My GA-5SMM cannot seem to handle more than 512 MB . . .

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computerpartshunter
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My GA-5SMM cannot seem to handle more than 512 MB . . .

Post by computerpartshunter » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:59 am

This is my first time posting here.
I am fixing up some of my retired old Socket 7 computers.
One of the board I have been working on to fix is GIGABYTE GA-5SMM (SiS 530/5595 chipset).
It originally came with Compaq Presario 5301 computer.
It was a reliable computer (albeit a slow one) when I used to use it.
It was collecting dust so I decided to put Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and 10.04 LTS in it, but if I run Memtest86+ with more than 512 MB of RAM (i.e., 640 MB or 768 MB), I always get memory errors.
The board has 3 DIMM slots.
Is anyone aware of this problem?
Also, when I use 512 MB of RAM with a PCI graphics card, the Memtest86+ reports to me that the L1 cache bandwidth goes down to around 120 MB/s, but if I pull out a PCI graphics card (in other words, I go back to using integrated SiS 530 graphics), the L1 cache bandwidth returns to the more normal 2100 MB/s level.
The CPU is AMD-K6-2 380 MHz.
GA-5SMM BIOS version is F5 (last version).
Any ideal what I can do with the RAM error problem?

computerpartshunter

Jim
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Re: My GA-5SMM cannot seem to handle more than 512 MB . . .

Post by Jim » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:32 pm

What kind of RAM are you using in it ? I used to have trouble with Micron RAM, but Hynix and Apacer worked fine. Also would recommend a faster processor. K6-3+ type ideally.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

computerpartshunter
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Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:20 am

Re: My GA-5SMM cannot seem to handle more than 512 MB . . .

Post by computerpartshunter » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:27 am

Hi Jim,

I have all kinds of SDRAM DIMMs I have collected from E-waste sites.
After spending so many days on this issue, it appears that if the SDRAM DIMM slots have 5 or more loads (1 load = SS DIMM, 2 loads = DS DIMM, SS = Single Sided, DS = Double Sided), I get errors when I run Memtest86+ within 5 minutes.
The DIMM slot position does not seem to make a difference except that I need to populate the DIMM slot 1 or the system will not boot at all (Probably related to the integrated SiS 530 graphics).
I usually use "brand name" modules from the DRAM manufacturers themselves (i.e., Micron Technology, Toshiba), but I also have some modules from Kingston with various DRAM vendors (Toshiba, Infineon, Micron Technology, and "Kingston logo" DRAM chips).
All these modules work fine with FIC VA-503+ or Intel SE440BX-2 when tested, but regardless of the mixing of the modules, if I have 5 or more loads, I do get errors during Memtest86+ testing.
Using SiS 530 integrated graphics or a PCI graphics card does not seem to make a difference (I have quite a few of them.), either (I will get errors regardless if I have 5 or more loads on the DIMM slots.).
Is there oxidation happening with the DIMM slot contacts, and if so, how can I remove it?
Should I use a flux pen for soldering, and apply them to the DIMM slots to remove oxidation?

computerpartshunter

Jim
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Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: My GA-5SMM cannot seem to handle more than 512 MB . . .

Post by Jim » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:19 pm

I Reiterate : Micron is Garbage. Hynix is much better and so is Apacer.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

James
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Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Re: My GA-5SMM cannot seem to handle more than 512 MB . . .

Post by James » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:13 pm

I would look for MB manual. There may be a limit of 3 32MB or 3 64MB chips, but not 3 128 or 3 256MB chips.

Perhaps you cannot use all 3 sockets? My FIC VA-503+ can use DIMM or SIMM, but not both. So, I have empty sockets, which is fine. I also use memory recommended by Jim.

computerpartshunter
Newbie K6'er
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:20 am

Re: My GA-5SMM cannot seem to handle more than 512 MB . . .

Post by computerpartshunter » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:44 pm

Hi James,

I was curious to see if having so much loading on the SDRAM bus was the culprit of the memtest86+ errors I have been observing.
So I installed 3 DS 128MB modules (6 loads; Total of 384 MB), and I did not observe any issues.
I also installed 448 MB of RAM (5 loads; 1 DS 256 MB, 1 DS 128MB, and 1 SS 64 MB), and I did not observe issues.
The error on memtest86+ occurs on 512.7 MB mark, and it ALWAYS happens there.
I am starting to think that there might be a chipset bug of SiS 530 or GA-5SMM isn't setting up the chipset's memory related registers correctly in the BIOS, hence the memory error is occurring.
Again, integrated graphics or PCI graphics makes no difference.
As an experiment, I have installed a 512 MB PC133 SDRAM DIMM, but the mainboard will only recognize it as a 256 MB module.
According to the mainboard's manual, the mainboard supports up to 768 MB of RAM.
The chipset's data sheet I have downloaded said it supports up to 1.5 GB of RAM

computerpartshunter

James wrote:I would look for MB manual. There may be a limit of 3 32MB or 3 64MB chips, but not 3 128 or 3 256MB chips.

Perhaps you cannot use all 3 sockets? My FIC VA-503+ can use DIMM or SIMM, but not both. So, I have empty sockets, which is fine. I also use memory recommended by Jim.

James
Junior K6'er
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:51 am
Location: N37° 54.0553', W121° 25.3657'

Re: My GA-5SMM cannot seem to handle more than 512 MB . . .

Post by James » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:17 am

Hey there,

That is a weird cutoff for memtest. My FIC VA-503+ supports only 512MB, so I am no help there. You may want to go with updated firmware. I updated mine via http://esupport.com/.

Regards,
James Cannon

Jim
K6'er Elite
Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: My GA-5SMM cannot seem to handle more than 512 MB . . .

Post by Jim » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:51 pm

If you want to use 512 Meg sticks of RAM, you have to get ones with a specific type of chip array. If you search the site thoroughly for posts on the subject you will find some that go into detail about the type of RAM required; but I don't remember exactly where to find them.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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