Question Weird RAM issue with my rig. Need insight

Mar 19, 2019
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First off, if this is the wrong section to post in, im sorry. Just let me know and I'll go post there.
Secondly, PC specs. Because that's the first thing people usually need right?

Its a Dell XPS Studio 410 base. Basic Dell Mobo, with an intel I7 920 Quad core. 2.67 Ghz
430W PSU. Stock one with the comp.
Nvidia GeForce GT 730 4GB Graphics. (added by me)
New Sound Blaster audio card, also added by me
Windows 10 Home premium 64 Bit.
RAM: Varies. (See issue below)

Now before i get to the rest of the post here's a TLDR
RAM slots on mobo randomly switch up which ones work, but only 4 out of the six have ever worked at once.

Now on to the main body of the post.

I'm having an issue i cannot identify with my gaming rig. I'm normally not one to ask for help, but my diagnosis for what's happening is that the mobo may be failing, so before i bite that bullet and buy a new one i wanted second opinions.

What's happening is this. At random intervals (could be one day, or three months) my ram slots on my mobo will hand off which ones work. For instance. When i first got the PC, slot 5 and 6 were the only slots that worked. The past three months, the 1st, 3rd, and 4th slots have been working while the 2nd, 5th, and 6th have not. i was running 12 Gb in those three slots. However, as of today, all of slots 1-4 quit, and refuse to detect ram, while both the 5 and 6 slots started working again. Putting me down to 8 GB of ram. This has been happening for around a year now. At first, i thought two of my slots were just bad. But when it started changing like this, it became clear something more is going on. I've worked with PC's for a while now, and this is an issue i've not seen before. I've seen a slot go bad, a chip go bad, but i've never seen slots come and go like this. And the only thing i can think is that there is something wrong with my motherboard. So what i would like to know, is what y'all think of this, and if anyone has run into a similar issue before. Thanks in advance for any assistance, cheers!
 
Apr 4, 2019
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From my experience this could be several things. Your PSU could be failing, your CPU could be failing, or your motherboard could be failing. I'm not familiar with the Dell BIOS for LGA 1366 processors, but you can check the RAM speeds and try lowering them. It could be set too high, though I don't think those Dell's have a lot of options for that. CPU's don't fail that often, and I had great luck with all my LGA 1366 CPU's. However, if you could get your hands on LGA 1366 CPU to try out in your board, that's what I would do. You can get a used i7 920 on Ebay for very little. If you are really hard up, I can see what I have hanging around and ship one to you. I've seen those Dell motherboards for fairly cheap on Ebay as well. You can use a multimeter to check your PSU. I'm not going to link a bunch of guides for this one. The CPU is probably your cheapest option to check right now. That's where I would start from a price perspective.

At this point, it comes down to how much time and money you want to spend troubleshooting old hardware. You may want to look into a new system. You can buy some fairly inexpensive Ryzen processors with integrated graphics that are much better than the GT 730 that you currently have. I know this is more expensive, and I'm a huge fan of old hardware, especially X58, but it's getting to its end of life.
 

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