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Old 11-29-2006, 02:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cooling/Memory problems... WTF?

OK.. here's the lowdown:

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2.3GHz
Nividia GeForce 7600GT 256mb
Soundblaster Audigy2 ZS Soundcard

1 200GB SATA HDD
1 20GB IDE HDD
1 80GB IDE HDD

2x 512mb Acer DDR RAM
2x 512mb Corsair DDR RAM

Two 120mm Case fans (one at front blowing air onto HDD's, one exhausting air at back)
One 80mm Case Fan in side window blowing air into case
Zalman CPNS9500 CPU cooler/heatsink
In-built case fan temperature gauge attached to Zalman heatsink.
One PCI Fan Blower under the Graphics card
Numerous other system fans like BIOS/GPU/PSU

-------------------------

Overclocking: None
RAM settings: From last set 5 months ago (see below)
BIOS settings: All modified from 5 months ago
Range temp of heatsink: 30-40c

Alright, so I have been making maps for Company of Heroes for a few months now using the Worldbuilder that was released in a patch.
When it is a reasonably hot day (20c) in Christchurch, my computer makes a high pitched beeping noise after I have been in the worldbuilder for about 30-1 hour.
I recognise this as overheating, and turn my PC off and on again, letting it cool down.

---------------------------

Overclocking: 2.3Ghz (from 2.0Ghz) Multiplier x10
RAM settings: Default
BIOS settings: Default
Range temp of heatsink: 25-34c

After getting rather annoyed by this I bought a Zalman CPNS9500 Heatsink and installed it properly, following the directions and putting on thermal grease etc etc..
Thinking this would stop the problem, I went back to work on my maps... but whoa and behold, my computer started beeping again!
(NOTE: at the time of beeping the case temp gauge read about 34c and my CPU was overclocked to 2.3Ghz)

As you can imagine, I was pretty annoyed after spending over $100NZD on a brand new CPU heatsink to stop this!

Earlier today I overclocked my CPU to a max of 2.6Ghz and ran a stress test for about 30mins to check to see it didn't overheat. It ran fine, and never overheated at all.
But, noticing a performance DROP in games, I reduced the core speed back to 2.3Ghz with a multiplier of x10.

My computer is situated on the carpet, under a desk and in the corner. The back is to the wall, and the side without the window is to the wall. It doesn't have lots of ventilation, but the fans do a good job.

--------------------------

Now, onto my other problem:

Recently (today) I had to reset my BIOS to default, because it needed a refresh. I started up a game, and it ran a LOT slower than it should have... I blamed it on the CPU being overclocked, but then I remembered what happened about 5 months ago.

About 5 months ago I purchased another 2x 512mb sticks of RAM for the PC. When I installed them I noticed a DROP in performance.

After several days of discussion in a thread on these boards about it, it turned out it was my RAM settings in the BIOS. For some reason the defaults were weird or something and I needed to change a few.
I don't know much about RAM settings, so here are my DEFAULT SETTINGS as of NOW:
(note with these settings the PC is running slow).

Memclock index value (Mhz)......................333Mhz
CAS# latency (Tcl).....................................2.5
Min RAS# to CAS# active time (tras).........7T
RAS# to CAS# delay (Trcd).......................4T
Row precharge time (Trp).........................4T
Row cycle time (Trc)..................................16T
Row refresh time......................................18T
Read to Write time....................................4T
Write recovery time..................................3T
1T/2T Memory timing.................................2T
S/W DRAM over 4G remapping..................enabled
H/W DRAM over 4G remapping..................enabled

Now, I did get my settings sorted out last time I went through all this, and my PC was running fine, but i've forgotten what I changed.
From past experience, the PC won't boot up if I change the wrong setting
Could you tell me what I should change to make my RAM work?
NOTE: Last time, we tried the most obvious thing (changing timing to 1T) but it just made my PC unbootable. Turned out memory over 1GB doesn't like 1T timing!

CPU-Z Dump file

DXDIAG Dump File


Help?
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Old 11-29-2006, 03:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think your problem is probably you have no airflow whatsoever with your PC shoved up against 2 walls. You need to put it up on something and make sure it can breathe. Otherwise there's just a bunch of hot air sitting dead in your case. Fans won't help if they can't get air to move.
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, that's what I thought, hence why I said where it was.
Problem is I have nowhere else to put it...
Can you help me with the memory problems?
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry I can't really help with your RAM timings and all that. I'm not big on overclocking or RAM settings and all that. But I would suggest getting proper fans set up and putting that thing somewhere else than on the floor next to two walls. get creative if you have to haha.
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Lol.. don't have much space. I did clean out the PC, move it away from the walls and make the cables tidier behind and in the PC, improving airflow.

