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    Rampage III Extreme 24gb Ram Help please?

    Hey everyone, having a bit of trouble with a recent RAM upgrade I jumped into. Also this may get a little complicated and very long winded (if you're going to read this, you may want to make sure you have enough time) so don't beat yourself up if you have trouble following everything.

    I've been using the Rampage III Extreme for about 6 months now and couldn't be more pleased with the performance up until now.

    Previously I was using 12 gigs of OCZ ram (12800 / 1600mhz OC'd to 1744mhz) and had no issues. But I recently bought the G.Skill Ripjaws 24gig Hexa-channel kit which was also supposed to run @ 1600mhz w/1.5v.

    Upon firing the comp up, the first thing I noticed was the incredible boot time. (only during the "starting windows" boot screen, mobo went to post just fine)

    The boot took a good 2 or 3 minutes instead of the usual 8 - 10 seconds. Finally the desktop came up and Icons / startup processes that are normally ready to go were still barely starting. Clicking the start menu took a good 10 seconds to pop up. The computer *was* however recognizing all 24gigs. I then took a look at system usage and the CPU was spiking like crazy (jumping all over the place between 40 and 80% usage, sometimes 100%) yet there was no single process taking up much of the usage. ie if I were to open a folder, explorer.exe would suddenly jump up to 20% cpu usage then back down to 0.

    Next was process of elimination, so I ran Memtest86 as a first things first which came back with no errors. Then I found an article online that explained issues like this can be caused by a start up program / process, so I did a clean start (stopped all services / startup processes other than MS services). No luck after doing that.

    Then I tried booting into safe mode to see if the problem was there. This time upon booting, I could see the system get hung up on classpnp.sys, for again, 3 minutes or so. Once I was in safe mode however, everything seemed fine. No lag or ridiculous cpu usage.

    Next I started booting the comp 1 stick of ram at a time, to make sure I didn't have a faulty stick. Everything boots and performs perfectly until I put in the last stick of RAM to bring it to 24gigs. The last stick isn't faulty however, as I tested each stick individually.

    Finally I noticed that the computer isn't recognizing 20gigs (when I put in 5 sticks in instead of 6), it simply stays at 16gigs. So I'm a bit lost on that one, why it would show 24 gigs, but not 20.

    I did of course make sure to set the timing / voltage, and even underclocked the RAM to 1066mhz to make sure it wasn't the issue. I also reset the cpu settings to the default so no overclocking could possibly interfere.

    When I tried to activate the XMP profile, the mobo wouldn't go to post. I've asked around a few places to try and get a response (G.Skill's site has been useless up to this point -_-).

    One person said the following (hopefully one of the tech savvy people here can point out whether or not it's true)

    "This is almost certainly due to an excessive load on the address and data buses that is causing a major degradation of the signaling ... resulting in very degraded operation of your memory subsystem. I'm surprised you didn't also have problems with 6 2GB modules, but they may have been right "on the edge" of reliable performance.

    Bottom line: With unbuffered modules, you'll have FAR better reliability if you don't install more than three double-sided modules in your triple-channel board.

    You can confirm this by installing just 3 of your 4GB modules (just to confirm it's a loading issue and not a basic memory compatibility issue). If the system works well with that configuration, I'd leave it like that -- 3 4GB modules will be much more reliable than 6 2GB modules, due to the much lower bus loading. That won't, of course, let you get to 24GB ... but if you really want (or need) that level of RAM capacity, you should consider upgrading to a board that supports buffered RAM.

    There's a good reason server boards virtually all use buffered RAM modules -- that essentially eliminates loading as an issue, since your modules than present 1 load/module instead of 16 loads/module (or even more for quad-density modules)."

    With that input, I'm hoping this isn't the case, as I don't see why G.skill would put out any kind of ram kit that wouldn't work with a top of the line board like the R3E. Also, the Processor I'm using is the i7-950 if that makes any difference.

    If anyone has any clue on this one, it'd be greatly appreciated. At this point, if I can't get an answer here, I have no clue who would possibly know.

    Thanks all (and congrats if you read all that)

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