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Question How forgiving are Ryzen R3 1200 memory controllers?

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
I've got this friend, that I sold some parts to, that has the same GSKill DDR4-3000 16GB RAM kit that I do, in the same model Gigabyte motherboard. Mine works fine at XMP settings. His does not, it doesn't even work at 2666, it triple-posts while beeping, then restarts at default (2133) DRAM settings.

What am I doing wrong with his rig? He's not overclocking. I had him go to BIOS, "Load Optimized Defaults", and then go the MIT menu, "Advanced Memory settings", set XMP to "Profile 1", which should set Mem. Freq. to 3000, and Mem. Voltage to 1.35V (which it evidently does). But it won't POST at those settings, not even when manually set to 26.66 Memory Multiplier (2666Mhz DRAM).

I'm guessing that it's failing the "DRAM training" that Ryzen rigs do on boot, but why? Could the RAM simply be bad?

His mobo has F25 / AEGSA 1.0.0.6 (which for my ASRock boards, actually fixed a lot of memory-compatibility issues). My board has F21, which says "Optimized for Bristol Ridge". I have a Ryzen R5 1600 CPU though, not a 1200, so possibly binning plays a role here in DRAM freq. possible?

He has been getting BSODs and lots of browser tab-crashes in Firefox, which leads me to believe that the RAM has something to do with it.

PSU is a Rosewill 600W 80Plus Gold, that I'm also using in a mining PC right now, his was opened new for his rig. The DRAM was new or basically-new. Mobo was a refurb.

Was planning on getting him a new 16GB kit of DRAM, probably the Corsair 2933 16GB kit, or possibly the Team Vulcan Z 16GB kit.
 

Thunder 57

Golden Member
Aug 19, 2007
1,516
1,393
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What a mismatched PC. 16GB of decent RAM plus a 600W 80+ Gold PSU with a refurb motherboard and a "why bother" r3 1200? I'm surprised AMD even sold those pieces of crap. I know you love budget builds, but there are certain things you don't cheap out on. The PSU is one, so good job there, but unless there is some heavy GPU usage seems overkill. The motherboard is another. I wouldn't trust a "refurb" mobo any more than a refurb HDD.

So, start with the RAM I guess. Windows 10 has a built in memory tester but most would say memtest86 is better. Honestly either one should be fine in this case. Also, consider using bluescreenview to get more info on those BSOD's. Might give you a hint as to what may be wrong. That's where I'd start.

Could very well be memory. I just have rarely seen memory go bad. I don't think it's the memory controller either. What you have thus far is a bit of a mystery. Could even be the PSU, is it new? Voltages OK? Certainly do a memory test and let us know what you find.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
Yeah, a memory test is where I was headed with the rig, but the current owner basically said, "SORRY, making a USB stick TOO COMPLICATED. TOO MANY STEPS. PLUS, I CAN'T BE AWAY FROM MY PC, EVEN OVERNIGHT."

We tried the Windows Memory Test, but it appeared to only test the lower 4GB of RAM. (Is that normal?)

He wants me to fix in in person. Of course, he doesn't want to pay me the going rate for such things, sigh. I tell him to contact Geek Squad, he's like, "I'm not made out of money."

I realize that the rig is not quite "optimally-balanced". However, I only charged him ~$200. The CPU was a freebie, intended to be a placeholder, until he could save enough money to buy a better one on his own.

The mobo, I wasn't totally happy with, but I cut corners due to costs, and the fact that his old PC was sort-of-failing, and I had that mobo in-stock, and a new one would have taken a week to get here, plus, I didn't have the money to spend for the mobo, and he sure didn't.

Plus, I had bought four of them total, so I had "swappable parts", should the mobo actually prove defective at some point.

I'm using the identical model mobo (also open-box/refurb, from the same batch or whatnot), in one of my PCs without issue, with the same model (originally purchased two kits of them) GSkill DDR4-3000 16GB kit, one went into my same mobo, and one went into his. Again, not having any problems with mine, runs at XMP.

But the major difference, besides GPU, is that I'm apparently running BIOS F21 on mine, and his is F25 (AGESA PinnaclePI-1.0.0.6, which is supposed to be "the best" BIOS For Zen1), and he's got a Ryzen 3 1200, and I've got a Ryzen R5 1600 on mine.

