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keropi
25th September 2009, 09:41
Hello!

Yesterday I bought ASUS's AT3N7A-1 , an Atom330 + ION GPU mITX mobo. It has 2 DDR2 ram slots and supports up to 4GB of RAM... BUT it cannot actually use them!!!! The BIOS says:
4096MB Installed, 768MB usable .... booting windows only gives 768MB of RAM! Further more using only 1x2GB stick still produces the same 768MB usable out of 2048! Upgrading to latest BIOS did not help either... Also tried different ram makes, nothing!
Anyone seen anything like that??? This it total bullocks! :nuts:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/restqp/IMG00212-20090925-0856.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/restqp/IMG00213-20090925-0857.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/restqp/IMG00214-20090925-0916.jpg

Kin Hell
25th September 2009, 09:51
There would appear to be something wrong somewhere. Don't forget, you will loose some ram for the onboard graphics. Having not owned one myself, I can only suggest you check your Ram is a compatible brand according to the Manufacturers spec. Also, have you looked in the Bios to see if there are any confiiguration options for the Ram & how the board addresses it?

Kin

keropi
25th September 2009, 10:34
I use Kingston ram, a similar 800mhz model is in the list... (mine are a pair of 667mhz ones) Others have this problem too and use 1000% listed ram! I cannot see why it would need specific ram LOL , and I have tried OCZ ones too... still 768MB!
this is a total disappointment...

AndyLandy
25th September 2009, 10:52
Take a look at this thread:
http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=20090917105515578&board_id=1&model=A8N32-SLI+Deluxe&page=1&SLanguage=en-us

Apparently there's a BIOS option called "Hardware Memory Hole" -- which may show all your RAM for you. Might not work for you, but worth a go, I guess.

The guy in the thread had some grief with Drivecrypt, so if you use that (or even if you don't) it's probably worth backing up your data before you fiddle. He also claimed system instabilities, but that might be a result of his setup. Still, I guess you can always turn the BIOS option off again.

Good luck!

Harrison
25th September 2009, 11:19
Are there any legacy mode settings in the BIOS? Sometimes these restrict maximum memory for compatibility.

And also are you using the built in graphics card? If so it might actually be allowing 1GB of ram and using 256MB of it for the GPU.

Kin Hell
25th September 2009, 11:50
It would be interesting to see how 2 x 2Gb Sticks configure.

It's certainly not what one would expect from a modern mobo though.

I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of the problem. ;)

Kin

keropi
25th September 2009, 12:18
@AndyLandy:

no, there is no "memory hole" or similar setting to the bios :shrug:

@Harrison:

there are no legacy options (except fro usb LOL) and ofcourse I am using the onboard GPU :jester: that is the point of the ION gpu/chipset, having a dual-core atom with a GF9400 :thumbsup: plus the only available slot is a normal PCI ...

@Kin Hell:

I have no idea WHY this happens, there are 3-4 others in the ASUS support forum that face the same problem - and they use ram from the QVL ...

Harrison
25th September 2009, 17:20
It is strange that the BIOS is seeing and reporting the full 4GB of ram but then stating it can only use 768MB of it (or 1GB if setup as 256MB GPU + 768MB CPU). Normally if there is a conflict with the actual ram installed (such as using double sides DIMMs when the board only likes Single sided) then the system just won't boot.

Have you tried the ram in another system just to make sure it is OK? And have you tried both sticks of ram separately in the system?

Have you also checked the motherboard for jumpers? There can be jumpers that restrict the amount of ram indirectly for other reasons. I've encountered these on a couple of boards recently.

keropi
25th September 2009, 17:29
Harrison :pint:

unfortunatelly I can get nowhere at the moment... I try only a single 2GB stick , a 2GB + 1GB sticks , and 3 different brands! The board always detects the correct RAM amount (2048, 3072, 4096MB) and always all I get is 768MB! Also tried a single-sided stick, it did not boot at all... I have tried removing the CMOS battery, enabling/disabling random BIOS features, and I got nothing! :shrug: there are also no jumpers in the motherboard ...

I received a reply from ASUS support, that I need to contact the toll-free Greek support line, that works until 19:00 , that was total BS as noone answers! :jester:

this whole thing is :bs: :bs: :bs: :bs: for 2009 standards and for a ~135eur motherboard.

Justin
25th September 2009, 17:44
no bios updates out for this mobo yet?

