[SOLVED] Repair Motherboard or Replace CPU

mikecataldo

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Apr 24, 2008
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I'm having a problem that I can't seem to narrow down with an Asus Prime X299 Edition 30 motherboard. The configuration is as follows:
Asus Prime X299 Edition 30
Intel i7-9800X CPU
Asus "Thor" 1200 PSU
EVGA GTX 680 (placeholder known working)
3x Intel M2 SSD6 1TB NVMe drives

The system powers on fine, all the onboard displays come on and the fans work. During the initial posts I received a QCode 53 (Memory initialization error or invalid memory). I pulled out the first memory, cleared CMOS and put the second memory in and this time got into the bios. However, it only detected only one of the 2 memory 16GB DIMMS (Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3600). Then put the first set of 2 RAM modules (G.SKill Ripjaws V 32 GB F4-1600C18D-64GVK). Again, it only detect 1 of the two modules. The recommended placement for this motherboard is put one DIMM in the C1 slot. This worked fine. When I added the second DIMM to the recommended A1 slot I got the QCode 53 error again. It turns out that the C1-C2-D1-D2 are working fine but the A1-A2-B1-B2 are not being recognized in those slots. The same memory works fine if both are installed in D1-D2 at the same time. I don't have enough RAM at this point to populate all 4 slots on the one side.
I contact ASUS but the board is six months out of warranty and they now treat it like a leper. However, I did some digging and found out two things. First the i7-9800X only supports 128GB (the i9-10989XE supports 256 in this platform). Could the CPU be shutting off half the RAM slots? That doesn't make sense to me. The only other alternative is that the motherboard has multiple dead DIMM slots on one side (something I've never seen before). This is a rare motherboard and I'm fond of it. Any suggestions for possible fixes, repairs or possible ideas. I'm reluctant to buy another processor but that is probably the next logical step if I can't find out if the motherboard is bricked.
Thanks for any/all ideas.
 

Aeacus

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Fancy MoBo. :langue:

First the i7-9800X only supports 128GB (the i9-10989XE supports 256 in this platform). Could the CPU be shutting off half the RAM slots?
No.

While the CPU may support up to 128 GB only, the MoBo specs state that, when using i9 9000/7000 and i7 9000 X-Series CPUs, max supported RAM amount is still 256GB,
specs: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards-Components/Motherboards/PRIME/Prime-X299-Edition-30/techspec/

So, the excess RAM you may have, above CPU limit, isn't used by CPU but for other hardware (e.g GPU while rendering).

In a similar note, your CPU supports RAM speeds of 2666 Mhz. Now, if that RAM frequency would be max that PC can use, you couldn't use your 3600 Mhz RAM at that frequency. But since you can, this limitation is only for CPU.

The only other alternative is that the motherboard has multiple dead DIMM slots on one side (something I've never seen before).
With 8 RAM slots MoBo, loosing one side of RAM slots (4 at once), isn't that unheard of. And for some reason (i don't know why), RAM slots do die on old MoBos. Regardless how many RAM slots MoBo has.

if I can't find out if the motherboard is bricked.
When you can boot into OS, your MoBo isn't bricked. Sure, not being able to use all 8 RAM slots doesn't make it perfect but it still works, right? And unless you don't need to use all 8 RAM slots, for 256 GB of RAM, there isn't much of a reason to replace the MoBo. 128 GB is still quite a lot of RAM. Far more what average PC users have.
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
Fancy MoBo. :langue:

First the i7-9800X only supports 128GB (the i9-10989XE supports 256 in this platform). Could the CPU be shutting off half the RAM slots?
No.

While the CPU may support up to 128 GB only, the MoBo specs state that, when using i9 9000/7000 and i7 9000 X-Series CPUs, max supported RAM amount is still 256GB,
specs: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards-Components/Motherboards/PRIME/Prime-X299-Edition-30/techspec/

So, the excess RAM you may have, above CPU limit, isn't used by CPU but for other hardware (e.g GPU while rendering).

In a similar note, your CPU supports RAM speeds of 2666 Mhz. Now, if that RAM frequency would be max that PC can use, you couldn't use your 3600 Mhz RAM at that frequency. But since you can, this limitation is only for CPU.

The only other alternative is that the motherboard has multiple dead DIMM slots on one side (something I've never seen before).
With 8 RAM slots MoBo, loosing one side of RAM slots (4 at once), isn't that unheard of. And for some reason (i don't know why), RAM slots do die on old MoBos. Regardless how many RAM slots MoBo has.

if I can't find out if the motherboard is bricked.
When you can boot into OS, your MoBo isn't bricked. Sure, not being able to use all 8 RAM slots doesn't make it perfect but it still works, right? And unless you don't need to use all 8 RAM slots, for 256 GB of RAM, there isn't much of a reason to replace the MoBo. 128 GB is still quite a lot of RAM. Far more what average PC users have.
 

mikecataldo

Distinguished
Apr 24, 2008
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Fancy MoBo. :langue:



No.

While the CPU may support up to 128 GB only, the MoBo specs state that, when using i9 9000/7000 and i7 9000 X-Series CPUs, max supported RAM amount is still 256GB,
specs: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards-Components/Motherboards/PRIME/Prime-X299-Edition-30/techspec/

So, the excess RAM you may have, above CPU limit, isn't used by CPU but for other hardware (e.g GPU while rendering).

In a similar note, your CPU supports RAM speeds of 2666 Mhz. Now, if that RAM frequency would be max that PC can use, you couldn't use your 3600 Mhz RAM at that frequency. But since you can, this limitation is only for CPU.



With 8 RAM slots MoBo, loosing one side of RAM slots (4 at once), isn't that unheard of. And for some reason (i don't know why), RAM slots do die on old MoBos. Regardless how many RAM slots MoBo has.



When you can boot into OS, your MoBo isn't bricked. Sure, not being able to use all 8 RAM slots doesn't make it perfect but it still works, right? And unless you don't need to use all 8 RAM slots, for 256 GB of RAM, there isn't much of a reason to replace the MoBo. 128 GB is still quite a lot of RAM. Far more what average PC users have.
You're right it's still viable. I guess I'm just skittish about moving forward. The next step is to put an operating system on it and go for it. I think part of the problem is that I wanted this particular board for so long and to find the flaws is probably emotional. Of course I should be used to it, I married the high school cheerleader 47 years ago and that wasn't perfect either (but we're still together lol). Thank you.
 
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