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Maxing out the ram capacity on my motherboard

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Reply 20 of 67, by Repo Man11

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-20, 03:59:
Holy crap! It worked! […]
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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-20, 03:35:

I was sure that 256 was the limit, but I decided to try for myself. Starting with a 256 PC133 in one slot that I've been using for some time, trying any of the other 256 meg sticks of SDRAM I have in slot 2 would just cause it to beep without posting. But there were a couple of different 128s that it recognized and would POST with, recognizing 384 (393216)! But in both cases, it will only boot up in Safe Mode, and I've been content with the performance of this machine with 256 megabytes so that's the end of the experiment for me.

Holy crap! It worked!

Any ideas about why safe mode was required? Can you post pics, details of the sticks that worked for you and did not?

Sounds like there is definitely hope!

What cpu are you using? Also is motherboard cache enabled?

I’m really hoping that my motherboard arrives tomorrow.

I have no idea why it will only boot in Safe Mode other than it has something to do with more than 256 megs of memory on this board. The board's cache is disabled, K6-3+ 450 @ 500, and it's ordinary SDRAM I'm using - 16x8 on the 256, and I tried both PC-100 and PC-133. Take out either stick and it will boot right up.

Reply 21 of 67, by Sphere478

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-20, 04:07:
Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-20, 03:59:
Holy crap! It worked! […]
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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-20, 03:35:

I was sure that 256 was the limit, but I decided to try for myself. Starting with a 256 PC133 in one slot that I've been using for some time, trying any of the other 256 meg sticks of SDRAM I have in slot 2 would just cause it to beep without posting. But there were a couple of different 128s that it recognized and would POST with, recognizing 384 (393216)! But in both cases, it will only boot up in Safe Mode, and I've been content with the performance of this machine with 256 megabytes so that's the end of the experiment for me.

Holy crap! It worked!

Any ideas about why safe mode was required? Can you post pics, details of the sticks that worked for you and did not?

Sounds like there is definitely hope!

What cpu are you using? Also is motherboard cache enabled?

I’m really hoping that my motherboard arrives tomorrow.

I have no idea why it will only boot in Safe Mode other than it has something to do with more than 256 megs of memory on this board. The board's cache is disabled, K6-3+ 450 @ 500, and it's ordinary SDRAM I'm using - 16x8 on the 256, and I tried both PC-100 and PC-133. Take out either stick and it will boot right up.

🤔 i wonder if this means something in bios needs patched

Are all chips the same mfg/pn? Is 128 single sided? So you are running 75 fsb

I wonder if laxing the timings would help

Man, i wish i had a huge pile of ram to try.

Maybe using simms is the answer

🖥Fastest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 23 of 67, by dionb

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darry wrote on 2021-01-20, 00:47:

[...]

Hey, I learned that a 430TX could support 512MB, I likely never knew because I never looked into pushing one to its limits and I did not know anyone else who did . I played a lot more with 440BX boards, both mine and a few belonging to others .

I hope you get chance to test on one of your boards. If you do, and you have 512MB DIMMs, could you please test with those as well ? I wonder if they would be detected and work at half their nominal capacity, like they seem to do on a 440BX .

Dug up the board. Maybe will quickly do it in lunch break if nothing comes up to make me skip it.

Reply 24 of 67, by ODwilly

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I used to run two double sided 128mb sticks of pc133 on a TX intel board with a 233mmx for a few months.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 25 of 67, by dionb

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-20, 04:07:

[...]

I have no idea why it will only boot in Safe Mode other than it has something to do with more than 256 megs of memory on this board. The board's cache is disabled, K6-3+ 450 @ 500, and it's ordinary SDRAM I'm using - 16x8 on the 256, and I tried both PC-100 and PC-133. Take out either stick and it will boot right up.

First rule of this sort of stuff: only push one limit at once 😮

More/bigger RAM chips mean more load on the memory controller. That can lead to lower max speeds/looser max timings. Drop down to 66MHz max with CAS3. If that works with full stability, slowly start trying faster settings one by one. If it turns out you can only do 75MHz FSB with max 256MB and/or max 2 banks on memory controller, you may have to choose between more RAM and more speed.

Note that more voltage might stabilize stuff. Old TX boards probably don't have separate memory voltage control, but might have a VR/VRE setting to bump Vio from 3.3V to 3.5V. That might also do the trick.