I guess, I was trying to ask if CPU binning on this lowest-binned CPU had any sort of relation to the memory-controller. (I haven't looked up if the 1200 has different memory-controller / max Mem. Freq. specs than the 1600. I would be kind of surprised if they were different.)

Assuming that possibly the kit of RAM is just simply bad or out-of-spec (*), what would be an optimal replacement, keeping in mind the possibility of future Zen1/Zen+/Zen2 CPU upgrades? (The board's web page was updated, they now list Zen2 support, which can support DDR4-3600 speeds and whatnot.)

(*) I supposed it's possible, that because for like 8 months his rig wasn't set at XMP settings, that possibly the RAM degraded slightly, and was marginal at the stock 1.20V Vdimm, and would run better / more-stable @ 1.35V Vdimm (default for XMP setting of 3000), whether or not the RAM was actually running at 2133 or 3000. Though I consider it an issue with performance and correctness, if the RAM is specced @ 3000 for XMP, and doesn't run at 3000 properly in the BIOS, with that BIOS, and with that CPU. When it does with my board, my BIOS revision, and my 1600 CPU.

I was also exploring the option, of just getting a Ryzen R5 3600 CPU (BIG improvement, but also, fairly big $$$ for his budget), and flashing the BIOS to newest (paying attention to required interim BIOSes), and dropping that in with the existing RAM. IF the problem actually IS the memory-controller on the 1200, then that would fix the issue, assuming that the RAM isn't bad or degraded.

I have half a mind to flash the BIOS on my board upwards to F25, and see if my RAM kit fails to POST @ XMP 3000 settings anymore. Then I would know I would have to try to revert his BIOS to F21.

Or I could actually shut down my PC, pull my identical-model kit of RAM from my PC, put it into an anti-static package, and bring it to his place and drop it into his PC, and see if MY kit of DDR4-3000 will POST on HIS rig @ XMP 3000 successfully.

I have offered him a "one time offer" of a "full refund" - give me back all of the parts for this PC, sans drives (really, it should be ALL, and he should be responsible for making an image backup of his current rig onto the portable external backup HDD that I GAVE him), and I'll give him a full refund, 10 months later, of $200 for his "bad" PC.

But, the problems obviously weren't severe enough to pursue warranty claims with me during the six-month warranty I offer on used/refurb parts, and I don't recall him saying anything about BSODs during that period, only recently. (Which, I admit, is NOT good, nobody wants a BSOD preventing them from doing things.)

I mean, it's kind of a sort-of entry-level Ryzen CPU franken-rig, but ... what does he really expect for $200, when comparable rigs are going for like $800, with a better CPU.

I GAVE him an RX 570 4GB card BNIB, and a (refurb) 4K UHD 28" LCD. I even bought him an additional 3rd-party monitor stand, so it would fit into his desk area, which it wouldn't with the factory stand. ("Neo-Flex" for the win!)
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
I mean, instead of, or along with, a brand-new 16GB kit of DDR4-3200 or 3000 speed RAM, I could probably try to pick him up a Ryzen R5 1600 "AF" CPU, if Amazon.com still has them for $85. I think Newegg has them (not explicitly called out as "AF" for $100 or so. At least, it's some flavor of 1600.)

But if I swap the CPU and RAM, and he's STILL having problems, that basically points the finger at the mobo, mostly, and less so to his Windows 10 install (which was an in-place upgrade from a crufty 8-10 year old Win7 64-bit install), OR, to the GPU and/or AMD drivers.

But that would also be throwing money at the problem, and without a guarantee of it fixing the issue.

I did also lay out the necessary steps for testing this and getting it more-or-less diagnosed, those steps involved:

1) run a USB flash-drive based Memtest86 Memory Test, minimum of 6 hours, or 3-4 passes, or overnight. (Have yet to do this. Windows Memory test only seemed to test up to 4GB of memory, for some reason.)

2) Run an OCCT:pSU test for an hour. (I think that we did that last month, when he was getting BSODs, and it passed the test OK. So not likely PSU.)

3) Surface-scan the SSD, in case it's the SSD that's failing. (That too passed OK, using HDTune's surface scan.)

