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Old 11-24-2007, 03:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Problems with Memory affecting SATA drive?

Hello. I'll try to make this as quick as possible but there is a lot of good interesting information.

I generally despise dealing with Memory or upgrading memory as it's kind of like a quiet enemy waiting for it's opportunity to attack.

Mainboard is ASUS P4P800S-X (intel chipset, cheapo kind, not deluxe).
P4 3.0E Socket 478
ATI Radeon 9550 AGP
Pinnacle PCTV
(empty PCI)
Raid Controller (COMPUSA ITE8212 - very nice)
Ethernet (Realtek 8169 Gigabit).

1. Originally I had K-Byte 2x256 DDR 2100 - running fine, but never tested this issue with it. I have manually set the BIOS to run the memory at 266 Mhz. Vista Rating (Ok I know it's not the best benchmark, but it's a good basic benchmark) was at 2.9 For Memory - so the lowest number.

2. I upgraded to 2 PC3200 Sticks totalling now 2 Gigs. Vista Rating is 4.2 but remember that I was clocking my memory at 266 Mhz.

3. Set the BIOS to run memory in Auto Mode and voila got the Vista score of 4.4. I was now happy.

4. Then all of a sudden since I am running Windows 2000, XP and Vista on the same PC, I was copying some data from RAID controller (three hard disks) to SATA drive using Windows 2000 and also XP (tested as well). Computer hardlocked. Then I lowered the memory clock at 266 Mhz, it works for longer time but it still hardlocks. Everything else appears to be fine! So if I am copying the data from either Raid Controller or USB device to my SATA drive computer hardlocks. Hard disk activity light blinks in very uneven rates.

This is the memory - GoldenMars Inc.

5. Ok so then I remembered that I bought PNY stick at best buy (1 Gig). I throw that in there and wham! same thing happens.

6. So then I remember that I have another memory stick from a different manufacturer.

I grab a Super Talent 512 Stick DDR 2100 and Super Talent 1 Gig DDR 2700 and clock the mem frequency to 266 Mhz. The big difference probably here is that this memory it appears to be the only memory I have that has CL set at 2.5. All the other ones appear to be 3.

Now IT FINALLY WORKED FINE! It looks like everything is working great as my computer didn't hardlock and I notice that hard disk activity light blinks more EVENLY.

7. The only thing now that is confusing me that with 1.5 Gigs of RAM my Vista Rating for memory dropped to 3.5.

Presuming that everything works great, is this a good memory to rely on (if anyone else has experience with it)? And lastly SHOULD I RELY ON VISTA RATING of MEMORY since it is very LOW?

(my other PC with 1 Gig of RAM has a rating of 3.9)
(this PC with 1.5 Gigs of RAM has a rating of 3.5)

Something still seems to be wrong.

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Old 11-24-2007, 05:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Memory affecting SATA drive?

You mixed two different speeds of memory and wonder why the Vista rating dropped? But memory wasn't effecting the sata drives there just the data transfer. For the locks being seen you are probably lacking the correct sata drivers needed for 2000 and XP there. Vista has some of it's own generic drivers t work with.

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Old 11-26-2007, 03:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Memory affecting SATA drive?

Just wanted to quickly reply. Even Vista froze up.

1. 1 Gig Super Talent DDR 2700 CL 2.5 doesn't freeze up
2. Paired up with mushkin 256 2700 CL 2.6 doesn't freeze up

3. PNY 1 Gig stick only DDR 3200 (unkown CL) and clocked at either 266 mhz or 400 Mhz will lock up

4. Two exact sticks of GeeDom DDR 3200 CL 3 and clocked at either 266 mhz or 400 Mhz will lock up

The only other alternative clock speed was 320 Mhz (due to chipset limitations when running 800 FSB CPU) but I figured that it wasn't worth it. With 1 Gig only running at 2700 I think vista scored 4.1 so that somewhat impressed me enough. I'll keep this one Gig but most likely I will end up buying another super talent stick to match up the 2700 one. I don't know yet though it looks like a Gig will do the job for now and it don't batter me at all after what I have been through with all of this troubleshooting.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Memory affecting SATA drive?

I haven't even used PNY in a good number of years on some old prebuilds like IBM and AST systems. The other name sounds generic there. You can easily add another gig of the Super Talent or go for 2gb of DDR400 if the board supports it.

2gb alone will boost things quite a bit even if PC2700 there while the faster memory is always preferred. DDR400 PC3200 can be used on newer boards like many 775s and AMD 939 models.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problems with Memory affecting SATA drive?

I just wanted to point out one thing. Though my computer doesn't freeze up anymore, there is still some sort of an issue which doesn't bother me though;

For example if I am copying data to another computer via GIGABIT card and crosover from my SATA drive, it's slow and speeds are alternating. I think it took hour and a half for 30 Gigs of data (very slow).

Same thing happens when I copy data from my Raid Controller drives, though it is somewhat faster.

If I am copying data from my local IDE drive I can get 6 gigabytes to copy within 5 minutes.

So something funky is going on here, I am not sure what though. It could be a driver conflict issue or just too much of some hardware I guess. I don't have the time nor the energy anymore to deal with this, but hopefully I should come to some sort of simplified resolution (eventually get rid of RAID Controller ITE 8212, etc.).

Overall, even with 1 Gig I am now a happy camper as my computer doesn't lock up anymore.
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