Question DDR3 damaged - please help me to understand ...

Aug 13, 2022
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Hi all,
I'm not a newbie and the problem I'm going to describe is not common, I think. I know what gets broken but I don't really know why ...

PART 1
Configuration (quite old, I know):
  • MB: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H
  • CPU: i5-3570K with box cooler
  • RAM: 4x4GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance
  • GPU: ASUS GTX960 OC STRIX 4GB DDR5
  • PSU: Corsair RM650x
Additionally connected to MB:
  • CASE: Zalman HD503 (SATA, USB - front panel, AUDIO)
  • DVD-RW: 1x (SATA)
  • SSD: 1x (SATA)
  • HDD: 3x (SATA)
  • two case fans connected to case panel (not connected directly to MB)
One day a troubles started during booting. Sometimes it was necessary to power down and turn on once again and then it started properly.
But a few days later after pressing power button nothing happend - no beeps, no display on screen, only fans spinning for a while. So I've checked everyting removing part by part and powering up - all drives, GPU, then RAM. After removing RAM post beeps appeared, so MB & CPU seemed to be working properly. I installed one stick - no post codes again. I've checked all four RAM sticks in every RAM slot - all four RAM sticks were broken. I've checked them also in another PC at my work - same behavior.
I had some spare parts so I've installed another one RAM and PC started - short beep, without any monitor connected (GPU was removed).
So I've put GPU and ... it stopped working again - no post beeps etc. Quick check and another RAM stick is broken.
My first diagnosis was: graphics card or power supply. Or maybe motherboard? I've broken two or three another RAM DIMMs and I was almost sure that the GPU is damaged (power section?). I don't understand how it could affect RAM but ... to be sure I've replaced almost everything and reduced my PC to minimal configuration, as it is now used as home theater PC.

PART 2
Configuration (changed):
  • MB: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H (another one)
  • CPU: i5-3570K (the same) with a new cooler
  • RAM: 4x4GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance (another set)
  • GPU: CPU integrated
  • PSU: FSP HEXA+ 400W (another one)
Additionally connected to MB (the same):
  • CASE: Zalman HD503 (SATA, USB - front panel, AUDIO)
  • DVD-RW: 1x (SATA)
  • SSD: 1x (SATA)
  • HDD: 3x (SATA)
I've changed motherboard, RAM (I've got a completelly new one from Corsair), power supply, removed GTX960 (I don't need to play games on this PC anymore) and connected to my TV to watch movies, browse internet etc.
It was great for a week. Then suddendly ... the same thing again: no beeps, no signal on HDMI port. And again, all RAM sticks broken. And again, I've put another DIMM and PC started properly.

I have two hypotheses:
  1. As all DIMMs fail at the same time it is due to overvoltage.
  2. Since only the CPU and peripherals remained from the old configuration, it seems some of them is defective. But could any damage of CPU, HDD/SSD/DVD (connected to SATA) or the front panel of the case (connected to USB, SATA, AUDIO and USB3) cause overvoltage in RAM slots?
Any idea what's going on?
 
Last edited:

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Not sure about the sequence of events.

You started with a Corsair RM650x PSU. Correct?

This modular 650 watt PSU?

Corsair RM650x

And then changed the PSU to the much lower wattage non-modular FSP HEXA+ 400W.

https://www.fsplifestyle.com/en/product/Hexaplus400w.html

[Noted: PSU: FSP HEXA+ 400W (another one). Does that mean that a first FSP PSU failed and that the current PSU replaced the first?]

Are any PSU power cables from the Corsair PSU being reused in some manner is the FSP PSU. Maybe as extensions....

Or power cables/extensions/adapters from any other PSU source.

= = = =

Other thoughts

Are you overclocking anything at all?

This GPU?

https://www.newegg.com/asus-geforce-gtx-980-strix-gtx980-dc2oc-4gd5/p/N82E16814121905


Thermal Design Power 165W
System RequirementsPower Consumption: up to 300W


A 400 Watt PSU is likely insufficient for your build.
 
Aug 13, 2022
2
0
10
0
I've replaced PSU AFTER graphics card removal. And in PART 2 internal GPU of i5-3570K was used. I'm aware of GPU power consumption, but in PART 2 there where no graphics card installed so HEXA+ 400W was really enough. And yes, I removed all cables used with Corsair PSU as it is modular one and HEXA+ is not.
No, no special overclocking, for CPU or RAM, GPU was overclocked just by manufacturer (in PART 1).

To be precise, it was an Asus GTX 960 OC card, not a GTX 980 OC, so according to https://www.newegg.com/asus-geforce-gtx-960-strix-gtx960-dc2oc-4gd5/p/1FT-000Y-005J6 TDP is 120W, max consumption 150W, so 400W PSU still will be enough, but it is not a case as graphics card was dismounted.

Additionally
  • I've checked Corsair PSU with tester and in the idle everything seemed OK - all voltages, all lines.
  • During RAM tests I've reset BIOS to factory settings to be sure that SPD values for DIMMs will be used. Then in PART 2 I've checked twice - in BIOS and in Windows - that DIMM's operates at default settings (timing and voltage).
 

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