D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Fixing System Instability by Tweaking Memory Timing and Voltage

Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:14 AM

Disclaimer: I’m not an IT Pro, I’m a hobbyist hardware guy at best. The below post is a recount of my experience but modifying anything in your system is done at your own risk. If in doubt, seek professional help.

I’ve been having issues with my system crashing while playing Star Craft 2. I rebuilt my system about a month ago into a pretty decent gaming system (not crazy by any measure, I’m not an overclocker, but very capable). Over that time I’ve had random system crashes while playing. Examining the dump files shows over and over that dxgmms1.sys, the driver file for DirectX 11, is the culprit.

I also had system crashes while doing things like resizing a window, but those issues have magically disappeared…seems to be just in-game crashes now.

There was an ATI driver update via Windows Update tonight, so that may have helped things, but I also stumbled on another suggestion on a hardware forum: verifying that the timing and voltage for your RAM is set properly in the BIOS.

I’ve got 8 Gig of Patriot DDR-1600 Mhz ram in my system. When I checked the BIOS the values were set to [AUTO], which translated into a 9-9-9-24 and 1.65 voltage. My RAM wasn’t listed in my mobo’s manual, but the recommended settings were on the manufacturer’s website: 8-8-8-24 and 1.65 voltage.

So I manually set the values and…so far, so good! Played a few rounds of SC2 multiplayer and no crashes, so maybe…just maybe…some combination of the RAM settings and/or the ATI update has fixed this issue for good, but we’ll see.

If you’re running into a similar issue, might be worthwhile to ensure the RAM settings in your BIOS are set properly.


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