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  1. #1
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    2 RAM DIMM slots not working on ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-A GAMING WIFI D4

    Hello,
    I have just made a new PC build using ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-A GAMING WIFI D4 and 13600K with Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer II 280.

    After lots of boot issues and A/B testing I found that 2 RAM slots A1 and A2 (the first 2 from the left side) are not working and the PC will not boot if a RAM stick is plugged into any of these slots.

    The sequence of LEDs is like so: shorter CPU, longer RAM, shorter CPU, longer RAM,... after few cycles only RAM LED is on and nothing else happens.

    The 2 RAM slots on the right B1 and B2 are working fine and I have 2 sticks of RAM plugged into them.

    The result is that I only have single channel enabled.

    While trying to solve the problem, I updated to the latest bios 0703 (issues present since at least 0502), ME firmware, did CPU and RAM re-install countless times. With 2 sticks in B1 and B2 slots I started up Windows just fine and I ran some stability tests for few minutes. All seems fine.

    But I would like to have A1 and A2 also working.

    If there is anything I can do, please let me know.

    Also, please let me know if this is a hardware issue. Is it the motherboard or the CPU which needs to be RMA-ed? Or both?

    Cheers,
    Marek
    Last edited by reddeath; 11-18-2022 at 10:30 AM.

  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array Murph_9000 PC Specs
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    One possibility for a bad memory channel is a bad CPU mount. Either pin damage, uneven pressure, or too much pressure from the cooler.

    The Intel LGA1700 clamping mechanism is essentially a bad bit of engineering design. You may wish to investigate the replacement "contact frames" which clamp the CPU with much more distributed and even pressure. Thermal Grizzly do probably the best one, or there's Thermalright with a more budget version. See various videos on YT for details, such as der8auer, Gamers Nexus, and Jayztwocents, amongst others.

    Jay also did a video on too much cooler mounting pressure causing pin contact problems.

    It could be a problem with the CPU or board, but a mounting problem is more likely (and can be an easy fix). Remount, carefully inspecting the extremely fragile pins in the socket, and don't clamp the cooler down excessively.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murph_9000 View Post
    One possibility for a bad memory channel is a bad CPU mount. Either pin damage, uneven pressure, or too much pressure from the cooler.

    The Intel LGA1700 clamping mechanism is essentially a bad bit of engineering design. You may wish to investigate the replacement "contact frames" which clamp the CPU with much more distributed and even pressure. Thermal Grizzly do probably the best one, or there's Thermalright with a more budget version. See various videos on YT for details, such as der8auer, Gamers Nexus, and Jayztwocents, amongst others.

    Jay also did a video on too much cooler mounting pressure causing pin contact problems.

    It could be a problem with the CPU or board, but a mounting problem is more likely (and can be an easy fix). Remount, carefully inspecting the extremely fragile pins in the socket, and don't clamp the cooler down excessively.
    That is a very promising suggestion. I will try it this evening.

    Watching der8auer's video about the contact frame, he also talks about very finesse amount of pressure when connecting the contact frame and he also says that too much pressure can cause loss of contact to memory and even no boot at all. I wonder how much more easier it would be in that case to switch to the contact frame from the standard mounting mechanism, in order to avoid memory issues.

    I went for the Arctic Cooling II 280 AIO in my build. There is also some interesting (and somewhat strange) thing with it. There are several revisions of the cooler and manuals for each are available on their website. I have rev 4 with a LGA 1700 mounting included as an extra already in the box. The latest rev is rev 7.

    When I compare the manuals for package contents and installation instructions between the versions I see one potentially important issue/question:
    - Rev 4 + extra LGA1700 mount come with 2 sets of stand off screws: 14mm to be used for the older backplate (older sockets) and 13mm to be used by the new backplate from the LGA1700 mounting set
    - Rev 7, which already supports 1700 and older by a single backplate, comes with only 1 size of the stand off screws, the lenght of which is not specified.

    When I look at the design of the stand off screws, it seems like they can only go as deep as the motherboard allows, not influenced by the backplate. If this is true, then it would then follow that the Rev 4 + LGA1700 mount with 13mm stand off screws is potentially creating more pressure on the CPU compared to Rev 7. Now, I don't know the length of the Rev 7 screws, but if it is supposed to be compatible with older sockets, which in Rev 4 use 14mm screws, I would assume that the Rev 7 screws must be also 14mm or somewhere between 13 amd 14mm.

    Should I try using the 14mm stand off screws to have smaller pressure on the CPU, even though the official manual indicates to use 13mm instead of 14mm?

