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Unexpected power-downs

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Georgii2222, Dec 3, 2009.

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  1. Georgii2222

    Georgii2222 Thread Starter

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    I'm doing a new build, I've got a Asus M4A77TD Pro, Athlon II Quad Core, Radeon HD 4850, and 2 sticks of G.Skill DDR3. I have a 500W Antec TruPower from my previous machine.

    I got it all together tonight (after realizing the 500GB SATA HDD that I ordered was DOA, so I used a 160 GB IDE drive). In any case, I was plugging along happily, and the machine just turned itself off. It wouldn't turn back on until I turned the PSU off and all standby power was gone from the Mobo.

    For a bit, I was able to reproduce this reliably with a java program that I use. It loads some fairly high-resolution graphics, and PC would shut down every time.

    Shortly after that, I realized I hadn't hooked both molex connectors to the 2-molex to 6-pin adapter that GFX had provided. I hooked it back up, fired up Win7, and loaded my Java program with no issues. Yay, I thought. However, when I was downloading Steam and fiddling around on Stardock's website, it died on me again.

    So, I've got 3 possible issues, and no way that I can think of to test them:

    1) GFX's documentation says they don't support the 2-molex to 6-pin adapter for their video cards, even though they provided one in the package (!). Could this be an issue? (plus it's pushing a 19" and a 22" LCD)

    2) Is my PSU underpowered, or could it have lost some oomph over the last few years of use? I just push the above hardware, mouse, keyboard, and a 1TB mybook (which has a separate power supply)

    3) The G.Skill ram (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303) I purchased is 'optimized' for an intel i7, but it's still 240-pin DDR3... I figured it should be stable, even if I'm not getting max performance out of it (I need to learn about RAM timings, as mentioned by the first reviewer).

    I'd hate to start sending things back and throwing money at the problem. Anyone have any ideas?

    TIA

    Georgii2222
    Jeff Ital
     
  2. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Go to BIOS, see how is the RAM set up at the moment. (Voltage and frequency/whatever section) It may be getting less power than it requires (standard is 1.5V, it is specced to run with 1.6V), also see the frequency and timing (probably easier with CPU-Z from within Windows). Might also be outright incompatible with your board. Aaalso, download MemTest86, unzip, burn to a CD as an iso file (not just place the file onto the CD. CDBurnerXP is a good and easy app for this if you're clueless)
    The PSU having degraded to be not enough is a very possible reason too... Cheapest decent quality replacement I'd use is OCZ StealthXtream 600 W. Corsairs would be nicer, but the OCZ should work well too.
    I cannot find anything matching your description of the PSU, is it TruePower 550W, or something else? How old?
     
  3. Georgii2222

    Georgii2222 Thread Starter

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    Whoops. It think it was a Smart Power 500W, not True Power; it's about 3 years old. (I'm at work now; I'll look again when home)
     
  4. Georgii2222

    Georgii2222 Thread Starter

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    So, the first review on newegg mentions RAM voltage/timing specifically. If the RAM initializes at 5v, but it's supposed to be 6-6.5v, would that destabilize the system? I didn't think this through very well.

    From the review:
    " Pros: For everyone with a decent AMD motherboard and not terrified of entering BIOS to adjust settings this memory delivers more then advertised. Right now it is delivering 7-8-7-18 timings set at 1.65 volts (within the memories stated operating range of 1.6-1.65 volts at a speed of 1666 Mhz. I have not tried to squeeze this memory for any higher output...yet. Another big bonus with this memory is it runs at 1.6-1.65 volts and not the 1.9-1.95 blazing hot voltage of other high performance memory.
    Cons: This chip is optimized and advertised for Intell i7 so it is not surprising that AMD motherboard BIOS does not initialize this RAM properly. If memory serves the first settings I got were as 1333 speed latencies of 11 at 1.5 volts. You have to make your own adjustments in BIOS for AMD boards. This is a con for inexperienced builders not comfortable with adjusting BIOS settings. It's not a fault of the chip however, it state clearly that it is designed for the new Intel high end chips"
     
  5. BG-0

    BG-0

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    The max actual power output of the Smartpower 500, as new, could be anywhere between 320 and 432 watts, the specs do not list it straight off... Add degradation... You're pretty much on thin ice.
    I have not used the M4A77TD Pro, thus I am clueless about its BIOS. You will need to go and find the memory voltage (VDIMM) setting first, set it to 1.6 or 1.65 (or +0.1/+0.15), then find the frequency, set it to 1600 (or... Err. One step up?) Post what CPU-Z says about your computer when you're home, or rather post screenshots, then we'll get more into detail....
     
