Hi folks, kinda new here, and not a frequenter of forums for support, but saw this thread and felt the need to point out my own confusions and frustrations.
I got this board a while back, and have been using it with an i7-2600k and 4 sticks of OCZ3G1600LV2G - the RAM, I have belatedly realized, is not listed as QVL-approved for 4 sticks, but until I replace it with something better - if I must - it is what I've got.
Original installation of this board went fine. On the default BIOS (0403) that came with it, I was forced to configure my RAM to run at 8-8-8-24, 1600mhz, and 1.65v as this is what the OCZ page said it should be running at. This was to alleviate crashes. These crashes occured at random intervals, often once an hour or two, and would always be the same kind: the PC locks up, screen stops refreshing, and gibberish hissing static spews across the sound card.
By implementing those settings, crashes then only occured when watching certain movie files at certain points IN the movie (most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me) within the same range of a few minutes. (somewhere between 16-18 minutes in, always, doesn't matter if I let it run or skip to it.) These crashes also occur sometimes when running intense 3D games.
I am not entirely sure if the memory is to blame, or the video card, but given the way the tweaked settings improved stability I am inclined to think My Maximus IV does not like my RAM.
Updating to bios revision 3203 HOPEFULLY would solve this problem! or so I thought. It actually made it ten times worse no matter what settings I set it to. As the built-in ASUS EZ Flash II utility would not allow me to downgrade, I was forced to use flashrom on a linux bootdisk. This had the unintended side-effect of wiping my MAC address-- it is now 88-88-88-88-87-88 and I have no idea how to retrieve what it ought to be let alone put it back. The problems went back to being low-key.
Just now updated to the new 3305 again with hopes of increased stability, and as I write this it has only been about a half-hour since doing so. No crashes yet, system seems stable and smooth with usual settings. I have also installed AI Suite II as I'd been going without it earlier (it did not seem to make a difference one way or another.)
This may be slightly off-topic, but I do not know who else to ask, for I am new to working with this level of detail in configuring my PC:
A) my voltages fluctuate between 1.640 and 1.647 though my RAM is supposed to run at 1.65. Is this a problem? I cannot get it to run at 1.65 even no matter what I try. Is this normal? Is there something I should do?
B) Do I need AI Suite II?
C) Is the QVL an absolute lockdown of stuff that will work or is this simply stuff that is tested? (IE: is my attempting to use something not marked as cool a hopeless cause, or just something I'm on my own for?)
D) Is there a way to restore the MAC address? (I don't think this is particularly important, it just nags me.)
E) Is there an easier way to downgrade if this BIOS goes bananas on me? I am not entirely sure what changes were introduced in the latest one besides the Intel option (which I do not believe I have any use for) and... well, you can see why I am worried. Again.
Again, apologies if this is vaguely off topic. It has been driving me up a wall for weeks and I want to squash it with the advice of people who know what they are doing.
EDIT: Found a Downgrade option of some sort in ASUS Update under AI Suite. Not about to use it quite yet. PC has crashed numerous times - more I look into it, the more it looks like my RAM may suck. Will attempt to run memtest86+ on each stick individually tomorrow. Nevertheless I am curious why a change from the original BIOS to the latest has caused such a fiasco for stability despite using the same settings. What can I do?