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Athlon XP 1600+ crashes with more ram

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  • Athlon XP 1600+ crashes with more ram

    I'll jump to my system specs, then get to the problem

    K7S5A Motherboard (using newest SiS advanced drivers)
    AMD Athlon XP 1600+ using the fan/heatsink included (I bought the boxed package)
    2 256m PC133 ram chips (don't know brand, was on sale at Frye's)
    40gig Maxtor Fireball
    Voodoo 5 5500 (using Rocket's XP V4-5 drivers)
    Creative 52x CD-ROM
    Some generic 16x DVD-Rom
    ZipCD 8x4x32
    350w Power Supply

    When I first built my system, I didn't quite have enough money for two sticks of ram, so I just got one 256m PC-133 and told myself I'd get the other later. Well, I got distracted with other things and that "later" ended up being like 3 months. No problems with just the one stick, but I couldn't use my processor to it's full extent, and could only run it at 1050mhz. Again, everything worked fine.

    So, I finally break down and get that second 256m stick I promised myself. I run to my computer all giddy that I'll finally be able to use my processor in it's true 1600mhz glory. I put the chip in, set the bios to 133/133 mhz, reboot and get all smiley when I see bios listing my processor as 1600+ instead of 1050.

    Life goes well for a bit, and I toss in BroodWar (I've been addicted since original StarCraft came out =x). A few minutes in the game, my computer up and restarts itself out of no where. No warning, no error message, nothing; just restarts. I kinda just shrug it off as a one-time sort of thing, and go on with my life. Later on, I'm playing another game (forgot what it was), and the game suddenly closes and sends me to my desktop. Again, I'm just shrugging it off as "normal random computer weirdness", hoping that's the end of that. Yet, the problem continues. My girlfriend comes over and I buy her Sims to play while she's here, she can't play it for more than a half hour at a time without my computer rebooting. And this doesn't only happen with games, but sometimes if I'm just working with DreamWeaver or something, but more frequently with games.

    So, after all those seemingly "random computer weirdnesses", I realize they're /not/ so random, and that there's something wrong that needs to be addressed. I think back to what I've done with my computer lately, take the new ram chip out, change the bios back to 100/133 (or was it 133/100... I forgot the order, but I don't have a choice). Boot up at 1050mhz, play any game or do anything and nothing bad happens. My computer's in the bliss it was before I got the new ram stick.

    I come to the seemingly-obvious conclussion that the ram stick is somehow faulty, and make plans to exchange it. But, before I do, I decide to test it out and make sure. I switch the two ram sticks (putting in the new "faulty" one and taking out my old one). I play games, zip up 800megs in files, whatever, no resets and everything works as well as it did with the other chip.

    I get curiouser and start to seriously doubt the new chip is actually faulty. So, I wonder if the DIMM slot is faulty. I get around to trying both chips (one at a time, of course) in the other DIMM slot, no problems again.

    Right now I'm using the newer chip by itself, with the old chip sitting in protective casing, my processor only clocking at 1050mhz. I'm stumped on what to do. My friend suggested it could be that with the increased processor speed would come increased maximum heat which was reached when I did higher-end stuff (such as play games). I thought about this too, but wouldn't the fan/heatsink that came WITH the processor made by AMD be sufficient enough? Any one have any ideas of what it could be/how to fix it? Anything would be more-than appreciated.

    [email protected]

  • #2
    I also thought it could have been software-related, so I formatted my harddrive, installed Win98 with new drivers for everything; didn't help at all.


    • #3
      I don't know why ya got more SDRAM for though when DDR SDRAM would give you better performance but that's beside the point.
      Install and setup Motherboard Monitor 5 and see what temps your running at.
      Also some people have found that fitting a Blue or Crystal Orb to the motherboard chipset has helped alot, but I dont run one here on the 1.2C Athy.
      Also are these probs only happening when running a 3D application?
      Oh and also any Windows 9x os will get itself lost in 512MB's of RAM as 256MB's is it's safe limit.
      I've never used a VooDoo card but my bet would naturally point to a driver problem with that.
      Another thing would be also do you have the latest BIOS flash for your motherboard installed?


      • #4
        My bet is the memory settings are set too aggressively. One stick is seeming to handle 133MHz no problems, but the other doesn't like it one little bit. As I have never used this board (I think Wiggo has), is there settings in the RAM timing options that you can increase? :?:

        In my system the higher rated stick of RAM is actually the worst performer, unless my memory timings are set to the highest possible latency I cannot boot my system :(
        What came first - Insanity or Society?


