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AMD Phenom II has stability issues with DDR3-1333 memory

Posted on Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 22:20:09 CET by

AMD suffers yet another blow, barely a week after the launch of its Phenom II AM3 processors the company announces the use of more than one 1333MHz DDR3 memory module per channel may lead to unpredictable system behavior on AM3 systems.

In a revision guide for the AMD Family 10h processors, the chip firm explains they're working on a fix and suggests to underclock your memory to DDR3-1066 in configurations where two DDR3-1333 modules are installed on one channel.
The AMD K10 memory controllers on AM3-socket processor provide a 128-bit wide memory interface (with DRAM Ganged mode enabled), which amount to two 64-bit wide memory channels. On most motherboards, four DIMM slots with two slots sharing a memory channel are present. With this issue, one is not recommended to use more than one DDR3-1333 memory module per channel. AMD recommends a quick fix for the issue for systems using more than one DDR3-1333 module per memory channel: to manually specify the memory to run at 533 MHz (1066 MHz DDR), and accordingly set DRAM timings. As a little compensation, one can tighten DRAM timings with the drop in frequency. AMD will fix this issue in the next stepping (sub-version) of the CPUs. The "x-factor" with this erratum revolves around DRAM voltage, a significant factor. One might note AMD saying "the processor memory subsystem may exhibit unreliable operation over the allowable VDDIO voltage range", which leads us to think if there is a potential workaround with adjusting the DRAM voltage beyond the allowable range (read: over-volting the memory).



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