Mint Box 2 memory errors with 8GB+ installed

hwmartin
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:42 am

Mint Box 2 memory errors with 8GB+ installed

Post by hwmartin »

Hello,

I purchased a Mintbox 2 in September. In December I ordered a 1600MHz 16GB DDR3L kit from Newegg and experienced errors with it. I returned the memory to Newegg and purchased a 1333MHz DDR3 16GB kit.

Upon installing the new memory kit I am experiencing random crashes. I ran memtest86 and found many errors. This memory tests fine in another computer at 1333MHz and 1.5V. Since the likelihood of two memory kits from separate manufacturers containing errors is very low, I am suspecting the Mintbox 2. I am running the firmware published on 12 December 2013.

Please advise for any further troubleshooting steps I should take before applying for an RMA to CompuLab. I have tried testing the memory modules individually and there are still errors. The Mintbox 2 tests fine with the original memory shipped, but does not pass memory tests with 8192MB DIMM.
Last edited by hwmartin on Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

mbirger

Re: Mintbox 2 memory errors with 16GB installed

Post by mbirger »

Intense PC and MintBox 2 systems support DDR3 (1.5V) memories only, up to 8GB DDR3-1600MHz per SO-DIMM. DDR3L (1.35V) memories will not work.
As the PC works fine with pre-installed memory modules, there is no HW issues with the system, but some interoperability issue with memories you're trying to install. I guess you'll get the same behavior with other Intense PC.
I suggest to test another set of memories, preferably from a known vendor.
We're not familiar with any memory issues.

hwmartin
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:42 am

Re: Mintbox 2 memory errors with 16GB installed

Post by hwmartin »

Edit: Please see below posts for more details. Issues unresolved.

Thanks for the reply mbirger. I decided to do more testing and found a configuration that seems to work.

For anyone else who may be using memtest86, it would appear that 5.0.0 for UEFI has some bugs that produce false positive test results. I would recommend using an older version booting in legacy mode until the bugs in the UEFI version are fixed.

Edit 2: Testing in legacy version still results in test failures. I do not believe test failures are due to bugs in memtest.
Last edited by hwmartin on Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

hwmartin
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:42 am

Re: Mintbox 2 memory errors with 16GB installed

Post by hwmartin »

Well sadly it appears this issue remains unsolved. I'm still getting random kernel panics in Linux and memtest86+ shows errors when testing.
I suggest to test another set of memories, preferably from a known vendor.
I think Patriot Memory qualifies as a well known vendor. They have over 40 five star reviews for this kit on Newegg. Or perhaps the G.SKILL memory kit I originally purchased, which has 18 positive reviews. Do either of these manufacturers qualify as "known vendors" ?

gabrielh states here that there are no known blacklisted modules.
We're not familiar with any memory issues.
Really? Another user had the same issue with dual channel performance and was advised to apply for an RMA. Sadly there is no follow up on whether this resolved his issue or not.

Thus far I've been told to return my 1.35V memory kit and purchase a 1.5V memory kit. I've done that, there are still errors. Now you're telling me that it's a problem with my 1.5V modules, not with the Mint Box/IntensePC. I've updated to the latest firmware available, and still there are errors.

I have been completely unimpressed with the level of support offered for the Mint Box/IntensePC. The only response I have received from CompuLab thus far has been to tell me that I'm probably doing something wrong, and that the hardware I received is absolutely without fault.

The documentation states that each IntensePC is tested before being shipped to a customer. Well, I'd like to know if they are tested with 16GB of memory, because mine sure isn't working. If CompuLab can provide assurances that my memory will be returned, I will happily ship my Mint Box back to them with the 16GB kit installed so they can verify that it is a hardware issue with my computer and not the memory kit.

hwmartin
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:42 am

Re: Mintbox 2 memory errors with 16GB installed

Post by hwmartin »

I've been doing more testing and this is what I have found:

2GB DIMM (CompuLab installed memory):
Hynix HMT325S6CFR8C-H9 (1333MHz, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V)
Identifies as Hynex Semiconductor (Hyundai Electronics) in memtest86

No errors with single DIMM int slot 0 or slot 1
No errors with two DIMMs installed

Memory passes multiple test iterations without errors in a Lenovo T430 and MacBook Pro @ 1333MHz.

