Question about EliteGroup P4ITA2 Motherboard

1 Answer

Problem with P4ITA2 Motherboard recognizing RDRAM upgrade

I have an ATX (ECS) P4ITA2 Motherboard w/ 423 socket
Intel Pentium 4 processor 1400 MHz 400 MHz Frontside buss.
255 MB Physical, 875 MB Virtual, and 620 MB Swap memory.
Including 4 Infineon - 64 mb Rambus DRAM modules, 2.5v., PC800, 184 pin.
Both the motherboard and bios state they can handle up to 2 GB memory, and require it to be non-buffered - registered or standard memory.
I purchased 2 - 256mb Kingston RIMM 800-45 - ECC - PC800 - 184 pin - 2.5 v. modules that were guaranteed to work and work with all 400 MHz frontside buss computers.
I have tried installing these 2 modules into RIMM 1 & 2 and also RIMM 3 & 4, and both times my computer just beeps a long tone every 5 seconds (stating memory error). I have tried the resetting of the CMOS memory, but same results, computer won't boot and display is unpowered. I have contacted the seller of the memory, and also the ECS website, and am waiting for some help. It seems as though the computer won't recognize or communicate with the new memory, although I believe I have purchased exactly what was called for.
I have found an another memory website the following in regards to my motherboard:
''Your ECS Elitegroup Computer P4ITA2 only supportsmodules made with a specific type of chip. Should you find what seemsto be the exact same memory elsewhere for a lower price, it is verypossible that the cheaper memory will not work in your system''.

In reading about this, it seems to be more about the board or bios not being able to handle high amounts of memory that wasn't even available at the time the board was manufactured. I don't know if this has connection to my problem.

Anyone have any ideas what I can do other than wait for answers from the board manufacturer or the guy who sold me the memory? I am still questioning the buffered or non-buffered.

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  • 4 more comments 
  • whisky7 Mar 04, 2009

    appreciate the help, I will give that a try, although I was always warned about updating system bios on a working fine computer. Might cause new problems I guess, but I'll give it a try.
    What I question is whether to update the existing bios (Award) or go to the manufacturers site for their update for a different bios?


  • whisky7 Mar 04, 2009

    I believe that the manufacturer of the computer used Phoenix Award Bios for their systems, while when I go to ESC they show 3 updates to the bios (but I don't believe it is the same provider)

  • whisky7 Mar 04, 2009

    Thanks Again. I have found out that although the book that came with my computer states that it has a P4ITA2 motherboard version 1.3, the numbers on the actual board state a P4ITA version 1.0. This uses a different manual, but the memory specs are the same. I have also found that the memory I purchased is ECC, and although the bios states either can be used, it has been disabled, so only Non ECC or unbuffered can be used. This may be my whole problem What do you think? The place where I ordered the memory states that ECC and non-ECC can be mixed, but the motherboard book states no.

  • whisky7 Mar 04, 2009

    As far as I know unbufferred means non-ecc. Below are specs from the board.
    * 184-pin RIMM Banking: 4 (2 banks of 2)
    * Chipset: Intel 850
    * Error Detection Support: ECC and non-ECC
    * Graphics Support: AGP 4X
    * Max Component Density: 256Mb
    * Max RDRAM: 2048MB
    * Module Types Supported: Unbuffered only
    * RDRAM Frequencies: PC600, PC700, and PC800
    * Supported DRAM Types: RDRAM only
    * USB Support: 1.x Compliant


  • whisky7 Mar 04, 2009

    Thanks, I am going to try to get the seller to send me a non-ecc rimm module of the same speed. I want to do that before I go the route of updating the bios, as the bios and board both state being able to accept up to 2 GB. I don't really think that updating the bios will correct my problem, being that I am trting to install ecc modules. As it stated above, use only non-buffered (or non-ecc) modules. I think that is my main problem.

