need help with memory issues

THRESHIN

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this is a bit of an odd one, i've narrowed it down but not too sure where to go from here. hoping for a little input!

built a new system this past black friday, its been a LONG time since i've done so and it's been an uphill battle the entire way. so far i've got it stable....mostly.
parts list:

i5 6600k (skylake), not OC'd at this time.
gigabyte GA-Z170MX-gaming 5
16GB (2x8GB) g.skill DDR4 3200 (G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel Z170 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-16GVK - Newegg.ca)
nvidia GTX970
corsair HX650W (little old, but still works well)
system is cooled well on water, both CPU and video.

here's the issue:

i often cut power to my system when not in use for a long period of time simply to save power. old habit. when i power everything back up, i *usually* have a system lockup shortly after windows starts. reset button will not work, but holding the power button will. however, system will usually not post correctly. i then have to cut power and try again, usually works after doing this once. funny thing is, once it's going stable that's it! its rock solid. if i leave it powered and in sleep mode, i have no crashing also.

remember, being 3200Mhz DDR i must enable the XMP profile to get this speed. after updating the BIOS to latest, this setting was disabled, speed dumped down. no more crashing.

i thought i had a dead ram stick. tried each stick on its own, with XMP enabled to run full 3200Mhz. again, no crashing. this only occurs with both ram sticks installed running at their full speed. i'm rather concerned about the future...i planned to dump in another 16GB in a couple years as an upgrade path.

been in contact with gigabyte support (man they're awful!) and the response i got was interesting...they claim that the i5 6600K will only run memory speed up to 2133mhz. i was not aware of this, my error in build? am i unknowingly overclocking the memory controller badly here? being out of the loop a little....i think skylake has memory controller onboard the cpu.

also asked g.skill about this, still waiting for a response. was hoping i could get some input from some of the resident experts around here. if the case is as gigabyte states, maybe set a slightly lower speed manually might be in order? i'm mostly trying to find the root of this problem before i start overclocking.

if gigabyte support is incorrect and i need an RMA here...maybe some advice on how to talk to these clowns?

thanks guys.
 

THRESHIN

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that was actually one of the first things i did and found no problems - but it was a much older version of memtest86. might be worthwhile to try this one. it's a start at least.
 

arestavo

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I ran into a somewhat similar issue with what is now my backup rig. I ended up having to increase the VCCSA voltage on top of increasing the RAM's voltage. (but I ultimately settled for 2133MHz instead of the rated 2400MHz due to very rare freezing and slower memory performance - probably because my CPU's IMC just couldn't hack it)

I've found that different motherboard manufacturers and chipset families it is sometimes called something else, but it helps with heavily overclocked RAM stability.

http://download.gigabyte.ru/manual/mb_manual_ga-z170mx-gaming5_e.pdf - it looks like page 26 might hold the key. It might be hidden under Chipset Voltage Control.
 

primetime

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its probably why i will stick with asus boards, but it seems like its easy to find people to help with bios settings -that actually work. You might try getting help in the motherboard area in one of the GIGABYTE threads (issue could be board or GIGABYTE specific right?) Intel MoBos Either that or Dan would know lol -just a thought
 

drescherjm

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that was actually one of the first things i did and found no problems - but it was a much older version of memtest86. might be worthwhile to try this one. it's a start at least.
Did you do this for 24 hours or more? 1 or 2 passes are not that useful to detect marginal ram. Also if you use the latest make sure you use the multithreaded mode.
 

THRESHIN

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Did you do this for 24 hours or more? 1 or 2 passes are not that useful to detect marginal ram. Also if you use the latest make sure you use the multithreaded mode.
i did, but as i said it was an old version. i didn't have options like multithreading. this will be my next step.

i kind of suspect a power supply issue so that is also on my list. if initial power supply isn't right, it would explain a lot. correct me if i'm wrong, but the mainboard would be on it's own dedicated rail so that would include mainboard, cpu and memory. if a capacitor is failing and wants some time to warm up...might do it. why the ram? hell i don't know.
 

primetime

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THRESHIN, let me ask you...IS there really a noticeable performance loss with the lower ram speed? IDK like does tomb raider or whatever give higher min fps ? Or have you even checked yet?
 

THRESHIN

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THRESHIN, let me ask you...IS there really a noticeable performance loss with the lower ram speed? IDK like does tomb raider or whatever give higher min fps ? Or have you even checked yet?
i get what you're saying. no i have not checked since my past experience has taught me that memory speed doesn't have a massive effect on gaming. video first, cpu distant second and then ram far behind that.

what i'm looking at here is that there could be a fault in my hardware. i like finding these faults before i have a complete failure. i work on my own cars as well and i take the same approach, it's done me well. if i can explain this problem i'm having as not a hardware fault, i really don't care if i run the ram slower. but i do want to seek out that explanation. i tend to keep my hardware for quite a few years - probably far longer than most of the members here. my old system was around 8 years old when i finally decided to retire it. i've always felt that getting to the root of problems such as this is part of maintaining that longevity.