Reply 26 of 67, by dionb

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dionb wrote on 2021-01-20, 09:48:
darry wrote on 2021-01-20, 00:47:

[...]

Hey, I learned that a 430TX could support 512MB, I likely never knew because I never looked into pushing one to its limits and I did not know anyone else who did . I played a lot more with 440BX boards, both mine and a few belonging to others .

I hope you get chance to test on one of your boards. If you do, and you have 512MB DIMMs, could you please test with those as well ? I wonder if they would be detected and work at half their nominal capacity, like they seem to do on a 440BX .

Dug up the board. Maybe will quickly do it in lunch break if nothing comes up to make me skip it.

Right, only had time for a minimal test.

Tested with:
64MB DIMM, 8 8Mx8 cjips
128MB DIMM, 16 8Mx8 chips
256MB DIMM, 16 16Mx8 chips
512MB DIMM, 16 32Mx8 chips

MS-5158 has 3 DIMM slots. According to TH'99, DIMMs should be filled starting with DIMM 1 and any combination up to 256MB should work. That's not what I found:
- Single-sided DIMMs can be used in any slot.
- DIMM3 doesn't eat double-sided DIMMs, regardless of size/chip density.
- in DIMM 1 and 2, double-sided DIMMs do work.
- 128Mb chip density is correctly detected and utilized. 256MB DIMM is usable as 256MB
- 256Mb chip density is not fully supported, but as with i440BX, the first 128Mb of every chip can be used, so that 512MB DIMM is recognized as 256MB
- however 2x 256MB still only reports 256MB

In other words, 128Mb is supported, but there appears to be a (BIOS?) limit allowing max 256MB to be detected.

What I didn't do:
- double-check with single-sided 128MB DIMM with 128Mb chips for behaviour in all DIMM slots.
- boot into OS and see how much RAM is available there, regardless of amount BIOS reports.
- update BIOS (if newer one is available)

Might get round to that later.

Reply 27 of 67, by Sphere478

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dionb wrote on 2021-01-20, 10:00:
First rule of this sort of stuff: only push one limit at once :o […]
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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-20, 04:07:

[...]

I have no idea why it will only boot in Safe Mode other than it has something to do with more than 256 megs of memory on this board. The board's cache is disabled, K6-3+ 450 @ 500, and it's ordinary SDRAM I'm using - 16x8 on the 256, and I tried both PC-100 and PC-133. Take out either stick and it will boot right up.

First rule of this sort of stuff: only push one limit at once 😮

More/bigger RAM chips mean more load on the memory controller. That can lead to lower max speeds/looser max timings. Drop down to 66MHz max with CAS3. If that works with full stability, slowly start trying faster settings one by one. If it turns out you can only do 75MHz FSB with max 256MB and/or max 2 banks on memory controller, you may have to choose between more RAM and more speed.

Note that more voltage might stabilize stuff. Old TX boards probably don't have separate memory voltage control, but might have a VR/VRE setting to bump Vio from 3.3V to 3.5V. That might also do the trick.

Gosh, I hope you’re wrong about having to choose but unfortunately I think you may be onto something.

In such a case, I hear using EDO may allow the best of both worlds? What do you think?

dionb wrote on 2021-01-20, 12:14:
Right, only had time for a minimal test. […]
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dionb wrote on 2021-01-20, 09:48:
darry wrote on 2021-01-20, 00:47:

[...]

Hey, I learned that a 430TX could support 512MB, I likely never knew because I never looked into pushing one to its limits and I did not know anyone else who did . I played a lot more with 440BX boards, both mine and a few belonging to others .

I hope you get chance to test on one of your boards. If you do, and you have 512MB DIMMs, could you please test with those as well ? I wonder if they would be detected and work at half their nominal capacity, like they seem to do on a 440BX .

Dug up the board. Maybe will quickly do it in lunch break if nothing comes up to make me skip it.

Right, only had time for a minimal test.

Tested with:
64MB DIMM, 8 8Mx8 cjips
128MB DIMM, 16 8Mx8 chips
256MB DIMM, 16 16Mx8 chips
512MB DIMM, 16 32Mx8 chips

MS-5158 has 3 DIMM slots. According to TH'99, DIMMs should be filled starting with DIMM 1 and any combination up to 256MB should work. That's not what I found:
- Single-sided DIMMs can be used in any slot.
- DIMM3 doesn't eat double-sided DIMMs, regardless of size/chip density.
- in DIMM 1 and 2, double-sided DIMMs do work.
- 128Mb chip density is correctly detected and utilized. 256MB DIMM is usable as 256MB
- 256Mb chip density is not fully supported, but as with i440BX, the first 128Mb of every chip can be used, so that 512MB DIMM is recognized as 256MB
- however 2x 256MB still only reports 256MB

In other words, 128Mb is supported, but there appears to be a (BIOS?) limit allowing max 256MB to be detected.

