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Is there any reason why this mobo / RAM combination shouldn't work?

Posted on 2013-10-31
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I'm trying to help my parents get their desktop PC RAM back up to 4GB after a local technician removed 2GB that was apparently faulty. They then claimed they had no RAM in stock that would work. I wonder if they only looked for 800MHz RAM?

The RAM already in the machine is a 2GB stick of DDR3 800MHz.

The motherboard is an Intel DG41TX which appears to support DDR3 RAM up to 1333MHz.

The shop stocks RAM described as "STRONTIUM HYNIX 2GB DIMM DDR3 1333MHz PC10660" which I understand should work fine. While away, I suggested to my parents purchase some of this for me to install for them, but the PC shop said to my parents that they are sure they would have tried that and it mustn't have worked. To me, that seems a bit odd.

If I understand correctly the new RAM I stated above would run at 800MHz instead of 1333MHz (not a problem), but compatibility is unlikely to be a problem.

I suppose there's a chance that the RAM slot has failed (which would mean nothing works), but if not I don't see why this needs to be such a difficult thing to accomplish! Am I missing something?
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Question by:Terry Woods
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by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 225 total points
ID: 39615123
Not really.

What you can do is test the memory with the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/index.html  Download links are all over the Internet but look at http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/ultimate_boot_cd_%28ubcd%29.html

Make the CD and boot from it and run memtest to test your memory.  Guides to usage are on Youtube (sorry don't have one on hand at present).

Now I'd test your memory one chip at a time in each slot (yep, I know you've got only one chip at present).

If the chip and the slots work OK then it is time to look for memory upgrade.

Now ideally you'd want two chips of the same manufacturer and specification.  I'd get two of the 1333 rather than one.  You probably don't want the 1333 as that is designed for overclocking if I'm reading the specs correctly.  Two of 1066 would be great if you can get those.
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by:Terry Woods
ID: 39615195
Thanks; testing the slot with the working stick is a great idea that I hadn't thought of yet!

Buying memory with a MHz rating that's too high doesn't matter though, right? I think they can always run ok at a slower speed if that is a limitation of the motherboard. Can you confirm?

The 1333MHz is the cheapest available.
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by:Perarduaadastra
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ID: 39615199
Page 15 of the Intel techSpec PDF gives all the relevant information concerning the memory, in particular the permitted density of the SDRAM chips.

Strontium doesn't seem to be one of the major RAM module manufacturers (although Hynix memory chips are well known), and speaking for myself I only use branded RAM from well-known manufacturers to avoid memory problems. RAM at the low end of the price range often has issues with quality and consistency because savings have to be made in manufacturing costs in order to leave a profit margin begin enough to make the game worth the candle for the makers and distributors.

I would suggest trying Kingston's website as they have an excellent tool for identifying the correct RAM for any motherboard or computer in their extensive lists, and I've never had a problem with the compatibility or performance of their products.
If you're in the UK you can try Mr Memory which has a similar tool and lists; I've found them to be particularly good for oddball and obsolete memory modules. I have no connection with either company except as a satisfied customer.
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by:garycase
ID: 39615321
DRR3-1333 memory will work fine in that board.    The only potential question is whether or not you have a defective slot; and as already suggested, you can easily confirm if that's an issue by simply moving the current module to the other slot.
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by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 225 total points
ID: 39615391
>>  I think they can always run ok at a slower speed if that is a limitation of the motherboard. Can you confirm?

Yes.  Which is what garycase states above.

Strontium memory is fine.  I use it in my machines.

If you go to pbtech.co.nz you'll find Crucial 2 GB DDR3 at $40.25 inc GST.
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by:nobus
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well the spec of your mobo show different voltages : 1.9 V, 2.0 V, and 2.1 V for the Ram.
i suggest to check in the bios at what voltage it is set.
it also says you can even use 4 GB sticks
if you use 2 sticks -  i prefer to have them from the same manufacturer (not a must, but some boards are picky about mixing them)
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by:garycase
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ID: 39616270
While nobus's comment is correct r.e. what's shown in the Intel spec you linked to, he should have recognized that it is CLEARLY an ERROR in the specification.    DDR3 memory's standard voltage is 1.5v -- and that's what you want (virtually any standard modules you buy will be 1.5v).

I suspect that was simply a tech writer's oversight when he was adopting language from an earlier spec based on DDR2 memory.

In any event, Intel has long-since corrected their specification to show the correct 1.5v
http://downloadmirror.intel.com/18826/eng/DG41TX_ProductGuide01_English.pdf


As I noted earlier, you simply need to buy another 2GB DDR3 module -- 1333Mhz modules are fine.     As we discussed above, you may want to test the slot first, just to confirm it's not an issue (it's very unlikely that it's a problem).
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by:Terry Woods
ID: 39620748
Thanks everyone for the advice! One other thing I noticed in the mobo manual is that it supports non-ECC memory, but there's no indication it supports anything else. All the types listed as tested here are non-ECC.

I don't know how common ECC memory, or whether it might happen to be compatible anyway, but the Crucial 2 GB DDR3 mentioned by @dbrunton is clearly non-ECC, and that shop is my cheapest local supplier (though the quality of their machines is dubious! I go elsewhere for a new PC now...). The Strontium one didn't mention it either way.

@garycase, are you saying there's no need to replace the existing 2GB with a matching pair of 2GB sticks, so that one additional 2GB stick would be fine?
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by:dbrunton
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Most memory in home and business computers is non-ECC.  About the only place you'll find ECC memory is in servers and you'll pay very dearly for that privilege.  ECC is available from various dealers.

Unless it states ECC you can presume with 99.9% confidence it is non-ECC memory.
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garycase earned 175 total points
ID: 39621005
"... @garycase, are you saying there's no need to replace the existing 2GB with a matching pair of 2GB sticks, so that one additional 2GB stick would be fine?  "  ==>  Yes, that's correct.   All you need to do is buy one 2GB module.

r.e. "... you'll pay very dearly for that privilege ..."   ==>  Actually ECC modules aren't much more expensive than non-ECC modules as long as both are unbuffered.    What many servers use that IS notably more costly is registered or FBDIMM modules ... both of these are buffered and have ECC capability.

But it's true that most (but not all) desktop boards (including yours) require non-ECC modules.    And it's also true that if the description of a module doesn't include "ECC" then it's not an ECC module.

Don't make this issue more complex than it is => just (a) test the potentially defective slot by moving the current module to it; and (assuming it's okay), then (b) buy a 2GB DDR3 module ... the one you mentioned in your question is fine.
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by:Terry Woods
ID: 39626557
Thanks very much!
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