[GA-EP35C-DS3R] default Memory speed shown in BIOS is not correct

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by Hueyduck, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Hueyduck

    Hueyduck Guest

    Hi everyone,

    I just build my new PC with the GA-EP35C-DSR MB, and so far, so good :)

    The only thing thar bothers me is that I installed 2 * 2Go of DDR2
    memory (sold together, under the brand "black dragon (GEIL)").
    This is supposed to be PC 8500 memory. This is waht is written on the
    box, and on the shiny stickers that are on the sticks themselves.

    So, I gather that the BIOS shoudl show a default speed of 1066MHz, am I
    right.

    Well, it says that my memory is 800MHz memory.
    I flashed the BIOS to F3 version, and I checked with EasyTune (don't
    know why it would be different, buyt anyway). It still shows 800MHz.

    I tested the memory for several hours with memtest. The sticks seem to
    work ok.

    Before I call the shop where I bought it, I would like to hear from
    this NG about anytging I could have ommitted or misunderstood.

    The simplest explaination, for the moment, is that there are false
    information of both the box and the stickers of the memory sticks I bought.

    Looking forward for your answers. Thanks for reading.

    Huey
     
    Hueyduck, Sep 29, 2008
    #1
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  2. Hueyduck

    Paul Guest

    Each DIMM has a tiny SPD EEPROM chip on it. The SPD chip contains
    timing tables.

    There are two options for the manufacturer. The SPD table can be set
    up, to contain the "overclocked" values (the advertised values) for
    the product. But if such a DIMM is plugged into an average motherboard,
    it may cause the motherboard not to start.

    To fix it, the DIMM manufacturer puts a "safe" setting in the SPD.
    In your case, that might be DDR2-800 settings. Then, it is up
    to the user, to manually enter the DDR2-1066 clock and timing
    values into the BIOS. That reduces the number of tech support
    phone calls received, as most users get their motherboards
    to work. And the technically savvy users, dial in the correct
    settings manually.

    It is not dishonesty, as much as an attempt to reduce the number
    of tech support phone calls, and requests for RMA.

    Here, you see a DDR2 DIMM, that has three timing tables. The
    SPD chip supports DDR2-400, DDR2-533, and DDR2-667. Now, it
    could be, that the product has printed on the box, that it
    supports more speed. You'd need to enter the details printed
    on the box, in place of the types of values shown here by
    default in the SPD. Generally, looser timings (higher CAS etc)
    are used at the elevated clock speeds.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3282/2322872386_feaaed713d_o.png

    It looks possible, that the timings are 5-5-5-15, with no value
    stated for tRC. You could leave tRC at Auto if you want, and let
    the BIOS work it out. The modules are rated at a high value of
    Vdimm, but I would not apply 2.4V as a long term voltage to
    my modules. Use only as much voltage as is needed for
    stability. Somewhere between 2.0 and 2.2V for example.
    Test with memtest86+ before you boot into Windows - if the
    RAM is not manually dialled in correctly, your Windows boot
    disk will get corrupted. (Make a backup of the bootdisk, while
    the RAM is at a lower stable setting, so you're prepared for the
    worst - I use a Linux LiveCD for initial boot testing, because
    a CD cannot be harmed by an overclocking type failure. Only
    boot to Windows, if you're absolutely sure the memory is
    error free.)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144242

    The Geil site is perfectly useless, a waste of electrons.

    http://www.geil.com.tw/products/showSpec/id/118

    Paul
     
    Paul, Sep 29, 2008
    #2
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  3. Hueyduck

    Hueyduck Guest

    Paul a écrit :
    Hi, Paul.
    This sounds dishonnest to me. Any normal person won't mess with the
    BIOS juste in order to get his memory running at the nominal speed.
    Anyway, I do not want to have to overclock something in my PC.
    This is too much hazardous for a workstation.

    I found this thread:
    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?p=12289158
    And now, I don't know what to think.
    Tomorrow, I'll go and check the sticks in the shop where I bought it.
    They say they will test it.
    CPU-Z clearly states that my modules are PC2-6400 (400MHz).


    Thanks you for your advice, but as I said, I do not want to eneter an
    overclocking procedure. I want my hardware to run at its nominal speed.
    Nothing more, nothing less.

    Thanks you for explaining all this to me.
    This was very detailed. And it allowed me to discover CPU-Z, btw :)

    Seems like their product might not be the best. I did'nt know this
    brand. Last time I buy that .
    Why the shop would tell me that they were better that corsair, I do
    not know.

    Thanks again.

    Huey
     
    Hueyduck, Sep 30, 2008
    #3
  4. Hueyduck

    Hueyduck Guest

    Paul a écrit :
    Well, after a bit of research, I found something that might indicate
    that it is also a motherboard issue.

    Here's a post I found here: (read 08-01-2008 @ 23h07'04)
    http://forum.hardware.fr/hfr/Hardware/CPU-Mobo-Ram/ddr2-1066mhz-deluxe-sujet_788214_1.htm

    Translated from french, it goes like this:

    [/quote]
    "In order to insure compatibility, motherboards follow JEDEC
    specifications, which allow to assemble é boot a PC in a reliable way.
    This JEDEC norm ignores DDR2 that goes higher than PC6400/800Hz.
    So if the BIOS memory setting is set to "default", every module with a
    speed equal or higher than 800MHz will show ac being PC6400.

    For seome brands (including Crucial), ther is an additionnal norm name
    EPP (enhanced performance profile) wich give the timing one has to
    manually set in the BIOS in order to enjoy the real performance of
    these modules. These specifications appear in CPU-Z or Everest. Intel
    Chipset do *not* recognize EPP profiles. nVidia chipset *do*.

    The best thing is to chose frequency ande ratio manually in the BIOS,
    and, if necessary, chose the Vdimm value specified by the vendor.

    This is true for all the Motherboards with an Intel Chipset that deals
    with DDR2.
    [/quote]

    So, you see, Paul, with your explanations and this one , I finally
    decided to try the simple tool that is given with the EP35c-DS3R, and
    wich is called
    easyTune5.

    I just set the memory to 1066MHz.
    Rebooted.
    Works fine.

    I will perform a MEMtest tonight/

    Anyway, all this seesm a bit strange.
    CPU-Z still shows my memeory as "PC-6400". Is it possible that this
    "PC-6400" is entirely made up by the motherboard, due to JEDEC
    limitations? I wonder.


    Huey
     
    Hueyduck, Sep 30, 2008
    #4
  5. Hueyduck

    Hueyduck Guest

    Hi everyone,

    This afternoon, I changed the speed of my 2 modules of memory, in order
    for them to run at the speed I bought them for. I let Easy Tune do
    automatic settings.

    Tonight, I checked the stability of the memory with memtest: errors all
    over the place.

    With a speed of 800MHz onstead of the nominal 1066MHz, there was no errors.

    Shall I assume that my two modules cannot support the settings that are
    advertized on the box?This *is* annoying.

    This is annoying because I have no way to find the setting that would
    insure zero errors with my two modules at 1066MHz. I can try, but I
    cannot be assured.

    What do you think?

    I think I'll bring them sticks to the shop and try another brand.
    Any advice is welcome.


    Huey.
     
    Hueyduck, Sep 30, 2008
    #5
  6. Hueyduck

    Paul Guest

    Does Easytune change the Vdimm setting ? It probably does not.
    You have forgotten to adjust the Vdimm in the BIOS. Once you
    do that, the errors could disappear.

    On my motherboards here, I usually have to set some BIOS setting
    to "Manual", to expose the memory timing settings. (On Gigabyte,
    the detailed settings are hidden until you press <control> F1.)

    Once the detailed settings are available, set the four parameters
    (the 5-5-5-15 part) in the BIOS. Set the memory clock so that
    the memory is running at DDR2-1066 (or whatever the setting is
    that the motherboard happens to support). The motherboard will
    have an upper limit, as to what that speed may be. In some cases,
    only overclocking the CPU, makes available the very highest
    settings.

    CPUZ can be used to verify the current operating conditions
    for the RAM. Make sure the operating conditions match the ones
    listed on the Geil site (DDR2-1066 5-5-5-15).

    It sounds like Easytune has set the speed for you, but may not
    have adjusted the memory voltage. The Geil web page says the
    Vdimm "working" voltage is 2.2V to 2.4V. The JEDEC standard value
    is 1.8V. Use only as much voltage as is needed to stop the errors.
    You can start at 2.2V, and work down a step at a time, and in each
    case, use a memtest86+ floppy for memory testing. I would not
    recommend 2.4V for long term usage. If you can do one complete
    pass of memtest86+ at a given voltage, keep adjusting the
    voltage, until you see what the sensitive point is. Then
    give it an extra step of voltage, before moving to another
    test. (Like booting a Linux LiveCD and running Prime95, before
    you boot back into Windows.)