What I didn't do:
- double-check with single-sided 128MB DIMM with 128Mb chips for behaviour in all DIMM slots.
- boot into OS and see how much RAM is available there, regardless of amount BIOS reports.
- update BIOS (if newer one is available)

Might get round to that later.

Based on what repo found I think we just need to keep trying and will eventually find a formula that works.

🖥Fastest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 28 of 67, by dionb

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-20, 16:00:

[...]
Gosh, I hope you’re wrong about having to choose but unfortunately I think you may be onto something.

In such a case, I hear using EDO may allow the best of both worlds? What do you think?

Highly unlikely. Anyway, good luck finding the 64MB or 128MB 50ns SIMMs for that.

Have done rest of tests with my MS-5158 v1 and one thing is clear: even though I've seen 512MB on i430TX, it certainly won't work everywhere. But 128Mb chips definitely do work at full capacity and256Mb chips at half, as would be expected if the controller could handle max 128Mb.

Now done the missing tests:
- upgraded BIOS to 1.4 (newest BIOS for v1): no change.
- booted to Linux with 512MB installed and 256MB detected in BIOS: 256MB available there too.
- tried 32MB double-sided and 128MB single-sided modules. Here things get interesting. Not for max RAM, that's unchanged at 256MB regardless of combination:
-- 32MB double-sided (16Mb chips) DIMMs worked fine in all three slots.
--128MB single-sided (128Mb chips) DIMM worked fine in 1 and 2, but in slot 3 it only showed 32MB.
-- whenever a DIMM was in slot 3, all DIMMs showed up as max 64MB (double-sided) or 32MB (single-sided), as if using the third slot dropped max chip density to 32Mb.

Weird behaviour, to put it mildly...

Reply 29 of 67, by Sphere478

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dionb wrote on 2021-01-20, 16:08:
Highly unlikely. Anyway, good luck finding the 64MB or 128MB 50ns SIMMs for that. […]
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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-20, 16:00:

[...]
Gosh, I hope you’re wrong about having to choose but unfortunately I think you may be onto something.

In such a case, I hear using EDO may allow the best of both worlds? What do you think?

Highly unlikely. Anyway, good luck finding the 64MB or 128MB 50ns SIMMs for that.

Have done rest of tests with my MS-5158 v1 and one thing is clear: even though I've seen 512MB on i430TX, it certainly won't work everywhere. But 128Mb chips definitely do work at full capacity and256Mb chips at half, as would be expected if the controller could handle max 128Mb.

Now done the missing tests:
- upgraded BIOS to 1.4 (newest BIOS for v1): no change.
- booted to Linux with 512MB installed and 256MB detected in BIOS: 256MB available there too.
- tried 32MB double-sided and 128MB single-sided modules. Here things get interesting. Not for max RAM, that's unchanged at 256MB regardless of combination:
-- 32MB double-sided (16Mb chips) DIMMs worked fine in all three slots.
--128MB single-sided (128Mb chips) DIMM worked fine in 1 and 2, but in slot 3 it only showed 32MB.
-- whenever a DIMM was in slot 3, all DIMMs showed up as max 64MB (double-sided) or 32MB (single-sided), as if using the third slot dropped max chip density to 32Mb.

Weird behaviour, to put it mildly...

Kinda sounds like that 3rd slot is just patched on there and not really something the chipset ever intended to be. Lol motherboard creators getting innovative.

You tried combinations with 256mb in slot one and 128 in slot two?

🖥Fastest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 30 of 67, by Sphere478

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Oh, you should try these tests with cache on motherboard both enabled and disabled. I think I read something to the effect that it may matter.

I’m still waiting on my motherboard grrr!!! 🙁

🖥Fastest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 31 of 67, by dionb

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-20, 16:19:

[...]

Kinda sounds like that 3rd slot is just patched on there and not really something the chipset ever intended to be. Lol motherboard creators getting innovative.

You tried combinations with 256mb in slot one and 128 in slot two?

