upgrades… but.

The new RAM came today. I put it in and… the computer didn’t boot at all. Hmm. Checked the internet to make sure I was putting the things in the right slots. Pulled them out and put them back. Nothing. Tried the advice of just using one at a time to see if one was defective. Nothing.

Realized I was trying to install them backwards and they weren’t actually seated in their slots because of the notch to prevent that from happening, but the little tabs you push to lock them in place looked locked. Not a great design there, Asus. (On the very first PC I had, a 10Mhz “Turbo XT” 8088 with 640K of RAM, me and my boss who was helping me build it put every single RAM chip in backwards and fried one that way. That was when that was something like 20 individual chips in plain sockets.)

With a little more fiddling I got it to boot with one, then a lot more fiddling and the second one finally slid home and… what’s this? It’s running them at 2133Mhz when the package very clearly says 3200. And the motherboard detected them as 3200 but ran them at 2133 anyway. More web searching… ah, you have to enable DOCP, which sounds like some kind of overclocking thing. And now it says it’s running at 1597Mhz… what? More searching… since it’s “DDR” (dual data rate) you have to double that reported clock speed to get the actual speed. Uh, sure, OK.

Fire up New Star GP, and… BOOM, it crashes pretty much right away.

A little more searching. “Update your BIOS firmware,” a lot of people said. Mine was from 2019 and there have been approximately twelve billion fixes since then. After more digging than I should have had to do to find the software that let me apply BIOS updates… that’s done. I was able to play New Star GP for a while without crashing, but just now I started Art of Rally and… nope, crash!

It’s the Computer of Theseus. Replace all the parts and it’s still the same inexplicably-crashing-only-when-playing-certain-video-games computer.