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  1. #1
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Installing Memory

    Alright, I got a new video card and some memory for my computer. I got the video card working fine. I'm used to using 1024x768 resolution, and the screen appears really fuzzy with the new card at that size. I'm using 1280x1024 right now, and it appears fine. It'll take some getting used to, but it's no big deal.

    Here's my real problem: The memory I got is Patriot Memory 512MB PC3200 400MHz DDR. Those are the same specs as the 512MB stick I have in there right now. I've installed memory on some older computers before, and the computer just started up fine and accepted it. When I put this stick in and start up the computer, the comp just sits there idling and doesn't start up. Power is on, but it is not booting up. There's two little LED's on the front of the comp, a red and green one. Normally the green one is constantly lit up and the red one flashes a little. When I have the stick of memory in, the green light is off, and red one is on constantly...hopefully that will help explain something. I've tried reading the installation guide and Patriot's website, but can't really find any good info.

    Any help here would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I took out the old stick and put the new one in it's place, and it's working fine. Maybe my motherboard can't support 1GB of memory.

  3. #3
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Try putting the old 512mb in the second slot? Most mobos of at least the last few years should easily handle 1GB. And if you're running PC3200 then I would assume it was made in the last few years.

    Does this board only have two slots or three?

  4. #4
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    4 slots - and right now the new stick is in the second slot. I've been trying various arrangements and ideas, but can't get the two sticks to work together yet.

  5. #5
    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    I'd like to help you out, but I can't seem to . . . . . remember. . . . . . . .
    Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: FISH!

  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Try every other slot. If the MB does memory-interleaving it needs to have two sticks of the same size and speed-ratings and they need to be installed in pairs. Check your BIOS to see if this feature is turned on or off, you should have it off.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-27-06 at 02:17 PM.

  7. #7
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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    Your computer will do this also if you don't properly seat the ram.
    Quote Originally Posted by TechKnowGN
    San Jose has to be the most boring place I've ever been. And I live in Ohio.

  8. #8
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Well, atleast the video card works. I can actually play Counter Strike Source at more than 1 fps now! I'll keep fiddlin' with the ram, and check the bios again....

  9. #9
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    +1 to Danno's statement. (Which is where I was headed with the question on the # of slots)

    Falkon's comments has bit me more than once. Esp if I'm laying on the ground working on the computer still upright in my desk. Worried about busting the board or tipping over the case (its a wee bit top heavy with drives)

  10. #10
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Make sure your mobo can handle mroe than one double-sided DIMM.

    Many boards require single-sided DIMMS when exceeding a certain DIMM count or size.

    My old NForce2 board needed single sided DIMMs when I went from 512mb to 1gb sticks.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yes, the addressing-scheme on the chip makes a difference. This is high-density vs. low-density arrangement. High-density is typically one-sided and low-density is two-sided. Depending upon the memory-controller on the MB, it can use one or the other or both. However, if your MB can't use the high-density addressing, you'll end up with only 1/2 the capacity of the chip. The BIOS will report 256mb instead of 512mb. Check your MB manual for the configuration that it can use.

    Not turning on at all sounds like it could be a bad chip. As a double-check, set up your MB with only the original 512mb stick in there and verify that it works OK. Then remove that chip and install the new memory in its place and see if the computer works. If not, I suspect the memory could be bad.

    Here's a good site that explains all about memory: Corsair Memory Basics
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-27-06 at 02:52 PM.

  12. #12
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Try every other slot. If the MB does memory-interleaving it needs to have two sticks of the same size and speed-ratings and they need to be installed in pairs. Check your BIOS to see if this feature is turned on or off, you should have it off.
    I couldn't find anything in the BIOS that sounded like that, or anything that sounded like it had to do with the ram at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    Make sure your mobo can handle mroe than one double-sided DIMM.

    Many boards require single-sided DIMMS when exceeding a certain DIMM count or size.

    My old NForce2 board needed single sided DIMMs when I went from 512mb to 1gb sticks.
    I'm not sure where to find any literature on my mobo. From all the stickers all over it, I can see it uses a 915GV chipset or something like that, but I don't really know a whole lot else about it. I bought this computer about August of 2005, so the board should be pretty new.

    The stick that the comp came with is double sided, as is my new one.

    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Yes, the addressing-scheme on the chip makes a difference. This is high-density vs. low-density arrangement. High-density is typically one-sided and low-density is two-sided. Depending upon the memory-controller on the MB, it can use one or the other or both. However, if your MB can't use the high-density addressing, you'll end up with only 1/2 the capacity of the chip. The BIOS will report 256mb instead of 512mb. Check your MB manual for the configuration that it can use.

    Not turning on at all sounds like it could be a bad chip. As a double-check, set up your MB with only the original 512mb stick in there and verify that it works OK. Then remove that chip and install the new memory in its place and see if the computer works. If not, I suspect the memory could be bad.

    Here's a good site that explains all about memory: Corsair Memory Basics
    I'm pretty sure the chip is fine. I've tried it in every slot by itself, and it works fine.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Are both memory chips dual-channel? And both either DDR or DDR2?

    The 915gv chipset is similar to the ones used in the new Intel Macs and they need a specific memory-chip arrangement on the DIMM. There's a lot of confusion amongst Mac owners as well when they try to carry over the memory from their old computers to the new. Good thing RAMBUS memory's dead...

    If either DIMM works by themselves but not together, then try it in slots #1 & 4.

  14. #14
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Here's the best info I could find on the old stick, and here is the new one.

  15. #15
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    NT512D64S8HC0G-5T for the old

    PEP5123200LL for the new

  16. #16
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Hmmm, found this on Patriot's website

    Quote Originally Posted by patriotmem.com
    Most brand name computer such Dell, HP, and Compaq has limitations in their BIOS not allowing low latency memory modules to function properly. Most of the time, they also disable memory settings in BIOS so users are not able to manipulate them. Since these computers has BIOS limitations, our Patriots Low Latency Kits are not recommended for these brand name computers. We certainly can recommend any of our compatible Signature Line memory.
    Don't know if that would make a difference or not, since the chip seems to be working just fine on its own.

    edit: ^ I have an Acer, which is sort of name brand

  17. #17
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Ah well, I guess I'll just call up Patriot's Technical Support tomorrow and see what they have to say.

  18. #18
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    I noticed some weirdness ont he tests of that series chipset on TomsHardware.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/2004/06/...ch/page38.html

    Namely when setting up a system with 1GB of ram, he used 4x256 instead of 2x512 (HUGE no-no, since four sticks have greater latency than two sticks...even if those four sticks are super high performance and the two are just name brand stuff like Viking or Kingston). That does sound like there might be a special RAM demand like my NForce2 had, since no competant geek would ever do a benchmark on a deliberately gimped configuration like that unless there was no other way.

    I'm going to do more digging on the differences between those ram sticks too, there might be more revelations in there.
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  19. #19
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Hmm, mixed latencies (CAS2 /CAS3)and mixed operating voltages (2.5v /2.7v)

    That may be a problem as well...if you can up your ram voltage, try to jack it up to 2.7 and see how it behaves...I have some doubts about how the older stick will take to it though...so do it at your own risk.

    As for mixed latencies, your CAS2 stick should be defaulting to CAS3. That's the way a memory controller is supposed to handle mismatched sticks, to slow the fast one down to the speeds of the slower one.
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  20. #20
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    I've been trying to find some info on my mobo. There are a few stickers on it that say 915GV-M5A, but no manufacturer names. I did a bunch of googling (found very few results for "915GV M5A") and found this thread (Italian). The guy there was having some problems identifying his. He posted a picture, below, and it looks exactly the same as mine. He even said his was from an Acer, so I think this is the board. ECS 915GV-M5A



    Went to the ECS website, and found a few boards that were close, but not the same. My guess is that Acer somehow modified the mobo and f*cked it up like they've done with everything else on the computer. I tried to go to the Acer website to find an update for the BIOS or something, and of course, their website is not working at the moment. Motherf*ckers!

  21. #21
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    Hmm, mixed latencies (CAS2 /CAS3)and mixed operating voltages (2.5v /2.7v)

    That may be a problem as well...if you can up your ram voltage, try to jack it up to 2.7 and see how it behaves...I have some doubts about how the older stick will take to it though...so do it at your own risk.

    As for mixed latencies, your CAS2 stick should be defaulting to CAS3. That's the way a memory controller is supposed to handle mismatched sticks, to slow the fast one down to the speeds of the slower one.
    I'm not real sure how to do this.

  22. #22
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    This ECS board looks just like yours with one exception: 915-M5 (V1.1)

    That one exception is yours has a PCIe x1 slot instead of an x16. You can see on the photo of your board all of the unused board (the solder dots) where the alrger x16 connector could have went.

    The rest of the components look very similar. Don't be sure you can just re-flash the BIOS though...Acer might have picked up a different southbridge for the motherboard, which would require a different BIOS.

    Make certain the chipset is EXACTLY what the retail board is before trying to force a retail BIOS onto an OEM board. Chipset is just that, a set...a northbridge (the 915), and a matching southbridge (read that tomshardware article to find out about the Intel offered southbridge options...you don't have to use an Intel southbridge with an Intel northbridge, it's just reccomended to).


    edit: note that even if the chipset matches there is still some chance of turning that motherboard into an oversized keychain when trying to flash the BIOS. So make sure you can find and afford that ECS 915-M5, just in case things go sideways.
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  23. #23
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taerom
    I'm not real sure how to do this.
    It would be in your BIOS if you could do it. Most OEMs like Acer, IBM, HP, etc all tend to remove such settings. Reason why is if some guy's kid finds it and torches his computer, he's going to blame the PC maker over it...so it's just best to get rid of it altogether.
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  24. #24
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    The rest of the components look very similar. Don't be sure you can just re-flash the BIOS though...Acer might have picked up a different southbridge for the motherboard, which would require a different BIOS.

    Make certain the chipset is EXACTLY what the retail board is before trying to force a retail BIOS onto an OEM board. Chipset is just that, a set...a northbridge (the 915), and a matching southbridge (read that tomshardware article to find out about the Intel offered southbridge options...you don't have to use an Intel southbridge with an Intel northbridge, it's just reccomended to).
    Any way to find out the S. Bridge just by looking at the mobo or device manager? I can't find any info on it on the net.

    edit: if it helps at all...


  25. #25
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    That's the Intel ICH6 southbridge, here's the datasheet (adobe PDF): ftp://download.intel.com/design/chip...s/30147302.pdf

    Intel page about teh ICH6 http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets...hts/301473.htm


    edit: how I figured it out? See all those intel controllers and bridges? I googled intel 82801, since it was the most common piece of data, and that brought up the ICH6. Southbridge is also the part of the chipset responsible for the PCI bus and related hardware (like onboard raid). Northbridge just handles the low-level hardware operations (CPU, memory, etc), while the southbridge does the majority of the I/O work (PCI cards, hard drives/cd drives, USB, firewire, etc).
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