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'[OT:] RAM Strangeness'
2004\08\09@234122 by Nick Masluk

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I just got 3 identical 256MB PC100 RAM modules off
Ebay (Hewlett Packard D6099A), which I am trying to
use in a computer with an ABit motherboard, model
AB-BH6
(http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/products.php?categories=1&model=98).
One of the modules works fine, in any slot.  I ran a
RAM testing utility, and it works fine in any of the
three slots.  But the other two operate as if they
don't exist.  The system does not detect them, and
trying to run the system with one or both of these
modules results in the MOBO beeping because it doesn't
have RAM.  Adding in the "good" stick in any
combination with the others, and the system only sees
256MB.

But after inserting these sticks into another
computer, the other computer works fine with them.  I
ran diagnostics on the sticks, and they all seem to be
in good condition.  The computer I am using to write
this e-mail is currently using only the two modules
that the other computer thinks is faulty, and it is
running fine.

Can anyone suggest what's going on?

--Nick



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2004\08\09@234953 by M. Adam Davis

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I would suspect timing issues.  They may look identical, but you may
need to change the settings in BIOS that affect ram timing to get them
all working solidly.

Good luck!

-Adam

Nick Masluk wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\08\09@235641 by Marc Nicholas

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Is it CAS2 or CAS3 memory? What's your system capable of driving?

-marc

On Mon, 9 Aug 2004, Nick Masluk wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\08\10@032253 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: pic microcontroller discussion list
>[spam_OUTPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU] On Behalf Of Nick Masluk
>Sent: 10 August 2004 04:41
>To: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
>Subject: [OT:] RAM Strangeness
>
>
>I just got 3 identical 256MB PC100 RAM modules off
>Ebay (Hewlett Packard D6099A), which I am trying to
>use in a computer with an ABit motherboard, model
>AB-BH6
>(www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/products.php?categories=1&
model=98).


Hmm, KA7.  I had one of these many moons ago with a (quite rare) SlotA
Thunderbird processor.  IIRC that board was a bit fussy wrt RAM and I had
some simmilar problems with some ECC memory (and HP D6099A is ECC).  This
motherboard suffered from the infamous exploding capacitors by the way,
several of mine popped so would be worth checking them all very carefully
for bulges and leaks.

Regards

Mike

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2004\08\10@090429 by Howard Winter

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Nick,

On Mon, 9 Aug 2004 20:41:02 -0700, Nick Masluk wrote:

> I just got 3 identical 256MB PC100 RAM modules off
> Ebay (Hewlett Packard D6099A)

Are they *really* identical - are the chips marked the same?  It could be that they all meet their spec. but
that one has faster chips, and your motherboard needs these.  "PC100" does not tell the whole story - there
are many speed parameters that can vary while still being within PC100, and some motherboards are more
sensitive to them than others.

{Quote hidden}

They are obviously not being recognised by the motherboard - if they were the memory-test would start and you
wouldn't get the "no RAM" beeps.  Whatever is causing it, it doesn't sound like marginal timing IMHO.

> But after inserting these sticks into another
> computer, the other computer works fine with them.  I
> ran diagnostics on the sticks, and they all seem to be
> in good condition.  The computer I am using to write
> this e-mail is currently using only the two modules
> that the other computer thinks is faulty, and it is
> running fine.

Must be a fairly serious compatibility problem.  It's possible (though unlikely) that the ECC has failed on
two of them.  A motherboard that doesn't use ECC would accept them, one that sees it's present but then finds
it not working may not.  Does the "other" machine report ECC memory present?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\08\10@091055 by Howard Winter

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Michael,

On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 08:25:16 +0100, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:

> Hmm, KA7.

I'm confused - the motherboard is called BH6 and the chipset is 440BX - where does KA7 come from?

> This motherboard suffered from the infamous exploding capacitors by the way,
> several of mine popped so would be worth checking them all very carefully
> for bulges and leaks.

Ugh!  I thought this was a fairly new phenomenon, say boards made in the last three years or so.  Slot A is
rather older than that and I thought all of my motherboards were not likely to suffer from it as they are
mostly Slot 1, Socket A, Socket 7 era.  Am I wrong - was the dodgy capacitor electrolyte problem much older
than I thought?