also i'm very concerned about upgrade path. to keep this system long run, i'll need to add in a few parts and i plan for that. doubling memory is part of this. if it's already choking on 2 modules, what'll happen when i add in another 2?

for now i'm holding off on overclocking because of this issue. i can't really know if i have an unstable overclock or if this is another issue rearing its ugly head.
 

arestavo

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THRESHIN, let me ask you...IS there really a noticeable performance loss with the lower ram speed? IDK like does tomb raider or whatever give higher min fps ? Or have you even checked yet?
I've done testing on Rise of the Tomb raider before the DX12 patch, on my backup rig when it had my 980Ti, and with Quad channel DDR3 1600 to 2133/2400MHZ there is roughly a 4 FPS difference in minimum FPS. When I went down to DDR3 800/1066 FPS dipped down to the low 40's at max settings. It hit the very low 50's/high 40's when set to DDR3 1333. This was before the built in benchmark was added.

Users with 4790K's saw around a 12 FPS jump in their minimum frame rates going from DDR3 1600 to 2400, but that platform can only use dual channel - which looks to me to be the big difference (dual and quad channel total bandwidth difference).

RAM speed used to not really make a difference unless you were gaming at very low resolutions - that's starting to change, probably due to the unified memory of the Xbone and PS4.

Edit: clarified and fixed some errors.
 
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THRESHIN

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got the memtest86 testing done and i'm not too sure how to interpret this result. if set to single threaded (single under CPU settings) it does just fine, passes with flying colours.

however once i start to use the multithreaded options everything goes sideways. parallel mode kicks out constant errors of "cpu error - could not start cpu 1" same for 2 and 3. so in parallel it can't even use multithreaded for some reason. if i use round robin or sequential, it just promptly crashes and restarts.

and yes this is running with XMP enabled, next step is to try this without that.
 

primetime

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got the memtest86 testing done and i'm not too sure how to interpret this result. if set to single threaded (single under CPU settings) it does just fine, passes with flying colours.

however once i start to use the multithreaded options everything goes sideways. parallel mode kicks out constant errors of "cpu error - could not start cpu 1" same for 2 and 3. so in parallel it can't even use multithreaded for some reason. if i use round robin or sequential, it just promptly crashes and restarts.

and yes this is running with XMP enabled, next step is to try this without that.
For what its worth i had stability issues come out of know where one time.....ran memory test like you and got zillions of errors...............did a long cmos reset, reset defaults, redid bios settings to really same settings I was using before and all was good from that point forward - never failed memory test again. I figured must have been a bios quirk. Your using the latest bios for your board right?

Oh also have you tried using red or black ram slotts...as in maybe one of your ram slots is bad? when you tested each stick separately did you try both slots? was that even possible?

look at this newegg review.....i will have to skip skylake if its that much bs
Beware, It does not hit rated speed and timings

This review is from: G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel Z170 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-16GVK

Pros: Cheap considering the speed and timings.
Looks good.

Cons: With two sticks max I could hit is 3000MHz CL15.0 which is fine, but the problem is that with four sticks (4x8GB) it cannot even do 2600MHz CL18.0, not even with 1.3V VCCSA and a lot of time tweaking.

Other Thoughts: GSkill support is slow and useless, their support forum rep told me to contact RMA department to get my RAM replaced, and their RMA department told me that the maximum supported memory speed for 32GB is 2400MHz, yet the funny thing is that they are selling a 128GB (8x16GB) 3000MHz kit, not to mention a lot of 32GB 2666MHz+ kits !!

Good thing that Newegg support is excellent, they agreed to take the RAM back for full refund.

Manufacturer Response:
.
Hi Yousif

Glad to hear you think the memory looks good and you got the RAM at a low price. This is a high performance memory kit that can perform at the rated specifications with a compatible motherboard and capable CPU. DDR4-3200 is an extreme frequency so not all processors and motherboards can enable XMP for a perfectly stable system. Please refer to the G.Skill QVL list for a full list of certified motherboards. An Intel K series CPU is also necessary for DDR4-3000+.

For 32GB, make sure to use a 32GB kit. This is a 16GB kit so the rated specifications are only guaranteed for 16GB. XMP is designed for 16GB, so manual tweaking is necessary if attempting two kits of 16GB. This can require advanced overclocking experience. If you would like assistance with this, please post a thread with hardware information in the Official G.Skill technical forum. There are many users including G.Skill technicians that can provide pointers and help you maximize the performance of your new build.
 
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THRESHIN

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For what its worth i had stability issues come out of know where one time.....ran memory test like you and got zillions of errors...............did a long cmos reset, reset defaults, redid bios settings to really same settings I was using before and all was good from that point forward - never failed memory test again. I figured must have been a bios quirk. Your using the latest bios for your board right?

