Question Solid red DRAM light on my B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II...but RAM seems fine

Dec 14, 2021
10
0
10
0
  • My mobo is the MSI Arsenal Gaming AMD Ryzen 2ND and 3rd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4 DVI HDMI Crossfire ATX Motherboard (B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II)
  • Hello, I'm hoping someone here can help me. I have 2 identical computers, one I built for myself and one for my son. Everything is identical, from the CPU to the RAM to the video card to the mobo and hard drives. Both computers have had zero problems since I built them 18 months ago.
  • Last night, my son's computer failed to boot and I see the solid red DRAM light on his B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II is now on. I switch my RAM sticks from my computer to his computer, made sure that the RAM sticks are seated properly, but his mobo still has the solid red DRAM light on. I put my RAM sticks back in my computer and my computer boots fine. Then, I put my working RAM sticks into his computer again and his computer is still not booting (solid red DRAM light).
  • Can anybody help me? Should I be checking something else?
 

Ferimer

Distinguished
  • My mobo is the MSI Arsenal Gaming AMD Ryzen 2ND and 3rd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4 DVI HDMI Crossfire ATX Motherboard (B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II)
  • Hello, I'm hoping someone here can help me. I have 2 identical computers, one I built for myself and one for my son. Everything is identical, from the CPU to the RAM to the video card to the mobo and hard drives. Both computers have had zero problems since I built them 18 months ago.
  • Last night, my son's computer failed to boot and I see the solid red DRAM light on his B450 TOMAHAWK MAX II is now on. I switch my RAM sticks from my computer to his computer, made sure that the RAM sticks are seated properly, but his mobo still has the solid red DRAM light on. I put my RAM sticks back in my computer and my computer boots fine. Then, I put my working RAM sticks into his computer again and his computer is still not booting (solid red DRAM light).
  • Can anybody help me? Should I be checking something else?
Did you check if his Ram sticks work in your computer?
 
Dec 14, 2021
10
0
10
0
Ah nevermind. I see that resetting the CMOS battery resets the BIOS. I found on page 37 of my manual that I will need a jumper cap to short JBAT1 and that will clear the CMOS memory. Unfortunately, I don't have a jumper cap on hand. Thank you for the lead! Once I find a jumper cap and reset the CMOS battery I will report back to this thread. Thank you for taking the time to help me out and give me suggestions. I really appreciate it!
 
Dec 14, 2021
10
0
10
0
I found a jumper cap on the back of an old unused hard drive. I then used it to reset my CMOS battery (followed the direction on pg. 37 of my B450 Tomahawk mobo manual). Unfortunately, the DRAM light on my mobo is still solid red. Any other suggestions?
 
Dec 14, 2021
10
0
10
0
OMG! You did it. You figured out the problem! I put 1 stick of RAM in slot 1, still got the red DRAM light. I then put the 1 stick of RAM in slot 2, still got the red DRAM light. BUT, when I put 1 stick of RAM in slot 3, my computer starts up like normal!! So what does this mean though? After 18 months of perfectly good operation, the first 2 RAM slots on the mobo suddenly went bad?
 
Your board has 4 slots the two closest to the CPU is the same channel A and the two further away is another B. For dual channel with two modules they should be inserted into A2 and B2.
With a single ram stick the default slot is A2.
Reading your post sounds like you are counting 1,2,3,4 from the CPU that indicates your A channel is gone most likely it is a board problem rather than CPU. To make sure you can move his CPU over to yours to confirm which one it is then do a RMA on the bad part both should have 3 year warranty.
 
Dec 14, 2021
10
0
10
0
Thank you for your explanation! So if I'm looking at the 4 slots relative to the CPU, my son's computer works when there is 1 stick of RAM in the 2nd slot closest to the CPU. Which means that relative to the CPU, slots 3 & 4 (farthest away from CPU) were not working. In my prior post, I just randomly called slots 3 & 4....1 & 2. But if I'm using your labels, I think my B channel is bad. And yes, you're right, when everything was working before the failure I had 1 RAM stick in slot 2 (A2) and 1 RAM stick in slot 4 (B2). Now, I only have 1 RAM stick in A2 (2nd slot closest to CPU). Thank you for diagnosing and explaining my hardware issue, I couldn't have figured it out on my own. And since it's only been 18 months since I bought it, it's nice to know that my mobo is still covered under a 3 year warranty. Looks like that is my next step. Thanks again for taking the time to help me, you and this board have been most wonderful! I sincerely appreciate you guys!
 
Thank you for your explanation! So if I'm looking at the 4 slots relative to the CPU, my son's computer works when there is 1 stick of RAM in the 2nd slot closest to the CPU. Which means that relative to the CPU, slots 3 & 4 (farthest away from CPU) were not working. In my prior post, I just randomly called slots 3 & 4....1 & 2. But if I'm using your labels, I think my B channel is bad. And yes, you're right, when everything was working before the failure I had 1 RAM stick in slot 2 (A2) and 1 RAM stick in slot 4 (B2). Now, I only have 1 RAM stick in A2 (2nd slot closest to CPU). Thank you for diagnosing and explaining my hardware issue, I couldn't have figured it out on my own. And since it's only been 18 months since I bought it, it's nice to know that my mobo is still covered under a 3 year warranty. Looks like that is my next step. Thanks again for taking the time to help me, you and this board have been most wonderful! I sincerely appreciate you guys!
Yes looks like the B channel is bad and you can probably populate A1 to get full capacity but would be then in single channel (some performance loss vs dual) as a place holder while going through the RMA process.
 
