I have a DP35DP motherboard in my PC. Until recently I have been using a 32-Bit OS and so could only use two 2GB sticks of RAM. I had another two sticks, but I kept them as spares. But I am now on a 64-Bit OS and so want to use all four sticks (8GB total). The RAM I am using is Corsair XMS2 CM2X2048 - 6400C5. 800MHz 5-5-5-18.
The first question is to do with RAM voltage. Although all four sticks are the same in every other respect, they are different voltages. One pair is 1.8V and the other pair is 1.9V. Can they all be used together on the motherboard or should they all be the same voltage?
Secondly, when I built the PC and had someone help me and they used the Intel Integrator Assistant (IIA) to make an adjustment to the RAM voltage. They were never totally sure whether it worked or not. Is there anyway I can tell now whether it worked and what the current RAM voltage is on the mobo? It does not tell you in the BIOS.
Thirdly, I tried to find out for myself by loading the latest IIA I could find, which was IIA_126.96.36.1992. Is this the latest, and if not what is and where can I get it? I cannot find anywhere in the version I have that tells you the RAM voltage or lets you adjust it. Can't find nothing of the sort. I'd also like to possibly change the BIOS splash image file, but the option is greyed out in the IIA version I have.
Would most appreciate any help. Let me know if you need any more info.
Hope this helps,
Many thanks for the helpful reply. Much appreciated.
1. I've been in touch with Corsair regarding the RAM. In their first response they have said that the printed voltage on the modules is the voltage they were TESTED at, and that the mobo determines the voltage, not the RAM itself. I've responded with some more questions and will report back when they get back to me. It might be that all the sticks are the same after all!
2. I've installed IDU but unfortunately it does not display the RAM voltage. Not sure if anyone knows of any other utilities which might? Or do all such just get their info from BIOS (in which case I guess it stands to reason that they would not have the info seeing as it is not in the BIOS).
3. I've found a clean download for IIT 188.8.131.520. Just having a little trouble figuring out how to use it! Perhaps with a fresh head in the morning it will make more sense!
It's interesting because I thought flashing the BIOS would completely wipe the previous BIOS and any/all settings. So when I flashed from 0407 to 0572 last week, I expected the IiA "tweaks" that the person who helped me did to be gone (all he used it for was the BIOS splash screen and the RAM voltage change). The custom splash is definitely still there. So I'm guessing that the RAM voltage change wold still be in effect as well. Would be nice to know for sure though. And to have the option to change it is needed.
Hope this helps,
1. Well it will be interesting to hear what Corsair come back with. It's strange that the RAM sticks are exactly the same in every other respect. Also, I am looking to buy more of the RAM and interestingly some sellers list it as 1.8V - 1.9V.
I'm not all that techie, but if from what you say the DIMM itself holds its own "SPD data" then it would be good if I could get a utility which could read this data and report it back to me. At least then I'd know for sure what voltage the RAM is.
2. Great, thanks. I'll try both of those later and see.
3. 184.108.40.2060 is the tookit (ITK) isn't it, rather than the Assistant (IIA)? Or are the newer toolkits a different beast entirely? I'll look for some tutorials later, was just curious in the meantime.
4. DOH! Yes, that makes perfect sense
I've got no problem buying some more RAM. There's a fair bit of that old Corsair stuff about and it can be had quite cheaply. The trouble is I don't know whether to buy 1.8V or 1.9V. I know the DP35DP natively requires 1.8V. But i don't know if the board has since been tweaked to accept 1.9*odd*V. So if I can somehow find that out and/or revert it back to 1.8V that would be perfect.
Something that would be very helpful to know... If the wrong RAM were used in any scenario, for example - 1.9V when the mobo requires 1.8V, 1.8V when the mobo has been tweaked to require 1.9V, a mixture of 1.8V and 1.9V modules used at the same time, etc. what would happen? Is it generally a case of the RAM will either POST and work, or not work? Or could it work fine to naked eye, but just not quite as fast and efficiently as it could be if it were correct? Or could it blow up? Become self aware? ... Armed with this knowledge I could at least potentially try a bit of trial and error.
Thanks so much for the help.
There are third-party tools available that can read the SPD data. One that I use is a freeware tool called RW-Everything (Read-Write Everything). It may be slightly too techie, but give it a try. You could also try a tool like AIDA64. This package is not free, but you are given a trial period to try it out before being required to pay for it.
Once you hit ITK version 5.0, it is a whole different animal - but it is not supported on boards as old as yours anyway. ITK 6.0, the latest available, can only be used with the NUC and Compute Stick products.
If you use differing DIMMs, one of two things can happen, either it just doesn't work (which could include just not "seeing" the extra DIMMs) or it attempts to work and the operation of the system becomes unstable. For example, suppose you do have two sets of DIMMs that require different voltages, one requiring 1.8V and one requiring 1.9V. If the board runs them using 1.8V, the ones requiring 1.9V may work or may fail (or worse, seem to work but eventually fail). Of the board runs them at 1.9V, the same issue could apply - but worse, the 1.8V DIMMs may eventually be damaged by the overvoltage situation. Your best bet is thus to ensure that you are running four identical DIMMs. That is, four DIMMs that have the exact same part numbers and the exact same settings in their SPDs.
