Crashing Computer: More RAM, More Crashes

I just got the two 8GB RAM sticks, and wanted to test them, so I installed it alongside the 4GB stick.  Within a couple  hours, there was a crash.

If you haven’t read the other posts in the series, get started here: The Crashing Computer.

The 4GB had been rock solid for a day, so I considered it usable. After the 8GB stick was installed, there were crashes after a while.

I removed the 4GB, leaving 8GB, and it’s been stable.  So, the problem isn’t  necessarily the RAM, but some kind of interaction between different sticks of memory. It could also be the motherboard.

I have read advice in the past, to buy RAM in batches, and using only one batch in the computer. This would be the first time I’ve experienced incompatibilities across chips.

I bought two 8GB sticks, so I’ll install the second one tomorrow, and see what happens.  If it’s stable, I’ll sell the two other sticks separately.

Update on Dec 5

I haven’t installed the new RAM.  The computer may have crashed when I stepped out, but it’s hard to tell if it was a crash, or I had shut it down, and it rebooted instead.  I’ll install the additional RAM ASAP.

I’m also looking to sell the old memory. Contact me to buy. It’ll be priced at most, 50% of market value.

Update December 6

Boom. It crashed when I was working on it, and not even using many applications.  I’m swapping in the other 8GB stick of RAM, and looking for trouble.  If this is stable, I’ll add in the other 4GB of RAM and see if that’s stable.

The 8GB sticks should be within warranty so I can get money back for them, if necessary.

Update Later in the Day

Well, the  second stick also crashed, not too long after booting.  So, I went to the badlands of voltage tweaking, and raised the voltage on the RAM from 1.5 to 1.51 volts.

So far, so good. It’s been pretty stable for a few hours, but we’ll see.  I dislike these tweaks, because, as the warnings say, you will wear out your components sooner.  This computer is driving headlong into burning out.

I decided I needed to learn more about RAM tweaking, and found a good article at Tom’s Hardware: RAM Overclocking Guide: How (and Why) to Tweak Your Memory.

It looks a lot more involved than what I already did, but it also makes sense to under-voltage the RAM and see how it fails.  I suspect I have to increase the voltage just to get normal speeds, but, that’s life with this relatively cheap gear.

Besides, if I really do spec out how good or bad each stick is, I might be able to have 22GB in my computer.  It’s pretty freaking ridiculous.

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