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RAM Advice for PPL using GA-8I915PL-G Motherboard

OK, so I bought a new computer in November. 3.0Ghz P4, 512MB Ram, yada yada. Good machine. I changd the video card, and I was almost set. The Gigabyte motherboard (GA-8I915PL-G), supports up to 2GB of DDR PC-3200 RAM running at 2.5 Volts. Now, RAM is supposed to be one of the easiest upgrades to make. Well...I traded in my stick of 512MB Corsair RAM for a 1 Gig stick of Kingston (it was cheaper than 1 gig of Corsair). The 1 Gig stick runs at 2.6 volts. They said it would run fine, which it does. The motherboard automatically adjusts the voltage. But that was only a gig. I wanted 2. So I got a stick of 1 gig Corsair for Christmas; same timing, same voltage. I didn't think ti would work right because this motherboard is picky with RAM, so because they are differentbrands, I thought it might not work. Which it didn't. Both sticks together gave me a power error beeping and wouldn't post. Each stick alone was fine. So I traded the Corsair in for another Kingston. This should work, I thought. Same brand, same timing, same everything.

Nope. Power error again. Kingston told me that my power supply was not strong enough since they recommend 400W power supply or more. Gigabyte told me that because the RAM was not sold as a kit, the timing me not be perfectly in sync, and that was why maybe it didn't work, and also suggested upping the DIMM voltage by .1 or .2 (each stick is .1 volts over what they say the board can support, thought they have overclocking tools that come with the board). So I grabeed another power supply, and had one 300W one run just the motherboard, and the other 300W one run everything else. I also upped to voltage by .2. It worked, for about 10 seconds. After the POST, the computer froze on the next boot screen and rebooted to give me a power error. So for 10 seconds, I had 2 gigs running in dual channel mode.

Needless to say, after trying a few more thimes and nearly killing my hard drive when plugging my power supply back into the motherboard (always hit the Off switch o nthe back of the power supply, kids), I gave up before I did any damage. I decided that 1 gig is enough until I can find 2 1-gig sticks that run at 2.5 Volts. At first I thought the second DDR slot was not working, but I had 2 512Meg sticks running in my system at one point, so that wasn't it. Just too much voltage.

So, kids, when buying RAM, check your motherboard manual to find out the exact specs of what it can run, and make a note of the voltage, especially if the board uses an Intel chipset. I've been told they are quite picky. And if the manual says 2.5 Volt RAM, use 2.5 Volt RAM. Even RAM running at .1 Volts more will cause you grief if you try to run more than one stick.

The End
The golden rule to running memory in Dual Channel mode is ALWAYS have 2 identical sticks of memory; Same Make, Same Timing, Same Size, Same Voltage. They MUST be identical, otherwise you will run in to problems!
They were identical. The problem was that the voltage on both was 2.6 when the board supports 2.5, even though Gigabyte told me it can do 2.6 if you up the DIMM voltage. But then it becomes unstable. What they should have told me is that the board supports 2 Gigs of PC2700 RAM. PC2700 RAM runs at 2.5 volts. I can't find 1 Gig sticks of PC3200 that run at 2.5 volts (except for Samsung). So if I want to run 2 gigs, which I will eventually, I have to either buy the Samsung RAM or go down to PC2700. Smile
I would suggest that if you didn't do it this time that in the future order your memory from somewhere like Kingston or Crucial DIRECTLY. They both have ordering applications that you enter YOUR mobo and they return a list of GUARANTEED compatible memory. Rule number two is to always use IDENTICAL PAIRS in their appropriate channels (Crucial's list for YOUR mobo is i.e. MATCHING COLORS (one pair is purple and one pair is orange... can't remember which is the 'first' pair

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