    Another thing with the AC AIO is that the tubes are quite stiff and when mounting the cooling plate the stiffness pushes the plate more to the left side. I am not sure if this is also a contributing factor to the issue with A1 and A2 sockets not working. If I release the screws on the plate somewhat, the pressure from the tubes alone can potentially cause the same issue. It all seems extremely delicate and fiddly to mount a cooler on the LGA 1700 CPUs.
    Last edited by reddeath; 11-18-2022 at 08:40 AM.

  4. #4
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array Murph_9000 PC Specs
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    I would stick with the recommended screws, just don't go after every last thread when tightening if it gets tight before the threads run out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murph_9000 View Post
    I would stick with the recommended screws, just don't go after every last thread when tightening if it gets tight before the threads run out.
    I acually called Arctic in Germany and talked with the support person. He suggested not go all the way to the "end" when tightening the cooler on the stand off screws. Also there are some washers that should be added under the screws, though in rev 4 they are stickers with seemingly variable thickness, depending where they end up. At least they seemed a bit flimsy when I first mounted the screws and when trying to eliminate issues, I actually removed them. This lowered the total height of the stand off screws by some fraction of a millimeter I think, so in fact it contributed slightly to the overtightening.

    Other interesting info I got is that the Rev 7 stand off screws are 12,9mm and the washers in that rev are plastic and reusable. They should be more reliable for the installation.

    When analyzing the Thermal grizzly contact frame installation, it seems that the plate itself does not prevent the situation where the cooler gets overtightened because the frame does not rest on the board. So I think I will try first the standard mount with less tightening. I am really looking out with hope that this will solve my problem and I will not need to RMA the parts and wait for replacements.

  6. #6
    ROG Guru: Green Belt Array ahfoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddeath View Post
    Hello,
    I have just made a new PC build using ASUS ROG STRIX Z790-A GAMING WIFI D4 and 13600K with Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer II 280.

    After lots of boot issues and A/B testing I found that 2 RAM slots A1 and A2 (the first 2 from the left side) are not working and the PC will not boot if a RAM stick is plugged into any of these slots.

    The sequence of LEDs is like so: shorter CPU, longer RAM, shorter CPU, longer RAM,... after few cycles only RAM LED is on and nothing else happens.

    The 2 RAM slots on the right B1 and B2 are working fine and I have 2 sticks of RAM plugged into them.

    The result is that I only have single channel enabled.

    While trying to solve the problem, I updated to the latest bios 0703 (issues present since at least 0502), ME firmware, did CPU and RAM re-install countless times. With 2 sticks in B1 and B2 slots I started up Windows just fine and I ran some stability tests for few minutes. All seems fine.

    But I would like to have A1 and A2 also working.

    If there is anything I can do, please let me know.

    Also, please let me know if this is a hardware issue. Is it the motherboard or the CPU which needs to be RMA-ed? Or both?

    Cheers,
    Marek
    I hate to mention this. You may hurt the motherboard by over tighten the cooler to it. Hopefully it not the case. try loosen a bit to ease the tension of the board to see it help.

  7. #7
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    I have re-seated the CPU and mounted the cooler with lossened screws. It is to the point where the temps are rising immediately when starting a stress test, so in fact they are too lose.

    But unfortunately, I still have only the B1 and B2 RAM slots working.

    Is RMA the next step? Motherboard, CPU or both?

  8. #8
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    OMG. I have made a more general google search for the same issue I am having, and I am shocked to find out that multiple motherboard manufactures are reportedly affected by the problem with A1 and A2 RAM slots not working on the Intel Z690 motherboards!!! Both DDR 4 and DDR 5 are affected.

    Now I am curious, how many people actually do have fully functional motherboards? Have I made a mistake trying to build a PC on the Z690/Z790 platform?

  9. #9
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    I have sent the motherboard back to the shop today. Hopefully, I will get a new one where all RAM slots work.

    As a side note, I examined the board before packing it and I found that there are "lines" on the back that go from the top left corner of the back of the CPU socket towards the top of the A1 and A2 RAM slots. One of the lines is extremely close to the screw hole for the cooler mount. So close that the cooler mounting mechanism touches it.

    https://dlcdnwebimgs.asus.com/gain/A...1-F01C497C56AD

    I don't know what these lines are for exactly, but my guess is that there is some kind of connector for sending signals between CPU and RAM. The lines are above the board surface level and theoretically when the cooler is mounted they can be affected by it physically. There is also some kind of silver "dot" in the same area, again above the board surface level.

    If there is even a remote chance that this "line" and "dot" can be damaged by the contact with the cooler mounting mechanism, why would ASUS make the design this way? Isn't this asking for trouble (lots of RMAs)?

  10. #10
    ROG Junior Member Array MikuruX PC Specs
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    I just wanted to state that this is also an issue I'm having with my setup as well and have the two slots on the left empty as well (I have 4 RAM sticks but only 2 installed). The only thing is that I'm using the ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI

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