Tuesday, 23 September 2008

EVGA 790i Ultra MB and Kingston RAM

We put together a system for a client:

The whole process was a learning experience for us since nVidia is not the first stop on the high performance bus for us (pun intended).

Well, when we sourced product for the motherboard, we were pretty careful to get all of the components recommended by each component manufacturer for compatibility.

One of the big losses when putting together a system like this over an Intel Xeon series server is the intensive validation that the components get on the server side.

So, guess what? At the time we built the workstation, Kingston was recommending KVR1333D3N8K2/2G for a system that would be configured with a total of 2 kits for 4GB.

Other than one of the Western Digital Raptors outright dying, the system has been hiccuping on a random basis. There did not seem to be any indication of a source for the problem though.

After the Raptor died, we made sure to flash the board's BIOS, any available firmware updates, and drivers for the motherboard, video cards, etc.

Yesterday, while on the bench, the system refused to misbehave. At least that is, until we walked in this morning and found it uttering a single long beep one after the other in slow repetition.

The motherboard's LCD troubleshooting block (it is embedded on the board for overclock troubleshooting) indicated a C1 which was memory initialization.

We ran through the BurnInTest Pro in memory torture mode with no results. Leaving the machine idle and go into screen saver last night seemed to be the key to bringing out the gremlins.

So, after running the memory test built into Windows Vista which turned up error free, we were in a quandary ... until verifying the RAM info at Kingston's site again:

EVGA nForce 790i SLI Motherboard RAM Compatibility List

Notice a difference between what we installed and what is listed today?

We are looking at an "N9" instead of an "N8".

Now, we are heading out to pick up the N9 RAM to see if that actually does make a difference.

Just to qualify: We have run into RAM compatibility issues like this before with listing changes over time on Kingston's site on both server and workstation configurations. So, this situation does not come as a surprise to us.

Now, does the RAM change fix the problem ... we will keep you posted! :)

And if it does ... anyone need four 1GB sticks of KVR1333D3N8K2/2G memory?

One more thing ...

Part No Longer Exists

Gotta love when that happens. :(

Buyer Beware ...

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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