what resolves the issue if it is resolved.

I'd start with setting the RAM frequency to 1333 MHz. if not already set and the latencies to 9-9-9-27 @ 1.65v and test. If this works then you can try 9-9-9-24 @ 1.65v, etc. if you want to play.

If the 9-9-9-27 @ 1.65v alone does not fix the issue you might increase the CPU-NB voltage a small amount and test again. (4) DIMMs place a greater strain on the CPU Internal Memory Controller (IMC). Sometimes additional CPU-NB voltage will resolve RAM errors with (4) DIMMs. If all else fails you can try 11-11-11-30 @ 1.65v and with a CPU-NB voltage bump.

All of the above options are safe BIOS changes that you can try.
Edited by AMD4ME - 6/1/12 at 10:41pm
post #3 of 8

Segregating this immediately as an issue of mixing RAM kits is a bit short-sighted given that a number of options have not been tried and there is little to know about this issue. A CPU-NB (IMC) voltage bump has not even been tested, and a number of other possibilities as to this issue exists.


I happen to know that one of the common issues with GIGABYTE 700/800 series motherboards in particular is that the tRFC setting (the tRFC is a timings component) in the BIOS is not set properly on the latter two DIMMs by default; whereas they might be at a stable 160ns on the two DIMMs being used, the other two might have a 90ns setting by default and this is not changed automatically when you put more RAM in. Too low of this setting on two or more of the DIMMs has been the cause for problem when attempting to add two DIMMs on GIGABYTE motherboards before.  Going into the BIOS and upping the tRFC to higher, more stable values (at absolutely no performance penalty) should solve the problem if the case, which is likely.


You may also wish to review the RAM slots on the motherboard; it is possible that they may themselves be defective.


The CPU-NB voltage should be the first setting changed when other board-specific possibilities for cause have been ruled out.  This is not a matter of sometimes - CPU-NB voltage directly affects the IMC.  Given a C3 revision Phenom II IMC is rated only to run 4 DIMMs at 1333Mhz at the default voltage, although is known to run 4 DIMMs at 1600Mhz, an in-between setting change may be necessary.


Have you tried the two new-new DIMMs on their own?

post #4 of 8
xd_1771 -PLEASE stop jumping to incorrect conclusions on my posts... rolleyes.gif

PLEASE actually read what is written and don't go off on tangents that have no basis in reality as you have done in numerous threads... To be specific the use of TWO RAM kits - even of the same part number By Definition is considered "mixing" of RAM by RAM makers because it is not one, matched, tested RAM kit, it is two separate RAM kits and as such is not guaranteed to run at the BIOS settings for a single RAM kit or a single DIMM if you buy multiple DIMMs instead of ONE, matched, tested RAM kit.

If you actually READ and understood my comments above, I told the OP to try the mixed kits with the OE BIOS settings and if that didn't work I gave him options to TRY. Bumping the CPU-NB voltage is not consider the first or best choice for resolving issues with mismatched RAM as it also adds heat to a CPU, which is not desirable. That is why CPU-NB voltage bumps are left until later if required -- if the other options don't resolve compatibility or operational issues.

There are MANY possible tweeks that might allow mixed RAM to function. I listed the common ones as stipulated by Corsair themselves in their forums. Offering additional options to help sort the compatibility issues is fine but stating that upping the CPU-NB voltage is the first option is incorrect and poor advice IME and not recommended by Corsair. While increased CPU-NB voltage may ultimately be required with mixed RAM, I'd try all the other options first to keep the CPU temp as low as possible.

As in past threads we can respectfully agree to disagree. thumb.gif
Edited by AMD4ME - 6/4/12 at 6:49am
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the helpful suggestions guys thumb.gif

Unfortunately, it appears as though these two replacement sticks are bad again mad.gif . Ran them by themselves in BOTH combinations of memory slots and it blue screened in either situation. I probably should have tried this first before starting a thread, but I thought that there was no way I got bad ones again. I did notice however that the motherboard did autodetect different times for tRFC on the two new sticks. They were set to 110ns and the old ones were set to 160ns. I tried changing them to 160ns but it still blue screened. Everything else was the same between the two.

I guess I'll have to do another RMA. I was reading through the reviews for this kit on newegg and it appears that tons of people had to RMA it, and a few who needed to return them twice like me. There were also quite a few people who said they had 2 of the same kit (one guy even had 3?) so I'm hoping third time is a charm.... I've always had good experience with corsair in the past so this kind of blows... Also, memtest86 and the windows 7 memory test didn't find anything wrong with them.

The ONLY other thing that I can think of is that there is something wrong with my second memory controller (I think there are 2 different memory controllers and each one's slot's are color coded?) and it keeps damaging the RAM that is plugged into it. Has anyone ever heard of this happening? I'm definitely not trying my two good sticks on the other two slots if this is even remotely a possibility.
post #6 of 8
I doubt that your memory controller is damaging the RAM. Two sets in a row would be very unusual unless Corsair had a bad batch of RAM.

If the XMS RAM has a lifetime warranty you could swap it into the two slots of question and run Memtest86+ to see if they show bad. If so I'd expect the mobo or mobo BIOS is the real issue???

You can also e-mail Corsair Tech Support on this deal. Perhaps for your troubles they would swap you a proper 2x 4 GB. matched, tested RAM kit under warranty???
Edited by AMD4ME - 6/4/12 at 7:00pm
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
If the mobo isn't damaging the RAM, there is no way that it could be the problem. The new RAM does not work in either configuration even when in the two slots my good sticks work in. I'm just gonna RMA these again and then try them by themselves first in the known good two slots. Then I will be able to rule out every possibility.
post #8 of 8
As Nate above stated, I also built my AMD computer in a university project. I have 2 Corsair XMS3 DDR3 RAM and they are 4GB each. Recently, I keep getting memory low messages. I just opened up the case and remove the two DDR3s and found that they were extremely hot to the touch. Is this one of the symptoms of memory overload? I will try what you put about the BIOS changes, but am very concerned about the temperature of the RAM.
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