4) Grab another SSD from my pile, and do a secondary CLEAN installation of Win10. Which, honestly, CAN end up fixing a lot of problem. (It did on one of my other rigs, that had an older version of Win10, like 1803, and BOTH NVidia and AMD drivers installed, and then I did the Windows Upgrades through the versions, to get it up-to-date, and it was unstable. I did a clean fresh install of 1909, it was golden.)
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,387
5,288
136
Sounds like the machine should have been put through testing before it was sold.

Also no PinnaclePI AGESA revision is "best" for Zen1. You want pre-Pinnacle Ridge wherever possible; sadly, that means you may lose some Spectre mitigation microcode. That was the cast on my x370 Taichi. I had to go to a sub-optimal UEFI revision to get Spectre protections. I lost DDR4-3466 and had to run DDR4-3333 from that point forward. Support for Summit Ridge's IMC degrades in the PinnaclePi series.
 

Hans Gruber

Senior member
Dec 23, 2006
945
265
136
Larry, I had a R3 1200 in my test machine for several years. Actually this very box. Same AIO 240mm and motherboard but now with a 3600. It had Samsung (Basically B-die) running @ 14-15-15 3200mhz for two years. No issues at all with the memory. The processor was only good for 3800-3850mhz even under water with a Vcore under 1.3v. I think it was 1.28v

Bios is crucial. The chipsets are all the same. Asrock has been known to only have good memory bios in taichi. My MSI B350 will run any ram and any timings that the memory will support.

It's not the ram, it's the motherboard bios. Find a bios that works and stick with it. I am AMD ComboPI1.0.0.4 Patch B (SMU v46.54) If Asrock had a good bios, Asrock boards would run any and all ram at whatever speeds they can support.

With that said the B350 and probably x370 are only good up to 3733mhz. Which is really impressive. For Zen 1. 3200mhz should not be an issue and in your case 3000mhz memory kits should run without issue on a R3 1200.

Whatever you do, keep the 1200 as a boot CPU for non bios upgraded motherboards.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
Sounds like the machine should have been put through testing before it was sold.
Well, I didn't actually sell him the PC pre-built, I sold him the parts (the SSD, RAM, and mobo), and gave him the rest (CPU, PSU, case, GPU, monitor), and he put it together. It was working OK for the 6-month warranty period that I gave him on the parts that I sold him, and I don't recall him mentioning blue-screens, but it has just recently gotten worse.

I was thinking, CPU/mobo/RAM replacement in total, but we could start with CPU + RAM, and hope that the mobo is still good. Or maybe the mobo needs to be swapped, and that's the problem? I want him to go through the diagnostic steps, but it's like pulling teeth. He built his PC, but wants to hold me responsible for diagnosing it, because I'm the one who picked out the parts, more or less. (Mostly what I had on hand to build a PC, when his old PC started acting up.)

I've also offered to take things back, and build him an Intel rig, with that B365 Pro4 ATX board I have BNIB, and re-use the RAM, and he would have to buy an i5-9400F, or possibly I could get one for him, if he returned the existing CPU/mobo to me.

Intel rigs, in my experience, have easier system integration, because Intel does more testing, and may be more stable. Most Intel rigs either run, or they simply don't run.
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
Assuming that he wants a refund, can anyone recommend a PC gaming + streaming rig, for $200 or less? (For those that have cast aspersions on my build choices for my friend.) He wants "New".
 
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Hitman928

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2012
2,795
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Assuming that he wants a refund, can anyone recommend a PC gaming + streaming rig, for $200 or less? (For those that have cast aspersions on my build choices for my friend.) He wants "New".
Tell him to reset his expectations and either save up some more $$$ or find something cheaper to do with his time. A bare minimum, from scratch, all new gaming build is going to be at least $400. Maybe you can swing a little less if you can get Windows for really cheap or have a Microcenter near by with a really good bundle deal. $200 is unrealistic though. I mean, you had to basically give him parts for free in the first place to get to that price point.

In terms of his current computer, yeah if he's having issues at JEDEC baseline memory speeds on a brand new Windows install, then most likely the memory is bad or the motherboard is bad and shouldn't have been resold as a refurb. Could be the CPU but I'd guess it's probably one of the memory or motherboard.
 
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Thunder 57

Golden Member
Aug 19, 2007
1,516
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Assuming that he wants a refund, can anyone recommend a PC gaming + streaming rig, for $200 or less? (For those that have cast aspersions on my build choices for my friend.) He wants "New".
No. And honestly, why are you being so nice with this guy? You gave him a bunch of free stuff just so he can turn around and kick you in the nuts when something goes wrong. I suggest doing the refund and being done with it. Let this guy try to figure out how to get a $200 computer "New". Actually, I might have a suggestion. Check out this LTT video. Tell him that's what he can have "New" for around $200. Don't like it? Deal with it, or stop being so cheap.

