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RAM Upgrade on WinXP - P4M80-M4 Board

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:36 am
by revy
Running XP SP2 on a VIA P4M80-M4 Mainboard, Socket 478, DDR400 with two (2) DDR Dimm modules and Intel Celeron CPU 2.40GHz.

When I install two 1GB PC3200 DDR 400MHz cards, system won't load XP. BIOS seem to run successfully but Windows won't boot. Windows Startup screen restarts 3 times then just black screen.

Everything works well with a 1GB card in DIMM1 and a 256MB card in DIMM2, but only running on 768MB total physical memory. I assume 512MB on DIMM1 and 256MB on DIMM2.

Manual states total memory size max is 2GB, 1GB x 2.
Total Virtual Memory in my System Info Summary states 2.0GB.
But only 1.96MB Available Virtual Memory. Any way to ramp this up?

BIOS Version/Date Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG, 6/9/2007
SMBIOS Version 2.3

It should work right?

Any ideas why it doesn't??

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:09 pm
by cp
what happens if you insert one 1GB stick? what does the memory count show? are the memory settings in the bios set to AUTO? check them and reset them if necessary. did you test the installed memory with memtest86+? if not grab a copy and test the memory.

btw. VIRTUAL memory is the disk-mapped memory an OS uses to move running applications out of the physical memory if they currently not active. VIRTUAL memory is NOT the physically installed memory and thus totally independed of the currently installed memory size.
please uses memtest86+ to display the available PHYSICAL memory size.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:49 pm
by Denniss
El cheapo ram with x4 internal organisation perhaps?

Manufacturer and model of your RAM sticks? How many memory chips are on your 1GB sticks?

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:48 am
by revy
With one 1GB stick inserted in DIMM1, available memory reads 512MB. I believe that's common to only read half when sticks aren't paired. I've tried both sticks seperate of each other and they read the same.

I bought the memory from The Memory Pro. Don't know the brand but it's PC3200 DDR @400MHz 184 Pins. 16 chips, 8 on each side in clusters of 4.

I'm not a BIOS expert (that's why I'm here), but here's the only memory settings I found:
Advanced Chipset Features > DRAM Clock/Drive Control >DRAM Clock - set to "By SPD" ..>DRAM Timing - set to "Auto by SPD"

My curret DRAM Frequency is 200MHz

I don't have a copy of memtest86.

Does this seem to be a BIOS issue?

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:39 am
by Denniss
Every memory stick works with full capacity if installed as single stick. If capacity is halved then something is wrong.
revy wrote:I bought the memory from The Memory Pro. Don't know the brand but it's PC3200 DDR @400MHz 184 Pins. 16 chips, 8 on each side in clusters of 4.
As I said, the "in clusters of four" sounds like el cheapo RAM with internal x4 organisation, these chips were to be used for buffered/registered sticks but not for standard unbuffered sticks.
Give them back to your dealer and pay some bucks more for quality ram. ... dZViewItem
-> should be an example of this el cheapo with wrong org, they do not work in all motherboards.
COMPATIBILITY NOTE: Buyer is responsible for checking compatibility before bidding. With incompatible motherboards, this ram may read as 512MB or may not read at all.
-> speaks for its own

El Cheapo RAM'O

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:17 am
by revy
How do you know if it's quality RAM or not? What manufacturers do you recommend? Crucial, Kingston... Names like that?

Is there something in the description that would set it apart from others?

What's a fair price for 1GB sticks of quality RAM?

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:29 am
by Denniss
Yep, those names listed have value RAM for a fair price and they don't play the foul game with x4 memory sticks.

Good quality PC-3200 should cost in the range of 40-50 Euro, don't know the prices of the dollar area.

If trying to get some decent RAM please always compare the prices you have to pay for 2GB with a new system (AMD Sempron, Socket AM2, 2GB of DDR2, board with integrated VGA). A new system may even cost more but performance is way above a S478 Celeron while power consumption may even drop.