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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I'm getting rather irritated at my computer and my luck with RAM in general here, I was hoping somebody could enlighten me. Okay, so for christmas I ordered 2 x 1GB sticks of ram and put them into my already 1GB computer (2 x 512) to equal what I was hoping was going to be 3GB ram. For now I won't rage too hard at one of these sticks of ram being crappy and me having to take it out, only leaving me with 2GB of ram. What I will rage about however is the fact that my computer is only recognizing 1.5GB of that ram.

So I'm thinking, oh lord, my luck with ram is terrible and yet another stick of ram (one of the old ones) suddenly began to get messed up. However, I don't get random computer restarts when these 3 sticks are in my computer and I also ran Memtest and nothing at all was wrong with any of my current ram. I downloaded CPU-Z and for some odd reason, this program is telling me I have the right amount of ram installed (2GB) but my System page, DXDiag and task manager still say I'm only using 1.5GB of it.

So to summarize, my 2 x 512mb sticks of ram refuse to work together when in the same computer now, even though they were working perfectly fine for months before I got the new 1GB stick of ram. My BIOS say my computer can handle 4GB of ram, so that's not a problem. Besides, when I first bought my new sticks of ram it was working fine for a while with 3GB of ram, then it started restarting and through Memtest I discovered one of them was faulty.

I don't claim to know what all of the numbers in CPU-Z mean when looking at the memory configuration, but maybe somebody here can either help me out by reading this or take a look at these pictures and tell me if something is happening that shouldn't be:

Memory Tab
SPD Stick 1
SPD Stick 2
SPD Stick 3
My system page telling me I have 1.5GB
 

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Re: I hate ram.

So, you installed 2 GB of RAM, but it only shows 1.5 GB? Is this correct?

If so, it's entirely normal for the system to show .5 GB less RAM than you have installed in your system. This is because onboard video reserves 512 MB of RAM for video processing. CPU-Z is showing the amount of RAM you have physically installed. Your system is showing you the amount of RAM you have available when taking into account the 512 MB that can't be used as anything but video.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: I hate ram.

So, you installed 2 GB of RAM, but it only shows 1.5 GB? Is this correct?

If so, it's entirely normal for the system to show .5 GB less RAM than you have installed in your system. This is because onboard video reserves 512 MB of RAM for video processing. CPU-Z is showing the amount of RAM you have physically installed. Your system is showing you the amount of RAM you have available when taking into account the 512 MB that can't be used as anything but video.
So you're saying that all of the RAM is actually being used, it's just not making it clear?

But if it's supposed to do that, why is it that when I first installed my brand new 1GB sticks to create 3GB total, it actually said 3GB total on the system page instead of less like it is now? Confusing.

Thanks for the quick reply. :wink:
 

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Re: I hate ram.

Remove the 2 512 sticks and use the two 1GB sticks in the appropriate slot to run Dual Channel and see how much RAM is registered.
If in fact you are using Onboard Graphics some of the System RAM will be reserved for that use.

PC Specs?
Pre-Built Brand & Model Number
Custom Built-Brand & Model of Mobo-CPU-RAM-Graphics-PSU.
 

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Re: I hate ram.

and to add if you are using different makes of ram this can cause issues too.

If you have onboard video then the onboard video needs to use the ram so it takes it away from windows.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: I hate ram.

Remove the 2 512 sticks and use the two 1GB sticks in the appropriate slot to run Dual Channel and see how much RAM is registered.
If in fact you are using Onboard Graphics some of the System RAM will be reserved for that use.

PC Specs?
Pre-Built Brand & Model Number
Custom Built-Brand & Model of Mobo-CPU-RAM-Graphics-PSU.
Dual channel slots are the same colour, right? I already tried my 2 x 1GB sticks in the same colour slots and ran Memtest, that's how I found out one of them was definitely messed up. I checked the BIOS, System and DXDiag, all of which said 2GB of ram.

My computer was custom made quite a long time ago.
Motherboard: AX8 Series (VIA K8T890-8237)
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Running at around 2040 Mhz
Ram: All of the information is in the SPD screenshots that I'm aware of, except that my 512MB sticks are from Crucial and V-Data and my new 1GB sticks were from Komputerbay (I think) from Amazon.
Graphics: Radeon X600 Pro 256mb but for some reason with the newly updated ATI drivers, most places it says "ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series" instead. Not sure if that's normal. Everest still says it's an X600 though.
PSU: No clue. Is there any way of finding out without digging inside my computer?

Speaking of Everest, it's saying I only have 1.5GB installed also. 1GB in the first slot and 512mb in the second slot.

And just as I was typing this, my computer restarted by itself and my Skype has been closing randomly since I moved the sticks around earlier. Which just confuses me even more, could this mean that there's possibly ANOTHER faulty stick of ram afterall? The way it was setup originally, right after removing my first faulty piece of ram, was 512-512-1GB, which worked fine for several days (at 1.5GB), now it's setup 1GB-512-512, would that cause the restarting?
 

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Re: I hate ram.

the only way to find out what psu you have is to look at the label on the psu. You dont really have to dig about you can't miss a psu its the big box that the plug goes into.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: I hate ram.

Good lord. I took out my new 1GB stick and just left the 2 x 512mb sticks on dual channel like it was before I even bought any new ram. Did a memtest and this time I think the V-Data stick is corrupt. Why is my ram so damn fragile? I've watched videos of people installing ram into their computers and I do it twice as gentle as they do.

So the plan is to take out the V-Data stick, replace it with the working 1GB stick and then run a memtest. If it's 1.5GB and has no errors after scanning a few times, I'll just live with it and pretend this mess never happened. Although, knowing my luck, now the 1GB chip will be corrupt. I'll get the PSU details as I try this.
 

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Re: I hate ram.

