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First post, by obcbeatle

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Hello ... I have an ASUS A7V333-X motherboard with a AMD Athlon XP 2800+ 333FSB, 512KB (2.083GHz) CPU installed. The AwardBIOS version is 1003.

The BIOS is confusing me. I believe the BIOS CPU Speed should be 2.083GHz, CPU Frequency Multiple 12.5x, CPU External Frequency (MHz) 166/333, Memory Frequency (MHz) 333. But the PC becomes unstable (hangs) with those values. So I’ve set the CPU Speed to Manual, CPU Frequency Multiple 12.5x, CPU External Frequency (MHz) 133/33, Memory Frequency (MHz) 333 ... and the PC is stable. The two RAM modules are Crucial DDRAM 512MB PC-2700. Is the PC hanging at BIOS CPU Speed 2.083GHz because of the RAM? Also ... when the BIOS CPU Speed is set to Manual ... I don’t know what that means as far as what the CPU speed currently is. The other BIOS CPU Speeds available are shown in the last picture (below). I’m still Googling for an answer ... but thought I’d post a thread here too. Any advice clarification appreciated. Thank you.

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Reply 1 of 17, by thigobr

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It seems the system is unstable when running FSB at 166MHz, which is the correct frequency for this CPU. Going by what you said RAM seems to run fine at 333MHz (166MHz DDR). To start troubleshooting I would check CPU temperature first, memory timings (maybe try command rate at 2T), try to increase Vcore and VDIMM few notches.

Reply 2 of 17, by lost77

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The CPU speed it "Multiplier" times "External frequency", so 1666 MHz at your manual settings.

It could be your PSU isn't strong to run the CPU at full speed. Or maybe it gets to hot. Just guessing now.

Reply 4 of 17, by obcbeatle

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Thanks for the replies! I checked the temperature using a Asus utility that came on the CD when this board was purchased. All the temperatures are within threshold ... assuming the software utility is accurate. Thanks for the explanation on the multiplier * external frequency = speed. I did not know that ... or I had forgotten 😀 The PSU is new and does not get hot. How can I test the PSU for being up to snuff for this AMD CPU? I'm pretty sure the new PSU is pretty much equivalent to the power of the original PSU that shipped with this board ... back in the day. I checked the CPU jumpers on the board. They are still set to the factory settings for this board (default ... over-volt disabled). I guess I'll pull the RAM ... inspect ... and re-seat. Thanks.

Reply 5 of 17, by .legaCy

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obcbeatle wrote:

Thanks for the replies! I checked the temperature using a Asus utility that came on the CD when this board was purchased. All the temperatures are within threshold ... assuming the software utility is accurate. Thanks for the explanation on the multiplier * external frequency = speed. I did not know that ... or I had forgotten 😀 The PSU is new and does not get hot. How can I test the PSU for being up to snuff for this AMD CPU? I'm pretty sure the new PSU is pretty much equivalent to the power of the original PSU that shipped with this board ... back in the day. I checked the CPU jumpers on the board. They are still set to the factory settings for this board (default ... over-volt disabled). I guess I'll pull the RAM ... inspect ... and re-seat. Thanks.

Check the PSU label the current rating on the 5v line, and check the old one too.
I have one Athlon XP 2800+(Barton) running on an A7V8X-X board, 1x512MB of RAM,GF FX5200 and the PSU powering everything is an Corsair VS400, never had any issue while playing games.

Reply 6 of 17, by obcbeatle

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Thanks ... I checked the current rating on the 5v line of the new PSU and it's the same as the old PSU. I just pulled the RAM and I see that one module is a crucial pc3200 512 ddr (I think 400MHz) and the other is a crucial (I think pc2700) 512 ddr 333MHz. I think I have mis-matched RAM?

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Reply 7 of 17, by obcbeatle

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Ok ... it looks like the pc3200 may be the culprit ... but I can't tell if it's 400Mhz. Can someone see a marking on that module that indicates whether it's 333 or 400MHz? Thanks in advance.

Reply 8 of 17, by SW-SSG

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^PC3200 == 400MHz. PC2700 == 333MHz. They are different ways to say the same thing.

Your board supports 333MHz memory operation and that is how it seems to be set in the BIOS, so both modules will be running at 333MHz. It doesn't matter in this case that they're mismatched. What you can try is having just one of either module installed and checking if the system still hangs.

Reply 11 of 17, by dionb

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obcbeatle wrote:

Ok ... it looks like the pc3200 may be the culprit ... but I can't tell if it's 400Mhz. Can someone see a marking on that module that indicates whether it's 333 or 400MHz? Thanks in advance.

RAM is simple stuff - it doesn't clock itself, it just runs at whatever speed the memory controller addresses it. If it can handle that, fine, if not, not so fine.