  6. Georgii2222

    Georgii2222 Thread Starter

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    How do I take screenies? I alt-printscreen, but don't have anywhere to paste them.
     
  7. Georgii2222

    Georgii2222 Thread Starter

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  8. Georgii2222

    Georgii2222 Thread Starter

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    memtest only makes it 45%-ish before computer reboots itself.

    That's after I changed the timings to 7-8-7-24/6.5v as specced. (as is the CPUZ info)
     
  9. BG-0

    BG-0

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    The RAM still isn't running at the spec-listed speeds. Its frequency is only 1333 MHz, the TRC is not at its right value, and most importantly you're still pushing it too hard with the 1T Command Rate, change to 2T.
    Does your CPU step up to the correct frequency under load? Run a few minutes of Prime95 Small FFTs test and see if the Core Speed on CPU-Z's CPU tab goes up.
     
  10. Georgii2222

    Georgii2222 Thread Starter

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    OK, I think I'm in over my head here. I tried setting the DRAM Frequency to 1600MHz, and TRC to 31 (TCL+TRAS) but boot fails, says "overclocking failed!".

    Honestly, I don't know what any of these settings mean, and there's like 20 more of them. Would it behoove me to just RMA this memory and buy some approved sticks for this motherboard?

    Thanks,

    Jeff

    EDIT: I've got memtest running. I had to load the 'old' version. It didn't restart itself at 45%; it's been running for about 10 minutes now. However, it lists the RAM Settings as "433 MHz (DDR866) / CAS : 1-0-5 / DDR-1 (128 bits)". I changed the timings to 8-7-7-24, with command rate 2, and 1600 MHz, per a G.Skill rep on their forums. It managed to go to memtest without the 'overclocking failed' message.

    EDIT II: OK, I just realized that memtest is hung. I'm on test 5, test was 99% complete, and the 'errors' column keeps filling up to 32,767. 'errors per memory slot 0: 130,000,000, 1: 0" note that the 'errors per memory slot 0' is continually rising

    EDIT III: I added a pic of memtest in my CPUZ Gallery. I can't for the life of me figure out how to actually apply the image to this post.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/Georgii2222/CPUZ#5411579090768683234

    EDIT IV: Just tried testing the modules individually, each fails at 99% of test 5, and does the same thing shown in the picture.

    EDIT V: I put a single DIMM in DIMM B1, leaving A1 empty. Memtest made it past test 5, and is in to test 7, although the 'settings' field now reads "RAM: 288 MHz (DDR577) / CAS : 0-7-0 / DDR-1 (128 bits). As an aside, perhaps I was a bonehead... should I have installed the 3 DIMMs in A1 and A2? I didn't realize they were 'channeled' so to speak. I originally had them in A1 and B1, as they were grouped together (orange), and A2 and B2 were grouped together (black)

    EDIT VI: Memtest been running successfully for about 4 hours in configuration from Edit V. Has passed all tests.
     
  11. BG-0

    BG-0

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    There is still some compatibility issue with the memory if memtest sees it as DDR1 of random clock speed and latencies, but if it doesn't crash, well... Try using the PC in a normal manner..
     
  12. Georgii2222

    Georgii2222 Thread Starter

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    But you don't think it's a bum motherboard, then? If not, I'm going to RMA the RAM and get some approved sticks.

    This is totally my fault; I should have paid attention when I was getting the Cyber-monday RAM, didn't realize it was for intel.
     
  13. BG-0

    BG-0

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  14. BG-0

    BG-0

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    After rechecking the first post... More probably still a power supply or motherboard issue... Hold on with the memory RMA...
    Can you get hold of a spare quality PSU from a friend or something? Have you been testing the computer after Memtest was finally able to run without errors, anything that certainly reproduces the issue? Try Prime95 (Small FFTs test) and Furmark graphics stress tests individually and then together, see if any combination loads the system too much to cause a crash...
     
  15. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    This sounds like a psu issue to me though it also sounds like ram is incompatible, but I don't think the ram would shut it down because of this.
     
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