Oh also have you tried using red or black ram slotts...as in maybe one of your ram slots is bad? when you tested each stick separately did you try both slots? was that even possible?

look at this newegg review.....i will have to skip skylake if its that much bs
Beware, It does not hit rated speed and timings

This review is from: G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel Z170 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3200C16D-16GVK

Pros: Cheap considering the speed and timings.
Looks good.

Cons: With two sticks max I could hit is 3000MHz CL15.0 which is fine, but the problem is that with four sticks (4x8GB) it cannot even do 2600MHz CL18.0, not even with 1.3V VCCSA and a lot of time tweaking.

Other Thoughts: GSkill support is slow and useless, their support forum rep told me to contact RMA department to get my RAM replaced, and their RMA department told me that the maximum supported memory speed for 32GB is 2400MHz, yet the funny thing is that they are selling a 128GB (8x16GB) 3000MHz kit, not to mention a lot of 32GB 2666MHz+ kits !!

Good thing that Newegg support is excellent, they agreed to take the RAM back for full refund.

Manufacturer Response:
.
Hi Yousif

Glad to hear you think the memory looks good and you got the RAM at a low price. This is a high performance memory kit that can perform at the rated specifications with a compatible motherboard and capable CPU. DDR4-3200 is an extreme frequency so not all processors and motherboards can enable XMP for a perfectly stable system. Please refer to the G.Skill QVL list for a full list of certified motherboards. An Intel K series CPU is also necessary for DDR4-3000+.

For 32GB, make sure to use a 32GB kit. This is a 16GB kit so the rated specifications are only guaranteed for 16GB. XMP is designed for 16GB, so manual tweaking is necessary if attempting two kits of 16GB. This can require advanced overclocking experience. If you would like assistance with this, please post a thread with hardware information in the Official G.Skill technical forum. There are many users including G.Skill technicians that can provide pointers and help you maximize the performance of your new build.
this is actually very helpful, thank you. it tells me that gigabyte support may not have been too far off after all. more testing to be sure, but i think we got it.

my theory is this: i5 6600k is listed to run at 2166 for memory frequency. i'm pushing it to 3200. that might be too much, so some simple optimization may be required. maybe loosen up some timings, back off on the speed a little. if a k series is required to hit speeds higher than 2166, that tells us that overclocking is in play here.

also tells me that g.skill isn't as great as i thought. they still have yet to respond to my email....oh well. bit of tweaking and might have this down.
 

limitedaccess

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this is actually very helpful, thank you. it tells me that gigabyte support may not have been too far off after all. more testing to be sure, but i think we got it.

my theory is this: i5 6600k is listed to run at 2166 for memory frequency. i'm pushing it to 3200. that might be too much, so some simple optimization may be required. maybe loosen up some timings, back off on the speed a little. if a k series is required to hit speeds higher than 2166, that tells us that overclocking is in play here.

also tells me that g.skill isn't as great as i thought. they still have yet to respond to my email....oh well. bit of tweaking and might have this down.
Curious if you ever got DDR4 3200 and what latency? I'm fixated on running DDR4 3200 CL18 or better and considering this board as an option.

Memory speed is also dependent on the motherboard's design and construction as well as the CPUs IMC and the memory itself.
 

THRESHIN

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Curious if you ever got DDR4 3200 and what latency? I'm fixated on running DDR4 3200 CL18 or better and considering this board as an option.

Memory speed is also dependent on the motherboard's design and construction as well as the CPUs IMC and the memory itself.
sorry for the delayed reply, but i did eventually find the root cause and this may be helpful to others with the same mainboard as i have. turns out it's a BIOS issue with the board....i'm running a beta bios and for the most part all problems solved. it has the very rare crash as before but it's almost never. i can count one one hand the number of times that has happened.

so yes i have my memory running it's stock 3200. my CL is set to 16. so in short if you're considering this board, it's not bad but do update the bios right out of the gate even if only the beta is available. i'm using 5c right now and i think there's a 5e out there.

i have not begun to overclock yet simply due to these issues. once gigabyte gets the final F5 bios out i can finally start diving into that if everything looks stable. can't say that i've needed to overclock yet though....nothing i want to play this last year that would need it.

BTW if you look at the supported memory list from initial release, its very odd....as capacity goes up from 4GB to 8GB and then to 16GB you'll notice that the 'supported' speed drops down. odd.

what solved this is i have a friend with an identical system. every part is exactly the same with one exception - he has the DDR4 3000 version of my memory where as i have the 3200. he gets no issues at all. had him bring his ram over when he came to visit for a weekend. guess what? problem solved. that's when we started to suspect bios problems.
 

arestavo

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BTW if you look at the supported memory list from initial release, its very odd....as capacity goes up from 4GB to 8GB and then to 16GB you'll notice that the 'supported' speed drops down. odd.
As to that - the integrated memory controller, or IMC, works harder the higher the frequency goes and the more capacity that the RAM modules have.

It puts a lot more strain on the IMC to get 128GB of 3200 MHz RAM working than 16GB of 2133MHz RAM, and so on.
 
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