Question Strange? Or just me?

Aug 18, 2022
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Hi All,
Let me try to explain what I'm seeing then tell if it's not strange.
My Asus M5A99FX board died with a bad CPU led. The CPU tested fine. So I got another M5a99FX (used) since I already had everything I needed to restore my system.

First, I loaded the board with the CPU, a stick of ram, and a video card. Boots fine. Yay.
Then I add in the rest of my ram (32GB, 4 GSkill 8s). Ram error. So I cleared and updated the Bios.
I go back to one stick, OK. 2 sticks, error. I started swapping out sticks and slots.

Here's what I found. Each stick works fine in each slot, one at a time. But I cannot use 2 sticks at the same time.

That's strange right? But wait, there's more.
I have 2 old 4GB sticks of generic ram. Both of these work in any configuration. Even in conjunction with 1 of the 8s. But not 2.

What do you think?
What am I missing?
 
Aug 18, 2022
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Well sure, it's possible. This is what I would like to determine.
But if all the ram works in all the slots individually, what could be damaged to make 2 sticks not work together?
Software?

The 32GB of ram are 4 GSkill Aegis DDR3 1600 and the CPU is an AMD 6300FX.
 

punkncat

Splendid
Ambassador
It would be strange to consider that two different motherboards have the exact same issue where parts test properly elsewhere. The only other item than the sticks themselves, the cpu, and the mobo would leave the power supply. I am not particularly familiar with which parts deliver power where for the VRM and such for CPU power and RAM power occur but, could it be that a failing of part of a connector is not powering more than one stick?

I know it's a stretch and could be completely off base.
 
Well sure, it's possible. This is what I would like to determine.
But if all the ram works in all the slots individually, what could be damaged to make 2 sticks not work together?
Software?

The 32GB of ram are 4 GSkill Aegis DDR3 1600 and the CPU is an AMD 6300FX.
So, there is a somewhat-known issue that manifests itself in strange memory issues, like not being able to use certain slots and/or not being able to run in dual channel.
It was traced back to the CPU cooler being tightened down too much. In some cases loosening the cooler brought regular memory function back but in others the damage was permanent.

Something to try...?

Edit - It looks like there was at least one revision of this motherboard. What was your old version and what is the new version? It's usually (but not always) silkscreened on the board somewhere.
 
Aug 18, 2022
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It would be strange to consider that two different motherboards have the exact same issue where parts test properly elsewhere.
Sorry, I'm not following. Two boards have the same issue? I did not have this problem on the old board.

The only other item than the sticks themselves, the cpu, and the mobo would leave the power supply. I am not particularly familiar with which parts deliver power where for the VRM and such for CPU power and RAM power occur but, could it be that a failing of part of a connector is not powering more than one stick?
Funny you should mention that. While I was trying to hunt up a new MB I also considered the PSU as the culprit. Since I needed another system anyway, I put together a new one using the old PSU and I bought a new one for this old system. So yeah, it has a new PSU in it. But to be honest, I have not tried the old one with this board. Yet. :)

I know it's a stretch and could be completely off base.
Stretch all you want. Ain't nothing else coming to mind. :)
 
Aug 18, 2022
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So, there is a somewhat-known issue that manifests itself in strange memory issues, like not being able to use certain slots and/or not being able to run in dual channel.
It was traced back to the CPU cooler being tightened down too much. In some cases loosening the cooler brought regular memory function back but in others the damage was permanent.

Something to try...?

Edit - It looks like there was at least one revision of this motherboard. What was your old version and what is the new version? It's usually (but not always) silkscreened on the board somewhere.
You know, I always felt skiddish about tightening down this cooler. In fact, I think this time I tightened less than any other time in the past. However, when I first tested the board, and through the initial troubleshooting, the cooler was just sitting on the CPU. I never attached the bracket or tightened anything down until much later.

But if you think it's worthwhile I can back it off.

Board revision? Good call. I didn't know there were other revisions. But this one is the same revision as the old one (I still have it).

