Why Can't My Asus Board Use Cheap DIMMs?

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The Asus A7N8X2 board requires special memory DIMMs.
Exactly what does it require and what is different about them?
Who has the best prices on fast 1GB modules for this board?


Re: Why Can't My Asus Board Use Cheap DIMMs?

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Check at www.crucial.com for what are suitable memory modules
for your board Gary.

Re: Why Can't My Asus Board Use Cheap DIMMs?

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I used some Ballistix CAS2 memory on a A7N8X-E Deluxe, and that
works fine with two or three sticks.

The Nforce2 chipset is marginal at DDR400 rates. In dual channel
mode, maybe you can manage DDR360 or DDR370 or so, with ordinary
modules. You can experiment with single channel mode if you want.
But rather than mess around, I just bought some CAS2 modules
and that seemed to work. The CAS3 modules I had, always gave
me problems. YMMV.


Re: Why Can't My Asus Board Use Cheap DIMMs?

On Tue, 02 May 2006 21:52:13 GMT, nospam@needed.com (Paul)

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I've set up several (and still have at least 3) nForce 2
boards that have no trouble at all using budget grade CAS2.5
memory at DDR400.  I suspect it boils down to bios settings
more than anything, some may need a bios update or certain
settings disabled/changed/whatever.  Some nForce2 weren't
meant to run at DDR400 FSB though, I'm thinking of the "400"
or Ultra (or whatever they were called, I forget at the
moment), the later stepping(s) of the northbridge.

I do tend to avoid CAS3 memory though, not much point to it
once the CAS2.5 came down to near (or even) same price,
except the >=1GB per module sizes.

Re: Why Can't My Asus Board Use Cheap DIMMs?

Asus boards are at the high end of the quality scale as far as motherboards
go.  If you want to avoid timing errors and such, either buy quality RAM for
your Asus board; OR buy a cheap board to go with cheap RAM.


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Re: Why Can't My Asus Board Use Cheap DIMMs?

On Tue, 2 May 2006 11:21:58 -0400, "Gary Brown"

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First, what is an A7N8X2?
Do you mean an A7N8X, period, but that is a revision 2
board?  They're not typically referred to as anything but an
A7N8X, if that's what you mean.  If you  mean something
else, please link the Asus product page.

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Did you update the bios yet?  Don't do it if the system is
currently instable, first put only one module in, downclock
the FSB and memory bus and set manually slow (high numbered)
memory timings and see if it's stable with memtest86+.  Only
if it proves stable then try flashing bios to newest

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That changes every other day.  1GB module"S"??
Why would you now, today, pay to upgrade an old platform
that much?  Bit of a waste, IMO, rather than moving on to a
socket M2 board and DDR2 memory in a little while.

Even so, Crucial.com has a memory selector you could use or
many people have had good results with Corsair CAS2.5, but
in 1GB modules they probably downgrade same chips to CAS3...
though I haven't looked at any recently, they may have
changed chips and so could any other brand, the best bet is
to buy from someplace with a guarantee or at least a good
return policy.

It is common to be able to adjust memory settings to improve
stability though, particularly on board such as Asus which
tend to have all the common memory adjustments in the bios
excepting the OEM boards.

Re: Why Can't My Asus Board Use Cheap DIMMs?

Gary Brown wrote:

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Memory is so bad now that I buy it only locally, from stores that give
100% cash refunds.  www.salescircular.com and www.saleshound.com list
most local advertised specials, except Fry's.

According to Crucial.com, your mobo can use ordinary PC3200 unbuffered,
unregistered memory modules.  But your mobo has an nForce chipset, and
many people have reported memory compatibility problems with these
chipsets.  My success rate with PC3200 modules and nForce3 mobos is
just 39%, while it's 94% with other mobos:

Mushkin Enhanced Memory 512MB:  0 of 2 OK
(3-3-3-8-1, Spectek chips)

They didn't work even when the 1T/2T timing was set to 2T, and one
Mushkin failed with a VIA VT400 chipset mobo.  Mushkin said, "We don't
use Spectek."

Kingston ValueRAM 512MB:  2 of 11 OK
(3-3-3-8-1, various chips)

Results varied by chip markings.  Those with completely unmarked chips
failed the worst, with 100,000+ errors, the modules with Pxxxxxxxx
chips showed dozens of errors, while 2 out of 3 modules with Fxxxxxxx
chips passed, even when overclocked to 2.5-3-2-6-1, and the bad one
showed only four errors (still four too many).  The circuit boards of
these best modules also differed in that the tiny SPD chip was on the
back.  All 11 Kingstons ran fine when 1T/2T was set to 2T.  One person
at Kingston said that these modules were 3-3-3-8-2, but another said
they were 3-3-3-8-1.  Kingston has also given me contradictory
information at other times.

PNY 512MB:  5 of 5 OK
(2.5-3-3-8-1 or 3-4-4-8-1, PNY ADP 328TM-5 or BRAVO ADP328TM-5 chips)

Even the 3-4-4-8-1 modules ran perfectly at 2.5-3-3-8-1, and all could
do 2.5-3-2-6-1.  I didn't try any PNYs with chips marked AED83T500.

I tested with both Gold Memory 5.07 and MemTest86 v. 3.2, running each
until errors occured or four hours passed.  SPD settings were used,
which weren't necessarily the mobo BIOS' auto/SPD defaults (many mobos
use slower settings).

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