PC3200=DDR400=200MHz double-pumped - that's capable of faster speeds than the PC2700=DDR333=166MHz double-pumped that the CPU expects. So in itself not likely to be a problem.

But...

Asus boards from this period were notoriously picky when it comes to memory compatibility. In theory any DDR-SDRAM >= required speed would work, but in practice, many modules (regardless of specs) failed to run. As it's not a dual-channel board, try as many single modules as you have available. If any work at the desired speeds, then try to pair them and see if it still works.

Reply 13 of 17, by obcbeatle

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Thanks for all the replies and the clarification. It is really helpful and appreciated.

So I set the CPU speed again in the BIOS to 2.083MHz ... CPU Freq. Multi. 12.5x ... CPU Ext. Freq. 166\33 ... Mem. Freq. 333 (also tried Auto) ... with just the PC2700 512mb module ... and the system still hangs. Same thing (hangs) with just the PC3200 512 module (same values as above in BIOS).

I put both modules back in with the PC2700 in the first RAM slot ... the PC3200 in the second RAM slot (that's the reverse order than yesterday's test) ... and with those same values above in BIOS it hangs.

So I left both modules as is and set the BIOS CPU speed to Manual ... CPU Freq. Multi. 12.5x ... CPU Ext. Freq. 133\33 ... Mem. Freq. 333 ... and the system doesn't hang (same as yesterday's test when set to Manual with those values in BIOS)

So when the system is running OK ... the ASUS Windows XP utility reports the CPU current speed as 1666MHz ... and the external clock as 133Mhz.

The max speed of the CPU should be around 2083MHz (I believe) ... so my current Manual BIOS settings ... that prevent the system from hanging ... are also forcing my CPU to under-perform. But as long as it's stable ... I'm happy for now. I need to decide what I want to do with this computer anyway.

I wish had some more RAM modules sitting around to test in this board.

UPDATE NOTE: I just found the ASUS A7V33-X manual that came with this board! It says "when using 333MHz FSB CPU (which is what I have) ... system memory supports DDR333 only". That implies that the PC3200 shouldn't even be working in this board ... correct!? Also says "PC2700 max. to 4 banks only" ... which I think means I can only put two PC2700 modules in the first two slots ... as I believe each slot is 2 banks ... correct? There are three RAM slots. So I find it odd that the one PC2700 512mb module hangs the system when it's in the first RAM slot (bank) and is DDR333 ... the same as the 333MHz FSB CPU ... seems like the PC2700 should support the CPU speed of 2083MHz when I set it as such in the BIOS. Oh ... and still no over-heating issues or voltage issues ... per the BIOS ... and per the ASUS Windows XP utility.

Sorry about the long confusing ramble. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this stuff 😀 Thanks for any explanations.

Last edited by obcbeatle on 2018-12-30, 13:04. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 15 of 17, by lost77

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When you say your computer "hangs". When exactly does it do that?

From my experience, memory problems will mostly cause random errors, like blue screen of death in windows or missing file messages during boot-up.

Reply 16 of 17, by obcbeatle

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lost77 wrote:

When you say your computer "hangs". When exactly does it do that?

From my experience, memory problems will mostly cause random errors, like blue screen of death in windows or missing file messages during boot-up.

That is a good question! And "hang" is probably not accurate. My apologies. The behavior is ... right after saving the CPU settings in the BIOS (F10) ... during the reboot ... I get no beep ... no POST ... and no signal to monitor. So the PC is in a state where it won't do anything ... won't boot to POST or beyond. I power-off. And on the next power-on the PC beeps and boots to BIOS showing me the 2083 MHz CPU speed highlighted and the red "Caution ..." warning ... in one of my photo's (above). *Occasionally* it will beep once and boot to POST and beyond after modifying the CPU speed to 2083 MHz in the BIOS. But usually by the next power-off it won't even POST. So "unstable booting or no boot" might be a better description. Hope that made sense 😀 Thank you for the reply!

Reply 17 of 17, by obcbeatle

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OK ... so I just realized that I was running one version below the last non-beta version of the AwardBIOS. I was running v.1003. The last non-beta was v.1004. So I updated the BIOS to v.1004 ... and tried 2083MHz again as the Cpu Speed (see pic below) ... and so far no problems booting. I still get a BIOS warning when I enter the BIOS just looking under that advanced setting ... but I think those values are what the cpu/BIOS are supposed to support. We'll see 😀 The ASUS Windows XP utility reports that CPU speed = 1917MHz, External clock = 166MHz. So those values increased. I'm going to leave it like it is and keep testing. Hopefully I won't have any more problems with those slightly higher values. Thanks to everyone for their help. I learned a lot 😀

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