As for the memory settings, Sisoft Sandra says I only have about 3500mb/s bandwidth... when I should have at least 4500mb/s?

Games are running very noticeably slower.
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Im not an uberexpert or anything, but your RAM timings seem pretty whacked to me. 4-4-7-16 with a CAS of 2.5? I think your BIOs is confused, trying to pick and choose timings from two completely different sets of RAM.

From what you've said, CPU temp is not the problem. And when my PC shuts off due to high temps, I don't get a beep from the BIOS. It just cuts immediately. And your problems seems to start when you got the new RAM. A game will NOT overtax your A64. But it would heavily affect, and be affected by your RAM.(as far as processing power a game hurts your GPU more than your CPU). Building maps for a game would also tax your RAM more than your CPU.

And even more proof is that this game played fine when you increased the clock speed another 300mhz.



You have two Acer sticks, and two Corsair sticks. The default timings, and voltages are probably different, as well as the CAS latency. And if one set is slower then another, the faster set will run slower(say Corsair set is DDR 400 and the Acer set is DDR 250, all of your RAM runs at 250).

I would never mix-and-match RAM, cuold cause far too many problems.

I would say take out the two sticks of new RAM, then do a memtest and a torture test, then do the same with the two old sticks. Then do the same with all four sticks in, and see what results you'll get. I'm willing to bet your problem is one of thse:

1) Your mobo hates corsair ram
2) your mobo hates acer ram
3) your mobo hates trying to get corsair, and acer ram to cooperate
4) you have one or two bad/DoA sticks in there, and as soon as it's accessed your pc crashes out


If those tests prove my theory, then the answer is simple. Throw away the trashy Acer RAM, and get more Corsair of the SAME model as the current corsair, or(in the case of a bad stick of ram)replace/RMA it.

But you'll really wanna look into having same RAM. 2x1GB Corsair would do you best, but if you can't afford it get another MATCHED SET of the corsair. Don't forget that matched pair's are sold that way for a reason, they are manufactured at the same time in the same place, so they are as close to each other in TRUE specs/etc as possible, and function better together and in dual-channel.



P.S. If memtest does provide errors, then take out one stick and test each alone(say you get an error with the two corsair sticks, test each by itself to find out which one is faulty). And don't forget that there can be more to torture testing than just something like Prime95. I play WoW ALOT, and I multi-task alot. So after torture-testing and memtesting my new PC, I went nuts playing wow and multi-tasking at the same time. Found out which RAM/CPU settings matched best for my needs while still staying cool, and stayed with it. Im currently doing the same thing with my current PC.
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http://www.speedtest.net/result/181375065.png
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Windows XP Home Edition SP2
ASUS A8N-SLI 939pin Lan Party Motherboard
Phoenix Award BIOS v6.00
AMD Athlon XP 64 3200+ @ 2.30GHz
Galaxy Nvidia GeForce 7600GT 256mb
2GB (4x512) DDR400 RAM
80GB Western Digital IDE HDD
20GB Compaq IDE HDD
250GB Seagate Barracuda SATA HDD (Windows install)
ASUS DVD-RW/RAM/CD-RW Combo Drive
DSE CD-RW Combo Drive
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Sound Card
6.1 Logitech X-620 Surround Sound
Raidmax X2 Gaming Case w/ side window and 520W PSU
2x 120mm/1x 80mm/1x PCI Blower
Zalman CPNS9500 Heatsink
One more thing. First off you have a socket 939 athlon 64 so I take it you're using Dual-Channel RAM? Make sure the matching pairs are matches up correctly. As in Corsair in slots 1/3, Acer in slots 2/4, it would be preferable two have 2 sets of the same matching pairs, or one 2x1GB set though.
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http://www.speedtest.net/result/181375065.png
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi,

I've been doing some tweaking and have changed the timings.
Thanks for your reply. Yes I am running in Dual Channel. As I said I have had this problem before, but I did fix it by altering the timings. Unfortunately the thread that all of the help took place in has mysteriously dissappeard.