Did you replace the capacitors, or was it fatal?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\08\10@094543 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: pic microcontroller discussion list
>[PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU] On Behalf Of Howard Winter
>Sent: 10 August 2004 14:12
>To: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU
>Subject: Re: [OT:] RAM Strangeness
>
>
>Michael,
>
>On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 08:25:16 +0100, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
>
>> Hmm, KA7.
>
>I'm confused - the motherboard is called BH6 and the chipset
>is 440BX - where does KA7 come from?
>

I'm confused as well.  I didn't actually read the model in the original
post, just clicked on the link and it took me to a page showing the KA7.
Possibly I accidently clicked on the web page as it opened and went to
another link?

{Quote hidden}

I replaced a couple and then decided it was time for an upgrade when another
couple spewed their insides out!

Regards

Mike

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2004\08\10@125637 by Ryan Underwood

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On Tue, Aug 10, 2004 at 02:11:53PM +0100, Howard Winter wrote:
> > This motherboard suffered from the infamous exploding capacitors by the way,
> > several of mine popped so would be worth checking them all very carefully
> > for bulges and leaks.
>
> Ugh!  I thought this was a fairly new phenomenon, say boards made in the last three years or so.  Slot A is
> rather older than that and I thought all of my motherboards were not likely to suffer from it as they are
> mostly Slot 1, Socket A, Socket 7 era.  Am I wrong - was the dodgy capacitor electrolyte problem much older
> than I thought?

I've had to replace capacitors on boards dating back to 1999.  The more
recent problems tend to stem from caps that are just plain bad; i.e.,
every cap of a similar make on the board is leaking its guts once the
symptoms start appearing.  Earlier problems tend to be from poor design:
for example, using too small a cap in a place where heat doesn't
dissipate well.

A couple of boards I can remember fixing off the top of my head:
- DFI BX board '99 - CPU power caps leaking
- Abit KA7 - CPU power caps bulging/leaking
- MSI K7T Pro - One cap bulging near northbridge
- MSI K7T Pro2 - Nearly all caps leaking, junked board

--
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2004\08\10@130051 by Ryan Underwood

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On Mon, Aug 09, 2004 at 08:41:02PM -0700, Nick Masluk wrote:
> I just got 3 identical 256MB PC100 RAM modules off
> Ebay (Hewlett Packard D6099A), which I am trying to
> use in a computer with an ABit motherboard, model
> AB-BH6
> (http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/products.php?categories=1&model=98).
>  One of the modules works fine, in any slot.  I ran a
> RAM testing utility, and it works fine in any of the
> three slots.  But the other two operate as if they
> don't exist.  The system does not detect them, and
> trying to run the system with one or both of these
> modules results in the MOBO beeping because it doesn't
> have RAM.

They may not be identical.  It is common for cheap RAM to have
corrupted/missing SPD data, which is located in the onboard EEPROM and
accessed via i2c.  If the board is relying on SPD to set the memory
timings, then it may be doing the wrong thing.  I would try to force the
memory timings.  Also, if the actual dram chips are different, you might
have problems related to that.  Some boards can't deal with higher
density memory.  I know of many boards that can't deal with chips
greater than 64MBit. Before that, a common limitation (back in pentium
days) was 16MBit.  Your board might have a limit at 128Mbit where a
single sided 256MByte stick won't work, but a double sided one would.

--
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2004\08\10@163012 by M. Adam Davis

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If you read the capacitor spec sheets carefully, you'll note that caps
rated to 105 degrees celsius actually only work at that temperature for
a few hundred hours - in a computer that's a few short weeks.

Even at 85C, they go for only a few thousand hours.

The basic problem is that they have designed electrolytic capacitors
next to hot running components.  The heat can travel along the board and
in the air.  The secondary problem is that they are still using cheap
caps.  But I believe the primary problem is that each processor has such
specific voltage requirements at such huge currents that a switching
power supply is required on the motherboard.

Ideally the processor wouldn't require 75W at 1.x volts.  Ideally it
wouldn't be transferring nearly all of that heat into electricity.

