[SOLVED] Laptop DDR3-1600 running at 1333 MHz

Jun 24, 2019
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Hi, folks at Tom's Hardware. I have found answers many a time for computer issues here for friends, family as well as a few acquaintances, but this is the first time I have posted. I would like to thank all of you for your help. Now to my issue.

I have seen similar topics involving RAM running slower then normal here and in similar forums, but considering the upgrades I have made, it is a little more unique then some, so I figured I would create a post of my own just to make sure nothing gets overlooked.

To get started, my laptop is a Toshiba Satellite c855-S5306. The motherboard has the Intel HM76 chipset, which, from about a weeks worth of research to be sure it was possible, allowed me to upgrade the CPU from an i3-3110M (35W TDP) to a i7-3612QM (also a 35W TDP so heat from the CPU isn't an issue although it does run a little warmer then the i3), and I bought 2 sticks of 8GB Samsung DDR3-1600MHz (M471B1G73EB0-YK0) memory from Amazon to take it from the 6GB of DDR3-1600 I had in it. It came with 4GB of DDR3-1600 originally. I have upgraded the UEFI to the most up to date version possible from the Toshiba (Dynabook) website (Insyde Corp. Version 6.70). Unfortunately being a standard laptop, it has a locked UEFI, giving me no access to the CPU/RAM settings.

Now to the issue. Since I installed the new RAM, instead of running at 1600 MHz, its running at 1333 MHz. The CPU supports 1600, the motherboard supports 1600 or it wouldn't have come with it, or say so in the specs for the laptop, and the new sticks of RAM (there are only the 2 slots) are a paired set with matching timings and are DDR3-1600. The only thing I can find is that I might need to change settings in the UEFI, specifically XMP, which because the UEFI is locked, I can't do. I haven't seen anything to make me think the memory isn't running fine, other then it runs a little hot. I haven't been sure if the heat is due to the general increase in capacity of the ram or if its because at the current settings the RAM has, its running at timings of 9-9-9-24. I have yet to run Memtest yet, but thinking about running it later tonight in case there are hidden errors. Wanted to send this message out while I had time.

If this is due to the BIOS settings, as I suspect, even if I was to send this back and look for memory that would run at 1600 by default, I wouldn't know what to look for to specifically look for to avoid buying the wrong RAM. I haven't seen any ad that mentions anything about a default frequency and I have assumed that the advertised frequency was the default. I have some experience with repairing computers, but not overclocking, so I had never run into anything about XMP . This is the first time I have ever seen where the RAM wasn't running at speed advertised, however, I am not sure I had ever had a reason to believe it wasn't. I wanted to buy Samsung because I know their RAM is reliable. I wanted to reach out to see if anyone had any advice, before I considered any alternatives, such as seeing about returning it, if that is even possible at this point.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
First, I would try resetting the BIOS, a "hard reset", by disconnecting the CMOS battery for five minutes and pressing the power button continuously for 30 seconds while it is disconnected. Then restore everything and restart. That may force the BIOS to rest the hardware tables and correctly recognize all of the installed hardware.

You will need to track down a video tutorial or instructions on disconnecting or replacing the CMOS battery for that unit. Usually it is in the same compartment where the HDD or SSD is located, so it just requires removing the cover, removing the drive and unplugging the CMOS connector to disconnect. Your model may be similar or have a different procedure.


I see nothing indicating that memory, both the speed and the capacity, should not work on that system. It should be fine and is good quality memory.

Toshiba doesn't seem to have ANY instructions regarding BIOS setup features, so I can't be much help there aside from doing a hard reset. If that fails to work, I think I'd return the memory and try a set of Crucial/Micron sticks. They are an OEM supplier for many brands, OR try actual Toshiba memory, since that is likely what came in it being as they were (still are?) a memory manufacturer themselves.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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Thank you, Darkbreeze, for your quick response. :D

It would make sense, since it actually took a couple of reboots to actually get the motherboard to recognize the i7-3612QM when I installed it. I will try the hard reset in the next couple of days and let you know the results.

For more information, here is a HWINFO summery.

Computer: TOSHIBA Satellite C855
CPU: Intel Core i7-3612QM (Ivy Bridge-MB SV, E1)
2100 MHz (21.00x100.0) @ 1198 MHz (12.00x99.8)
Motherboard: TOSHIBA Portable PC
BIOS: 6.70, 04/15/2013
Chipset: Intel HM76 (Panther Point)
Memory: 16384 MBytes @ 665 MHz, 9-9-9-24
- 8192 MB PC12800 DDR3 SDRAM - Samsung M471B1G73EB0-YK0
- 8192 MB PC12800 DDR3 SDRAM - Samsung M471B1G73EB0-YK0
Graphics: Intel Ivy Bridge-MB GT2 - Integrated Graphics Controller [E1/L1/N0/P0] [Toshiba AIS]
Intel HD Graphics 4000, 2112 MB
Drive: SanDisk SDSSDH31000G, 976.8 GB, Serial ATA 6Gb/s @ 6Gb/s
Drive: TSSTcorp CDDVDW SN-208AB, DVD+R DL
Sound: Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller [C1]
Network: Qualcomm/Atheros AR8162/8166/8168 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller
Network: Broadcom BCM4352 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter
OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home (x64) Build 17763.557 (1809/RS5)
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
It would be VERY useful to check with Toshiba, or their website, and see if there is an updated BIOS VERSION available for your unit as well.

