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B560M Pro4 - Picky with Memory£

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LordYosho View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Sep 2021 at 8:32pm
I use a B560M Pro4 motherboard as part of an "internet gateway" type device. It was running ok, so I should probably have not updated the BIOS. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I suspected that I'd messed up the motherboard with a failed update but managed to quickly source a replacement (same model) - believing this to be the best way of getting back up and running.

The hardware configuration is:
B560M Pro4 M/B (sticker on what I think is the onboard UEFI storage is 1.7, as opposed to 1.4 on the original board)
Intel Celeron G5900 (10th Gen with integrated graphics)
2 sticks of Crucial CT8G4DFRA266.C8FJ (8Gb DDR4-2666)
Kioxia M.2 2280 Gen3x4 (NVMe 1.3) 250Gb SSD
Intel Pro1000PT dual port NIC

The problem I've run in to is that after rebuilding, PC won't POST. I checked the diagnostic LEDs (Post Status Checker) and can see that I've got a red light on DRAM. It's worth mentioning that this is the exact same issue I encountered after the "Failed" BIOS update (failed in quotes, as I suspect that the board might be working but experiencing a hardware compatibility issue)

As a first step, I stripped it down to the bare metal, removing the NIC, and SSD so it's running with just CPU and RAM (as that is all it should need to POST - keeping things simple while troubleshooting)

I suspect a RAM compatibility issue as the RAM I currently use isn't included on the HCL (this is something I've become a bit lax with in recent years, so in hindsight I should probably have checked against this first when building it).
As a quick test, I swapped out the RAM from my desktop machine. For reference, this was 2 sticks of Corsair Vengence LPX (part number CMK32GX4M2B3200C16). I encountered the same issue with this RAM as well, but this is also not on the HCL.
I can use both sets of RAM in the working desktop machine without issue (it POSTs) so I think I can rule out RAM faults (unless the 2 boards/chipsets handle potential faults differently), but can't rule out compatibility issues.

So the hardware that worked with the original motherboard does not work with the replacement motherboard, which leads me to believe that it could be a RAM compatibility issue with newer BIOS/firmware (the "P1.7" version printed on the chip on the replacement vs "P1.4" on the original). In which case the RAM that was never officially compatible with the board just happened to work with an older firmware/BIOS but ceased to work with an update. Well that's my theory anyway.

Before I go out and buy more RAM, I'm wondering if anyone has found the B560M Pro4 to be particularly picky with RAM? it's not something I've really encountered before except for one motherboard (many years ago)

I'm also a little worried that there doesn't seem to be much in the way of compatible RAM for this board (if this is the case), with a lot of the usual online stores I use not including the specific parts/modules listed. My starting point for finding compatible RAM was Crucial but they listed numerous modules as compatible but they do not appear on the Asrock HCL (in the past, I've bought off what Crucial listed as compatible, without checking the Motherboard manufacturer HCL but I'm being a little more cautious now).
Furthermore, the few modules that do appear on both lists are mismatched in the names, or rather Asrock include more detail than Crucial.

e.g. "BL8G26C16U4B.8FD" is listed as compatible by Asrock but Crucial only advertise it as "BL8G26C16U4B" (8Gb DDR4-2666). I suspect this is because companies like crucial will update/change the products from time to time depending on specific component availability but advertise them as the same product.
I found a similar situation when I was checking Corsair.

So is this likely a memory/RAM compatibility issue?
If so, would I be safe to use something like BL8G26C16U4B be safe? Or am I likely to run in to problems with potential changes in components and/or manufacturing processes that could lead to the same issue occurring again?
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LordYosho View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LordYosho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2021 at 8:05pm
UPDATE:

I eventually managed to source some RAM from the hardware compatibility list - two sticks of "BL8G36C16U4B.M8FE1" (Crucial Ballistix)

The same red POST error light for "DRAM" appears with both boards using the new RAM (using slots A2 and B2, as per the manual).

At this point I'm at a complete loss

Both boards fail to boot with the compatible RAM, the only thing left that's not been replaced is the CPU, but I'm really not sure if swapping out anew CPU will achieve anything

The G5900 Celeron turned out to not be on the hardware compatibility list for that particular board (I did not realize this when I first built the PC) - but that CPU has been used with the first board for quite some time.

Unless the CPU just happened to work with the older BIOS/Firmware that shipped with the first board but does not work with the updated BIOS/Firmware that shipped with the newer/replacement board?
That being said, the CPU error light did not illuminate on either board (specifically, it lit for a second and then turned off - which I think is normal behaviour during startup?).

This is a confusing one.
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Xaltar View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2021 at 11:41pm
I don't see the G5900 on your CPU support list, there is a G5905. That could well
be your issue. I did note that B460 boards list the G5900 but B560 boards don't
seem to. The silicon is nearly identical but not quite (G5905 vs G5900) so it's
likely the board does not know what to do with the G5900 or it's memory controller,
the IMC (integrated memory controller) is built into the CPU.

I would return the CPU and try to pick up one from your CPU QVL:
https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/B560M%20Pro4/index.asp#CPU

I am sorry it took me a while to reply, I only just now saw your post.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LordYosho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2021 at 4:25am
Originally posted by Xaltar Xaltar wrote:

I don't see the G5900 on your CPU support list, there is a G5905. That could well
be your issue. I did note that B460 boards list the G5900 but B560 boards don't
seem to. The silicon is nearly identical but not quite (G5905 vs G5900) so it's
likely the board does not know what to do with the G5900 or it's memory controller,
the IMC (integrated memory controller) is built into the CPU.

I would return the CPU and try to pick up one from your CPU QVL:
https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/B560M%20Pro4/index.asp#CPU

I am sorry it took me a while to reply, I only just now saw your post.


Thanks for the reply
The situation actually seems to have resolved itself... but in a rather confusing way.

After leaving the replacement motherboard (i.e. the recently bought one) running for about 30 minutes or so, it eventually "posted" and then behaved normally.
Out of curiosity, I tried the same process with the older motherboard and the original RAM modules. It took a similar amount of time to boot.
The confusing thing is that after subsequent resets, it behaved normally - after pulling the power and moving it, it started up normally.

Good point about the memory controller being integrated in to the CPU (that's something I'd forgotten about)

I had encountered a similar "long post" issue previously, but at the time I thought it was due to a short circuit from poor motherboard placement in the case (the issue at that time resolved itself after "reseating" the motherboard)

So perhaps the G5900 was just incompatible enough to confuse the motherboard when loading from factory defaults (BIOS updates cause a reset to factory defaults) but somehow resolves itself?

Anyway, since I now have an additional motherboard and RAM that are in perfect working order, I guess I'll just have to pair them with a compatible CPU
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