Another mainboard failing... now what?

vbimport

#1

Hello everybody :slight_smile:

I’m back online after a week because my brother gave me temporarily his laptop, so I can use a computer again :doh:

My mainboard (again a gigabyte :Z) just started to act crazy after few months.

Is it really possible that there is no board lasting at least one year? I admit that I make an intensive usage of my computer (i.e. is not unusual for me to run Handbrake and burn a DVD at the same time while moving files through the network between two PC…) but is definitely unacceptable that this can kill a mainboard after few months :doh:

The only thing I can think at the moment as possible culprit is the PSU, because is the same I was using with the other board, but whereas the other board was running 24/7, this one runs about 10-12 hours/day, so there is no PSU-stressing involved.

BTW, the PSU seems working correctly.

However, if I like it or not, now I must get a new mainboard ASAP.

ehm… ok, ASAP is a big word, because as usual my wallet is broken, but I need to start some searching.

Any suggestion is welcome :slight_smile:

The first thing I need absolutely is reliability. So I can spend more if I can be sure to get something really durable in time.

My wish is to get a 2600K CPU, so Z68 chipset will be nice. This will also allow me to save some money because no VGA is needed (or at least I can get a discrete video card later if needed).

What I definitely would like is the higher number of SATA ports in the board. I found that decent sata controllers available use a PCIe 4x slot, so I need a board with at least one of these connectors.

Just to be sure, I think also to get a new PSU, so any suggestion for this component is also welcome.

In the just failed mobo I had 4 burners (2 sata and 2 IDE) and 4 HDDs, so I think that a 600W PSU is more than enough.

Reading around I found this one. Price is definitely a wallet killer, but if I can be sure that it will last some time I will try to get it.

That board has plenty of SATA connections, and also PCIe 4x slots to add controllers if needed. But of course a cheaper alternative is welcome :bigsmile:

Of course I also need RAM (currently I have only DDR2 RAM, so I can’t recycle them :doh: ). 8 GB should be plenty, considering that I’m planning to make a lot of video encoding :slight_smile:

SSD can wait (I need to save money, and a SSD can be installed later anytime).

Did I forget something?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:


#2

Yo Geno-

I have been using [B][I]Corsair[/I][/B] single rail power supplies for the past 4-5 years and not a single componant failure yet in the 650, 750 and 850 watt units that I have used.

Therefore - I can sincerely recommend them to anyone-eh.

(Also - recently put a [B][I]Power and Cooling [/I][/B]500 watt single rail power supply in my wifes new A8-3850 computer - so far its working great)

(btw - I have always experienced great results with both [B][I]Gigabyte[/I][/B] and [B][I]Asus[/I][/B] motherboards)


#3

Is the motherboard still under warranty? If so, you should look into sending it back in. Even if you decide to get a different motherboard, you should get a replacement under warranty that you can then sell to offset some of the cost of a new one. And sell off the DDR2 ram as well.

Corsair and SeaSonic power supplies have been working well for me. If money is really tight, or those two brands are not readily available, Fortron Source (FSP) have been reliable in the past for me also. I can’t see needing anything more than 500w, unless you plan on getting a high performance video card (expensive).

I’ve never used AsRock motherboards, so can’t comment on that one you linked. Like BigMike, I’ve been using Gigabyte and Asus, though its been a very long time since I built one with an Asus board.

Corsair memory has been reliable for me, as well as G.Skill, but I don’t overclock memory or push it in any way.

By the way, have you noticed any problems with your electrical supply to your house? Erratic brownouts, or surges? Is your wiring properly grounded?


#4

You might want to get a quality UPS that has brown-out protection and quality spike protection. At the very very least everyone should have a quality surge protector like one made by tripp lite.

That Z68 board and 2600k would be a great way to go :smiley:
The 2700k is going to come out soon, but its probably not worth the couple extra bucks, rumors say it will be the same stepping so probably only minor improvements.

So what brand is your current PSU?


#5

First send back your old motherboard, if it gets replaced you are ok, and you can keep or sell your old pc.
Second, I dont see how a motherboard can die from just using handbrake and copying files at the same time, so i would say that either you had a bad PSU or a bad overclocking.

Now, the ASRock should be a very good mobo, i had a two of them and sold them both, my first ASRock mobo died a few weeks ago (5years old with heavy use) no idea abou the second motherboard, amd the third is working with my 2500k. So for me Asrock is a good choice, you can also look for an MSI or ASUS.

