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Question Gigabyte AORUS Master sTRX40 LED Code B8 RAM Problem

Jun 11, 2020
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My Gigabyte AORUS Master sTRX40 motherboard stops at LED code B8 during power up, with the DRAM LED lit.

My hardware list:
Motherboard: Gigabyte AORUS Master sTRX40
CPU: AMD Threadripper 3970x
RAM: Hyperx Predator HX432C16PB3K2/32 (8 sticks of 16 GIG RAM)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U14s TR4-SP3 & Noctua NF-A15 PWM fan
Storage: 3 Intel 660P Series M.2 2280 1TBPCie NVMe 3.0 x 4 3D2
Video: ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Series AX 1200

After assembling the above components, and before putting the motherboard in the case, I connected the power supply, a keyboard, mouse, and my old monitor. Everything powered up and was visible in Setup.

However, the RAM was showing a speed of 2400 MHz, not the 3200 MHz I assumed (!) it should say., so I changed it.

Now, my system will not get past the B8 LED code (Reserved!!), and the DRAM LED on the motherboard is lit.

In checking the AORUS Master RAM chart again, HyperX Predator HX432C16PB3K2/32 has a "Speed" of 3200, but a "Native" of 2400

How do I get back to the Out-Of-The-Box vanilla settings? I have cleared CMOS, re-installed hardware, tried a different video card, tried using 1 stick of RAM, then 2, then 6, then 8, and I am stuck at LED Code B8. I have tried every combination of the BIOS switches I can think of.

Also, what's the difference between "Speed" and "Native"?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
What do you mean "I changed it"?

You changed it manually, or you enabled the A-XMP profile? You can't just "change it" and expect it to work. Well, you CAN change it manually, but there is more to it than just that. You need to enable the A-XMP profile in the BIOS, then save settings, then exit and verify that it will POST. It is also a very good idea to run Memtest86 for 4 full passes to verify that the memory configuration is stable.

"Native" is what the memory, ALL memory, runs at by default. It is different for different platforms. Some will default to 2133mhz. Others will default to a higher speed based on the CPU model and platform. What doesn't change, is that for ALL platforms and configurations where the memory speed is ACTUALLY higher than what it defaults to, you MUST enable the XMP/A-XMP/AMP/D.O.C.P (Depending on what board and platform you have) profile so that it will not only run at it's advertised speed but also at the correct primary, secondary and tertiary timings that were specified and hard coded onto the memory profile by the memory manufacturer specifically for that memory kit.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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What do you mean "I changed it"?

You changed it manually, or you enabled the A-XMP profile? You can't just "change it" and expect it to work. Well, you CAN change it manually, but there is more to it than just that. You need to enable the A-XMP profile in the BIOS, then save settings, then exit and verify that it will POST. It is also a very good idea to run Memtest86 for 4 full passes to verify that the memory configuration is stable.

"Native" is what the memory, ALL memory, runs at by default. It is different for different platforms. Some will default to 2133mhz. Others will default to a higher speed based on the CPU model and platform. What doesn't change, is that for ALL platforms and configurations where the memory speed is ACTUALLY higher than what it defaults to, you MUST enable the XMP/A-XMP/AMP/D.O.C.P (Depending on what board and platform you have) profile so that it will not only run at it's advertised speed but also at the correct primary, secondary and tertiary timings that were specified and hard coded onto the memory profile by the memory manufacturer specifically for that memory kit.
Hi, Darkbreeze.

Thanks for your reply. Your explanation of "Native" is what I suspected.

I implemented/selected the XMP profile for 3200 MHz RAM, and saved it. Then things went South.

I have an image of the Setup screen just after i selected the new XMP Profile, but I can't/don't know how to attach an image from my laptop. Can you explain?

Now, when I power things up, I get through LED Code "3E" PCH Initialization, then "b8" Reserved. I'm guessing the "b" is lower-case to prevent confusion with "8". The monitor is blank, and pressing F8, Delete, or Enter on the keyboard does nothing.

Is there a way to reset the XMP Profile back to factory default, when the mouse, keyboard and monitor are useless?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
First off, you are in Easy mode. Switch to Advanced or Expert mode by pressing F2 once you are in the BIOS.