I gave RW-Everything a shot first but I don't think it showed me the RAM SPD voltage (unless it was there and I cold not decipher it!).
So next I tried AIDA64 Engineer and I think that tells me what I need to know:
Is "Module Voltage" SSTL the relevant reading? If so, I'll swap those sticks out and pop in the 1.9V sticks, then - presuming i get as far as Windows loading - I can fire up AIDA64 to see whether it reports them as 1.9V or not.
But I won't do anything now as I've had a couple of beers and it's bed time!!!
Thanks enormously for the help.
Excuse the long absence....
I thought I go ahead and try the other sticks of RAM. So I added them (as opposed to swapping with what was already there)... Of course, what I forgot was that AIDA64 only reports on slot 1 in the Trial version. Damn! I didn't fancy opening up the PC again and swapping them all over (it's quite fiddly because I've got a large heatsink)... So I googled for other "RAM Reporters" and found RAMMon. Seems like a great little app. And it's free. And it reports on all 4 slots. Happy days indeed!
Here's a screenshot:
As you can see it is reporting all 4 sticks as 1.8V. So I think that's good news?!? If it is, I guess I can rest easy and put my wallet away confident in the fact that all four sticks are the same, even though they have different voltages written on them.
But... I'd still like to find out if my mobo was tweaked with IIA back in the day from 1.8V to a higher value. So if there is a way to do that it would be very helpful. Just as helpful would be a way to set it to 1.8V now. That way it won't matter what was/wan't done in the past. At least I'll know it's as it should be now if I could do that.
Hhmmm, I am not sure that there is a way to tell...
You can always go into BIOS Setup and use F9 to set all BIOS configuration parameters to their defaults. This will reset anything that was done by IIA except changes to SMBIOS strings and the splash screen logo.
After doing F9, make any changes in the boot order, etc. that are absolutely necessary and then use F10 to exit BIOS Setup saving the configuration.
Hope this helps,
First, I just want to say thanks for all your time and help on this. I really do appreciate it.
OK, so will the BIOS "reset to Default" approach 100% reset any changes to the RAM voltages that were tweaked in the IIA? I guess I'm slightly hesitant because it is not a BIOS setting; the BIOS doesn't even report on the matter, let alone allow it to be changed. Which also means there will be no way to verify afterwards if it has worked or not...
"SMBIOS strings"... Not too sure what that means or what they are...
I was thinking of another way of approaching this. I'm pretty sure that at the time the guy made the voltage changes with IIA the latest BIOS for the board was 0407. That was released Feb 18, 2008. The next BIOS after this was released March 06, 2008. I might also be able to dig out some old correspondence to narrow down a date that he did the deed. With a date, maybe I can find out what the latest IIA version was at that date (is that something you would know?). I could then try to find that version of IIA to download and re-tweak the voltage back to 1.8V.
"Hope this helps". It helps immensely - thanks again
There are indeed BIOS configuration parameters related to the memory voltage. You may not normally see them because they are way down in the bowels of the processor performance configuration. These parameters will indeed be set to their default values by a "reset to defaults" operation.
Sorry, too technical. SMBIOS (System Management BIOS) is a table of data that provides information about the system. Support was provided in IIA and ITK for changing certain strings stored in this table that describe the overall system and its chassis. By default, most of these strings are empty (blank).
I am not sure you need to worry about this. I would reset the BIOS configuration, make any changes in BIOS necessary for booting and let it go. If there is a problem with the memory, it can be addressed after the fact. I would have to dig deep to locate the IIA information
Hope this helps,
P.S. 220.127.116.112 seems to be the latest version of IIA. I saw version number 18.104.22.1682a listed somewhere but cannot any download for it.
"There are indeed BIOS configuration parameters related to the memory voltage. You may not normally see them because they are way down in the bowels of the processor performance configuration."
I'm pretty sure there are none available / visible when you simply enter BIOS normally. I've been through those BIOS screens so many times. Plus I remember reading others say that it is not in there. And the system builder who did the tweak said he had to use IIA because it is not possible to configure in BIOS. Or are you saying you are saying that it is a part BIOS, but not tweakable in the pages of BIOS?
"These parameters will indeed be set to their default values by a "reset to defaults" operation."
If the latter (the configuration parameters are part of BIOS, but not tweakable within it), then that is great news. If I can do the reset and be confident it is set to 1.8V, then I'm happy.
"I am not sure you need to worry about this."
You are probably right But I am a worrier by nature and would be a lot happier if I knew exactly how things are, and what to do accordingly.
"If there is a problem with the memory, it can be addressed after the fact. I would have to dig deep to locate the IIA information."
So far so good, more or less. A couple of times on web pages I have had some black squares come up, which has never happened before. Could be coincidence, but I'l keep my eyes open for any other odd behaviours whilst running the full 8GB. How else might problems manifest if there is a voltage and/or mis-match issue with the RAM?
Huge thanks for sticking with me on this.
Hhmmm, there are no parameters that are exposed by IIA that are not also in BIOS Setup. There are ways that parameters can be hidden - but only if done explicitly from ITK (I don't remember if IIA supported this capability as well; I didn't think so).
If the voltage is incorrect, it would mostly manifest as the system being unbootable. If it just caused instabilities, all sorts of things could happen, but it wouldn't be something strange in a browser.