Posted by: EvilNando | October 6, 2008

Main server MELTDOWN!

This weekend I decided to upgrade my video card on my main computer, not in my wildest dreams I would imagined that doing this could fry all of my RAM modules

The good thing is that I was ALREADY EXPECTING something like this to happen…

The root of the problem comes from the motherboard that the computer was using which was an Nforce680i from XFX.

This motherboard is complete SHIT, a waste of money and before I continue writing what I want to give out my warnings if you intend to buy nforce motherboards in the near future, they are a waste of money and are completely unrealiable (besides theres a rumor going that Intel is going to release SLI compatibility on future boards) and please do not believe all the hype that NVIDIA is building on its new motherboard , the 780i,   just grab an Intel chipset if you ever need a new motherboard.

Now with that said, I want to explaing how I did notice that this piece of shit was going to give me troubles some day soon, this were the anomalies I’ve experience with this motherboard since day 1.

My first configuration was the nforce680i motherboard + 2GB OZC SLI DDR2 PC8500 RAM (2x 1GB)

Initially this worked just fine , passed 2 days of having this stock configuration I started doing hardware tweaks, the only tweak I did was to enable the ” SLI RAM “option inside of the BIOS configuration.

If you dont know of what that SLI option does on ram I’ll copy&paste the marketing promo:

from OCZ

The new OCZ PC2-8500 SLI-Ready Series is equipped with NVIDIA Enhanced Performance Profiles (EPP) to optimize the modules’ performance on nForce® SLI-based motherboards. OCZ exclusively engineered select high-performance modules with advanced SPD (Serial Presence Detect) settings to allow compatible motherboards to recognize and utilize the added information, ultimately increasing the performance potential of the entire platform.

so what all this marketing jumbo means is that once you enable this setting (which needs sli RAM placed on a sli motherboard or an nforce mobo since there are not other motherboards which are sli certified) your RAM will be set at a higher timing profile and will use a HIGHER voltage setting so these timinings remain stable on your system

On paper this sounds very good , because this means that boths mobo and ram manufacturers agree on the timings and voltages settings the system should handle if the right components are met, so enabling this setting on the BIOS does not void any warranty on any involved hardware.

After 3 days of using this SLI ready setting The computer started blank screen ,doing long beeps and showing a C1 error on the POST lcd, yep  that means “FRIED RAM”.

From that day I started to be very cautious with my ram settings, I used the warranty on the ram sticks and I asked directly to OCZ what timings and voltages they recommend  to operate the ram safely, I can’t remember the exact voltage settings they gave me at that time but what I remembered is that once I got my new RAM back and I configured it to what OCZ told me to , the machine would not boot up.

I searched the whole internet looking for answers and I found out on some forums that there were a bunch of people having the same trouble, then I found the answer: what was going on is that these nforce mobos became unstable if they operate ram at this voltage settings, as soons as I dropped .02 volts on the ram settings voila! the system worked again (until yesterday that is)

I knew this mobo had issues, not just from my experience but from what the internet was saying, so as a contingency I bought an ASUS Maximum Formula which I stored in case of an emergency, yesterday I opened that box for the first time.

Now my system is back up in place it has the new mobo installed and the new vidcard as well , it is running on 1gb non dual mode of RAM which serves me well just to re-install the os and the development tools

Dont worry about of the project’s source code , the repository is backed up on two different hard disks which are on a redundant RAID system each and are not inside of this machine.

Now you know what happened, please dont buy Nforce.. EVER!!!!!!!

I’ll write a new post as soon as the system is ready again

Have a nice day

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