Firthy2002
25th September 2009, 17:45
This is pretty strange. I can't suggest anything else that others already haven't/you haven't already tried. If you had another graphics card I'd say turn off the onboard one and see what that does.

Kin Hell
25th September 2009, 20:10
<snip> I try only a single 2GB stick , a 2GB + 1GB sticks , and 3 different brands! The board always detects the correct RAM amount (2048, 3072, 4096MB) and always all I get is 768MB!

Talk to Asus support & if nothing can be resolved, get an RMA from the supplier. :thumbsup:

Kin

Merlin
25th September 2009, 20:17
OK, time for some apparently stupid questions that may throw something up...

I presume that you are on Windoze XP SP3 - correct?
What file system are you using for the hard drive?
What is the size of the hard drive file paging cache set to?
Have you checked the memory management setting in Windoze?
Have you run a utility like Everest, to see what is being reported about the installed memory, apart from the overall amount?
Does the board support dual-channel memory and is it enabled?
What is the AGP window size set to in the BIOS?
Have you tried a single stick of memory in both slots, to rule out a damaged slot?

Just a few thoughts, it's worth looking at these.

keropi
25th September 2009, 23:05
OK, time for some apparently stupid questions that may throw something up...

I presume that you are on Windoze XP SP3 - correct?
What file system are you using for the hard drive?
What is the size of the hard drive file paging cache set to?
Have you checked the memory management setting in Windoze?
Have you run a utility like Everest, to see what is being reported about the installed memory, apart from the overall amount?
Does the board support dual-channel memory and is it enabled?
What is the AGP window size set to in the BIOS?
Have you tried a single stick of memory in both slots, to rule out a damaged slot?

Just a few thoughts, it's worth looking at these.

:pint: Merlin!

using XP SP3 here , correct
filesystem is NTFS
there is a 20GB partition with a 3072 pagefile and the windows installation. Free space is ~12GB on that
Memory management under windows ? no... I even booted a Ubuntu liveCD, it reports 768MB too
I have not run any other utility to check ram size after booting Ubuntu
The board does support dual channel and is activated , look at the 2nd line of the BIOS POST shot
There is no AGP window size setting, the onboard gpu is set to AUTO and takes 256MB . Lowering it will only increase the
"usable ram" to the MB that it is decreased... I can never pass 1GB
and I did try the slots...

I even went on a friend's house and tried another model of Kingston DDR2 modules... STILL 768MB, so now I am convinced this is not a model/make problem...
What I intend to do is phone ASUS Monday morning and listen to what they have to say. If I get a bogus answer I will return it and DEMAND my money back.
Here are some more unlucky people in the same situation as me... http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id= ... uage=en-us (http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=20090922140230406&board_id=1&model=AT3N7A-I&page=1&SLanguage=en-us)

scrappysphinx
25th September 2009, 23:30
@keropi,

reading the support thread at Asus, did you try this (quoted from the asus site by macson):


Added 25/09 20:48
I seem to have solved my problem with memory . My supplier Novatech Limited very kindly replaced my mobo, so I installed the new one and found it to still have the same problem as above. I then began just looking at the Nvidia Control Panel. I don't recollect actually changing anything, but I may have disabled PhysX and then enabled it again. After a re-boot, my usable memory went from 768MB to 3328MB and Windows 7 says nearly the same (3325mb usable) If I now go to task manager and look at resource monitor it shows 769mb being used by hardware and the rest is for me!!!!
It would be good if someone with the same problem could try this and see if it helps and then reports back here. I'm happy with mine now. I have also stuck with bios 0213 as the bios 0215 did not help. Note that in the downloads that a few drivers were updated on 21/09/09. Oh and Expressgate looks pretty good. Hope to hear from somebody soon on here. Good luck.

Mike

keropi
26th September 2009, 00:18
scrappysphinx , I will try it right now! :thanks:


edit: nope, nothing :( I wonder what he actually did...

Kin Hell
26th September 2009, 11:28
According to Scrappys Quote 2 posts back, he changed the PhysX ram allocation in nVidia control panel, re-enabled it & rebooted & everything was as it should be. He's also using a Bios 0213. This shouldn't be happening in the first place unless it's WinBlows getting in the way. :shrug:

But then, you should be getting more than 768Mb being useable of the detected 4096Mb installed & no amount of nVidia control panel events will change anything in the BIOS RE: the ram in the mainboard. This would only conclude there is either an option in the Bios to change this or the board is fubar.
What's really strange is the fact you have 768Mb of useable ram, making it exactly a 75% block of 1024mb (1Gb)?

