Question 7-zip crashes when compressing large files when I have XMP turned on. How to tell if the memory controller on the cpu is bad or if it's the RAM?

SteveGrabowski

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Just did a platform upgrade with an i5-12400F, MSI Mortar B660m WIFI DDR4 board, and 2x8GB of G.Skill CAS18 DDR4 3600 RAM and when I enable XMP to get my RAM running at DDR4 3600 speeds either 7-zip fails or my computer crashes when I try to compress PS2 roms of size ~4-8GB into .7z files using 7-zip. They all compress fine when I turn XMP off and my RAM runs at DDR4 2133 speeds. Is there a way I can test whether the RAM itself isn't living up to its stated speed, or if its the memory controller on the cpu that's faulty? I know Alder Lake only guarantees DDR4-3200 speeds so I guess I can't guarantee DDR4-3600 speed since it's considered an overclock but if the RAM is the problem I'm returning it for another DDR4 3600 kit. But would hate to keep returning and ordering RAM if it's the memory controller killing me.
 

SteveGrabowski

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Try manually overclocking the RAM to DDR4-3200, first with relaxed timings. If that's stable, go higher with tighter timings gradually till you find the sweet spot for your RAM sticks. Also, check if the BIOS is latest.
Is there any test you know of that could expose whether the RAM is faulty or its the memory controller though? If the RAM is faulty and isn't living up to the advertised speed that's unacceptable and it's getting returned. I'm not going to run it at lower speeds with looser timings than it's rated for if it's the problem.
 
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Schmide

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OCCT memory test works well for me. I found my 4x16gb 3600 like to run at 3466.

It usually errors in the first 5-10 min so its a quick check to find the sweet spot.

Edit: and as said above update your bios. it helps a lot
 
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SteveGrabowski

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OCCT memory test works well for me. I found my 4x16gb 3600 like to run at 3466.

It usually errors in the first 5-10 min so its a quick check to find the sweet spot.

Edit: and as said above update your bios. it helps a lot
OK, I'll update the BIOS tomorrow and see if I'm still crashing with 7-zip on XMP, and I'll test with the OCCT memory test too. Feeling lazy and frustrated tonight, probably better not to mess with it now.
 

DrMrLordX

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Just speaking in general: it's not that common for a memory controller to go bad unless you accidentally (or deliberately) trip over one of its critical weaknesses, such as voltage sensitivity. Some generations of Intel IMCs are sensitive to high vDIMM or potentially other voltages. When using XMP or XMP 2.0, one would hope that the OEM supplying the DIMMs would take that into account when programming the various SPD timing and voltage tweaks into the DIMMs; that being said, the OEM has no way of knowing which generation of CPU will play host to their RAM. The only thing they can do is try to get their product on individual motherboard compatibility lists in hopes that the motherboard OEM will actually verify the functionality and safety of the programmed timings/voltages for all supported CPUs.

Also, XMP 2.0 is an Intel standard at heart, so it's more likely that XMP 2.0 settings would be "safe" with Intel CPUs.

As for isolating a memory controller vs. memory issue, generally you would look for errors while running the RAM at lower speeds (a faulty IMC could error out potentially at any speed/with any timings). Or you could swap in a known-good kit and test it.
 

Shmee

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This sounds like memory instability IMO, I would start first with memtest86, running at XMP. If you get errors, most likely it is just unstable RAM, and the memory kit should be RMA'd or returned. You can also try OCCT as mentioned.

Of course, since Alder Lake is so new, a BIOS update does sound pertinent.
 

Hotrod2go

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Nov 17, 2021
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IF your on windows, run the memory diagnostics app built in to the OS at default settings within that program. Windows will tell you quickly if there is problem.
As has been advised above already, do that only after MT86 has run its course.
For me with RAM testing, I then move on to memtest pro & at least 400% coverage minimum. If it passes... enjoy your system! :)
 

igor_kavinski

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It could also be simply your specific brand of RAM not liking your BIOS due to the BIOS trying to force some default settings on it. DDR4-3600 is supposed to work better with Ryzens than Intel CPUs. Also, when I built my friend's system with i5-12400, I used the XMP profile for DDR4-3000 with CL15 and that resulted in a higher Geekbench ST score of 1700+. With the DDR4-3200 CL16 profile, it barely scored above 1600. I think games would prefer the lower latency and higher ST performance rather than higher bandwidth (but yeah, there are some games that love higher bandwidth too and perform better with DDR5).
 

zir_blazer

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Jun 6, 2013
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In case than anyone needs a reminder, Alder Lake-S officially supports DDR4 @ 3200 MHz. You can have an IMC that sucks and doesn't want to do 3600 MHz.
I always fail to realize why people blame the RAM kits unless there is a way to validate than your IMC/Motherboard PCB is actually stable at higher speeds so that you can THEN use it to validate RAM modules.
 

igor_kavinski

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MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4 is the mobo used here to get DDR4-3600 CL18 working with the i5-12400.


