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Author Topic: Help with memory upgrade and Bios settings  (Read 6566 times)
Gemmtech
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2011, 02:56:05 AM »
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You state don't use the CD-R analogy, use another type of media, something closer, well I've had every type of drive / media fail so far with one exception, a SCSI hard drive and there's no doubt they will fail eventually as well.  You seemingly live in a world of 100% and absolutes.  I've had Kodak Golds, Mam-A Golds, cheaper CDR media, all have fail.  I've had good USB flash drives fail and even a couple CF cards go south.  For the amount of use these solid state media have had a much higher rate of failure.  I'm the first to admit I thought it'd be years before SS media would fail simply because there's no moving parts.  This is before we start talking about my clients.

"The hit in performance isn't going to materialize in five years, if it hasn't happened in one.  Data corruption won't either as long as the SSD was designed with quality components spec'd within their design parameters."

The performance hit doesn't stop at one year with SSD or any other drive.  I don't know why you don't believe data corruption can happen in 1 day, 1 month, 1 year, 10 years or 20 years, it truly is random.  The solid state drives that I have had fail ALL were the best at the time.  If you have never had a CF or thumb drive go south, I'd just say you're lucky. If they never died why does seemingly every photographer back up their images out in the field?  I know, just in case they lose the CF card.  Roll Eyes  I think it might be both. 

And I'm sorry, overclock systems will cause more issues on average and I wont fire myself.  You just might not have enough of a sample size to know this.  I'll agree that CPUs today seem to have a higher yield than of "yesterday" but it's NOT 100%.  

You can't seem to understand how fast a software program runs isn't just based upon the hardware, two identical machines can have different performance running the same program.  Claiming 30% this and 30% that is irrelevant to the discussion, as I stated does the software utilize it.  How efficient is the machine?  

A faster machine is NOT necessarily a faster machine.  I don't know why that's so difficult to understand.  
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 03:20:56 AM by Gemmtech » Logged
walter.sk
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2011, 05:17:27 PM »
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I don't know if i have a problem or not.  The computer recognizes my 12GB of memory, and after telling the Bios Setup to "use the best default settings" and rebooting, both the Bios and later, in Windows System Info, I get the correct memory in terms of amount and speed (the new 1600MHz instead of the previous 6GB of 1333MHz.

Doing the Pre-boot self test for memory, all of the numerous tests read "Passed."  I booted to the computer's Utility Partition and did a free-standing set of memory tests, and they all came out "Passed."

But: when I went into the Bios page called Advanced DRAM Configuration and drilled down to the individual settings for each DDR3 module,the 1st and 3rd modules showed the correct settings.  However, when I tried the 2nd DDR3 module I got the message "MultiBit ECC Error.  The memory, by the way, is non-ECC, non-registered and unbuffered.  I tried switching the module in slot 2 with the cards from slot 1 and slot 3, and that made no difference.  Slot 2 still reports the error.

Either their is something wrong with the slot, or the error message is incorrect with this configuration, because all of the memory tests seemed to think everything was fine.  I'd appreciate some feedback on this.  Unfortunately, I never examined the memory readouts with the original memory that I replaced.  Maybe after everything cools down, I will do that.
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Gemmtech
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2011, 05:47:42 PM »
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Which motherboard are you using?
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walter.sk
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2011, 06:52:15 PM »
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Which motherboard are you using?
The computer is a Dell/Alienware Area 51, with a proprietary mother board that simply says Alienware X58.  It has only 3 slots for DDR3 triple channel memory, which should be Non-ECC, unbuffered.  It came with 3 2G memory cards at 1333MHz.  On the Dell website the computer can be ordered with the kit that I just put in, namely, a 3 board kit of 4GB each, at 1600MHz.  Installing it was a two step process.  On the first go around I installed the memory and rebooted to the Bios Settings, which indicated that it had found the 12 GB of memory, but still had it at 1333MHz.  I navigated to the Advanced DRAM page and turned XMP Support on, and rebooted.  When the BIOS Settings came up, this time it recognized 12GB DDR3 at 1600MHz.