Kin

keropi
26th September 2009, 13:09
I did enable/disable PhysX in the control panel , it did nothing at all... I followed some other advice regarding the Zotac ION boards that did the same , clearing CMOS... did that and again nothing...
god damn it! can't wait for the ASUS support-line response... :banghead:

rkauer
26th September 2009, 18:47
I feel your pain, friend.

Just a wild guess since I don't have a mITX myself: did you tried change the video address in the BIOS settings or disabled PhysX, rebooted the machine and then enabled it again?

keropi
26th September 2009, 19:37
I feel your pain, friend.

Just a wild guess since I don't have a mITX myself: did you tried change the video address in the BIOS settings or disabled PhysX, rebooted the machine and then enabled it again?

there is not video address setting in BIOS, regarding the GPU the option is only the size: Auto/32/64/128/256/512MB and whether the onboard or pci video card gets initialized first...
On the nVidia control panel I tried disabling , enabling and reboot , and disable -> reboot, enabe -> reboot , and nothing happened... :****ed:

Kin Hell
27th September 2009, 12:31
<snip>

there is not video address setting in BIOS, regarding the GPU the option is only the size: Auto/32/64/128/256/512MB and whether the onboard or pci video card gets initialized first...
<snip>

& what is it set to?

Does changing from Auto to a set size help in any way?

Try pulling the Ram & re-setting the Bios before trying another value. Also, just do it with one Stick of Ram & be sure you use socket #1 of the 2 available. If you can get it to shunt for trying 1 stick in Slot 1 with a set value on the GPU option, chucking the second stick in afterwards might give you a result.

Worth a shot surely & good luck m8y. :thumbsup:

Kin

keropi
27th September 2009, 19:35
<snip>

there is not video address setting in BIOS, regarding the GPU the option is only the size: Auto/32/64/128/256/512MB and whether the onboard or pci video card gets initialized first...
<snip>

& what is it set to?

Does changing from Auto to a set size help in any way?

Try pulling the Ram & re-setting the Bios before trying another value. Also, just do it with one Stick of Ram & be sure you use socket #1 of the 2 available. If you can get it to shunt for trying 1 stick in Slot 1 with a set value on the GPU option, chucking the second stick in afterwards might give you a result.

Worth a shot surely & good luck m8y. :thumbsup:

Kin

well changing it's size only adds the MB removed from the GPU to the usable RAM , it seems 1GB is the max I can get...!
I will try that u said Kin, might get it going...

edit: nope, did not help eiher...

Kin Hell
27th September 2009, 23:01
Gah m8y. I dunno what else to suggest other than a flash with a 12V Car battery & then RMA time.

Maybe Asus 'crapport' will get back to you soon. What a total sod. Sypathies kiddo. :grouphug:

Kin

Nathanieltolbert
28th September 2009, 03:38
It certainly sounds like an artificial limiter that is set by the BIOS. Check to see if there are hidden menus for your BIOS on that Board. If there is there might be a section pertaining to memory mapping and overclocking. I had a problem kinda like this with an older AMD ASUS board. I would install 2GB and would only be able to use 1.5GB. No onboard video and it was AM2 and supposedly could support 4GB. I tried everything to fix that darn problem and never could. Sold the board to someone else and they had the same problem, but it didn't bother them like it did me. Someone online afterwards mentioned the hidden BIOS menu options. After all of my trouble with ASUS boards for myself and others, I stopped purchasing them. Out of 12 boards, 9 were DOA, and it took almost 2 months to get replacements. Of the nine replaced six were dead on the RMA. Yeah, I have no luck with ASUS. I have very good luck with Intel boards and fairly good luck with Gigabyte. Have you checked your options for other companies that make motherboards for the Atom chip?

keropi
28th September 2009, 11:11
I wanted an Atom mobo with the ION GPU, available here was the ZOTAC version with onboard wifi, onboard psu 90W (that is too little) and NO pci slot... The Asus has a normal ATX psu slot for my PicoPSU and had a PCI slot (no onboard wifi but onboard bluetooth)
I already have intel's dual-core Atom mobo with the ultra-lame-old 945GC chipset... (ulra-lame is because the chipset draws ~40W , and heats up like hell , hardly a cool / low-consumption mobo for mITX usage , the ION mobos are cool to touch!)
I phoned ASUS and I am waiting to get an email with a "special" BIOS update to fix this problem... :coffee:

Kin Hell
28th September 2009, 11:37
<snip>
I phoned ASUS and I am waiting to get an email with a "special" BIOS update to fix this problem... :coffee:

That'll be about right.... :roll:

Hope it sorts it for you m8.

