Help needed with RAM and BIOS

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pen25jf
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Help needed with RAM and BIOS

Post by pen25jf » Wed May 28, 2008 9:22 am

Hi,

I have a KN9 SLI motherboard. I have 3 gigs of RAM, 2 X 1GB and 2 X 512MB. What I've been reading everywhere is that for Windows XP to read/etc. over 2 gigs is I need to change the voltage in the BIOS. I tried, but I don't see the "numbers" that people are stating (something like 5-5-5-20??)
I see only two 5's in the Bios for RAM, everything else is different.

If anyone can explain this to me or has an AMD motherboard, much appreciated, because I've noticed a slight slowdown, strangely enough.

I also install a 512MB memory card - do I need to change the coltage on that as well somewhere, since it is connected to the Power supply?

Thanks!! :D

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5eraph
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Post by 5eraph » Wed May 28, 2008 10:05 am

You should find your RAM settings in BIOS under "Advanced Chipset Settings" --> "DRAM Configuration" according to your user manual.

Check the specifications for the RAM you're using and enter those values. If you need more help then please provide more information like the brand and part number of the RAM you're using, processor, etc.

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Post by pen25jf » Wed May 28, 2008 10:38 am

Thanks 5eraph.

Yeah, the BIOS part I got, but it's not straight forward (not to me at least).

Processor(s) is AMD2 dual 2 gigs, the 2 X 1 GB of RAM are Nvidia RAM. There's one option under the first part of the BIOS to manually change the RAM voltage to from 18V to eith 19 or 20. Whenever I try 20V, it's the BSOD.
19V works, but I know I need to tweak the settings under the RAM area you specified.

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Post by 5eraph » Wed May 28, 2008 10:58 am

I would recommend using the specifications provided with your RAM modules. Overvoltage for prolonged periods will shorten the lifespan of your RAM.

I should be able to look up the specs you need to enter, but I need a part number to do it.

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Post by newsposter » Wed May 28, 2008 11:52 am

Increasing voltage is an overclocking tool or something that is used to try and get incompatible parts to work together.

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Post by 5eraph » Wed May 28, 2008 12:00 pm

While that is true, newsposter, it's also an Abit recommended solution, depending on the specific RAM in use.

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Post by newsposter » Wed May 28, 2008 2:56 pm

"or something that is used to try and get incompatible parts to work together"

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Post by pen25jf » Wed May 28, 2008 3:27 pm

I'm not looking to OC, just to have "incompatible parts" work, so to speak. For example, the IDE controller in the system control panel is the generic Windows driver, and whenever I try to install the RAID disk I got with the PC, it doesn't accept the drivers (is it because I only have one hard drive and RAID is for using two, like SLI???). Anyway, it's an Xtreme Gear PC and has been giving me headaches since I bought it two years ago.

Anyway, the Ram: OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800, and the other two are either Corsair or Crucial, DDR2 800 1GB (2 X 512MB).

5eraph, yes, I have the booklet you posted. There is a page on the RAM, showing the DRAM Config. (page 44). That's where I think I need to change the timings. I read somewhere someone said about the voltage as I said above s/b 1.9, and "4-4-4-15", but what are those numbers?? If anyone can tell me where to tweak with those, thanks

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roirraW "edor"
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Re: Help needed with RAM and BIOS

Post by roirraW "edor" » Wed May 28, 2008 5:11 pm

Have you enabled RAID in the BIOS? It's not always enabled by default. Every motherboard's different. You might have to enable it in more than one place in the BIOS. There might be a general all RAID enabled/disabled, plus there may be enable and disabled settings for individual SATA and/or PATA ports (what your hard drive(s) hook up to).

Number like 5-5-5-18 or 4-4-4-15 are timings of the RAM, not voltage. The lower the numbers the less time it takes for the RAM to do certain functions, so the lower the numbers the faster the RAM. This is completely separate from the RAM frequency (800 MHz, also called DDR2-6400).

You can still enable RAID with one hard drive because you can specify one or more hard drives to be JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) without using RAID 0, RAID 1, or anything else.
pen25jf wrote:I also install a 512MB memory card - do I need to change the coltage on that as well somewhere, since it is connected to the Power supply?
I don't understand what you're saying here. Are you saying you now have 3.5 Gigs of RAM? What kind of memory card are you talking about? Are you referring to a card reader? If so then the answer is no to needing the voltage changed. A card reader has nothing to do with your RAM.

Can you post one or more links to where you read the info that you're supposed to change the voltage of the RAM in order for the motherboard to recognize the RAM above 2GB?