(Nevermind, I see that you already did that.)

VERY often these laptops, much like OEM motherboards also, only come with proprietary BIOS instructions that are meant for use with only support for specific CPUs, even if the chipset itself supports a broader range of processors in general. Just because the chipset supports it, does not mean that THIS implementation contains the required microcode for that CPU to PROPERLY function. Since memory functions are part of the CPUs function, then there could be a relationship.

The fact that it does boot is promising, but it's not a guarantee. Older AMD chipsets would often recognize the CPU and start, when you installed an newer AM3+ CPU on an older chipset designed for AM3, or the latest Intel 9th gen CPUs with a chipset designed for 8th gen, but without the proper BIOS version that contains the required microcode support it may be missing some functions or not work at all, or work, but some things are "off".

Anything is possible. If there are systems with that EXACT motherboard used, that come with that EXACT i7, and have all the rest of the supporting hardware that is similar, then it might at some point be necessary to try a BIOS version from one of those systems but that is getting into trial and possible serious error territory. There might also be a custom BIOS available out there on BIOS-mods.

 
Jun 24, 2019
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Darkbreeze said:

First, I would try resetting the BIOS, a "hard reset", by disconnecting the CMOS battery for five minutes and pressing the power button continuously for 30 seconds while it is disconnected. Then restore everything and restart. That may force the BIOS to rest the hardware tables and correctly recognize all of the installed hardware.
Ok, So I did the CMOS battery removal and held down the power button for 30 seconds. This didn't seem to do anything other then reset the date and time in the UEFI.

I did look for a modded BIOS, but from what I can tell, no one has successfully modded one for this particular model.

Even though the CMOS battery idea didn't work, it did lead to me deciding to play around with the few settings I did have in the UEFI. I tried turning off Dynamic Switching, which seems to have just disabled Turbo Boost and caused it to run at less then its rated speed. I also looked to turn off Secure Boot, but (I know not the best practice as I should only change one setting at a time) when I went to save settings I saw the load default settings options and decided to try that. When I booted up, the RAM was running at 1600. and the memory, while still warm, seems to be running a little cooler.

Thanks again for your help!

Computer: TOSHIBA Satellite C855
CPU: Intel Core i7-3612QM (Ivy Bridge-MB SV, E1)
2100 MHz (21.00x100.0) @ 2795 MHz (28.00x99.9)
Motherboard: TOSHIBA Portable PC
BIOS: 6.70, 04/15/2013
Chipset: Intel HM76 (Panther Point)
Memory: 16384 MBytes @ 798 MHz, 11-11-11-28
- 8192 MB PC12800 DDR3 SDRAM - Samsung M471B1G73EB0-YK0
- 8192 MB PC12800 DDR3 SDRAM - Samsung M471B1G73EB0-YK0
Graphics: Intel Ivy Bridge-MB GT2 - Integrated Graphics Controller [E1/L1/N0/P0] [Toshiba AIS]
Intel HD Graphics 4000, 2112 MB
Drive: SanDisk SDSSDH31000G, 976.8 GB, Serial ATA 6Gb/s @ 6Gb/s
Drive: TSSTcorp CDDVDW SN-208AB, DVD+R DL
Sound: Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller [C1]
Network: Qualcomm/Atheros AR8162/8166/8168 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller
Network: Broadcom BCM4352 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter
OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home (x64) Build 17763.557 (1809/RS5)
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Strange that a hard reset did not already set it to the default settings, because that's the WHOLE point of doing it. I guess I probably should have told you to also unplug it from the wall AND remove the main battery as well, before pulling the CMOS battery out. However, I'm glad you got it sorted out and everything is working correctly now. That's a score for the good guys in this instance I think. Good luck.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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Yeah, I thought it strange as well. And I did have battery out and unplugged as well. I even held the power button down for 45 seconds, just to be sure. After reading through a few threads about clearing the settings by taking out the battery, it looks like while the 30 seconds should be enough, especially with holding the button, some have experienced the need to wait longer amounts of time before it would clear, so maybe that was what happened here.

Thanks again. Without your suggestion of removing the battery, I might not have tried to use the load defaults option, and would have gone through the hassle of returning the memory and buying different.

In case you were wondering why I was bothering with this old of a laptop....

This was the second time I have rebuilt this laptop. A friend had me check it out, as there was no video display. I discovered that the motherboard had failed. He didn't want to pay to replace the motherboard, and gave the laptop to me for looking at it. I decided to resurrect it and it has been a good laptop for 5 years. This time I wanted to see if I could upgrade it and get another 4 or 5 years out of it as it would be cheaper to upgrade its parts then for me to purchase a new laptop, especially as I would want to have high end specs for my laptop when I do purchase new, which I can't afford at the moment. I figured upgrading this would be a good compromise, and also would help me hone my skills in computer repair.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
A worthy, and successful, effort. Congrats on working it out. Definitely cheaper than a whole unit that's for sure. Good luck to you man and glad it worked out.

Feel free to visit us anytime you have a question or just want to chat about something related.
 

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