Kin

keropi
28th September 2009, 11:47
though it kind of sucks that you need to call support for a special BIOS that SHOULD be available as a download in the ASUS site... this tells me that the mobo design is not so good, and may or may not need a "fix" :censored:

Kin Hell
28th September 2009, 15:13
I know m8y. It certainly isn't right, thats for sure. Look forward to your update. :wink:

Kin

RedDaemonFox
29th September 2009, 02:18
have you tried putting a PCI video card in, disabling/making the PCI enable first in BIOS, the disabling the controller in device manager, reboot. Any luck there?

keropi
29th September 2009, 07:17
^ no I haven't , I just wait for the new BIOS, I am tired trying all sorts of "magic" at this point :jester:

Kin Hell
29th September 2009, 21:50
LOL. :laugh:

Kin

keropi
29th September 2009, 21:55
I am waiting for "news" from GR Asus support since Monday morning at 10:00 ... I will give them an angry call tomorrow morning, if I get yet another lame reply this mobo goes back. It is not my fault they return their costumers in the '90's with RAM problems...

Harrison
30th September 2009, 14:23
Taking this long, I would imagine they don't have a fix and are trying to quickly create a BIOS to solve the problem. Such a shame as I've always been very happy with Asus products in the past.

keropi
30th September 2009, 14:41
Yes, I am asked to be patient for 1 more day :jester: :jester: :jester: :jester:
they suck

Nathanieltolbert
6th October 2009, 21:48
It's been more than 'one more day', how's everything working with this machine now? Have they gotten back to you yet?

Nathan

keropi
6th October 2009, 22:07
nope nothing... there is a myth of a beta bios, but tomorrow is the deadline according to Greek support: either there *is* a BIOS update (they don't actually know) or I give it back... :sigh:

Kin Hell
6th October 2009, 22:24
Absolutely P M S L ! ! ! ! ! - Asus Support = Weeeeeeee-Ank-OrZ!

Get an RMA from your supplier on the grounds of ASUS being total Dick Wad's.

FFS @ that kind of bollocks! :evil:

Kin

keropi
6th October 2009, 22:33
yeah I know.... but the guy is so kind :jester: , asnyway tomorrow is the final day, he said so!

Kin Hell
6th October 2009, 22:36
I'd still tell the dick to FRO. :mrgreen:

Kin

keropi
22nd October 2009, 13:07
FINALLY! :shock:
Today I received the replacement mobo , I get 3.328MB available with 4GB installed , which is normal! (and also iGPU gets it's 256MB outside the 3.328MB) :thumbsup:

Harrison
22nd October 2009, 13:42
Was it a replacement of the same motherboard model? If so was there anything obviously different looking on the board itself? Or the BIOS version?

keropi
22nd October 2009, 14:14
same mobo, same BIOS... I looked it myself too if there is something different, I could see nothing... though this one is rev1.01 ... but I cannot remember if the previous was .01 too...

keropi
23rd October 2009, 12:44
I will now add some thoughts after using the ION mobo for 1/2 day :ROTFLOL2:

I combined it with a 640GB sata 2,5" HDD (yeah 640gb! new stuff! :bowdown: ) and a pair of 2GB 667mhz Kingston DDR2 ram sticks , all working fine! So I hooked it via HDMI to my 37" 1080p LG lcd/tv.
So first I installed a streamlined win7 version, very fast and network usable BUT recent updates could not be installed. So I re-formatted and installed normal win7 professional , a little slower in booting, but I have not tweaked yet. Updates and all are OK.

I replaced the stock 40x40@6000rpm :nuts: fan with a 60x60@2500rpm one , so now the machine is silent. The cpu+gpu heatsink is ALWAYS cool to touch, after working the cpu temperature is ~35 degrees, and the 9400M GPU has the same temperature as far as I can tell... Certainly a HUGE improvement over intel's design with the awfull 945GC chipset , which is both TOO HOT at ~60 degrees and power consuming (it alone needs ~30-40W!).