4GB DIMM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-10666CL9S-4GBSQ (1333MHz, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V)
Identifies as G SKILL Intl F3-10666CL9-4GBSQ in memtest86

No errors with a single DIMM in slot 0 or slot 1
No errors with two DIMMs installed

Memory passes multiple test iterations without errors in a Lenovo T430 and MacBook Pro @ 1333MHz.

8GB DIMM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-1600C9S-8GRSL (1600MHz, 9-9-9-28, 1.35/1.5V)
Identifies as G Skill Intl F3-1600C9-8GRSL in memtest86

No errors with a single DIMM in slot 0 or slot 1
Errors with two DIMMs installed (regardless of capacity of second DIMM)

Memory passes multiple test iterations without errors in a Lenovo T430 @ 1600MHz and MacBook Pro @ 1333MHz.

Patriot Signature Line PSD316G1333SK (1333MHz, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V)
Identifies as Patriot Memory (PDP Systems) in memtest86

No errors with single DIMM in slot 0 or slot 1
Errors with two DIMMs installed (regardless of capacity of second DIMM)

Memory passes multiple test iterations without errors in a Lenovo T430 and MacBook Pro @ 1333MHz.

Patriot Signature Line PSD316G1600SK (1600MHz, 11-11-11-28, 1.5V)
Identifies as Micron Technology 16KTF1G6 in memtest86

No errors with single DIMM in slot 0 or slot 1
Errors with two DIMMS installed (regardless of capacity of second DIMM)

Memory passes multiple test iterations without errors in a Lenovo T430 @ 1600MHz and MacBook Pro @ 1333MHz.


For all 8GB DIMM + 2/4/8GB DIMM tests:
Errors are present in both Legacy booting (memtest86 4.3.6) and UEFI (memtest 5.0.0). Sometimes testing with a single CPU will result in a pass. Other times the computer will lock up and never complete the tests. Selecting Parallel CPU test always results in test failure.

Linux kernel panics very quickly after logging in and attempting to open any memory intensive applications with any 8GB DIMM and a second (2 or 4 or 8GB) DIMM installed.



What are the odds that three different 16GB memory kits from three different vendors (G.SKILL, Patriot, Micron) are all incompatible with the Mint Box 2, but work perfectly fine in a Lenovo T430 and MacBook Pro?

I'm willing to accept that there may be isolated compatibility issues, but with 3 different 16GB kits? That seems incredibly unlikely. I've even tried removing the hard drive carrier and putting a fan under the Mint Box to reduce the heat inside and this has not changed the result.

I would appreciate a response from CompuLab regarding this issue. If I don't receive one soon I'm left with no option but to RMA my IntensePC / Mint Box and hope the replacement does not suffer from the same issue.

hwmartin
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:42 am

Re: Mint Box 2 memory errors with 8GB+ installed

Post by hwmartin »

Here's the memtest output. As you can see there appears to be a problem with 8GB DIMMs where bits are flipped during memory operations. This behaviour is consistent across multiple memory modules from different manufacturers.
G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-1600C9S-8GRSL:
Image
Patriot Signature Line PSD316G1333SK:
Image
Patriot Signature Line PSD316G1600SK:
Image
Linux kernel panic (April UEFI firmware):
Image
Here is an older (BIOS) version of memtest also failing:
Image

I purchased an infra-red thermometer and measured the memory temperatures while running memtest. The ambient temperature was around 25C during testing.

Hynix 2 x 2GB (CompuLab factory configuration):
Image
Patriot Signature Line PSD316G1333SK (1 x 8GB):
Image
G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-1600C9S-8GRSL (1x 8GB):
Image

Note: All datasheets for the DIMMs indicate an operating temperature of up to 80C.
Last edited by hwmartin on Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hwmartin
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:42 am

Re: Mint Box 2 memory errors with 8GB+ installed

Post by hwmartin »

CompuLab, please advise me on where I can apply to return my MintBox 2 and receive a refund.

I purchased the MintBox 2 for its advertised support of 16GB of memory.

In summary:
CompuLab specifications for MintBox 2 stating support for up to 16GB DDR3 1333/1600MHz RAM
CompuLab representative indicating that there are no known incompatibilities
IntensePC owner with the same issues as mine, still unresolved

In short, your product does not live up to the claim that it supports 16GB of RAM. No where do you state (except for in this thread, regarding my modules specifically) that JEDEC certified DDR3 (SODIMM) memory is incompatible with the MintBox 2.

As detailed in this thread, I have tried four different 16GB memory kits in this computer, none have worked. Given that all your public documentation states the computer can accept 16GB, and CompuLab has not blacklisted any of the modules I have used, I believe the capabilities of the MintBox 2 are being falsely advertised.

If I do not receive a response from CompuLab regarding processing a return with a reasonable restocking fee, I will be contacting my credit card to arrange for the charges to be reversed in light of the false claims made by CompuLab.

irads
Site Admin
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:11 pm

Re: Mint Box 2 memory errors with 8GB+ installed

Post by irads »

Dear hwmartin,

First, you can return MintBox 2 for a refund if it does not live up to your expectations.
Please visit http://www.fit-pc.com/web/support/rma/ for instructions.

As per your experience with MintBox 2 - we appreciate the diligent testing you conducted and sorry that it did not yield a stable system with 16GB RAM. Incompatibility of RAM to computer systems is not uncommon, and the RAM you tested was detected but exhibited marginal reliability. I reject the assertion that MintBox is subject to false advertising.

I think the claims made in other places about lack of email support are misleading or misinformed. See http://www.fit-pc.com/web/support/

Sincerely,
-------------------------
Irad Stavi
Forum admin

-------------------------

hwmartin
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:42 am

Re: Mint Box 2 memory errors with 8GB+ installed

Post by hwmartin »

irads wrote:First, you can return MintBox 2 for a refund if it does not live up to your expectations.
Please visit http://www.fit-pc.com/web/support/rma/ for instructions.
irads, thanks for replying. The instructions you linked to are for an RMA, which is to replace or repair a defective unit. They do not mention the conditions for returning a product for refund.
irads wrote:As per your experience with MintBox 2 - we appreciate the diligent testing you conducted and sorry that it did not yield a stable system with 16GB RAM. Incompatibility of RAM to computer systems is not uncommon, and the RAM you tested was detected but exhibited marginal reliability. I reject the assertion that MintBox is subject to false advertising.
I can understand the strong feelings surrounding my claim of false advertising. However, I feel my claims are justified. On the product webpage it states that the MintBox 2 supports DDR3 1333/1600MHz memory, with no mention that the customer must purchase specific memory models. While you are correct that memory incompatibility is not unheard of, I have purchased memory that meet the specifications laid out by CompuLab for the MintBox 2. To find that all four memory kits are incompatible for unpublished and unexplained reasons is surprising and atypical. Being incompatible with 100% of multiple different memory manufacturers and models is uncommon.

While I realize that it is impossible for a manufacturer to test every model of memory available, the list of approved modules contains many modules which are not available for sale any more. Modules on the white-list which are still for sale are many times the cost of widely available kits. The timing, speed and voltage specifications for many of the white-listed modules match the specifications of the memory I purchased. It's misleading to state that a product is compatible with memory meeting certain specifications, and then elsewhere to claim that specific more expensive memory models must be purchased to be compatible.
irads wrote:I think the claims made in other places about lack of email support are misleading or misinformed. See http://www.fit-pc.com/web/support/
I have corrected my reviews to remove specific mention of CompuLab's support methods.

irads
Site Admin
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:11 pm

Re: Mint Box 2 memory errors with 8GB+ installed

Post by irads »

I asked the HW team to look more closely at current RAM modules. Since installing 16 GB RAM in Intense PC is not common, our statistics is not updated frequently.

Your tests, while very comprehensive (I counted 3 types of 8GB, excl. the incompatible DDR3L) are not sufficient to draw a conclusion about the capabilities of the product. For once, it should be done on more than one unit. The technical feedback however is valid and useful.

Thanks,
-------------------------
Irad Stavi
Forum admin

-------------------------

Post Reply

Return to “Intense PC faults and troubleshooting”