2 Dimms are slower than 1, 1000%

Neil Russell
Neil Russell used Ask the Experts™
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Hi, a friend just dropped me his PC round, as they do!, Spec as below. He complained of it running very very slow.
I removed both DIMMS and replaced with just one of my own known workers and hey presto, boots in seconds.
So I tried both of his one at a time in slot one and lo and behold, boots in seconds with either stick. So i tried 2 of my own known workers and takes about 5 mins to get as far as a login prompt.....

Motherboard fault?

P.s.
Tried the memory in all combinations of slots with exactly the same results.

Mobo: 4Core1333-Viiv
Processor: Core 2 Quad Q6600(G0) Kentsfield 2.4GHz 1066MHz
OS: Windows 7 Enterprise
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Commented:
Do the DIMMS have exactly the same specs? Did you check the bios memory settings? You might want to check if the bios is setup to do a memory check and if the parity is set correctly.
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
If you took two working RAM modules that you know work together and they run extremely slow in his system, then it might be a motherboard problem.  You can check the voltages in the BIOS to see if they are off; if they are, it could be a power supply or motherboard problem.
RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support

Commented:
Hello Neilsr,

Not sure if you have your issue resolved, but thought I would chime in with my two cents.

First, if the system is working fine with one DIMM, then I would say that your Mother Board is OK.  

Second, Memory solutions are very tricking and it is extremely important that you use the right DIMM for the right 'chip set'.

I had a look at the specs for this "Mobo: 4Core1333-Viiv":
   http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=4Core1333-Viiv
+=================================================================+
- Dual Channel DDR2 memory technology
- 4 x DDR2 DIMM slots
- Supports DDR2 800/667/533 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
- Max. capacity of system memory: 8GB*
+==================================================================+
This is not the memory that your dad grow up with and Front Bus speeds are pretty high, so this is going to take the newer generation of DIMMs.

I found the following @ http://www.memoryupgrade.pro/1gb-asrock-4core1333-viiv-800mhz-unbuffered-dimm.html
+===========================================================+A
SRock 4Core1333-Viiv memory upgrade and 1x 1GB PC2-6400 240-PIN DDR2 800MHz Unregistered DIMM RAM module specifications:

    * ASRock 4Core1333-Viiv MAX RAM: 8GB
    * This ASRock DDR2 Motherboard Memory has memory slots/sockets: 4
    * Upgrade Size: 1GB
    * Memory Kit: 1x 1GB
    * Module PIN count: 240-PIN
    * Memory Generation: DDR2
    * Module Speed: PC2-6400, DDR2-800
    * MHz of Module: 800MHz
    * Latency of Module: CL6
    * Your ASRock ASRock DDR2 Motherboard Memory DIMM Type: UDIMM, Unbuffered DIMM, Unregistered DIMM
+===========================================================+

Based on what I have seen digging some of this information up, you will not be able to mix and match DIMMs types, formats, speeds or designs (i.e. ECC vs Non-ECC).

Suggestion:
- Depending on how bad you want to fix this, go the to the Kingston or Crucial websites and buy a the amount you need.  Here is what I found at:
http://www.crucial.cn/upgrade/compatible-memory-for/ASRock/4Core1333-Viiv/list.html

2GB  240-pin DIMM
    * Module Size: 2GB
    * Package: 240-pin DIMM
    * Feature: DDR2 PC2-6400

US $49.99

I am sure that you can find better deals or if there is a Fry's near you (Do not know where your casa is) go there and if they do not work, you can get your $$ back if you test them in 5 days.

Hope this helps,

Rojosho

 
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
i would let install siw, then install 2 ram sticks - and let it boot up with 2 sticks, to see what siw tells about the ram sticks : http://www.gtopala.com/      
you can also check in the bios what is reported with 1 and 2 sticks installed - can be different !
Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead

Author

Commented:
I'm in the office all day but will have another try this evening. Will keep u posted
 
Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead

Author

Commented:
OK, I reset all Bios settings to default, all memory settings to AUTO.
Still the same result. One dimm is super fast, 2 dimms is just unusable for anything at all.
 
RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support

Commented:
Neilsr,

So that I am clear, the 'fast' DIMM works - Yes?  So you are half way there. Find a matching DIMM and you are FREE!

For the record, can you give us the deals of the 'fast' DIMM?  There should be a lable on the DIMM with a bunch of numbers - these numbers will tell us the spec of the DIMM.  Please include the manufacture.