Second, we need to verify that you ACTUALLY have the memory installed in the correct slots, and ALL motherboard manuals can be somewhat confusing with "channel" descriptions that seem to contradict the population rules. They actually don't, because those channels are actually needed to be PAIRED together (Which means, don't put both A channel slots together and assume it will work right) in order to get dual channel. Going by the graphic and chart below the actual channel descriptions is what is needed. Please take a picture of your current memory population and post that here so I can compare. Need to SEE it visually to be sure.

Also, in the BIOS advanced memory section, there should be a setting for DRAM training voltage and for DRAM voltage. You want to set the DRAM training voltage to the same voltage as the DRAM voltage.

As for resetting the BIOS. Yes, this.


BIOS Hard Reset procedure

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

If you had to remove the graphics card you can now reinstall it, but remember to reconnect your power cables if there were any attached to it as well as your display cable.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP, A-XMP or D.O.C.P profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

In some cases it may be necessary when you go into the BIOS after a reset, to load the Optimal default or Default values and then save settings, to actually get the hardware tables to reset in the boot manager.

It is probably also worth mentioning that for anything that might require an attempt to DO a hard reset in the first place, IF the problem is related to a lack of video signal, it is a GOOD IDEA to try a different type of display as many systems will not work properly for some reason with displayport configurations. It is worth trying HDMI if you are having no display or lack of visual ability to enter the BIOS, or no signal messages.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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Hi, Darkbreeze.

Here's my RAM setup:
[final] ]View: https://imgur.com/a/lolkOp0[final]

[final] ]View: https://imgur.com/a/umSDbQ5[final]


I tried the Hard BIOS Reset procedure. No change. The keyboard and mouse don't seem to be active.

I'm using the same monitor as with my old system. The Setup shot was with the new video card. I switched to my old video card , a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650, JIC.

FWIW, here's a video overview:

[final] ]View: https://imgur.com/a/OFOsz0O[final]
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
That's your problem, 99.99% certainly.





The odd man out, (Or, mixed memory)


While memory modules that did not come together in a matched set that was tested by the manufacturer to be compatible, certainly CAN still work together, often it does not. Right up front I'll tell you that if you are trying to get sticks to work in the same machine together that were purchased separately, even if they are otherwise identical according to the kit or model number or if they would seem to have identical timings and voltage requirements, there is a very good chance that you simply will not be able to do that. There is also a pretty fair chance that you might be able to if you are willing to take your time, listen to and understand what you are being told and follow the steps necessary to determining if they will "play nice" or not.

The exception in most cases will be that if the memory from both sets are the same speed and timings and both kits are within the JEDEC specifications for the default speed on that platform, so for example, 2666mhz on the latest Intel Z390 platform, 2133mhz on Ryzen first and second Gen platforms, then they stand a much better chance of working together but if they are higher speed kits the chances begin to diminish from what they might be at the low speed and loose timings end of the scale.

A word of advice. If you just purchased this memory, and for whatever reason you bought two separate sticks of the same memory instead of buying them together in a matched set, see if you can return them for a refund or credit towards buying a similar or same set of matched sticks that come together in a kit. It is ALWAYS better to have matched modules because from brand to brand, or even within the same brand, in fact, even when the part numbers are IDENTICAL, there can be anything from simply slightly different memory chips that were sourced from different bins at the end or beginning of a production run to entirely different configurations altogether even though the model numbers seem to be the same. Some manufacturers even reuse model numbers when they discontinue a product. Point being, memory is only the same for sure when all sticks came out of the same blister pack or packaging and were sold as a tested kit.

In order to determine if differences in the memory, or a need for increased voltage when using more than one stick (Especially if you are running three or more sticks) are responsible for the problems you are having you will always want to begin your troubleshooting process by attempting to boot the machine with only a single stick of memory installed. Also, for practically every consumer motherboard that's been sold since at least as far back as about 2014, the A2 memory slot which is the second slot over from the CPU socket, is THE slot that is most commonly designated for the installation of a single memory module. Slots A2 and B2 are almost always the slots specified in the motherboard memory population rules for use with two modules. If you need to install a third module I have no opinion on which of the remaining slots to use for that, but typically since the A1 slot is right next to the CPU socket and often interferes with the CPU cooler or fan, I'd say the B1 slot was probably just as good.