Dec 14, 2021
10
0
10
0
Ah, more helpful tips! I didn't realize that my 2 RAM sticks could go into slots 1 & 2 for single channel performance. Before the failure, I just followed the mobo instructions to put my 2 RAM sticks in slots 2 & 4. Didn't realize that it was taking advantage of dual channel when they were staggered apart like that. I also didn't know that if they are "together" or contiguous they would only get single channel performance. Now this got me thinking. If I buy 1 more RAM stick of the same-sized RAM, and if we assume that my mobo is working 100% again, where would I put this 3rd stick? Or, can you only buy RAM in pairs and in even numbers? Just wondering. Thanks again for all this knowledge, I greatly appreciate it!
 

Ferimer

Distinguished
Ah, more helpful tips! I didn't realize that my 2 RAM sticks could go into slots 1 & 2 for single channel performance. Before the failure, I just followed the mobo instructions to put my 2 RAM sticks in slots 2 & 4. Didn't realize that it was taking advantage of dual channel when they were staggered apart like that. I also didn't know that if they are "together" or contiguous they would only get single channel performance. Now this got me thinking. If I buy 1 more RAM stick of the same-sized RAM, and if we assume that my mobo is working 100% again, where would I put this 3rd stick? Or, can you only buy RAM in pairs and in even numbers? Just wondering. Thanks again for all this knowledge, I greatly appreciate it!
I would get a replacement MOBO first before you buy more RAM. On top of that usually people suggest buying RAM as a whole KIT. Meaning that if you wanted to fill all 4 channels buy 4x8's for 32. However going a full 2x16 would be more beneficial and run it in DUAL channel. Im not sure what CPU you are running but the best option would be to opt for 3200Mhz at much faster TIMINGS this way to get full performance from the ram. between 3200 and 3600mhz there isnt much difference the difference comes from the TIMINGS.
 
Dec 14, 2021
10
0
10
0
  • This is the RAM I bought: G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-16GVKB
  • This is the CPU I bought: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • I read this article on timings, but I don't know if I fully understand it: https://www.crucial.com/support/articles-faq-memory/what-are-memory-timings
  • It appears my RAM has a CL value of 16, a tRCD value of 16, and a tRP value of 16. So is this pretty good or are you saying I should get better RAM? For the last 18 months, I have been pretty happy with the performance that I'm getting from the 16GB of RAM.
  • Ferimer, what do you suggest that I do here? (Initially, I asked where would I put a 3rd stick of RAM for a total of 24GB of RAM)
 

Ferimer

Distinguished
  • This is the RAM I bought: G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-16GVKB
  • This is the CPU I bought: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • I read this article on timings, but I don't know if I fully understand it: https://www.crucial.com/support/articles-faq-memory/what-are-memory-timings
  • It appears my RAM has a CL value of 16, a tRCD value of 16, and a tRP value of 16. So is this pretty good or are you saying I should get better RAM? For the last 18 months, I have been pretty happy with the performance that I'm getting from the 16GB of RAM.
  • Ferimer, what do you suggest that I do here? (Initially, I asked where would I put a 3rd stick of RAM for a total of 24GB of RAM)
Yah I am saying don't bother with the 1 more extra stick of ram You would benefit from going with a full KIT instead of hoping that the one stick you do buy is compatible. What I'm saying is I would suggest getting the Motherboard replaced under your warranty first, this way you don't have to worry about that 1 extra stick. Then i was suggesting that if you wanted more RAM to fill all slots don't bother just go for a 2x16GB and then suggested that you find one with faster timings as at the time i wasn't aware of the ram you had. Ryzen 5 3600 pairs nice with 3200mhz so if you are satisfied then don't bother changing anything. Just avoid mixing Kits is all the recommendation I am giving you here
 
Dec 14, 2021
10
0
10
0
  • Yes, I am replacing the mobo first, thank you. (which is why I wrote "we assume my mobo is working 100% again")
  • Let's also assume that I can purchase the EXACT SAME brand and type of RAM. The emphasis on KIT was a little confusing because I can just buy more of the same exact RAM, even if it's technically not bought in the same KIT.
  • I am happy with my current 2x8GB setup, but have thought about getting another 8GB stick just to speed it up some more. Do people here advise against getting an odd number of RAM sticks?
 
  • Yes, I am replacing the mobo first, thank you. (which is why I wrote "we assume my mobo is working 100% again")
  • Let's also assume that I can purchase the EXACT SAME brand and type of RAM. The emphasis on KIT was a little confusing because I can just buy more of the same exact RAM, even if it's technically not bought in the same KIT.
  • I am happy with my current 2x8GB setup, but have thought about getting another 8GB stick just to speed it up some more. Do people here advise against getting an odd number of RAM sticks?
Ram is only guarantied to work together if you buy it as a kit mixing individual sticks of even the same part number can work fine but there is always a chance can create instability issues and other inconveniences.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY