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This is a question relating to one of my builds. Here are the specs:

  • ECS P4VXASD2+ V5.0 motherboard
  • Intel P4 Northwood 2.8 GHz (533 MHz FSB, 512 KB L2)
  • 2x 1GB PC3200 DDR RAM
  • Maxtor 300GB IDE HDD
  • Gigabyte 52x CD-ROM

The issue right now is that I'm trying to install Windows XP from the CD drive but the computer randomly restarts partway through installation. My other build was BSODing due to RAM latency errors. This ECS board manual states that memory modules "up to 333 MHz" (i.e. PC2700) is supported. However, I am running PC3200 modules, which is clearly faster than PC2700. Would this be causing the computer from randomly restarting?

EDIT 1: I also wanted to mention that my Emachines T2482 is actually running 2x 512MB PC3200 DDR RAM when it should only be supporting PC1600 and PC2100 DDR RAM. Yet there are no issues with it.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The PC3200 (DDR-400) RAM should clock down to PC2700 (DDR-333) but I've personally dealt with boards that will take DDR-333, but not DDR-400 -- usually they just don't POST though.

PC3200 RAM does generally require slightly more power (~.1V -- 2.5v for PC2700, 2.6V for PC3200).

Generally PC2700 should work at a low-end voltage of about 2.3V, where as PC3200's low end is about 2.5V (see Wikipedia).

So if your motherboard is only providing 2.3V at the sockets, then it may be enough to power PC2700 RAM, but not PC3200.

Aside from that, have you tried removing one of the RAM sticks, see how it acts, and if it's still unstable, swap the sticks and try the other by itself? You might just have a faulty stick.

Unfortunately random reboots during install could be many things, not necessarily the RAM.


OK - according to Kingston (memory manufacturer) the highest supported RAM speed for that board (on the DDR side) is 266. Since it's old enough and weird enough to have both DDR and SDRAM slots, it's going to be very picky, and not too happy with newer DDR RAM.

Further to that I found this on ECS' site:


Does P4VXASD2+ v5.0 support DDR400?


No, the P4VXASD2+ v5.0 only supports to DDR266 maximum.

...and this:


I installed DDR400 512 Mb next to a slower DDR 256 Mb. I’m having system stability problems, some EXE files/programs crashes when I try to open it and some times the systems crashes when finalising the booting process and auto reboots again.


Maybe it's the DDR compatible issue with your M/B. I suggest you can use DDR266/333 512M 16 chips type DDR in P4VXASD2 5.0 M/B. Some DDR400 has new format DDR memory chip that could not be supported in some old M/B chipset.

So, unfortunately, it looks like your only bet is to find a couple old(er) DDR-266-specific sticks. :(

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The slots are apparently 3.3V and support 1GB per slot. Still I will try swapping RAM to some PC2100 modules that I have. What could possibly be causing random reboots? Bad mobo? – Wesley Apr 28 '10 at 15:18
I was looking into that motherbaord a little more. There are 4 slots on it apparently, 2 for DDR and 2 for SDRAM. The SDRAM slots will be 3.3v. Anyhow, re-check my answer I will edit it and added some info that I found out. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 28 '10 at 19:30
Yes, I know. I actually swapped in two 256MB PC2100 (DDR-266) modules. Random restarts seem to have been eliminated but there is now a certain point at which it restarts. It's partway through an XP installation when files are being copied where the computer just reboots. I'm not too sure what else I can do. – Wesley Apr 28 '10 at 22:18
JUst read all the FAQ questions for my motherboard. Apparently my hard drive may be too big for the motherboard... – Wesley Apr 28 '10 at 22:59

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