Question Reboot loop/low FPS -- I think RAM is faulty ?

Dec 31, 2020
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So I bought a second-hand PC less than a week ago. . . I know! Risky. But everything seemed fine and I don't think I was intentionally scammed. The first problem I noticed was when he dropped off the PC and some spare power cables for me to test it. Once he plugged it in the screen failed to turn on. He opened the PC and adjusted the RAM -- it worked fine after that.

Here are the specs:
GPU: Radeon RX 580 Series Primary/Discrete
VRAM: 8192 MB GDDR5 2000 MHz
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4690K CPU @ 3.50GHz 4 Cores
RAM: 16 GB 1600 MHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97P-D3

I ordered my own cables and they arrived two days later. I immediately had the same problem I noticed when he dropped it off. So I checked the ram, made sure it was plugged in, and booted up. No change. I tried switching RAM ports -- I noticed then that they were plugged into the first and fourth slots (is this bad?) -- to the first and third slots. After this the problem changed. Now my PC was going through a reboot loop. I felt upset, hoaxed, hopeless. But then I tried the second and fourth slots, and incredibly -- it worked! I set up my software, downloaded steam, and played a game. Here I noticed something wasn't quite right. My framerates were much lower than expected and quite a bit of choppiness (without FPS drops). 90fps average on CS:GO (medium settings). On my old system with a GTX 760 I usually got far higher FPS than that. I tried Fallout: New Vegas as well and FPS seemed lowish as well and without VSYNC it was extremely stuttery. Its not drastic. . . Like, I'm not dropping to 10 FPS or anything, but I know something isn't right! I tried monitoring my temperatures and usage but everything SEEMS fine. I thought maybe my usage was fairly low, but those aren't very intensive games. I'm not very sure how to properly observe those things, so any advice would be helpful!

In my last attempt before writing here I tried formatting the PC. It had been cleared before he brought it to me, so I thought maybe something went wrong on his side. But there doesn't seem to be any change. Clearly it must be a hardware problem, but I'm lost when it comes to figuring out what! I assume the low FPS is linked to the start-up issues, which I suppose is a problem with the RAM. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
 
So I bought a second-hand PC less than a week ago. . . I know! Risky. But everything seemed fine and I don't think I was intentionally scammed. The first problem I noticed was when he dropped off the PC and some spare power cables for me to test it. Once he plugged it in the screen failed to turn on. He opened the PC and adjusted the RAM -- it worked fine after that.

Here are the specs:
GPU: Radeon RX 580 Series Primary/Discrete
VRAM: 8192 MB GDDR5 2000 MHz
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4690K CPU @ 3.50GHz 4 Cores
RAM: 16 GB 1600 MHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97P-D3

I ordered my own cables and they arrived two days later. I immediately had the same problem I noticed when he dropped it off. So I checked the ram, made sure it was plugged in, and booted up. No change. I tried switching RAM ports -- I noticed then that they were plugged into the first and fourth slots (is this bad?) -- to the first and third slots. After this the problem changed. Now my PC was going through a reboot loop. I felt upset, hoaxed, hopeless. But then I tried the second and fourth slots, and incredibly -- it worked! I set up my software, downloaded steam, and played a game. Here I noticed something wasn't quite right. My framerates were much lower than expected and quite a bit of choppiness (without FPS drops). 90fps average on CS:GO (medium settings). On my old system with a GTX 760 I usually got far higher FPS than that. I tried Fallout: New Vegas as well and FPS seemed lowish as well and without VSYNC it was extremely stuttery. Its not drastic. . . Like, I'm not dropping to 10 FPS or anything, but I know something isn't right! I tried monitoring my temperatures and usage but everything SEEMS fine. I thought maybe my usage was fairly low, but those aren't very intensive games. I'm not very sure how to properly observe those things, so any advice would be helpful!

In my last attempt before writing here I tried formatting the PC. It had been cleared before he brought it to me, so I thought maybe something went wrong on his side. But there doesn't seem to be any change. Clearly it must be a hardware problem, but I'm lost when it comes to figuring out what! I assume the low FPS is linked to the start-up issues, which I suppose is a problem with the RAM. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
The ram needs to be in the correct slots for dual-channel, which as you found out is the 2nd and 4th away from the CPU.

Run userbenchmark and post a link to your results.
 
Dec 31, 2020
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10
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The ram needs to be in the correct slots for dual-channel, which as you found out is the 2nd and 4th away from the CPU.

Run userbenchmark and post a link to your results.
https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/37765473

Everything looks good there -- it just doesn't reflect what I see in-game.

I forgot to mention this, but whenever the PC has been off for a while and I try turn it on it doesn't pick up the DVI. The only way to fix it is to swap the ram slots to 1 and 3, turn it on (which causes a reboot loop) and switch them back to 2 and 4.
 
https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/37765473

Everything looks good there -- it just doesn't reflect what I see in-game.

I forgot to mention this, but whenever the PC has been off for a while and I try turn it on it doesn't pick up the DVI. The only way to fix it is to swap the ram slots to 1 and 3, turn it on (which causes a reboot loop) and switch them back to 2 and 4.
Well, I am starting to see why the vendor wanted to sell it. That is a really random fix for a seemingly unrelated problem.
 
Run memtest86.
It boots from a usb stick and does not use windows.
You can download the free edition here:
https://www.memtest86.com/download.htm

If you can run a full pass with NO errors, your ram should be ok.

Download the motherboard manual.
It should identify which two slots the ram should be installed in for proper dual channel operation. The slots are numbered 4/2/3/1 going away from the cpu. Channel A is 2&4, channel B is 1&3.
You need a stick in each channel to get dual channel operation.
The recommended slots are # 1&2.
Without dual channel ram, your cpu performance will suffer.

While you are at it, compare your current motherboard bios level with the latest.
Often bios updates relate to ram and stability issues.
The latest is f9b which fixes ram compatibility issues.
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-Z97P-D3-rev-10/support#support-dl-bios

Now, why switching ram modules would fix anything, I have no clue.
Possibly your CR2032 battery is weak and can not hold the bios changed settings from one power off to another.

Lastly, you have a motherboard and processor that is capable of some added 25% performance via overclocking.
That can be simple for modest results or intricate for maximal results.
Simple involves increasing the all core multiplier gradually, leaving all voltage settings on auto.

Another possibility is that you have a bent pin in the motherboard socket.
It is all too easy to do.
Such damage causes unpredictable results, but ram issues are very common.
But, I do not recommend that you remove the processor to check except as a last resort.
 

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