1654348285775.png

12900K working at DDR4-4000 CL18 with the OP's mobo.


1654348693386.png

If you look at that page, there isn't a single RAM kit validated for DDR4-3600 with this mobo and G.Skill RAM testing was limited to only DDR4-2400. So either try manual overclocking or RMA the RAM kit as it may not work well with this mobo. Try Patriot or Kingston.
 
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zir_blazer

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Some more info:

https://www.reddit.com/r/MSI_Gaming/comments/scagfz
 

SteveGrabowski

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You guys think there is even any benefit to running at DDR4 3600 speed if I have to go to Gear 2 and drop the memory controller clockspeed in half? Might just be better off to go for running it at DDR4 3200 speed with tighter timings instead to stay on Gear 1?
 

Markfw

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You guys think there is even any benefit to running at DDR4 3600 speed if I have to go to Gear 2 and drop the memory controller clockspeed in half? Might just be better off to go for running it at DDR4 3200 speed with tighter timings instead to stay on Gear 1?
Yes, I have a 12700F and I tried 4000. When I could not figure out why it was not performing as expected, I noticed the gear 2. So I went to 3200 and lower timings, and much better.
 
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Shmee

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Yikes, this is really disappointing news. Well, at least we now know, but I think Intel should have been more transparent and forthcoming about this.
 
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SteveGrabowski

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Try both and see what's faster?
Honestly, I don't feel like going to all the trouble. I used to be into overclocking back in the 90s and 00s when it really mattered and when dropping to a lower CAS timing made a huge difference, but now I just wanted something I could click the XMP button in the BIOS once and forget it. I'm just going to try to run this at DDR4 3200 speed with 16-18-18-38 timings like a typical DDR4 3200 kit and see if that works since it's less work than returning the sticks and waiting for new ones. Ugh hate having to go tweak RAM by hand again though. Don't even want to bother with the BIOS update if all it's going to do is automatically go to Gear 2 when trying to run DDR4 3600 speed.
 

jpiniero

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Honestly, I don't feel like going to all the trouble. I used to be into overclocking back in the 90s and 00s when it really mattered and when dropping to a lower CAS timing made a huge difference, but now I just wanted something I could click the XMP button in the BIOS once and forget it. I'm just going to try to run this at DDR4 3200 speed with 16-18-18-38 timings like a typical DDR4 3200 kit and see if that works since it's less work than returning the sticks and waiting for new ones.
I'd say it's more likely the 12400.

With Alder Lake, you have better memory overclocking luck with the K series CPUs. I think Intel did this on purpose.
You'd have to define 'on purpose'. Intel is def dumping the trash in the 12400. That's what it's for. It still should be able to do 3200.
 

SteveGrabowski

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I'd say it's more likely the 12400.



You'd have to define 'on purpose'. Intel is def dumping the trash in the 12400. That's what it's for. It still should be able to do 3200.
Ugh if it can't do 3200 I might just return everything and do a Ryzen 5600X build.
 
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SteveGrabowski

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Ugh can't even get this working at DDR4-3200. Tempted to just send everything back to amazon and get my money back. Didn't buy this system to be stuck at DDR4 2133. My freaking Xeon E3-1231v3 could handle DDR3-2400 easy back when DDR3-1600 was the standard so what a pain not being able to even handle DDR4-3200 when DDR4-3200 is the standard.
 

Markfw

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Ugh can't even get this working at DDR4-3200. Tempted to just send everything back to amazon and get my money back. Didn't buy this system to be stuck at DDR4 2133. My freaking Xeon E3-1231v3 could handle DDR3-2400 easy back when DDR3-1600 was the standard so what a pain not being able to even handle DDR4-3200 when DDR4-3200 is the standard.
I have had nothing but trouble with the Alder Lake I have. I think a lot of it, is that my setup (like yours) is DDR4, and while compatible, seems these chips don't like this memory.
 
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SteveGrabowski

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Ugh it's a crap 12400F memory controller. RAM runs fine at the DDR4 3600 XMP setting after the BIOS update that runs it in Gear 2. Memtest86 passed and all my 7zip that was crashing at DDR4 3600 in Gear 1 runs fine now. Thanks @igor_kavinski and @zir_blazer especially for your help.
 
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SteveGrabowski

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This running in Gear 2 sucks. DRR4 3600 at Gear 1 gave me a Passmark Memory score 29% higher than DDR4 2133 at Gear 1. Running the same test at DDR4 3600 Gear 2 gave me a score only 11% above DDR4 2133 at Gear 1. What a joke, feel conned by Intel.
 
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