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Old 01-18-2007, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Memory compability help...

I have an Asus A8N5X motherboard. I've had two 512 ram chips in there ever since I assembled the PC a year ago, but last week, to meet the ever-increasing demands of my music recording software, I bought a 1 gig ram chip to increase my ram total to 2 gigs. All my ram is Kingston, by the way.

I went home, plugged in my new 1 GB, pressed the power button, and... the CPU wound up and then all by itself wound back down and off. I whiffed burnt metal, like something had been soldered. "Perhaps my mind's playing tricks, but if not, then I'm screwed and there's nothing I can do..." I turned the power button on again just to see if it would start up. The CPU and hard drive whirred to life, this time remaining alive, but the screen didn't come on. I powered off, removed the 1 gigabyte chip, leaving the old 512 chips in, and powered on... and the monitor came on, everything worked fine as before.

I sniffed the ram chip and the burnt smell was strong. I then identified two individual copper slips, one on each side, that were completely blackened. Nice.

Fifteen minutes later I was back at the store that had sold me the ram, and I was told that there wasn't a warranty for this kind of thing. I couldn't believe it... My brand new, 100 USD Kingston ram just blew up, first try, and that's somehow me and my baby grand computer's fault? I don't think so. The manager called the Kingston office, which was nearby, and we went over and I left my ram there, being told that I would be called back in about a week and it would be repaired... for about 5 US per burnt copper slip, so 10 US total.

I went back today after being called and I paid the dang fee, then came back, took out my old ram, plugged just the 1 gb in -- and in the first slot -- and powered up... Not quite as dramatic as the CPU powering on and then off all by itself, but basically the same thing happened.

One of the copper slips of this fresh chip now has what looks like a little silver scratch on it that covers maybe 30% of the slip's surface, and another copper slip, on the other side, is burnt solid black starting at the bottom and going up about 20%. Really hardly any visible damage, especially compared to last time.

Dadgum it. I hope I can get a second replacement.

Well, this time I know it must be my fault. I just checked and discovered on the internet that the ram standard for my board is DDR 400. And that's what my 512 ram chips are.

The 1 new gig is DDR 533. Eheh. Do you think that would have caused the chip to straight up burn out?

Ok, now even if I somehow manage to convince Kingston to provide me with a second "repaired" ram chip... and if I decide to shell out the cash for a new motherboard that'll allow me to install 533 ram... will I be able to have both the 533 and 400 for a total of 2 gigs? Does mixed ram even work?

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Old 01-18-2007, 03:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As long as its DDR it should work fine. Are you shure you didn't shove DDR2 in (its keyed diffrently so you would have big time trouble getting it in)

Or did the guy in the store sell you system specific ram?

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Old 01-18-2007, 04:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I got ValueRAM, according to the Kingston website. Their website defines that as:
Kingston's value-priced line of industry-standard, generic memory manufactured to a particular specification (i.e. 533MHz DDR2 PC2-4200)

Strangely enough, the exemplified ram in parentheses is exactly what I bought. Which is DDR2 533 MHz, whereas my board is only DDR 400 MHz. Wow, what kind of messed up motherboard can support a dual-core cpu but not DDR2. I should have been more careful when I bought the ram...

I'm guessing this means I'll have to see if I can get another repair, then either sell my wonderfully useless DDR2 and buy a gig of DDR1 or keep it until I upgrade my motherboard.
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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RAM usually messes up if there is an OC done somewhere. Do check it out.
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