Ah the joys of finicky hardware!

After spotting a good deal on PC3200 RAM I finally broke down and upgraded my desktop from it’s lowly 1GB of RAM (2x512MB) to a slightly more roomy 2GB (2x1GB). The RAM itself is from the OCZ folks who also made the 512MB sticks I was using previously. The motherboard is a DFI Lanparty UT NF4 SLI-DR Expert (whew!) which means it’s a performance board which means it’s finicky as hell. Using the stock BIOS settings it wouldn’t boot into Windows at all, but I managed to get out to the Official OCZ Support Forums and found that they do an excellent job of listing off how to get their RAM to work with various motherboards. They had a listing of BIOS settings for me to try specifically for the DFI NF4 motherboards and that particular model number of RAM.

And it works, mostly. Windows boots up and will run, but it gets upset anytime it feels there’s too much sustained or heavy hard drive access. Which means there’s a 50/50 chance immediately after the desktop appears that the system will crash to a warm boot. If I start a large file copy, such as backing up folders in preparation to restage because it’s been awhile since I’d last done it, that’ll go for a short time and then a crash to a warm boot. If I try to play WoW it’ll load up and run for a bit and then when it does some heavy disk access, say when I enter the city Shattrath which has a lot of people in it, it’ll crash to a warm boot. For standard stuff like browsing the web or writing blog posts it seems like as long as it makes it past the initial start up of Windows it’ll run fine. It’s been crash free for the past hour and a half. But I know if I try to backup those files it’ll die within minutes.

Obviously I’ve got some tweaking to do, but I’m having trouble figuring out which setting needs the tweak. So I registered on the OCZ forums after doing much searching there without success (most folks can’t get their machines to boot at all) and I posted about my unique situation in hopes someone can offer some ideas. In the meantime it looks like I’m limited to lightly disk intensive applications.

3 thoughts on “Ah the joys of finicky hardware!

  1. voltage and command rate are the issues i always bump into on my lanparty board. kicking back to 2t command rate and a slight bump in voltage usually keeps it pretty stable. i can run 1t and a higher voltage but eventually it freaks.

  2. I went through the BIOS and loaded everything with Optimized Defaults and then set the 2-3-2-5@2.6 settings myself. That seems to have stabilized things to the point that heavy disk access no longer causes a crash to a warm boot, but the system is now locking up while play WoW after a few minutes.

    Still, it’s progress so I can’t complain. It’s defaulting to 1T, but I suppose I could force it to 2T to see what happens. How much of a voltage bump would you recommend?

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