Honestly, I don't ever recommend that you HAVE three modules installed anyhow. Using memory in pairs is almost always a better option, except on boards that support triple channel memory population, so that normal dual channel operation will occur. And that's another thing. When it comes to memory there are no "single channel" or "dual channel" memory modules. There are ONLY memory modules and the motherboard and CPU architecture will determine whether or not dual, triple or quad channel operation is possible based on the architecture and how many modules are in use. Occasionally though there are situations where it might make sense to run three modules and some boards CAN use three modules in a FLEX type mode where two of the modules will operate in dual channel while the third oddball module will run in single channel. I'd avoid oddball configurations though if possible because many motherboards will simply run ALL modules in single channel mode when an odd number of modules are installed.




If you think you will ever need 16GB of memory, then buy 16GB of memory from the start so you can get it all in a matched set that has been tested,
and eliminate a lot of problems right from the start.


Full guide here:


Do you even know which DIMMs in which slots all came in each individual kit anymore? In truth, you need to send them ALL back, and get ONE kit with the full amount of memory capacity you wish to run included so that they are all guaranteed to work together. That is the ONLY way you will ever have any guarantee of compatibility.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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I tried each stick 1 one at a time in the A2 slot after a hard BIOS reset. I always got LED code 14.

Any idea what LED code 14 means?

I will return the 4 kits and get a single 8-stick kit, but is there anything else I should check?

Thanks for your patience.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If you tried to POST with a single stick, all of the sticks, singly, in the A2 slot, and got the same error each time and no POST, then either the memory is not compatible, the motherboard is faulty, there are bent pins on the CPU or the CPU cooler is tighter in one spot than it is on the other side or corners depending on the cooler type.

I've seen an awful lot of HyperX (Kingston) memory kits that wouldn't work with Ryzen and Threadripper platforms, so it wouldn't be surprising for those to be the culprit but I'd make sure to verify that there are no bent pins on the CPU which will mean removing the cooler to check, then cleaning off the CPU and heatsink and applying fresh thermal interface material. When reinstalling the cooler make certain that all four points from the brackets to the backplate are evenly tightened, and are not OVERLY tightened, and again when attaching the heatsink to the brackets. You want it tight, but not "cranked down" tight, and you want it as absolutely evenly tight all the way around as possible.

Uneven tension can cock the CPU in the socket, breaking contact with the pins to the socket contacts and that can cause all kinds of strange behaviors but tends to often translate as memory issues.

If all that is good, then it's likely it's either the memory or the board.

I'd opt for something other than Kingston on this platform. G.Skill Ripjaws or Trident-Z, or Corsair Dominator platinum.

Those sticks may be dual rank 16GB which are not supported on that board. Apparently, according to it's memory specifications, it only supports single rank on 16GB sticks.

  • Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules
  • Support for non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 memory modules
These are all that are listed as compatible for 8 x16GB 3200mhz (Fastest kit with 8 DIMMS that shows as compatible with your board).

https://www.gskill.com/configurator?page=1&cls=1529635169&adSearch2=Capacity§128GB (16GBx8),Tested_Speed§3200MHz,&manufacturer=1524715126&chipset=1574735285&model=1574735841
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
PSD?

Yeah, I forgot that Threadripper is LGA (Land grid assembly, pins on the motherboard, like Intel) rather than Pin grid array like AMD has mainly used since about 2010, or else I would have said check the pins on the motherboard rather than saying check the pins on the CPU, but I think you knew what I meant so I don't feel too silly about it. It's unfortunate that I was right, but it wasn't much of a shot in the dark because about 30% of the confounding memory issues I see on here are directly related to something with the CPU or motherboard pin array.

