Over a year ago I had purchased 8GB of G.Skill memory for my home Virtual Server. Unfortunately, I was never able to get the memory to boot properly. I tried tweaking timings, updating the BIOS, drivers within the Operating System. None of them really helped. I had a range of problems, including:

Basically, it wasn’t pretty.

I was able to get 4 sticks of memory working with a 6GB configuration (2x2GB and 2x1GB), however performance suffered. With the right tweaking, I was able to get 8GB working in a similar fashion. However, what would normally be idle CPU usage of 0 – 5%, would average with a minimum of 30 – 60%. All system activities would crawl. Basically, the system was useless. Ultimately, I dropped back down to 4GB (2x2GB) because it was stable.

With my recent hard drive replacement, I was working on the system and figured I would give the memory upgrade another try. At first it wasn’t going so hot, but eventually I re-checked and apparently last June, a few months after I gave up on it, there was another BIOS update released.

I downloaded the newest F12 BIOS, and also did some motherboard tweaking:

With the above settings, my P35-DS3P based system is back to running equally smooth with 8GB of memory running @ 1066 as it did with 4GB of memory.

Check out the difference in CPU usage performing the same task:

8GB Before and After

I have to admit, I was questioning how long my Virtual Server would last if I couldn’t get 8GB working. I had even debated swapping my recently built desktop (i7 w/ 8 threads) with the Virtual Server so that the CPU wasn’t constantly being maxed out.

Fortunately though, it appears everything is back to normal, and the 2 Cores will be enough for the home sandbox server for awhile longer. With 8GB of ram working, when the time comes I may have to upgrade to a Core 2 Quad (Q9550S) instead of replacing the system all together. :)


2 Responses to “P35-DS3P v1.1 – 8GB (4x2GB)”

  1. mike on March 29th, 2010 11:46 pm

    After looking, even though the Q9550S Core 2 Quad is a solid choice, the X3330 might be a better choice.

    * Q9550S (65W @ $349.99)
    * X3330 (95W @ $209.99)

    This is where it gets tough to be “green.” Even though there is a 30W reduction by going with the Q9550S, it’s the $140 price tag that comes with it that’s hard to justify.

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