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Chaintech 7NIF2 motherboard - memory problems



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 26th 03, 05:07 AM
Wuahn
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Default Chaintech 7NIF2 motherboard - memory problems

Not a question. Just posting some facts.

The Chaintech 7NIF2 is a microATX motherboard using the nForce2
chipset. It has onboard video (Geforce 4 MX) and TV out.

This board is EXTREMELY picky when it comes to memory. If you've got
weird problems with this board, particularly video corruption or
crashes when playing MPEG videos, it's definitely the memory. Triple
check that you're running the memory at the proper speed for your CPU.
If relaxed timings don't solve the problem, you've got the replace the
memory. Chances are that there's nothing wrong with it, so you'll
need to explain to your vendor that it's a compatibility issue and not
a defective chip. Otherwise, they may test it, not find anything
wrong and send it right back to you.

I bought a 256-meg DDR chip at my local Microcenter. With the correct
memory timings it solved all of my problems and the system has been
running perfectly ever since. I was building two of these systems, so
I went back and bought another one of these chips -- same packaging,
SKU number and price. The second system couldn't even complete the
Windows XP installation when using this chip. I found that windows
WOULD install completely if I used a separate video card instead of
the onboard one. That meant that either the video chip was bad or the
RAM wasn't compatible with the onboard video.

But this was the same memory that worked on an identical system just a
day before. Maybe it was a flaky chip? I took it back to Microcenter
and discovered (to my delight) that the chip INSIDE the clear
packaging was DIFFERENT. The memory that works with the 7NIF2 had a
hologram sticker on it (Spectra or something) and the other memory had
a white paper sticker. They let me exchange it without a hassle and
now the second system is up and running beautifully.

I have never encountered a motherboard that was this picky about
memory, with the possible exception of an old Dell system that I
worked on once that I NEVER managed to find compatible memory for. If
you're in the market for a microATX motherboard with TV-out, the
Chaintech seems to be ok. Just don't skimp on the memory. Get some
name brand and make sure you can easily swap it if you need to.

-Wuahn


  #2  
Old July 26th 03, 01:29 PM
LiveWire
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Default

I have never encountered a motherboard that was this picky about
memory


Oh, I have....twice with Intel chipsets. Those two experiences have taught
me to never try cutting corners on the RAM and always do some Usenet/Google
research before purchasing memory for any new motherboard. I don't ever
again want to deal with the problems insufficient RAM can cause for the sake
of saving $5, 10 or even $20 a stick. It's just not worth the potential
headache it's bound to cause.

With that said, I find Corsair and Crucial to usually be a pretty safe bet.

--
LiveWire


 




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