  • whisky7 Mar 09, 2009

    I have received the new memory, installed it and got the same result.
    I figured out the problem, which ended up being quite simple and was surprised nobody caught it.
    When installing RIMM memory in matching pairs onto a motherboard with 4 slots, the matching pairs have to be installed in stagging positions (ie 1&3 or 2&4). Being that I was installing this memory into a computer with 4 slots, with 4 64mb modules, I removed the modules out of slots 2 and 4 and replaced it with the newer upgraded modules. The computer booted normally, and showed the increased physical memory.
    My mistake, but I did finally figure it out. Maybe this will possibly prevent someone else from doing the same thing.
    I felt like a fool, but glad I figured it out!


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Sometimes, if the memory is a newer type, even though it matches the specifications laid out by the motherboard, there may be other factors like timing and voltage which cause a motherboard to not function with that memory. A lot of the time a motherboard manufacturer will be made aware of this problem and release a BIOS update to resolve it. Have you checked the motherboard manufacturer's website, ESC, to see if your particular motherboard is up-to-date with the most currently released BIOS version?

You can figure out what version of BIOS you're running if you go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Information. On that first page it will list the BIOS version information and the date of that BIOS. If ESC has a newer BIOS available, you might try updating the BIOS to see if that resolves the issue.

Posted on Mar 04, 2009

  • 2 more comments 
  • Matt H
    Matt H Mar 04, 2009

    Whatever BIOS came already used on the board is what the BIOS update will be for.

  • Matt H
    Matt H Mar 04, 2009

    I certainly don't want you flashing your BIOS if you're not totally comfortable doing it. It is not a process to be taken lightly and although I've done several BIOS updates successfully over a multitude of boards, I still treat it as if it was brain surgery.

    Motherboard models are flashed with whatever BIOS they have decided to use. If you download the BIOS update and the BIOS update tool directly from the manufacturer's website, you can have peace of mind knowing they won't have released a BIOS update that uses a different BIOS Company.

    You can find out the the BIOS Manufacturer and version by going to START -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Information. The newest BIOS updated according to ESC's website, for this board, was March 28, 2003 and was version 37396. It should have AMIBIOS American Megatrends or something similar in your System Information under BIOS Version/Date. If it doesn't have the date mentioned above, you should try the BIOS update listed on ESC's website. Here's a link:

    http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Downloa...

    If you're too worried about totally breaking your PC, you might consider using Google to locate suitable memory for this motherboard. A lot of times you can find this information in reviews for the product. They'll say something similar to "I have this board with and it workes great!" Then just find that memory and you might be all set.

  • Matt H
    Matt H Mar 04, 2009

    Well if you noticed the book is for the P4ITA2 motherboard and the motherboard is printed to say its a P4ITA, then I would use a downloaded manual for the P4ITA board from ESC's website and forget using the P4ITA2 book as it seems it might have options/specifications that your board does not.

    As for the ECC and non-ECC, I'm not sure what to tell you on this. :( ECC has been phased out on or included on all memory types now and it is hard to find reference to ECC memory when looking up specifications on most sites. If you look up information on the P4ITA boards and it says ECC is needed, I would stick with ECC memory only as most motherboards were designed for specific hardware, unfortunately.


  • Matt H
    Matt H Mar 04, 2009

    I overlooked the RDRAM aspect of this problem initially because, quite frankly, I had forgotten about it. Allow me to explain.

    RDRAM was a failed memory type that popped up in the late 1990s and lasted only a few years into the this decade. Mostly it failed because it created more heat, under performed SDRAM, required more physical space due to housing requirements in the case, and was being forced out by fixed-pricing schemes set up by the major SDRAM producers during the time. So few units were sold that I'm surprised you were able to find memory for this at all that didn't cost a pretty penny to procure.

    One of the major downsides to RDRAM was its compatibility issues which I think you're experiencing now. At this point, I'm not sure what to tell you. Did you buy the RDRAM from a reputable company or a seller on eBay? If its a company, you might consider returning it and trying to find memory that's more "specific" to your board. If it's a seller, it might be more difficult to do this but you might check.

    Whichever route you go, I wish you luck, as every experience I've had with RDRAM in the diagnostic world, has ended in a headache!


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