Edit: Of course, it's a used board so maybe the previous owner had it too tight. :)
 
You know, I always felt skiddish about tightening down this cooler. In fact, I think this time I tightened less than any other time in the past. However, when I first tested the board, and through the initial troubleshooting, the cooler was just sitting on the CPU. I never attached the bracket or tightened anything down until much later.

But if you think it's worthwhile I can back it off.

Board revision? Good call. I didn't know there were other revisions. But this one is the same revision as the old one (I still have it).

Edit: Of course, it's a used board so maybe the previous owner had it too tight. :)
I think it's worth a try. Just lay the case down so the cooler doesn't sag off the CPU if loosened too much.
Hmmm, other than get more parts to swap in/out to try I don't know what else to do. Maybe your old board IS on to something and there's something wrong with the memory controller on the CPU?

Back in the AMD FX/DDR3 days, I do remember boards being very finicky when you tried to install the maximum amount of memory. Like, you literally could only use the one set of 4x8GB sticks on their QVL in order to get 32GBs working. Of course, this doesn't explain why it worked in your old board and not in your new so, I don't know.

Edit - Have you verified the voltage and/or timings of the memory? Populating all 4 slots with 8GB sticks may necessitate a memory voltage increase.
 
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Aug 18, 2022
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Well that wasn't fruitful.
I completely removed the retaining bracket for the cooler. It didn't help. Then I manually set the timing and then upped the voltage by 1 step then by 2. Still nothing. While I was in there, I put the other CPU in and swapped the ram around again but still nothing. Looks like I'm stuck on 16GB of ram.
 
Aug 18, 2022
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I can't say why I didn't think of this before, but, I didn't.
I contacted GSkill and asked them if they knew what might be the problem.
The guy said maybe a timing issue. He suggested I request an RMA, because GSkill has a lifetime warranty.
So I did. And it was approved. They sent me a new set of 4 8s.
I put them in and sure enough, they worked! It was a memory issue after all.
Anyway, I'm glad it's back to spec.
And thanks to everyone here. You guys are great!
 
Reactions: drea.drechsler
Is this getting weird yet?
Yes..but no.

I'm seeing a similar problem on my son's Gigabyte GA990FX UD3 board. What CPU are you running on yours? I read back...saw you're running an FX6300, same as us.

In my case I'm trying to get 2x8GB GSkill sticks running. The CPU won't initialize the sticks in any combination, before or after a CMOS reset. But if I put the 4x2GB Corsair sticks that were previously there, let the CPU initialize with them and boot Windows then shut down and put in the 2x8GB GSkill sticks it works fine even at XMP settings. THAT is pretty weird too.

Good to hear you got your problem cleared up at least. Maybe I should do the same...contact GSkill and try an RMA to get 2 new sticks.
 
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But don't you want to know if it's the memory or the MB?
I'm more of a results kind of guy: if it's working and stable I don't mind the hassle it took getting it there. I'm pretty sure it's not the motherboard and aside from the memory I'm more likely to suspect the CPU since the memory controller's in that. Or BIOS but it's the latest/last and seems to be the only version with a proper operating UEFI mode and Secure Boot for this motherboard.

Also, this isn't really a "daily user" machine, even though it realistically could be. I had the parts sitting around (CPU, motherboard, drives, PSU, case), accumulated after several years of upgrades to my and my son's machines. Then, after finally getting a modern GPU I found myself with a spare RX480 so....why not build up an FX6300 "gaming" machine? The only problem was it's 4x2GB memory since 8GB really is not enough to drive Windows 10 or modern games smoothly...but I found a cheap GSkill 2x8GB kit and went for it.

As a note: I am quite surprised. Built as it is (GA990FX-UD3, FX6300 @4.6Ghz, 16GB DDR3/1866, RX480) it plays Red Dead Redemption2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider very nicely (FPS in the 50's, occasion dips into mid 40's). And with reasonably high settings at 1080p too! I'll just keep it covered in a closet and pull it out every now and then to remind myself that for all the hate they got FX CPU's (the Piledriver ones) really weren't all that bad.
 
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