That is definitely a drag, but this is why you need to be patient and meticulous when installing and latching down your CPU. Make absolutely certain that all alignment marks are oriented correctly, carefully insert the CPU and when latching down the retention mechanism it is a good idea to keep one finger lightly pressing down on the CPU to make sure it does not move position at all while latching the retention arm.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I can't promise anything, because any time there are bent pins or shorts somewhere, anything is possible and all bets are off, however, CPUs are notoriously durable so long as they are not carelessly or intentionally damaged. They rarely fail on their own and almost never come faulty from the factory. If there is a short circuit however or if you damage one by dropping it, or thermally damaging it, or over volting it, it's hard to say. I'd certainly be inclined to assume it was still good.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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Gonna find out. New motherboard on the way.

As a cautionary tale, I ordered it on Thursday, 06/18, from site A at 1:34 PM their time, with expedited handling and overnight shipping. Site B had it for $6.00 less, and free shipping, but arriving Monday, 06/22. No overnight shipping available.

Guess when Site A says it will arrive.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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No idea. Same time?
Yeah. Same time, same station.

I contacted Site A, and the customer service rep said it takes 2 days to process an order (even with an expedited handling charge!), so the motherboard shipped on Monday, and arrived Tuesday, 06/22.

Probably not worth it.

Anyway, I got the new motherboard and everything else installed in a case and powered it up. All sorts of numbers flashed on the LEDs, and then a message "Please power down and connect the power cable(s) for the video card" came up. I missed one of the connectors for the video card. I fixed that and powered up again, anticipating sweet victory.

And then, LED code 14 (Reserved).:homer:

Hey, if it was easy, it wouldn't be fun.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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Actually, no.

I benched the previous board, and when I put it in the case, that's when the tsuris started.

I figured putting that board in the case with the Noctua cooler installed caused a fatal bump that messed up the socket pins.

I figured by putting the board in the case FIRST, no bumps.

And, it looked like everything was fine, except for missing a connector on the video card.

Can I bench test without the Noctua cooler installed? Should I?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
No. You should never bench test without some kind of heatsink or cooler installed on the CPU. It takes only seconds to reach critical core temperatures if there is no cooler to keep thermals in check. It is VERY doubtful that having the cooler installed caused any such problem unless the "bump" happened from two feet off the floor. Once the CPU is installed and the cooler is on, a slight "bump" against something while installing it isn't going to cause that. It happened BEFORE then, assuredly.

You CAN bench it without the cooler installed, but the second you see that whatever you've done has allowed it to post, you should shut it back down, and then either install it in the case OR install a cooler so you can test it further and verify all is well before actually putting it in the case. The reason we recommend this bench testing first is that often many problems are actually caused by the case, front mini I/O, switch, etc., or due to something the user does WHILE installing it in the case such as there being a standoff under the board in a location where there shouldn't be one for that motherboard model, trapped fastener shorting the bottom of the board, etc.
 
Jun 11, 2020
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Hi, Darkbreeze.

Sorry for the delay. Life happened to my other plans.

I just pulled my mobo out of the case, reattached the power cords, pressed the Magic GO Button, and it is now sitting in Easy Mode, as in the pic in the June 15 post.

So, CPU is good, All RAM is good, CPU cooler fans are turning, all 3 M.2s show up, new keyboard keeps color cycling.

Now, if I didn't have to put it back in the case . . .

The case (Antec P101) has no offset sockets designated for Extended ATX mobos, only ATX & Micro ATX. I downloaded the Latest & Greatest manual from Antec, just in case. Nope. I picked a corner offset hole on my mobo, measured to the next one, and then measured in the case, for all 8 offset holes.

What should I consider before putting the mobo back in the case?



Thanks
 
Jun 11, 2020
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If the case does not have the correct holes for the mounting pattern of your board's form factor, then you need a different case.
The holes are in the right pattern. They were only labelled for ATX & MicroATX.

Anyway, all hardware is installed, and the 'puter boots up to Easy Mode. It sees all my RAM, my 3 M.2s, all fans are turning, it even made my optical drive 1st in boot order.

This is with the Case Power Switch disconnected and using the power button on the motherboard. Connect the Case Power Switch, and it automatically powers up, and stops at Code 14 (Reserved) or 15 (Pre-memory North-Bridge initialization is started)

I'm so close to closing up the case I can almost taste it.

What should I be checking?
 

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