But since people and manufacturers want the most powerful system, and
want to upgrade every 2-3 years anyway it simply doesn't affect that
many people.

I've got a stack of motherboards with leaking caps, all 1GHz or better.
It would cost me $20 to buy good caps for each motherboard, and some
time to replace them and it simply isn't worth my time.  Even if I did
fix them I wouldn't want to resell them since once the voltage has gone
way out of spec once I don't trust the chips onboard any longer.

Anybody want them?  I think I have about 12.  I'm also looking to get
rid of my collection of older motherboards (8088, '286, '386,'486,
pentium, k6, etc along with a working PS/2 and PCJr.

-Adam

Ryan Underwood wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\08\10@215741 by Nick Masluk

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After looking more closely at the modules, I noticed
that that the bottom set of numbers on the chips is
different in each module (but all chips on a given
module are the same).  They look as follows:

Working module:

03644B4CT3B
360    01L6808
IBM 14   52
U1801768  PQ

Non-working:

03644B4CT3B
360    01L6808
IBM 14   52
U1700968  PQ

03644B4CT3B
360    01L6808
IBM 14   52
U1207068  PQ

The other machine reports ECC in all modules, and I've
noticed nothing strange in the other computer.  I've
tried adjusting some timing settings in BIOS, but it
seems like they just don't work in this system.  It is
irritating that HP prints identical labels on each
module, yet they are not the same.  So, anyone want to
buy some RAM?

--Nick


--- Howard Winter <KILLspamHDRWKILLspamspamH2ORG.DEMON.CO.UK> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

(http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/products.php?categories=1&model=98).
{Quote hidden}

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2004\08\11@085656 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> Ideally the processor wouldn't require 75W at 1.x volts.  Ideally it
> wouldn't be transferring nearly all of that heat into electricity.

I'd make that "Ideally it _would_ be transferring nearly all of that heat
into electricity." :)

Gerhard

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2004\08\11@090036 by Jake Anderson

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mmm no
ideally it wouldnt be using all that energy in the first place ;-P
is computation actually work?
is some finite amount of energy needed in order to compute something
(aside from that which is needed to signal a result)

> {Original Message removed}

2004\08\11@094433 by Russell McMahon

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> ideally it wouldnt be using all that energy in the first place ;-P
> is computation actually work?
> is some finite amount of energy needed in order to compute something
> (aside from that which is needed to signal a result)

Yes. Information transfer can be expressed as energy.
Information transfer reduces entropy.
There is a minimum finite amount of energy needed to achieve a given
information transfer.
Most information transfer processes use far more energy than the theoretical
minimum needed.

See towards bottom of this page for some confusion

       http://home.mira.net/~reynella/debate/shannon.htm

Blame Shannon and Bell Labs :-)



       RM

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2004\08\11@103321 by M. Adam Davis

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Ah, but does computation itself require energy, ignoring for a moment
the fact that computations which are not transferred may well be useless...

In current computers computation expends energy because it dumps all
those stored charges to ground whenever it switches a transister.  They
don't recover the charges because it hurts speed of computation, which
is more important than energy consumed (since a KWH is only 9 cents
around here, and it takes two hours for even the hungriest of home
computers to eat a single KWH)

-Adam

Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\08\11@103944 by Jake Anderson

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I think that computation itself doesnt require
energy, but to use it you need to alter the
physical world and hence require energy.

I spose it comes down to quantum computing
(or something like it).

I think the minimum ammount of energy required
to signify the result of a compution would be
the energy required to move an electron 14um or so.
(wavelength of an electron i think)

Though I spose it would be possible to detect
a proton or simmilar having moved some smaller
distance.


> {Original Message removed}

2004\08\12@163603 by Peter L. Peres

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> Ideally the processor wouldn't require 75W at 1.x volts.  Ideally it
> wouldn't be transferring nearly all of that heat into electricity.

Interesting to point out: If you measure the ohms between the cpu power
rails on a normal motherboards with a normal ohmmeter you will read a
scarily low value and start looking for shorts (in vain). 75W at 2V is 53
miliohms load resistance, and modern CPUs want lower voltage ...

Peter

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