Edit: Corrected "DDR2-6500" to be "DDR2-6400"
Last edited by roirraW "edor" on Wed May 28, 2008 7:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by pen25jf » Wed May 28, 2008 7:30 pm

edor,

wow I'm a dumbo - VIDEO CARD!!!! Sorry, Nvidia 8600GT 512 MB VIDEO CARD!

I just changed some timings and up-ed the voltage and it's actually slower???

Should I have said I have Norton 360 installed?? I know that's a RAM hog, but not as bad as past versions...

How do I change the timings i.e. 4-4-4-15? What are eached called specifically?

Thanks alot everyone, hope this thing speeds up - my Vista laptop run's faster then this at the moment.... another note, before I had a 256 video card , also only 1 GB of RAM, but something's telling me it's the system. I use this PC for messin around with Update packs, etc. and decided to finally use this one only. Nothing fancy installed, booogy's, ryan's pack, Kel's runtimes, Kel's CPL, IE7, drive space indicator, and Ricktendo's Theme packs, 1-3, which I "think" is doing something - everytime I go to change a theme, it takes forever to view them.

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Post by roirraW "edor" » Wed May 28, 2008 7:37 pm

Ah, video card. Okay. :)

Just for the record, this is the first time I've heard of a motherboard that needed to have the RAM's voltage changed in order for it all to be recognized. But even if this is so, the video card memory is completely separate so the same "rules" shouldn't apply (you shouldn't have to "up" the voltage to the video card). Obviously your system is seeing your video RAM, otherwise you couldn't be using your computer. :)

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ram+timing+wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAM_latency
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAM_latency wrote:So, for example, latency values given as 2.5-3-3-8 would indicate tCAS=2.5, tRCD=3, tRP=3, tRAS=8
See the link for more detail than you probably want.

It's possible that your RAM won't work at all with faster timings. It should be running at what it's rated at. I haven't run RAM at faster than it's rated timings, except when it's tied into the FSB (Front Side Bus). I've done some minor overclocking by just increasing the FSB from the default on all of my computers. But as I said, that's not related to the timings, but the frequency the RAM runs at.

If you change the timings and then find the computer won't work (even long enough to get back into the BIOS), you'll have to find the Reset CMOS jumper on the motherboard. After that you would have to set all the CMOS settings again (if you or the system builder had them changed from their default).

Just note that you can fry your computer components by changing these settings.

When you changed your timings, did you increase them or decrease them? If you increased them (higher number) that would make sense that the RAM would be slower.

I haven't used Norton 360 or any Norton branded products in a few years. I have used their Symantec branded corporate products. I use Eset Smart Security on most computers right now. Even 2GB of RAM should be plenty to be fast enough no matter how much of a hog Norton 360 could be, I would think.
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Post by pen25jf » Thu May 29, 2008 8:43 am

Thanks. Yeah, I cleared the CMOS jumper alot. I was having a fool around with the timings and, yup, couldn't boot to the BIOS :D . So cleared the CMOS.

In all honesty I just want to make sure I'm getting what I paid for, and I'm normally pretty good with hardware (well, with Windows 98 stuff!!!!!).

Just since I installed Norton (and a few driver packs which I think could be the case) the system runs awfully slow. Before, I could copy a full DVD in less then 4-5 minutes, and given this system is about 2 years old, it's not bad. I'm sure now that's slow :wink:

Also, my video card's power supply is coming from a connector which is also ooked up a fan on the side - could that be doing something? Also, I noticed when it's a default BIOS, the RAM's timing's are different - it's 105 ns for the two 1 GB slots, and 75ns for the 512MB slots. Is that normal, or should I lower the first two to 75 as well?

Not really willing to go insane with Overclocking, just would like a boost or so, nothing crazy to blow it up, but it has a good PSU (500W) ... wait, is that still good nowadays?!

Edor, how do I up the voltage for the Front Side Bus? I think it's currently (well, the Mhz at default) is 800Mhz. Also, the RAM voltage is 18. Should I up that to 19 and the CPU voltage a bit, would that doo any harm?

Thanks alot everyone!!!

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Post by roirraW "edor" » Fri May 30, 2008 12:09 am

The power supply and fan situation with your video card sounds normal from what you're describing. Nothing to worry about.

The BIOS normally automatically detects the correct settings for any RAM you stick in there. So under normal circumstances, you wouldn't want to change what the BIOS set it at. The only exception that I know of was a certain Asus board (A8N-VM CSM?), because it's BIOS had ECC Memory enabled by default, whereas almost all memory that people buy and use is Non-ECC.

So, don't change the 105ns to 75ns, leave it at 105ns.

It's not entirely the wattage of the power supply that tells all, it's the quality of the power supply. You can buy a $30 P.O.S. 600W power supply, and you can also buy a $160 or more superb quality power supply. 500W should be sufficient unless you're running SLI, and/or several sets of hard drives (not just one pair).