I mean, by the looks of it you gave him over $200 in free parts as is. Plus a warranty, which you honored. If someone went out of their way to buy me things and help me out I would be grateful. It's like buying someone a car just for them to bitch that you aren't going to cover the insurance too.
 

Hans Gruber

Senior member
Dec 23, 2006
945
265
136
No. And honestly, why are you being so nice with this guy? You gave him a bunch of free stuff just so he can turn around and kick you in the nuts when something goes wrong. I suggest doing the refund and being done with it. Let this guy try to figure out how to get a $200 computer "New". Actually, I might have a suggestion. Check out this LTT video. Tell him that's what he can have "New" for around $200. Don't like it? Deal with it, or stop being so cheap.

I mean, by the looks of it you gave him over $200 in free parts as is. Plus a warranty, which you honored. If someone went out of their way to buy me things and help me out I would be grateful. It's like buying someone a car just for them to bitch that you aren't going to cover the insurance too.
I think this is the same guy he told us about a year ago in one of his posts. The guy takes advantage of Larry.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
In terms of his current computer, yeah if he's having issues at JEDEC baseline memory speeds on a brand new Windows install, then most likely the memory is bad or the motherboard is bad and shouldn't have been resold as a refurb. Could be the CPU but I'd guess it's probably one of the memory or motherboard.
We haven't actually gotten to that point yet. I've been working on him to attempt that. (He upgraded his Mom's Win7 PC to Win10, so I think that he can handle installing Win10 fresh.)

That was one of the next trouble-shooting steps.
 

Hitman928

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2012
2,795
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We haven't actually gotten to that point yet. I've been working on him to attempt that. (He upgraded his Mom's Win7 PC to Win10, so I think that he can handle installing Win10 fresh.)

That was one of the next trouble-shooting steps.
Is he reusing a hard drive that already had Windows on it or something?
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
Is he reusing a hard drive that already had Windows on it or something?
We did an in-place upgrade of his Win7 64-bit, after backup and restore to a new larger SSD, to Win10 64. Very "crufty" installation.

Edit: The Win7 64-bit installation, was moved from a 780G/AM2+ rig. It seemed to work, more-or-less. At least from a surface perspective.
 

eek2121

Senior member
Aug 2, 2005
656
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From the sounds of things there are numerous issues.
  • Start by ensuring the board has the RAM listed in it’s validation list. If it isn’t, it may still work, but you will have to do manual timings.
  • Make sure the BIOS is up to date.
  • You mentioned that the memory tester only saw 4gb RAM, that suggests to me a 32-bit copy of Windows. Do a clean install of Windows 10 x64 (Microsoft will let you download it for free) and activate it using the Windows 7 key.
  • Make sure all PSU cables are plugged into the motherboard as well as the CPU fan.
  • Make sure the RAM is in the correct slots for dual channel operation. Usually (but not always) the layout is every other slot.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
Yeah, for sure. Fresh install is needed, even if he wasn't having problems, doing that is just begging for issues.
I agree, however, the fact that the identical kit of RAM in my identical mobo works fine @ XMP 3000 settings, and doesn't POST in his at anything above 2133 (triple-post-attempt, resets automatically to default DRAM, then POSTs), indicates that there IS a hardware, possibly BIOS-version-related issue going on, too.
 

eek2121

Senior member
Aug 2, 2005
656
610
136
I agree, however, the fact that the identical kit of RAM in my identical mobo works fine @ XMP 3000 settings, and doesn't POST in his at anything above 2133 (triple-post-attempt, resets automatically to default DRAM, then POSTs), indicates that there IS a hardware, possibly BIOS-version-related issue going on, too.
Memory manufacturers have been known to use different dies, etc. for the same kit. Zen 1 was also super picky with memory, especially with an early BIOS.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
Well, the RAM kits were identical model kits, purchased on the same order, so unlikely that they would be different mfg batches or different chips, I think.

Anyways, I just tested setting UEFI defaults, flashing F25 BIOS/UEFI, and then resetting to defaults, and then setting XMP.