You probably wont need any extra graphics card, unless you play games, the rest can be easily done with the onboard VGA. i Cant say much about ram, but 8Gb is enough for converting and a light editing videos, but i will say that you need a good PSU, corsair and seasonic should be on the top of your list.

If you can get the 2600K, if not go for the 2500K both can easily get higher than 4Ghz also get a good CPU cooler and make sure that your cooler will fit inside your case, Corsair A70 and Artic Freezer 13 or this with extra coolers :wink:

That’s all i can say for now.


#6

I have lots of old desktop computers running intensively 24/7 and none have ever crapped out because of a mainboard or psu error. This is very strange behaviour of your motherboard.

Perhaps there are power fluctuations going on? Can you get a cheap filter and check if the motherboard is working better now?

[QUOTE=vroom;2608039]First send back your old motherboard, if it gets replaced you are ok, and you can keep or sell your old pc. [/QUOTE]

I totally agree with this. Just call Gigabyte (if your dealer does not respond correctly) and get a little angry at them. Tell them this is the 5th time a motherboard fails. :slight_smile:


#7

Thanks everybody :slight_smile:

I also found that one of HDDs connected to that mainboard is faulty (SMART is showing damaged sectors).

Currently I’m retrieving data from the disk (3 months old :doh: ). Luckily I lost only a single file (nothing really important, and btw I already found it on a backup DVD I had stored).

The mainboard is not anymore under warranty by just a month :doh:

I noticed that if the bad sata ports are left empty, the system seems to work correctly, but of course a new mainboard is in order asap :frowning:

A new PSU is in order too, I wonder if I had a faulty PSU all the time without noticing it :doh:

I already have an UPS, and it already saved my machine a couple of times (from power outages).

I’m considering to get a Seasonic PSU or a Corsair HX650, but I’m still looking around trying to get all components from the same store, to save shipping costs :slight_smile:

Here is a picture of the 3 months old disk :doh:



#8

My vote would be PSU or Ram problem.

I am running Folding at Home 24/7 on several different boards and the only problem I have had is PSU or Ram going bad.

I did have 1 ASUS board go out on me after about a year but that board was also running 8 security camera’s and FAH. both 24/7

I use MSI,Gigabyte,ASUS,and Intel Boards


#9

The PSU seems indeed the most probable cause. It is the same installed in the other Gigabyte board that crashed last year :doh:

Currently I’m drooling over a Seasonic and a Corsair HX650. The Corsair costs about €20-30 lesser than Seasonic so currently is the most probable candidate at the moment.


#10

It wouldn’t have run for a year with a faulty PSU.
A faulty PSU would have taken out the motherboard in minutes or hours.

It’s more likely you have a faulty HDD controller on one of the HDDs (if they are connected to that pair of SATA ports), or the Southbridge has cooked because of a badly ventilated case. The southbridge usually has a crap default heatsink, and the southbridge does run hot.
Before fitting a new motherboard, get a side cooling fan (blower), and that will keep the southbridge and other components cool.


#11

[QUOTE=Dee;2608244]It wouldn’t have run for a year with a faulty PSU.
A faulty PSU would have taken out the motherboard in minutes or hours.

It’s more likely you have a faulty HDD controller on one of the HDDs (if they are connected to that pair of SATA ports), or the Southbridge has cooked because of a badly ventilated case. The southbridge usually has a crap default heatsink, and the southbridge does run hot.
Before fitting a new motherboard, get a side cooling fan (blower), and that will keep the southbridge and other components cool.[/QUOTE]

That’s my idea as well. Many boards come with SB heat sinks that are falling off or in varying stages of doing that. There are many reports of people opening a new MB and having NB and/or SB sinks literally come off in their hands. Bad SATA ports pretty much has to be the SB failing. Heat would be the best explanation. And lets not forget just how fragile those SATA connectors can be, loose on the board and what not. Anyone doing frequent changes of SATA connectors runs a risk of issues there. Always support the connectors with one hand while inserting the cable with the other.


#12

There is plenty of ventilation in my case (a thermaltake armor).

The 20 cm side fan blows a lot of fresh air over the mainboard, and two 12 cm fans also blow air over the HDDs. So I’m pretty sure that overheating is not a problem.

However, I just completed (after 5 hours :doh: ) a full test on a HDD, and indeed the disk has damaged sectors.

I will run some more tests tomorrow, trying to connect another drive to these sata ports. If I still notice instability, then there is something wrong in the mainboard