    When using highly elevated voltage for DIMMs, and when using four
    DIMMs with fat heat spreaders on them, sometimes there is no room
    for air movement between the DIMMs. The result can be high
    operating temperatures for the RAM. Since it sounds like
    you're using only two sticks, I'm less worried about the
    temperature. But you should still avoid using extremely high
    voltage values over the long term, because it could result
    in a memory failure at some future date.

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Oct 1, 2008
    #6
  7. Hueyduck

    Hueyduck Guest

    Paul a écrit :
    You are right: it doesnot.
    I've got something weirder since yesterday:
    I made a bootable CD with memtest86 on it, in order to follow your advice.
    I set the memory to 1066MHz (speed that should be shown) instead of the
    default BIOS setting of 800MHz. I did'nt change the Vdimm.
    memtest86 ran @700% without finding an error.
    Under windows, all the instances I had to open to cover the memory where
    finding errors like mushrooms in a meadow.
    How is that possible, I wonder.
    Btw, I seem to understand that a 100% test done by memtest86 is more
    reliable than 200 or 300% test under windows. Under windows, memetest
    recommend to run the application at least 20 minutes.
    Under Dos, when it's finished, it's finished. I like that.



    Yes I saw that. As I sais, I am a OC virgin and I was intending to stay
    so :) I didn't even know that.
    For the moment, the memory runs at 1.95V. I will test it some more.
    It bothers me that the errors found unedre windows memetest would not be
    reproductible under DOS, though.
    Could a bad manipulation make memtest report memory errors? (for
    instance if I had launched mem test while small programs where running
    or opened in the background).
    whoo, I'll look into that.
    Nice way to introduce me to LInux. I'll search the ISO.
    And I don't want that.

    Last question if you do'nt mind:
    Geil site specifies 2.2 to 2.4V for the modules.
    If the memtest i happy with a lower tension (like the one I have now
    wich is 1.95V I think), shall I up it to 2.2V anyway? Logically, yes,
    since it is the default lower voltage. But, again, I woudl have thoug

    Thank you so much, Paul for all those explaination.


    Huey
     
    Hueyduck, Oct 1, 2008
    #7
  8. Hueyduck

    Hueyduck Guest

    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to update one last time this thread.

    So, the GEIL memory modules where simply either
    - defective
    or
    - not compatible with the EP35C-DSR motherboard.

    I brought them back not because they where detected as PC6400 instead of
    PC8500, since this is normal and dur to JEDEC compliance from the
    motherboard.
    But, when I was clocking the modules to their nominal speed and setting
    their voltage to the recommended value, memtest wouldn't stop detecting
    errors.

    I changed the modules for g.skill ones. ref F2-8500-CL5D-4GBPK
    DDR2-1066 PC2-8500 2048MB*2 CL5-5-15 2.0 to 2.1V

    On the site of the brand, you can find a pdf with screen captures of
    many BIOS from the boards that have been tested.
    I set the frenquency to 1066MHz, upped the voltage from +0.2V (it now
    reads something between 2.0 and 2.1), and tested it
    -memtest86 from a bootable CDrom: 200% coverage= no error
    -memtest under winXPSP2: all night long= no error.


    Thank you for having helped me with this problem.


    (ATT Tim) I do think that your modules are simply not compatible with
    your motherboard.
    g.skill site specifies exactly what motherboard they tested with each of
    their module kit. You might want to take a look.


    Huey
     
    Hueyduck, Oct 2, 2008
    #8
  9. Hueyduck

    Hueyduck Guest

    ANd btw, there I checked my new modules (g.skill) with CPU-Z.
    I went to the SPD tab.
    In the timing table, there are 3 possible settings recorded:
    JEDEC1= 266MHz
    JEDEC2=400Mhz (my previous modules were only showing frequency as high
    as this one)
    end
    EPP1= 533MHz

    ANd they are the ones who , indeed, work nicely, even if they are really
    hot.


    Huey
     
    Hueyduck, Oct 2, 2008
    #9
  10. Hueyduck

    Tim Guest

    Hi there,

    Reading the Cosair forum I believe you are right and have RMA'd them and
    ordered OCZ memory which according to the Gigabyte compatibility sheet
    should be compatible.

    We shall see if it runs at 1333 without a problem.

    Many thanks for the pointers, Tim.
     
    Tim, Oct 2, 2008
    #10
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