Mine booted right back up again, CPU-Z reports Mem. Freq. of 1500 (DDR4-3000).

So the problem was not a BIOS incompatibility between the RAM kit and the F25 BIOS.

So, it looks like either the (his) CPU, RAM or mobo has degraded, as compared to mine.

Newegg has a Gigabyte UD X570 mobo on Blitz Deal for ~$120, Team Dark Pro 16GB kit DDR4-3200 CAS14 (B-die!) for ~$108, and Ryzen R5 1600 "AF" (according to a singular review) also on ShellShocker for ~$95. So all three are currently on a decent sort of sale.

I offered those to him, with him paying the difference between what he paid me for CPU ($0), mobo ($60 refurb), and RAM ($100, RAM was more expensive last year), and those items, but he said he wanted to continue testing his RAM running @ 1.35V to see if it BSODed again.

Or, I could maybe just swap him a new kit of RAM (Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3000 with nearly perfect reviews, was ~$74 for 16GB kit), and offer him a replacement (also refurb) X370 Gaming mobo to replace his. (I think that I may have a fourth left over.)
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,390
266
126
just take it all back and suggest he buys a laptop 3500u or 3700u or new 4000 series@ ! close to 300 at least.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,864
5,337
126
That Walmart Motile 14" Ryzen R3 3200U laptop on that LTT video does look pretty interesting.

I bought a similar laptop, before they had that one, it was an HP 14" thin&light. I don't know if it has an NVMe-capable M.2 slot (it came with a Samsung SATA M.2 factory-installed), but it did come with dual SO-DIMM slots (supporting dual-channel memory). Which, for an APU, is somewhat important to me. Though I'm not likely to be gaming much with it, I did upgrade from 4GB to 16GB of DDR4, and it is great.

Unfortunately, the HP's tiny fans spin up under even brief loads, and they are noisy.

I paid around $269 in-store, and then upgraded with a 2x8GB DDR4-2400 SO-DIMM kit I had.
 

Thunder 57

Golden Member
Aug 19, 2007
1,516
1,393
136
That Walmart Motile 14" Ryzen R3 3200U laptop on that LTT video does look pretty interesting.

I bought a similar laptop, before they had that one, it was an HP 14" thin&light. I don't know if it has an NVMe-capable M.2 slot (it came with a Samsung SATA M.2 factory-installed), but it did come with dual SO-DIMM slots (supporting dual-channel memory). Which, for an APU, is somewhat important to me. Though I'm not likely to be gaming much with it, I did upgrade from 4GB to 16GB of DDR4, and it is great.

Unfortunately, the HP's tiny fans spin up under even brief loads, and they are noisy.

I paid around $269 in-store, and then upgraded with a 2x8GB DDR4-2400 SO-DIMM kit I had.
It does seem to have a lot of bang for the buck. Imagine if they put in a 3500u and dual channel RAM for say $100 more. That'd be crazy.

I don't think single channel will cripple it too much seeing as it's only a 2C with Vega 3. Lenovo has had some deals on Picasso laptops and there is one right now. It's 8GB dual channel, 3500u, 256GB PCIe SSD, FHD with backlit keyboard which is nice for $390. I know it's not the $200 you are looking for, but I also know you always like a good deal.

 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,390
266
126
It does seem to have a lot of bang for the buck. Imagine if they put in a 3500u and dual channel RAM for say $100 more. That'd be crazy.

I don't think single channel will cripple it too much seeing as it's only a 2C with Vega 3. Lenovo has had some deals on Picasso laptops and there is one right now. It's 8GB dual channel, 3500u, 256GB PCIe SSD, FHD with backlit keyboard which is nice for $390. I know it's not the $200 you are looking for, but I also know you always like a good deal.

u high? they already have 3500u with dual channel for 100 more.. or you joking?
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,390
266
126
You don't need to be a smartass. I only watched the LTT video, I didn't go look at Walmart's website.
well i havnt looked at the walmarts site ever for a laptop but have seen their 600$ ones on slickdeals with good specs, just speaking in general 3500u lappy's have been out for the past 4 months for about 350, problem with low end laptops usually is the brightness of the screen low res and non-ips. i went with a 4k touch screen dell mx150 8265 instead for about 350 used 16gb ram 512gb nvme but the battery life is fairly bad even tho the reviews say 7 hours.
 

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