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Random Rebooting / Memory Issues

Hello there,

I recently purchased new memory, 16 GB (2 x 8GB sticks) of DDR3 RAM. I had previously been running on 2 x 4GB sticks, one being slightly different than the other.

After initial installation, everything was normal and the memory was being read correctly by my system. However, out of the blue, my computer started randomly rebooting. I've been taking a look at a few logs in my event viewer, and they are included at the end of the post. It seems to perhaps be related to power consumption, but I don't see how adding memory (as well as later tests) can be attributed to that, especially using a 620W PSU.

To start, I had 24GB total. Channel A contained both 4GB sticks, while Channel B contained both 8GB sticks. I removed both 4GB sticks, and placed the 2 x 8GB sticks in channels A and B. The system began powering on, made it past BIOS, but ultimately either froze or reboot by itself. It occasionally allowed me to log in, however sudden reboots occurred, making the configuration useless. Placing both 8GB sticks into the same channel (I've tried both A and B) prevents the computer from POSTing (or that's my assumption, as no signal is provided to my monitor, and my LED keyboard/mouse do not illuminate). Next, I tried putting back the 2 x 4GB sticks and removing the 2 x 8GB sticks. This configuration worked without issue. I then tried a single 8GB stick, which worked fine. I tried the alternate, which also worked fine (these were both tested being the only memory in my computer). After both 8GB sticks had worked alone, I added the second back (they were in different channels at this point), but I ran into the same problem as before, BIOS completes but then the computer unexpectedly freezes or reboots. I have also entered into BIOS and loaded optimal default settings several times, with several different memory combinations. I have also attempted to use the XMP profiles for the 2 x 8GB sticks, however those do not work (reboot loop). So I am currently writing this using 2 x 4GB sticks. I understand I might not be able to use all 4 sticks as they are different, however I figure 2 x 8GB sticks that are identical should be able to run without any problem. I have also listed my specs below. Thank you in advance for any help!

Also, I'm fairly sure I have the memory channels correct, but just in case I have them shown below:

The DIMM slots appear in order from left to right.

MoBo Label: Channel,    slot,      slot color
DDR3_4:     Channel A,  slot 1,    black
DDR3_2:     Channel A,  slot 2,   grey
DDR3_3:     Channel B,  slot 3,   black
DDR3_1:      Channel B,  slot 4,   grey


Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P ATX AM3+
CPU: AMD FX-6300
1 x 4GB stick: PNY Link
1 x 4GB stick: ADATA Link
2 x 8GB sticks: PNY Anarchy Link
GPU: Asus Radeon R9 270 2GB DirectCU II
PSU: SeaSonic 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

PasteBin Link

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Unknown_Party

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In reply to: Random Rebooting / Memory Issues

Did you buy those 8GB sticks as a kit or two separate sticks?

One 8GB stick at a time alone look in the bios to see what the ram timings are being set to.

They are rated at 9,9,9,27.

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In reply to: Question

I made the mistake of purchasing individual 8GB sticks, rather than a 2 x 8GB kit. Even if they aren't the same, shouldn't I be able to use one in A and one in B? Or that's my thought process, it probably doesn't work as I imagine.

And in BIOS using one 8GB stick at a time, the timings are 9, 9, 9, 27.

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A test

In reply to: Separate

Using just the 8GB sticks place a stick in slot 1 and a stick in slot 3.

Enter the bios and set the timings to 10,10,10,28.


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In reply to: A test

So I am now able to log in consistently using the 2 x 8GB sticks in the suggested slots. It still reboots after a little bit though. I recently downloaded SpeedFan and have been monitoring temperatures just to ensure that isn't a factor. Though it seems it might be, as after 5-10 minutes of gaming some temps reach 70 degrees C. I have not tried leaving it idle yet, and logging temps to see if they correlate with reboots, but that is my next step. If you have any other suggestions I'm all ears. Thank you for your help!!

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Ram timings

In reply to: Improvement!

Did you change the ram timings?

What temps show 70C?

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In reply to: Ram timings

The timings have been set to 10,10,10,28 for both the A and the B channels. Since then I have left my machine idle, and there have been no issues. Currently been running for a bit over 7 hours, so major improvement.

Within SpeedFan, it shows that Temp2 (which is the northbridge chip I believe) was running at 70C, while Temp3 was 64C, GPU was 66C, and CPU Core was 65C.

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In reply to: Yes

I think what your seeing is because you bought 2 separate sticks there is just enough difference between the sticks that if you use stock timings it fails.

You can run it like it is or shop for a 2x8GB kit.

As for the temps remove the side panel and retest.