AFAIK, you don't up the voltage for the FSB. You only increase the frequency. I would suggest moving it up 1MHz at a time, if you have that option. Then use your system for a while and when you're satisfied that everything you normally do (games, et cetera) are still acting just fine and all, then up the FSB by another MHz and repeat testing...

The minute something funky happens, turn back the FSB at least one or two MHz and leave it at that.

Another option is nVidia makes a utility for motherboards based on their chipsets over the last few years, called nTune. It does all sorts of testing and overclocking for you. I've never used it myself, so I can't give you any other info except that I *think* the latest version is v5.x, but it might be higher by now. You can get it from nVidia's website.

Try nTune instead of this manual overclocking stuff, and report back on your success (or not).
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Post by pen25jf » Fri May 30, 2008 9:08 am

Sweet, thanks Edor. Yeah, I have nTune, but that crashes alot. BTW motherboard is Abit. PSU is pretty good, actually the whole system is good, so this is why I'm all up in arms about it. I think I'll do a clean install and see what happens. I've noticed RealTek control panel eats a crapload of ram, killed that at start-up, but still lagging a bit.

I don't where in the BIOS the FSB options are, would you have any idea on an ABIT KN9 SLI MB?

Thanks again.

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Post by roirraW "edor" » Fri May 30, 2008 11:02 am

No, I'm sorry I don't. Most OEM BIOS screen are fairly similar, but I can't reboot any of my computers to check what that particular BIOS menu is called right at the moment as I have all of them doing something. That's *if* your BIOS includes the ability to adjust the FSB. A lot do, but every motherboard and BIOS is different. Same with voltages of various things and RAM timings. Some you can only view what the settings are, but you can't change them. I would expect yours to be able to adjust the FSB, as usually that is the most basic form of overclocking there is. Usually that option would be included in the BIOS before the ability to maually set the RAM timings.

I would download the latest PDF version of your motherboard's manual off of Abit's website and use the search function to search for "FSB" and "Front Side Bus".

I couldn't image, even with 2GB of RAM, anything that's normally run unless it has spyware and/or viruses would cause that much of a lag due to the amount of RAM the application uses.

You're welcome!
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Post by pen25jf » Sat May 31, 2008 4:45 pm

Edor,

something's telling me it's Norton and the (NO OFFENSE TO THE SOFTWARE AND/OR CREATORS!!!!!!) it's the True Transparency Pack and/or the Drive Space Indicator. For some strange reason, even after I uninstalled the D.S.I. (which is a great program!!!!!), my DVD drives show up only as CD drives, even when I stick in a blank DVD. Really weird. As well as the indicator bar still showing after uninstalling and going through the registry cleaning it up.

I also installed Ricktendo's themes, wich are 3 theme packs. It lags bigtime whenever I go to change one (NO OFFENSE AGAIN!!!) I think I'll stick to maybe one theme add-on pack and see how it goes. I'm also going to switch back to my 256 MB card and see what happens, but I don't think it' s that. If it is spyware, etc., if Norton and Lava soft can't find it, that's a damn good trojan, considering the sites I go to are BBC and ESPN :D

But thanks so much Edor and everyone for your help. Normally I'm good at figuring this stuff out, but for whatever reason, this current install blew up in my face :(

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Post by roirraW "edor" » Sat May 31, 2008 5:03 pm

When you changed video cards, you uninstalled the old drivers, turned off the computer, swapped video cards, booted Windows again and installed the new drivers, right? Even if both cards are based on chips from the same manufacturer (i.e. nVidia), you have to do this.
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Post by pen25jf » Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:45 pm

[quote="roirraW "edor""]When you changed video cards, you uninstalled the old drivers, turned off the computer, swapped video cards, booted Windows again and installed the new drivers, right? Even if both cards are based on chips from the same manufacturer (i.e. nVidia), you have to do this.[/quote]

No, I shut down the PC, uninstalled the old card (pull the b@$tard out :D ), put in the 8600 one, and cleared the CMOS jumper). Then rebooted and installed a fresh install of SP2 with BtS' driverpacks.

I'm going to (maybe next week) do a clean install with the old card, and if there's a huge difference, I'll just sell the new one. Looking back I don't really need 512MB of Video RAM, I don't play any games but just a Flight Sim, and that old card is good enough, maybe some DVDs and that's about it. Just was more concerned I didn't do any major damage anywhere, which I don't think I did, so I can deal with the lagging for a bit :wink: . Thanks so much again Edor.

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Post by roirraW "edor" » Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:35 pm

Your welcome. Good luck!
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