I ran Sisoft Sandra with the RAM timings in the screenshot below (I played around a bit and got the best timings that would still let my PC boot up).

These were the results:

SiSoftware Sandra

Benchmark Results
RAM Bandwidth Int Buff'd iSSE2 : 3579 MB/s
RAM Bandwidth Float Buff'd iSSE2 : 3598 MB/s
Results Interpretation : Higher index values are better.

Int Buff'd iSSE2 (Integer STREAM) Results Breakdown
Assignment : 3480MB/s
Scaling : 3586MB/s
Addition : 3639MB/s
Triad : 3612MB/s
Data Item Size : 16 byte(s)
Buffering Used : Yes
Offset Displacement Used : Yes
Bandwidth Efficiency : 67% (estimated)

Float Buff'd iSSE2 (Float STREAM) Results Breakdown
Assignment : 3518MB/s
Scaling : 3598MB/s
Addition : 3689MB/s
Triad : 3588MB/s
Data Item Size : 16 byte(s)
Buffering Used : Yes
Offset Displacement Used : Yes
Bandwidth Efficiency : 67% (estimated)

Performance Test Status
Run ID : HOME on Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 8:37:04 p.m.
Memory Used by Test : 512MB
NUMA Support : No
SMP Test : No
Total Test Threads : 1
Multi-Core Test : No
SMT Test : No
Dynamic MP/MT Load Balance : No
Processor Affinity : P0C0T0
System Timer : 3.6MHz
Page Size : 4kB
Use Large Memory Pages : No

Features
SSE Technology : Yes
SSE2 Technology : Yes
SSE3 Technology : Yes
Supplemental SSE3 Technology : No
HTT - Hyper-Threading Technology : No

Chipset 1
Model : Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Athlon 64 / Opteron HyperTransport Technology Configuration
Front Side Bus Speed : 2x 1005MHz (2010MHz data rate)
In/Out Width : 16-bit / 16-bit
Maximum Bus Bandwidth : 8040MB/s (estimated)

Logical/Chipset 1 Memory Banks
Bank 0 : 512MB DDR-SDRAM 2.0-3-2-5 (tCL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS) CR2
Bank 1 : 512MB DDR-SDRAM 2.0-3-2-5 (tCL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS) CR2
Bank 2 : 512MB DDR-SDRAM 2.0-3-2-5 (tCL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS) CR2
Bank 3 : 512MB DDR-SDRAM 2.0-3-2-5 (tCL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS) CR2
Channels : 1
Bank Interleave : 4-way
Speed : 2x 167MHz (334MHz data rate)
Width : 128-bit
Memory Controller in Processor : Yes
Cores per Memory Controller : 1 Unit(s)
Maximum Memory Bus Bandwidth : 5344MB/s (estimated)

Performance Tips
Notice 5008 : To change benchmarks, click Options.
Notice 5004 : Synthetic benchmark. May not tally with 'real-life' performance.
Notice 5006 : Only compare the results with ones obtained using the same version!
Tip 2 : Double-click tip or press Enter while a tip is selected for more information about the tip.

---------------------------

And here is the screenshot of the settings I was using:


2-3-2-7 with CAS of 2.0

If I make it 2-2-2-7 my PC crashes...

If I try to put the TRCD down to 2, my speakers make weird noises and my PC freezes...
If I try to change the Command Rate to 1T then I get the same problem (speaker noises/PC freezes.)

The settings above are currently the best I can do while my PC still boots Windows.

As I said earlier, my PC has done this before.. but it HAS been fixed, and games continued to run fine until I did a BIOS restore without even thinking of RAM settings

For an example of how serious the symptoms are, I tried running Race Driver 2 (V8 Supercars 2) on max settings with only one car in a race (myself.) The game ran fine.

When I added another 20 or so cars, it was mad as glitching at like 4 FPS
Before I reset my BIOS my PC would SLAUGHTER Race Driver 2.

Another example: Battlefield 1942 runs slowly, before hand my PC would get like 120FPS.

Company of Heroes runs slowly, once again, I would get a smooth framerate before resetting BIOS.
Even the worldbuilder (map editor) for CoH runs slowly now.
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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btw when I had my RAM timings working well I was getting bout 4500mb/s in Sisoft Sandra Memory benchmark..
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