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Thank you for your help

In reply to: Timings

I think you've nailed it on the head. Placing in my initial 2x4GB sticks resolves all issues. I thought the restarts could potentially be related to GPU/CPU overheating, however it doesn't seem that's the case. I downloaded and used Prime95 and selected the "Blend" mode, and not 5 minutes in the computer restarted. I replaced the 2x8GB with the RAM I was using prior to upgrading, and it ran for 26 minutes before I manually closed it. Also did some GPU testing, but that was after the CPU testing, so I had already reverted back to my original RAM. Everything worked fine, and I let it run for ~20 mins before stopping it. Thank you very much for you help!

As a side note, are there any tell-tale signs to indicate whether or not RAM is truly compatible with a motherboard? I tried looking under my motherboard's supported memory list, however it seems to not include anything over 4GB. I've also looked into Crucial's tool, however their RAM seems a bit more expensive than others. In other words, if the timing, frequency, pins, etc, are all compatible, is there any reason the RAM shouldn't work? (Assuming a kit is bought, not 2 individual sticks)

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This is why I follow some simple rules.

In reply to: Thank you for your help

1. Do not mix RAM. If I use one, all sticks are the same make, model, etc.

2. Either get sticks that are on the QPL of the maker's web site or from Crucial.com

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In reply to: Thank you for your help

Yes there are reasons why not all ram will work with all mobo's.

You can go to Crucial and get ram that's guaranteed to work or you can go to Amazon and buy what seems like the same thing but it's from maker XYZ and it does not work.

I just replaced a 2x2GB@1333 kit cl9 with 2x2GB@1333 kit cl7.

The new ram seemed to function fine until I started to look deeper.
This machine setup the new ram as cl9 and since my bios does not allow access to ram timings I'm stuck.

Just to add a little insult a ram speed test showed the new ram was slower than the old ram.

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To me this is barely compatible memory.

In reply to: Yes

If you have to tweak the memory timing to get it stable, my view has changed over the past decades on that.

Long ago it was accepted you would throw dip switches to set the size, speed and such on the chips or boards.

Then we started to see the PC with BIOS settings and it was a royal mess. The industry came up with memory sticks like you see today with SPD chips that the PC would read on boot to set the timing. But another issue loomed in that not all BIOSes could read and understand the SPD and thus the memory timings.

Your machine has that issue. Unless you are OK with where you are, I'd just order a set of memory from Crucial.com.

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The sad news

In reply to: Random Rebooting / Memory Issues

Is that you have a machine that I see all too often. This build is to me considered unstable and when that happens you talk to its maker for how they want to handle it. Put another way, I see hundreds of posts like this and the advice repeats over and over. So rather than repeat I think you need to talk to its maker.

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In reply to: The sad news

Thank you for your quick reply!

This was my first computer that I built, so I guess I'd be the maker. Just so I know for future reference and so I don't make the mistake again, is there anything in particular that makes the build unstable (aside from the symptoms of course)? To my knowledge, all of the parts are compatible and the only issues I experience occur when I attempt to go from 8GB to 16GB. The pre-upgrade configuration has been problem free, and is what I have reverted back to for the time being.

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Try this.

In reply to: Thanks

In list format by numbers.

1. Be sure the PSU is a single rail with a lot of headroom. I am not talking Watts but Amperes on the rail. It's something technical that builders must get right. Don't worry, I'll see if you posted the PSU model and will give it a quick look.

2. Be sure the BIOS is current. When I start a new build, this item is updated before I fall out of return dates in case I brick a board. Which has never happened to me.

3. No overclocking. I have a few clients that overclock, lock up, crash, reboot and when it comes in, we put the settings back and all is well again.

4. Old school on thermal paste. We don't use the pre-applied unless it looks like what we do.

5. No cracks or torrents. If there's a way to get folk upset it seems to return the machine due to cracks and torrents. Such usage is unsupportable.

PSU check. The GPU is about 138W peak so that PSU should be fine.
RAM test time. Be sure the BIOS is current and try it with a single stick.

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In reply to: Try this.

The BIOS only has two versions released as of right now, and the latest is in beta. Since it is in beta and I am experiencing stability issues, I didn't think it would be the best case to upgrade to it just yet.

Nothing has been overclocked. In BIOS I have made sure to load default optimal settings, and have not altered anything beyond that.

The thermal paste I used was included in the CPU packaging. Should I order more and reapply more? The CPU doesn't seem to be overheating, but I could be wrong.

I don't use torrents. My windows 10 copy is legit as I purchased it from the Microsoft website.

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Then try changing the BIOS setting a little.

In reply to: Memory

It sounds like incompatible memory. But some of these you find posts about the motherboard and then you know to change that. I have not done this research for you. I leave that to you.

Again, it's a common rig that I don't enjoy seeing. Many of them just are unstable.

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That test tells us

In reply to: Then try changing the BIOS setting a little.

That something is going on with memory. Is this memory on the maker's QPL?
Did you have sticks from Crucial?

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