What is the brand of the new RAM? If you get errors with MemTest while running one stick at a time the RAM is probably defective.
 

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Re: I hate ram.

do you ground yourself before installing components? If you don't you may be damaging them by static discharge.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: I hate ram.

What is the brand of the new RAM? If you get errors with MemTest while running one stick at a time the RAM is probably defective.
This is the ram I bought: KOMPUTERBAY 2GB DDR DIMM 400Mhz PC3200 CL 3.0 DESKTOP: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

Cheap but it had good reviews, so I thought I'd be okay. Other than what's on that page, the only stuff I know about them are in the SPD stick one screenshot.

I took them out, installed them very gently alongside my computers previously fitted 2 x 512mb and hoped it would make 3GB, which it did. 12 hours later, my computer began to restart while playing football manager, so I tested the new ram I bought individually and put the one that was defective back in the case.

At this point, my computer was showing 2GB of ram, using the 512-512-1GB order and although I was unhappy at the fact that I was only using half the memory I paid for, I just lived with it. That brings us to the present, a few days ago I decided to randomly check my system/dxdiag pages because I noticed my games weren't loading as fast and just wanted to double check my ram was still 2gb. It was only 1.5gb but CPU-Z still recognizes that there's 2gb worth of ram (screenshots) and that's pretty much my problem.

However, I've now done a memtest using JUST the old memory sticks and found that there's problems with one of them too. I took a guess that it was the V-Data stick because it was in slot 1 and the errors happened at around 20% of the memtest.

So I just tried using the 1gb stick (that works for sure) with the crucial 512mb stick in slots 1 and 2, it only registered the 1GB stick being USED and the 512mb stick is there (according to CPU-Z and Everest) it's just not being used. At this point, I have no idea what to test next..

Oh, and to the other person, I'm very careful with my computer, I made sure to look up videos about how to install ram and the precautions you must take. I ground myself every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: I hate ram.

Just did a 300% coverage Memtest on the 512mb Crucial memory stick, no errors at all. So now we have a perfect 1gb stick and a perfect 512mb stick that won't even acknowledge each others existence when in the same computer. At least I've simplified the problem. What could cause this?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: I hate ram.

Put the 512mb stick in slot 1 and the 1gb into slot 3 and it worked fine, registered as 1.5gb. Ran a memtest, goes to a black screen and my computer just hangs and doesn't respond. Looked it up and apparently it's a sign of bad ram..

So on the one hand, the individual tests say the ram is perfectly fine, but put them together and apparently they have errors. This doesn't even seem logical.
 

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Re: I hate ram.

then that points to a bad ram slot. It doesn't matter really which slots you put the ram in but if you want dual channel then it has to be corresponding slots.

And by the way it is always best to use matching speeds and makes of ram. Some boards do not like it when you run a dimm (proper term for ram stick) that is 512MB and one that is 1GB, some boards don't mind at all.

What I would try first if I were you is to try one stick in every slot and run memtest whilst it is in each slot and do it with both dimms if all dimms pass in every slot you know your motherboard doesn't like mixed speeds if a dimm fails in one nparticular slot you know you have a bad slot.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: I hate ram.

then that points to a bad ram slot. It doesn't matter really which slots you put the ram in but if you want dual channel then it has to be corresponding slots.

And by the way it is always best to use matching speeds and makes of ram. Some boards do not like it when you run a dimm (proper term for ram stick) that is 512MB and one that is 1GB, some boards don't mind at all.

What I would try first if I were you is to try one stick in every slot and run memtest whilst it is in each slot and do it with both dimms if all dimms pass in every slot you know your motherboard doesn't like mixed speeds if a dimm fails in one nparticular slot you know you have a bad slot.
Hmm, good thinking.

Do you think it's possible that my motherboard didn't like the fact that I put a 1gb with a 512mb in dual channeling slots and just completely ignored the 512mb?

And so when I put the 1gb in slot 3 instead, that kinda points to slot 3 having problems. Either that or I need 2 matching sticks for dual channeling in slots 1 and 2, THEN it'll allow me to add the 1gb to slot 3?

All I know for sure is 512 in slot 1 and 1gb in slot 3 is not a healthy combination for my machine. I tried using windows memory diagnostic tool, it crashed on part 6, I restarted, it beeped like crazy until eventually I had to take the 512mb out and just put the 1gb into slot 1 for now.

What I could do, which would probably be simpler, is give the faulty 1gb stick back and get a replacement. Then I can PROBABLY use both of the 1gb sticks in slots 1 and 2 for 2gb of dual channeling awesomeness. They'd be exactly the same so hopefully there won't be any issues.

Anyway, seems like we've narrowed this down enough to call it a successful investigation. You guys can let the thread die now. Thanks for the help.
 

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to do dual channel both dimms must be the same size and speed and make and must go in the matching colured slots. However you do not have to run dual channel so you can put the ram in any slot you want. Some boards do not like mixed sizes and most do not like mixed speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's strange because my 512-512-1gb combo was working fine until just recently. Is it possible problems don't start straight away but begin to happen over time?
 

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Scary stuff. I'll be more careful in future with mixing ram.

To begin with I'll test all of my slots one by one with the same stick to see if one of them is messed up. If they're okay, I'll just aim for 4 x the exact same 1gb stick to hopefully get a fast and stable computer at last.

Cheers mate.
 

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Scary stuff. I'll be more careful in future with mixing ram.

To begin with I'll test all of my slots one by one with the same stick to see if one of them is messed up. If they're okay, I'll just aim for 4 x the exact same 1gb stick to hopefully get a fast and stable computer at last.

Cheers mate.
if the two different dimms where different makes then it is likely they are different voltages and voltage regulator will either be under volting one of them or over volting one of them and this could be a reason why one slot does not work anymore.
 
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