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airniux
Adept I

Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

I just built my first PC for 4K film editing and gaming. Here is a link to my parts list (let me know if it doesn't work): https://pcpartpicker.com/user/airniux/saved/gqDVcf

Even after (seemingly) installing all of the drivers for the GPU and motherboard using their accompanying utilities, I have been having intermittent lag when gaming, even when bumping the graphics settings down. This happens on several games. Sometimes I don't get the lag, and everything runs fine. Usually, the lag doesn't happen if I force shut-off the tower (I understand this flushes power from MB), but the lag usually DOES happen after attempting to do a regular reboot or shut-down. I say "attempt" because if I do a REGULAR reboot, it lags during reboot and eventually crashes to a Windows blue screen with an error that reads "Driver Power State Failure". If I force shut-off, the problem typically does not occur. I spoke with AMD support yesterday, and the guy suggested this indicated a problem happening ONLY when the OS is running, and if the MB is flushed of power it resets itself, also resetting the problem/conflict.

I spoke with AMD support yesterday, and they informed me that the RAM I purchased was a bit too high of a frequency rating. I have the Ryzen 3900x CPU, which apparently supports up to 3200mhz RAM. I actually installed Ripjaws V 32GB (2x16GB) 3600mhz. The support agent told me that there is a way to adjust the BIOS for the CPU to run at 3600mhz, but he said I would probably also have to adjust the BIOS for the MB to match, as it probably automatically "tuned" itself to the CPU. He also seemed unsure that this would be a solution for the problems. He suggested that it could also be from other causes such as faulty RAM sticks or SSD. His suggestion now is to run MemTest86 for several hours and progressively adjust the XMP to see if the problem persists. This is a very foreign subject to me.

Is it likely the RAM frequency that is causing all of the aforementioned issues: lag, reboot crashes, etc.? Is it more likely a hardware failure of some sort? Or is this caused by a missing driver, BIOS update, etc.?

What do you guys think?

12 Replies
morelock
Adept II

Re: Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

First - you should absolutely make sure everything is updated to current drivers. 

Go to MSI's website and find the most recent bios for your motherboard. There should be a tutorial on how to install it.

Then go to AMD.com and find the most recent GPU drivers AND the most recent Chipset drivers. Download and install both of them. Make sure Windows10 is fully up to date as well.  That should be first on any system.

Once/If all that is good start digging deeper.

So, run memtest86. It's the quickest way to know if your ram is having issues. A full pass (takes my 16gb about 5-6 hours) minimum, but overnight is better. If it pulls an error, you can stop the test and log it and go from there.

It looks like those Rijpaws QVL with your motherboard, so they should run at 3600 if you've set them up in your bios. (If you haven't they are probably running at 2133) Setting the XMP profile in your bios will either make them run at 3600 or will put you in black screen territory until you reset the CMOS. 

Have you tried running the game from both SSDs? If the problem is the same on both it's unlikely one of them is the issue.

Also run Windows Cleanup and clear out everything. Turning off Windows Game mode is also something you should do on a high end system.

What games?

airniux
Adept I

Re: Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

I am playing WoW, Starcraft 2, Black Mesa, etc.

I just updated BIOS (took me a while to figure out how to do). So far so good. Fingers crossed.

Can you please explain in more detail how to properly change XMP to 3600? Like I said, the CPU is specified to run up to 3200, so can you also tell me how to override that and change the CPU to 3600? Also, does the Mobo need to be changed to 3600? Please, I don't want to do this wrong.

Thank you for your help.

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luispagliaro
Journeyman III

Re: Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

I bought my PC last year to play at 4K, and at first I use to have BSODs randomly. I was using XMP profile for the RAM to run at 3200. So, I decided to run memtest and got lot of errors. Once I disabled XMP, memtest didn't throw any errors and I never had any issues again. I'm able to play any game so far at 4K 60fps without any issues.

My specs are:
Ryzen 3700X

Powercolor Red Dragon RX 5700 XT

Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8 GB 3200 MHz

Aorus Elite x570
Gigabyte GP-G750H 750W
XPG Gammix S11 M.2 512 GB

airniux
Adept I

Re: Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

Maybe someone else can chime in on this, Luis, but I think the reason you had the issues when you overclocked the RAM was because you are also supposed to adjust the CPU and possibly MOBO to fit the frequency. Also, the voltage to the RAM DIMM slots must be adjusted. Once again, I am not positive, but this is what I think based on what I have read online thus far.

morelock
Adept II

Re: Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

Somebody with an MSI board can probably help better as the settings usually are in different spots and can be labeled differently by brand... but.. (you might also find a tutorial for an MSI board online)

... In general, when you boot up into your bios under your tweaking/overclocking/settings there should be a section dedicated to memory and timings. (At some point down the road you may get more interested in that, but it's a rabbit hole you should steer away from for now.)

In that area there will be a setting for the profile / enable XMP / something like that, and right by there the memory clock speed (it probably says 2133) Changing to enable XMP should put the clock speed to the correct 3600.  When it's set... save and exit. 

Easy way to know if it worked

a.) you boot into Windows - open task manager and under performance it should have a tab for memory - the speed will be listed (and should say 3600mhz)

b.) you get a black screen. You messed something up or upset the RAM gods. Clear the CMOS (your board probably has a button on the back, but if it doesn't check your owners manual for how to reset it... or pull the little coin battery for a few minutes) and try to figure out what went wrong.

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morelock
Adept II

Re: Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

Ram/XMP/Infinity Fabric/etc can be tricky to get right, especially the first time it BSOD's you and you think "oh sh*t" - I'd guess a lot of people get their system back on after clearing the Cmos and never attempt it again.
But then you're in the situation where you bought 3200/3400/3600mhz rated ram, but it's actually only running at 2133, at which point you're not getting what you paid for. (besides the fact that Ryzen CPU's really like faster ram)


One thing that gets people thrown off on dual channel ram is that you want it in a1/b1 or a2/b2 configurations (if you have 4 ram slots and 2 sticks of ram)  normally it's a1/b1, (so slot 1 and 3 out of 4) but not always. I've got the same motherboard as Luis, and on that board 2 sticks of ram need to be in a2/b2. I didn't check the manual when I bought it assuming it was a1/b1, and my ram would bsod me when I turned on XMP. Moving it to the correct slots and no more issues. 
Moral of the story... check the manual   

airniux
Adept I

Re: Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

I have overclocked the memory to 3600, at which point I was still having issues. So I reduced it down to 3200, where it's at now. I am still getting gaming lag/choppiness. I am going to run MemTest, but first I have to get my hands on a blank USB drive.

I confirmed that the RAM sticks are in the correct DIMM slots (A2 & B2).

morelock
Adept II

Re: Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

Hey, that's progress with the memory! You may have to raise the voltage a little to get 3600 stable... that said, the difference between 3200 and 3600 is not noticeable in the real world. 

In regards to the lag/choppiness... just to be clear, you mean visual stuttering, not actual "lag" between input and what you see?

One thing I noticed is that the games you listed are all older / likely DirectX9'ish games. AMD in general has some issues with this. (Google search "5700 older games") and my guess is that your card is underclocking itself. 
Can you download a benchmark (Kombuster, Uningine Heaven/Superposition/etc, Firestrike, whatever) and see if it does the same thing when it's under full gpu load?

In the games profile in the adrenaline settings, you can try turning on radeon chill and setting a minimum frame rate cap and max framerate cap close together (so if you had a 144hz monitor, set min 135 max 140) and see if that helps. Also, you might try going into manual tuning and try setting the power limit to -(negative)50% - That would sort of trick the gpu into working harder.



airniux
Adept I

Re: Is it a driver/bios issue, or is it the RAM?

Since it has been a couple weeks, let me summarize my current problem. I am still getting lag/choppiness, and I do mean visual stuttering, not input lag, necessarily. The stuttering only happens after a system restart or after power cycling (such as the first start of the day). When I play Warzone (newer game), for example, my TV reads approximately 45fps. After a little while (maybe 30-60 min) the system becomes stable and the framerate goes up to its usual 60fps (I have V-Sync on, in-game settings). By the way, I am almost positive the V-Sync is not causing my issues. So, in short, it seems that the system becomes stable only after it "warms up"; HOWEVER, if I restart the computer again at all, even for just a moment, it will make the framerate go down again, with another 30-60 min wait to be had before it recovers. One last note about the framerate drops: I ran MSI Kombuster like you asked. At 16x Tessellation I get approximately 40-45fps (which seems semi-smooth, hardly any lag but some screen tearing). At 8x Tessellation I get something around 70-90fps. At 4x I get approximately 120fps. The odd thing about this situation is that, when I have tried to bump the graphics settings down on my game, it doesn't seem to make any difference on performance. Hmmmmm...

On another note, I tried your idea of turning on Radeon Chill, with a minimum rate of 58+, and this doesn't appear to change anything.

Lastly, but still vital: how do I go "into manual tuning and try setting the power limit to -(negative)50% ??

If I go into Radeon Software and go to "Performance" - "Tuning" - "GPU Tuning" ENABLED - "Advanced Control" ENABLED: All I see is an adjustable voltage graph with six accompanying fine tuning dials: three for voltage and three for frequency. I don't see anything in terms of percentages or ratios. Please explain how to properly adjust those settings to try to "trick" the GPU to work harder.

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