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Need advice in memory timings in BIOS

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
30,608
3,751
126
My desktop doubles as an HTPC and it has a PCI MyHD 120 HDTV card paired with its PCI DVI daughterboard. The system seems pretty stable except when I'm using the HDTV card. Most all of the time when using the HDTV card and its software I utilize its timeshifting functionality and I often get lockups that are rather nasty. The video freezes and I get loud jackhammer audio and I've found no remedy other than pressing the reset button. A support thread at AVS Forums for the card has a poster saying he had instability problems until he relaxed the memory timings in the BIOS. He says it's an old P4 2.4 GHz system he no longer uses. Whatever he did in his BIOS may not apply to me. My system has these basic components:

Gigabyte GA-K8n Pro motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (socket 754, FSB1600, E6, Venice, 90nm, L2-512KB)
BFG 6600 GTOC AGP video card
2 sticks Crucial 1GB PC3200 400MHz 184-pin DDR Memory - CT12864Z40B, 2 GB total


Here's what I see in my mobo's Award BIOS for Frequency/Voltage Control (these are the standard settings, AFAIK, I've never adjusted these and have no experience adjusting memory or CPU timings/frequencies):

HT Frequency ratio [3x]
CPU Clock [200]
Current DDR speed 400

Timing Mode [Manual]
CPU / DDR clock Ratio [2 / 2]
DDR speed 400
CAS# latency (Tcl) [2.5]
Min RAS# active time (Tras) [ 7T]
RAS# to CAS# delay (Trcd) [ 3T]
Row precharge Time (Trp) [ 3T]
Row to Row delay (Trrd) [ 2T]
Row cycle time (Trc) [10T]
Row refresh cyc time (Trfc) [12T]
Read-to-Write time(Trwt) [ 3T]
Write Recovery Time (Twr) [3 bus clock]
Write-to-Read Delay (Twtr) [1 bus clock]
Refresh Rate (Tref) [166 MHz , 7.8 us]
Read Preamble value [6.5ns]
Async Latency value [7ns]

AGP Clock [ 66]
K8 CPU Clock Ratio [Auto]
CPU Voltage Control [Normal]
Normal CPU Vcore 1.400V
VDDQ (AGP) Voltage Control [Normal]
VCC12_HT (Chipset) Voltage [Normal]
DDR voltage control [Normal]


Under Item Help it says (this is fractured English!):

Menu Level >

Over CPU clock will add DDR and HT Speed !

DDR speed = CPU clock x CPU/DDR Ratio x 2 .
HT speed = CPU clock x HT Frequency ratio.
Over CPU/HT/DDR max speed will unstable.
If you want to over more CPU clock , May be DDR timing need adjust and DDR / HT CPU clock ratio need down speed !!


Even if I understood their fractured English in the Item Help I don't know that I'd have an idea what adjustments I can/should/could make. What can I do to relax the memory timings that might help reduce or eliminate the lockups?

There is no option in the BIOS to set "Failsafe Defaults." There is an option to set "Optimized Defaults" but I imagine that these are exactly what's in effect now.

Thanks for suggestions/help.
 
Last edited:

zagood

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
4,102
0
71
Change CAS# latency (Tcl) to 3. That's what the memory is rated for.
http://www.crucial.com/store/partspe...le=ct12864z40b

p.s. your crashes sound more cooling related. If the above change doesn't work, try opening your computer case and directing a desk fan (or something similar) at it. If that works, you'll need to monitor your temperatures and make some tweaks/modifications.
 
Last edited:

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
30,608
3,751
126
Change CAS# latency (Tcl) to 3. That's what the memory is rated for.
http://www.crucial.com/store/partspe...le=ct12864z40b

p.s. your crashes sound more cooling related. If the above change doesn't work, try opening your computer case and directing a desk fan (or something similar) at it. If that works, you'll need to monitor your temperatures and make some tweaks/modifications.
Thank you!

Well, the internal temperature of the case seems not too high according to the thermometer sensor I have hung in there. I have a 120 mm fan on the side of the case blowing in. The problem might be on the card, the HDTV card, which might run hotter. But I haven't noticed a tendency for the problem to happen in warmer weather, and the temperature of the room varies a whole lot in my house. There's no AC, no central heating, so the room can vary from 80 or hotter to mid 50's.

I'll make that modification you suggest next time I boot this machine! Does changing it from 2.5 to 3.0 slow it down? I guess that's what I want to do. How did it ever get set to 2.5? I didn't do that!
 
Last edited:

Marty502

Senior member
Aug 25, 2007
497
0
0
Your timings look pretty relaxed to be honest, even if you had the cheapest DDR400 sticks, to the point where I bet you could tighten them up and keep everything stable.

Your issue sounds like overheating to me too.
You actually need to measure your core temperature. The case temperature is irrelevant; your chip could be cooking itself and the internal temperature won't reveal that.

Download a program called CoreTemp, which reports the core temperature, and give us your idle temperature and also how high it peaks when you do something intensive.
 

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