Cheers,

Rojosho
Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead

Author

Commented:
What do you mean by "the fast dimm works"? Both dimms are the same. Any ONE dimm works fast. Any two dimms and its very very slow.

RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support

Commented:
Hello Neilsr,

Sorry, I lost track of the 'what's on second, and who is on first'.  

Your last statement:
" One dimm is super fast, 2 dimms is just unusable for anything at all.", made me think we are dealing with three DIMMs, but after reading the whole thread again, we are dealing with only TWO DIMMs, where either one by itself works, but not both (Exclusive OR).  I also see that you tried two of your own and got the same result - My Bad.

So, back to basics....
It appears that you may have the following:
  1. Incompatiable DIMMs (Until we know the specs for sure, this is still in the 'possible list'
  2. Questionable Mother Board (Needs to be isolated)
  3. Questionable BIOS (Still coluld be an issue)

Item #3, I see that you have already reset the BIOS, but if the current BIOS is older then what is avaiable, this still could be an issue.

Item #2, still needs to be proven or elimiated, finding a working pair would give us the 'base line' we need to test the MB and see if it is good.

For Item #1, here are the specs for the Memory for the model of MB that you have:
   ¿Compatible with all FSB1333/1066/800/533MHz CPUs
   ¿Supports Dual Channel DDR2 800/667/533 x 4 DIMM slots, with max. capacity up to 8GB

For this, Nobus's suggestion of collecting the DIMM information is a very good one, as we need to know the specifics of each DIMM so that we KNOW that they truley are identical.  
... If they are, then the MB becomes more of the problem.
... If they are not, then we need to get a matched set.

As i noted in my previous post, if you can give us all of the information on the DIMM lables, that will help us figure out what sort of DIMMs we are dealing with - at this point, this is a critical piece of information.

Finally, a few qustions I did not see asked...
?Did your friend introduce the second DIMM, meaning that this configuration was working with One and he/she obtained a new one and installed it?

?Or did this configuration always have TWO DIMMs and recently started to go bad?
?If it always had two DIMMs and all of sudden it when bad, what was done to the System or OS prior?

Finally, as we are dealing with the same Box and same OS, there is an 'outside' chance that the OS maybe affecting this.  As you have Windows 7 EE, most of the memory limitations that we saw with Windows 2003 and XP were dealth with, but we must consider it as a possiblitly.

There has been no mention of trying to boot in SAFE MODE -  Has this been attempted?
?If so, what was the results?
?If not, can you test this by booting into SAFE MODE and comparing the two boot modes?

Sorry for all the questions, but detailed information is very important at this phase and will help us help you better.

Cheers,
Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead

Author

Commented:
Both Dimms are Crucial DDR2-5300 2GB sticks. The OS is new, the problem occured at the same time as a HD disk died. We replaced the HD, old one was faulty in all machines we tried it, and installed a fresh OS.
Am trying in safe mode now as we speak......
BRB
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
did you try to collect the data from the dimms, as i suggested?
Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead

Author

Commented:
All dimms, regardless of how many are installed and what slots they are in, report correctly as DDR2-5300 2GB sticks. CPUz and SIW both report the dimms in the same manner and so does the BIOS.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
even when thety are slow...looks like a bad ram controller.
can you test the ram sticks on another PC?  to know if the problem comes from the sticks or not
Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead

Author

Commented:
As I stated earlier, I have tried with 2 known working sticks from another system. Same result. Sticks work fine back in donor system.
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
then it's a bad ram controller - or new mobo.
but first, try default settings from the bios, reset the bios, or even upgrade it.
RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support
Commented:
Hello Neilsr,

Based on what you have noted so far, I agree with Nobus, it appears that your Memory Controller is toast or something on the Motherboard.  The suggestion of 'reseting' the BIOS and upgrading are good ones, but if these are the orignal DIMMs, I think you will find that the symptom is not going to change.  If either one of the DIMMs are new, then by all means address the BIOS.

Let us know what happens, this is a good problem with a lot of growing involved.

Good luck,

Rojosho
Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead

Author

Commented:
THanks for all the pointers, ended up doing a reflash of the BIOS and upgraded it from 1.05 to 1.06 and lo and behold, All is fine :D
Cheers
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
tx for the feedback
RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support

Commented:
Neilsr,

Very good.  Thank you for the feedback as it will help us sharpen our TS skills  :)

Cheers,

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