Yep. 256MB. Same the other way round too.

Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-20, 16:21:

Oh, you should try these tests with cache on motherboard both enabled and disabled. I think I read something to the effect that it may matter.

Can't think why that would matter. L1 can cache obscene levels of RAM, L2 only 64MB. In any event: it doesn't.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-01-22, 03:26. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 32 of 67, by Repo Man11

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It'd be interesting to try 128 meg EDO SIMMs in my TXP4 to see what would happen. In late 2007, someone on Overclockers.com posted a link to an online Frys deal for a PCI GeForce 4 MX 64 megabyte card that was free after rebate. I couldn't resist and bought one. I then decided to build an Asus P55T2P4 system like the one I had in 2001, only better. So I bought a board, and a set of four 128 megabyte EDO SIMMS so I could try it with the memory maxed out (they were pretty cheap at the time). I think I might have tried them out in a TXP4 I used to have, but I cannot remember for sure. One more thing that I lost in the fire that would be fun to have now - you're not getting 512 megs of EDO SIMMs for $25.00 or something like that now like I did back then.

Reply 33 of 67, by Sphere478

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-21, 01:34:

It'd be interesting to try 128 meg EDO SIMMs in my TXP4 to see what would happen. In late 2007, someone on Overclockers.com posted a link to an online Frys deal for a PCI GeForce 4 MX 64 megabyte card that was free after rebate. I couldn't resist and bought one. I then decided to build an Asus P55T2P4 system like the one I had in 2001, only better. So I bought a board, and a set of four 128 megabyte EDO SIMMS so I could try it with the memory maxed out (they were pretty cheap at the time). I think I might have tried them out in a TXP4 I used to have, but I cannot remember for sure. One more thing that I lost in the fire that would be fun to have now - you're not getting 512 megs of EDO SIMMs for $25.00 or something like that now like I did back then.

So do you remember if you got 512mb to work on it?

🖥Fastest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 34 of 67, by Repo Man11

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Sphere478 wrote on 2021-01-21, 02:19:
Repo Man11 wrote on 2021-01-21, 01:34:

It'd be interesting to try 128 meg EDO SIMMs in my TXP4 to see what would happen. In late 2007, someone on Overclockers.com posted a link to an online Frys deal for a PCI GeForce 4 MX 64 megabyte card that was free after rebate. I couldn't resist and bought one. I then decided to build an Asus P55T2P4 system like the one I had in 2001, only better. So I bought a board, and a set of four 128 megabyte EDO SIMMS so I could try it with the memory maxed out (they were pretty cheap at the time). I think I might have tried them out in a TXP4 I used to have, but I cannot remember for sure. One more thing that I lost in the fire that would be fun to have now - you're not getting 512 megs of EDO SIMMs for $25.00 or something like that now like I did back then.

So do you remember if you got 512mb to work on it?

They worked fine on the P55T2P4 which is what you would expect since it has the HX chipset which can utilize 512 megabytes max. I cannot remember for sure if I tried them on the TXP4 I had then - I think I might have and they didn't work, but it's been too long ago to be sure, which makes me sorry that I lost them (along with everything else) in the Camp Fire.

Reply 36 of 67, by Sphere478

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the 256mb stick worked fine but when putting in that 128mb stick it didn't like it so I need to find more ram to try

I also ran across this

so it seems there are three banks

zero the left dimm
one the right dimm and left two simms
two the right two simms

I'm wondering how it would like 128 in dimm 0, 128 in dimm 1 and 128 (2x64) in simm bank 2

alternately, if 256mb works in one bank then maybe 256mb will work in all three banks for a total of 768mb?

it was said by someone that the 128 was a iffy pick cause of the chips it used. I need one with the correct chips

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🖥Fastest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 37 of 67, by Sphere478

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Should I try edo dimms for any reason?

I ordered another one of these

If I install simms in the last two simm slots will it over volt the sd ram or will it be okay?

Should I have all slots as edo ram if I try three banks?

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🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 38 of 67, by pentiumspeed

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Simple: Use BX chipset compatible 256MB SDRAM sticks. They are 16 chips type, low density.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 39 of 67, by Sphere478

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pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-01-27, 00:29:

Simple: Use BX chipset compatible 256MB SDRAM sticks. They are 16 chips type, low density.

Cheers,

how do I tell if it’s bx compatible

What do you think of the last few replies from me. Seems like I may be able to get 768?

🖥Fastest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build