        • #5
          The speed setting's are very basic such as Timing Mode "normal/fast/turbo" and Latency "SPD/T2" either of which unless you have very good memory should all be left at the default settings as these settings are still quick enough.
          While in the Advanced Setup Page of the BIOS, pressing F6 will load the Optimal values and F7 will load Best peformance.
          But really the whole setup here is basic as I've more settings on my SS7 board.


          • #6
            I downloaded MBM. This is probably because I'm rather ignorant with the program (and heating issues in general), but it says my CPU's temperature is a constant zero degrees no matter what I do. I know that's /way/ off, and I tried tinkering with the settings to see if for some reason it wasn't configured to work with my motherboard, but I havrn't gotten any where with it...

            I just tossed in my second 256 stick before I booted up to right this, and also tossed in some generic system fan my friend gave me that he didn't need. It's set to blow right over the top of my CPU's fan/heatsink. I figured it couldn't hurt. So far no problems, but I haven't done anything really except toy with MBM and write this.

            Since I'm having problems with MBM, I checked my system & CPU via BIOS. The system was 31c/87f, and the CPU 47c/116f. With my DRAM & frequency set to 100/100 (as when I have the one stick in there), the system temp remains the same, but the CPY temp drops about 5c/10f. Needless to say, I'm sure it gets quite a bit hotter when I'm doing stuff (especially gaming). Any idea of what's the max "safe" temp for an XP to be (again, like I said, I'm ignorant with heating/cooling issues)?

            To answer the quick Q's you guys asked, no the resets don't only happen with 3D programs, it's happened with anything from playing ZSNES to working on my website in DreamWeaver, editing a pic in PSP, etc. Though, I have noticed it happens more often when I'm doing more/higher end things.

            I also really doubt it's my Voodoo card; I've tried a number of different drivers, and they all work fine with only one stick of ram, but the rests still happen with two.

            As for why I don't just have one 256 DDR stick, money. Student living at home with no income; even 15-20 bucks is a lot for me. =\

            BTW, thanks a lot for taking time to try and help me; I've been trying to get someone insightful to at least try and lead me in the right direction, but either never get a reply (including from AMD tech support), or "shut up n00b *****!"


            • #7
              MBM5 does have to be configured to work and their site carries a lot of info on how to do that. :smokin:


              • #8
                I reckon Win98 is the issue. Had lots of situations where more than 256mb has caused big issues with 98. Anyways more than 256 megs will make, well, f**k all difference to your performance. If you want to use your extra RAM well, get XP.


                • #9
                  Your problem is your cpu temp. Try runing with the sides off and i bet it will be ok. I am havig the same problems with my 1.4ghz thunderbird. Windows reboots the computer when the cpu hits about 60C. I reccomend you buy an Thermal Take Volcano 7+. Also the max ram for Win 95/98/Me is 512mb not 256 like someone said. In Xp i think is 3gb limit. Need and more help email me [email protected]



                  • #10
                    I beleive the problam might be your Proc. i got a 1.6xp chip also when i run my Proc stock it only runs 95f. Idle under a load it jumps to 102f. with you only at 100/100 that is running real hot for that proc.

                    And as for the Ram Max in Win 98 it is 384, But if you have 1 stick of 512 then you can use it, but if you have 512 in 2 or 3 sticks then Win98 with Sh*t itself, I know i have done all the messing with it and the Papers that had a warning on Win98, If you want to run all 512 of that in the 2 sticks then i would say goto Win2K or Win XP


                    • #11
                      I spent abit of time just recently over at OCWorkbench's ECS forum on some corruption issues that suddenly turned up and when I discovered that the forum had been split into 2 due to the amount of info there. :eek:
                      A couple of things that did come out was a hate of usin' 2 sticks of SDRAM and bein' very fussy about PSU's. My prob seems to be a PSU degradiation as they recommend 1 that will supply a total of 180w+ (200w to be safe) combined across the 3.3 and 5 volt rails, the PSU I have is rated at 165w and after 6mths this seems to have fallen to a level that won't let me run at 133/133 in any shape or form though 100/133 with ultra memory timings is no prob, though runnin' a 1.2 T'bird at 900MHz is rather sad. :(
                      A 420w Topower PSU is on its way though with a 220w rating across those two rails but it's a bit disappointing to have to use a PSU that costs as much as the motherboard to run it though. :(


                      • #12
                        Damn i didn't think that the PSU would do that Wiggo, I'll have to keep that in the records if i run across one. Well Wiggo look at the bright side, You got a better PSU for Computer ;)