Again, all of the memory tests available on the Dell/Alienware utility partition said "Passed," but the info on the 2nd DDR3 card still says "Multi-Bit ECC Error.  The spec sheet on the memory, Kingston KHX1600C9D3K3/12GX, says CAS9, 1.65 volts, and the timing is listed as 9-9-9-27.  For memory cards 1 and 3, those are the readings the computer set for the cards.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2011, 07:07:30 PM »
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You'll probably want to open up a ticket with dell; the ECC error is definately not right.   They'll probably start with walking you through a BIOS update; in the mean time - for now I'd enjoy it at 1333 - remember, the interleaved memory access tends to wash out the clock speed difference....
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walter.sk
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2011, 10:10:39 AM »
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You'll probably want to open up a ticket with dell; the ECC error is definately not right.   They'll probably start with walking you through a BIOS update; in the mean time - for now I'd enjoy it at 1333 - remember, the interleaved memory access tends to wash out the clock speed difference....

I tried reinstalling my original memory, andthe option for XMP Support was not available, and the ECC error did not come up.  After reinstalling the 1600MHz memory the computer set it at 1333MHz. However, even with XMP Support disabled, the 2nd memory card still produced the Multi-bit ECC Error, so I figured I maight as well use it at the 1600Mhz setting.  In addition to the previous memory tests, I found an option to run Windows' memory test, in 2 passes.  Again, no memory error was reported.

I have a problem in that memory problems are no longer covered by Dell, as I did not get the memory from them.  I will confer with Kingston, though.  Maybe there is some manual setting I have to enter.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2011, 01:54:55 PM »
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I'd recommend using the 1333 setting!  12GB is a large memory set and you don't have the benefit of any form of error correction.

Tell ya what.... run a benchmark (passmark has a free 30day trial) at both clock rates and see if it makes that much of a difference.....

http://www.passmark.com/products/pt.htm
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walter.sk
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« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2011, 04:01:36 PM »
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Thanks for the link.  I ran the full set of tests at both RAM speeds, and most of the differences are negligible.  The largest was for 2-D rendering, and it was about 15% slower for the 1333MHz (unfortunately, that is what I do most, through Photoshop).  The actual use of memory was at 1% - 2% less on most memory tests, for the 1333MHz, and 5% less for one of the memory tests.  I guess I'll use 1333Mhz instead of the 1600MHz until I get my email response from Kingston about the issue.

I'll probably buy the PassMark software, as it seems much more useful than what Windows offers.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2011, 09:27:11 AM »
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After hours of memory testing with various apps, the memory runs fine at 1600MHz.  I spoke with Kingston, and sent them screen shots of my BIOS pages showing memory settings and the error message when trying to access the middle DIMM slot's readings.  They confirmed that, since I stitched the #2 module with each of the others and the problem remained in the #2 slot rather than moving with the memory module, and because I never get any memory error either on boot-up or with various memory tests, that the problem is either within the #2 slot or a mother board problem.  I called Alienware/Dell, sent them screen shots, and they agreed that the problem was most likely in the mother board, and under my warranty they will replace the board.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2011, 04:15:46 PM »
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Damn!  They replaced my motherboard, and the error I had been getting in the BIOS memory pages was gone! 

The BIOS version with the new motherboard was A05.  Dumb me!  Without thinking, I flashed the BIOS to the latest version (A09) and rebooted.  Guess what?  The problem was back!  Apparently, the problem was in the upgraded BIOS!

At any rate, the computer and memory seem to run fine, and I have not yet been able to produce an error in memory testing.  When I have some more time I will again contact Dell/Alienware and describe what happened.  Maybe an older version of the BIOS can be installed, but at least Dell can look for a bug in the A09 version of the BIOS and possibly correct it in a new version.
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