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Three memory sticks don't work in four banks...


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#1
UV_Power

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Hey everyone,

This sounds like a continuation of my last post , but (hopefully) it's an unrelated issue. As mentioned in the last post, I had to change two computers' memory configurations.

I went from:

2x512MB -----------> 1x1GB
1GB + 512MB ------> 3x512MB

Things were going alright for about a week, but now the other computer is giving me this warning message at POST:

"Due to the chipset limitation, this motherboard can only support maximum. (yes, period) 2GB and 4 ranks memory. Please refer to user manual for detail information. Press F1 to Resume" (no period, :) )

Now, I looked up the memory configs in the Asus P5GPL manual and there is a clause pertaining to my situation that says something similar to the warning message, but worded a bit differently:

"Due to chipset limitations, this motherboard supports a maximum of 2GB total memory and two (2) ranks per memory channel only. A warning message appears during POST if the total density of memory modules installed exceeds the chipset capacity. Excess memory will not be utilized by the system"

And wouldn't you know it, when the OS boots up it only shows 1GB of memory (not the correct 1.5GB). I have tried to put the memory into banks 1,2,3 , 1,2,4 , 1,3,4 , or 2,3,4 and I still get the same result. Now, I am stuck.

Am I going to need to buy a 512MB stick to total it to 2GB just to get it to recognize the other stick? I'm not sure what "2 ranks per memory channel" means and I also don't know what "total density exceeding chipset capacity" means. By my first assumption I would think it means it thinks I am trying to use more than 2GB of memory, which I obviously am not. All the memory is PC3200, but two is from Kingston, and one is from OCZ.

Did I miss something? Anyone see where I went wrong?

Thanks in advance! :)
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#2
The Skeptic

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I am not sure I am correct but here is my guess. It looks as if your computer can work in dual or single channel mode. To work in dual channel the memory modules must be paired and identical in volume, latencies etc. When you install 3 modules instead of the required 2 or 4 the computer can run only in single mode. Usually the default is dual mode but the computer "senses" if some requirements are not met (e.g 1 or 3 modules installed) and automatically sets itself to single mode. It looks to me as if this doesn't happen in your computer.

Please install the modules in slots 1, 2, 3. Boot to BIOS and set to default values. Save the changes and boot. If the problem continues boot to BIOS again and look if you can change from dual to single mode. If you can, change to single mode and reboot. If that doesn't help too then I am afraid that your BIOS has some limitations in it's programing and you can work only with 1 or 2 or 4 channels but not with 3. If this is the case then you have either to remove one module and remain with 1 GB or buy another 512 MB module to complete the required 4 modules.

Edit: What baffles me is that it worked well for a week.

Edited by The Skeptic, 17 October 2008 - 02:36 PM.

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#3
UV_Power

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OK, I set the BIOS to default and still the same thing happens.

As another piece of info I didn't make clear is that I have run memtest86 on all the sticks with no errors. Also, there is no setting that I could find to change from dual-channel to single.

I didn't mention this before because I didn't think it was relevant, but the processor is a P4 521 HT 2.8GHz 800MHz LGA775. And, incidentally, it turns out that what I said about it working for a week was not true. I found out that it had been doing this from the time I put the new memory configuration in.

Although I am pretty sure this is just a config problem instead of bad hardware, could there be another way to test the memory other than memtest86, prime95, or superPI?
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#4
Murray S.

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Howdy:

You are using PC3200 ram correct?

As per your mobo system files,

Supports 2 DIMM DDR 400 (Max. 2GB)

Ergo, you can only use two ram slots if you choose to use the PC3200 ram.

Now, that being said, does this thread relate to your Abit or Asus motherboard?

If it is the Abit, then this post applies. If it is the Asus, then 123Runner's post applies.

Sorry.

Murray

Edited by Murray S., 19 October 2008 - 09:13 AM.

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#5
123Runner

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Per your MANUAL, on page 1-17, "for dual channel configuration, the total size of memory modules installed per channel must be the same to ensure optimum performance.

Per the specs, it is dual channel memory architecture.

So the ram needs to match per slot.
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#6
The Skeptic

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Have a look at this link. Search for your motherboard (P5GPL). Open Manuals. Look at the first item on the list of manuals. It's a PDF table of authorized suppliers of memory modules. You will notice that there are three working modes, A, B and C. If you look at the notes at the bottom of the page you will see that not all modules support all modes. In addition, it looks like this motherboard cannot support three modules configuration. It can handle a single module in any slot, It can handle two modules arranged as a pair (two blues or two blacks. No mix) and it can handle 4 modules. No three modules option.

My opinion is that the only way is either give to up on one module and be left with 1 GB or buy another one of 512 MB to have 4 matching modules.

By the way, there is no need to check the modules with memtest or any other program. If you interchanged them and all worked then the problem is not with the modules.

Edited by The Skeptic, 19 October 2008 - 11:39 AM.

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#7
UV_Power

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Got it. Alright. I will just make a decision to buy an extra 512MB or just live with 1GB in the system and maybe sell off the other 512MB or something.

Thanks guys. :)
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