Speed Degradation after 3GB RAM

ghostdawg

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Mar 14, 2007
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Hello All. I am hoping someone can give me some insight into an issue I am having. The short of the problem is I have a system that has been running perfectly fine for about 6 mo with 2GB of RAM. I recently decided to upgrade to 4 GB of RAM. Theoretically the OS and board will support this. After putting in both new sticks of RAM (exact same RAM part numbers, latency etc) as the first set the system ran dog slow. It took forever to load up and forever to do anything once into the machine. Would notice that on startup the CPU was maxed at 100% (not normal when running 2 GB RAM). After the load stabilized the system still ran slow but not as bad as at first. With 4GB the problem came when playing Quake, Doom, CnC General etc. The machine would just reboot. Temp was fine.

Removing 1 stick of RAM, system still booted slow but playing the games lead to no crashes. Apps still ran slow.

So I thought maybe a problem with RAM, I switched them out in numerous configs first by pairs then by paired ports, then a mix. The same trend throughout, no matter how you mixed 2 GB of RAM the system was always fast. Anything over 2 it got slow.

Ran Memtest86 on it and it says the RAM is good.

Of course mobo manufacturer and RAM manufacturer are pointing fingers.

The specs now are:

Mobo: Asus P5N32SLI SE Deluxe
RAM: Patriot x 4 1GB PDC22G6400LLK DDR2-800
Proc: P4 3.2 Ghz Dual Core
Vid Card: BFG GeForce 7900 GTX 512Mb
OS: Win XP Pro x64

Looking at the Mobo docs it says that the board doesnt support dual sided RAM, however their chart of acceptable RAM shows all 1GB sticks or higher are double sided.

Pagefile is set to 1.5X the amount of RAM in the system. Have tried on a single partition and spread across 2 partitions. Have also used the "let windows specify" option. None of these seem to make a difference.

Hope someone can shed some light on this.
 
WinXP drop it back to 2g and it will be just fine, really this issue has been covered over and over, by numerous posts, save your extra ram for Vista when it is bug free and a viable OP/SYS probably after the first service pack comes out, but for WinXP its going to run better with 2g, you can try all the work arounds some will probably throw at you here, but the simplest solution is drop XP back to 2g, and your problems disappear unless you've acquired errors trying to use all that RAM and your sys files are corrupted requiring a repair reinstall, but lets hope thats not the case for you.

With the X64 you could run 3g but it would probably need the third gig to be 2 512mb modules as not to screw with the dual channel, so you're still better off to drop back to 2g.

The more RAM you run the looser the timings have to be, which cuts into your overall performance.
 

ghostdawg

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From my understanding I though that x64 should have been able to run at least 4 GB safely. I know it has a theoretical max of many GB or even TB but isnt realistic. If you dont mind and happen to have the posts available could you post some of the ones you refer to. I had done several searches and didnt find anything specific to x64.
 

ghostdawg

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Also, what is the difference between Dell systems and Alienware systems that were running XP Pro (not even XP x64)and up to 4 GB RAM. It seems that it would be possible if these companies were selling them with this option.
 
From my understanding I though that x64 should have been able to run at least 4 GB safely. I know it has a theoretical max of many GB or even TB but isnt realistic. If you dont mind and happen to have the posts available could you post some of the ones you refer to. I had done several searches and didnt find anything specific to x64.


I really don't have the extra time to backtrack down those posts, if you relax your timings enough you should be able for all the modules to run together stable, but that will be at a performance sacrifice. Theoritical is theoretical, but true actuality is what it is, from my personal actual experience with WinXP Pro 32, 3g was instant trouble and the third gig I had the 2 512modules to stay dual channel, but relaxing my timings was a sacrifice I wasn't willing to make, to get the OP/SYS to stabilize, that may be different for you.

WinXP Pro 64 should be able to comfortably run at 3g, maybe even 4g but you're going to have to do your own experimenting to find a sweet spot, it may have been wiser to have researched the issues out before you bought the extra memory, its not like your machine is down, drop the memory back to a useable size and the problems are gone, or keep the headaches, its up to you.

Just because the M/B has the slots to run the extra amount of memory doesn't mean the OP/SYS can stably accomplish it, where as Linux or another OP/SYS may have no problems what so ever, just because Microsoft claims something doesn't make it true, try running Flight Sim X on Microsofts reccommended requirements and see what happens.
 

Mondoman

Splendid
WinXP drop it back to 2g and it will be just fine, really this issue has been covered over and over, by numerous posts,
Really? I haven't seen any posts referring to such problems with 64-bit WinXP (what the OP is using). Perhaps you could provide some links?

With the X64 you could run 3g but it would probably need the third gig to be 2 512mb modules as not to screw with the dual channel, so you're still better off to drop back to 2g.
Presumably you're referring to 32 bit Win XP. Even so, dual-channel mode shouldn't be affected by going to 4GB even if some of that memory cannot be addressed, as dual-channel mode interleaves the addresses. 3GB is certainly better than 2GB, and works fine under 32-bit Win XP.

The more RAM you run the looser the timings have to be, which cuts into your overall performance.
Even if true for some MBs, this is clearly not true for all.
 

Mondoman

Splendid
From my understanding I though that x64 should have been able to run at least 4 GB safely.
Yes, its limit is 128GB (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778.aspx has a handy table of various memory limits).

Your problem is puzzling. I'll start by noting that I have no direct experience with 64-bit Win XP. That said, I can think of one big possibility:
Some of the apps you are running are not native 64-bit apps. Running 32-bit apps in a 64-bit environment almost certainly involves additional steps of indirection/translation of memory addresses, which would slow the apps down relative to their speed in a 32-bit OS where such additional indirection/translation would not be needed. This should affect only 32-bit apps, not native 64-bit apps.
 

ghostdawg

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So far I havent found anything that indicates why this problem seems to occur on an X64 system. Dell and Alienware sell gaming systems with 4 GB of RAM that apparently run just fine.

I know about the 3 GB issues with 32 bit Windows, however this is 64 bit Windows. Again at or below 2 GB the speed of the system is fine.

It is only when 3 GB or more is installed. I have talked to Asus, Patriot and Microsoft all of which say there should be no problems with running 4GB of RAM.

Windows Server 2003 can run 8 GB of RAM without any issue. Windows x64 is a derivative of Server 2003 from my understanding. I have seen others run x64 with 4GB of RAM.

Therefore it would seem that the problem is in a configuration setting, or timings or something with the hardware or software.

Regarding running apps at their "recommended" settings their is very few things that will run good at recommended settings. Try BF2142 or anything graphics intensive. However at bare minimum an OS should run well with above recommended specs.

I am willing to try anything, however have already done the hokey pokey with the memory modules making sure their not bad, ran mem test all ok, checked the mobo slots etc. Any other tweaks that anyone is aware of I am willing to try.