So I tried MAME x86 0.134.... the gui is a bit on the slow side... 680x0 games and similar run at full speed, and I tried Psyvariar (consider it a 100mhz PS1 machine) , I was only getting ~70% speed on that. NOT bad at all, considering the 7W Atom cpu , the mame ps1 emulation that is not the fastest available and the 1920x1080 resolution I was running it :thumbsup2: (switching to 720p resolution did not help much either) , so emulator-wise snes/nes/megadrive/sms/mame2D stuff are OK :thumbsup:

Also 2,5" HDD data transfers are ~45-50mb/sec (from 2 different hdd's) , which is quite fast for a little machine :nod:

The complete setup drains ~35W :woot: and is always cool ! I use it as a download/seeding server almost 24/7 , maybe some movie/cartoons viewing on the tv and maybe some retro-gaming combined with the xbox360_wireless_pc_receiver :thumbsup: Though I must admit, the ION chipset looks a little limited with the dual-core 1.6ghz Atom cpu (that gets a 3.3 windows score and the 9400M gets a 5.4!) , so I hope intel releases an upgraded version in the near future :inlove:

I highly recommend it to everyone that wants a small machine for similar uses :thumbsup:

Harrison
23rd October 2009, 13:14
I've been quite impressed with the ATOM CPUs too.

Does this montherboard have the N330 Dual Core CPU then?

My Father wanted to buy his first every computer a couple of weeks ago. He has always been against PCs, not really understanding them, but he has become more and more interested as the Shooting and Fishing companies he buys from have increasingly gone online, making ordering much easier. He used to get my Mum to order stuff and look things up for him on her Laptop, but he likes to look through everything, which was frustrating my Mum who likes to read Sci-Fi Fan Fiction online. So he decided he wanted on of his own to use email and the internet.

I took him to PC World to try some machines out and he liked the little Netbooks and thought they were ideal for what he needed, so I ordered him a Samsung N130 and I was very impressed with it. For the size of the system they fitted a nice sized keyboard with well spaced keys that you can actually type on! And the Atom N270 processor with HT, running at 1.6GHz is more than enough to run XP SP3 on it. I wasn't expecting an Atom based system to be that responsive and usable.

I am now therefore also considering a Dual Core Atom based system to make a quiet download and seeding server like you are using your one for. It is very tempting.

keropi
23rd October 2009, 13:23
Yep, it uses the N330 Atom cpu, you actually get 4 cpu meters in XP :jester: (2 cores , 2 threads each)
XP runs ultra-fast in those machines, I cannot really understand why! They boot faster than a C2D pc :nod:
I could use XP too, but wanted the nice gui 7 offers :drool:

I highly recomment this board _OR_ the Zotac one. Zotac has 2 versions: one with onboard 60W psu and the other with a normal ATX plug (ofcourse using a 120W or 150W PicoPSU is way better IMHO, I currently use the 120W one). One other difference is that the Zotac boards have onboard wifi, and NO PCI slot, whereas the ASUS mobo has onboard Bluetooth and a PCI slot. Also Zotac has HDMI/DVI/VGA connections where ASUS only HDMI/VGA . For me a PCI slot seemed a better choise , as the onboard Zotac wifi module is a 54mbps one...

too much confusing info , sorry being a long day in work... :shrug:

Harrison
23rd October 2009, 13:50
It is annoying when they remove useful expansion ports like PCI completely. I would definitely won't that in case of needing to install something later like a Wifi card, PCI graphics card if the internal one stops working, same for network etc... Or even an extra SATA or IDE controller to add more drives to make a NAS out of this little board. Now that is a good use for these low powered CPU systems. Combined with FreeNAS it would be ideal. :)

I can live without a dedicated DVI port as an HDMI to DVI or VGA to DVI adapter could be used. I've loads of those lying around.

keropi
23rd October 2009, 14:35
yes, it seems Zotac aims at specific users that need a very small board and nothing else.. remember those cute boards go into mITX cases :inlove: (as a sidenote the single PCI slot of the ASUS board does work with a pci riser/extender , I have seen chaps with 2 pci cards installed)

This is the case I am using currently, if I install a PCI card it needs to be hacked, but a slot is a "future investment" :jester:

http://www.morex.com.tw/products/imgproduct/118-1.jpg
http://www.morex.com.tw/products/produc ... ?fd_id=118 (http://www.morex.com.tw/products/productdetail.php?fd_id=118)

2,5" HDD + slot-in dvdrw are in the "basement" under the motherboard :thumbsup: I have also their 3833 and 3877 cases, they are more compact

Justin
23rd October 2009, 14:46
nice case :thumbsup: