question for the computer builders

Mommadeez4u

Bastard coated bastard w/ bastard filling
Mar 26, 2005
608
#1
I have an 18 month old, reasonably high quality gaming desktop that most likely has a bad motherboard (specs are below). I'm looking at either sending it back to the manufacturer for an out-of-warranty repair, or trying to replace the mobo myself (I called ASUS and it's still under warranty, but it would involve pulling the board myself along with the 'EZ Selector Switch') and sending it do them.

I really can't decide which is best to do: I've opened up the carcass and it looks as if pulling the mobo would be a bitch because of the amount of connects and such. Bear in mind I'm only slightly smarter than the average computer user, I've added RAM and switched out a video card, other than that I have [ ] experience on working on computers.

specs:

* Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe
* 2 VGA EVGA|GF 6600GT 128-P2-N368-TX
* POWER SUPPLY: ANTEC TP2-550 EPS12V
* CPU AMD 64 |4200+ ATHLON 64 939P
* CORSAR D400 512Mx2 TWINX1024-3200XL
* SANDISK 256M FLDRV SDCZ2-256-A10 R
* FD 1.44MB|MITSUMI FA404A/404M
* 2 HD: 160GB|WD 7200 WD1600JD 8MB (SATA)
* KB&MS LOGITECH|CRDLS INTERNET PRO
* MNTR SMSNG|20"LCD16msDVI 204T
* DVD-ROM SONY 16X DDU1615/B2s BK
* DVD+/-RW 16X SONY DWQ28A SW OEM
* SOUND BLASTER|AUDIGY 2 ZS PLTM RTL
* CPU FAN AMD|SILENTBOOST K8 A1838 RT (Replaced under warranty several months ago with a better one)
* LOGITECH THX Z-5300e 5.1 SPEAKERS
* CASE: THERMALTAKE|VA3000BWA RT
 

Deadbent

You can go fuck.
Aug 19, 2005
508
#2
Pull the board. RMA it to asus.
You'll learn what connects to what in the event you ever need to in the future this way. It's pretty simple.
Rma'ing it will take 1 full week. Send it on a monday, you might get it back the next monday.

If you're just going to buy a new one, some info to keep in mind :
There are only a handful of top notch boards for the 939 socket like you have. You have asus' flagship for the 939 socket. If you're not overclocking, you might not (read: Won't) need a flagship model like that one.
Msi, dfi, gigabyte and abit all make great sli motherboards.




Also, in the event you're just going to buy a new board, care to sell the old one? :p
 

Mommadeez4u

Bastard coated bastard w/ bastard filling
Mar 26, 2005
608
#3
DB,

Thanks for the reply. Brand new ones (well, the design is old but you know what I mean) over at newegg are just 125.00-- sure you want to buy a possibly fried one?

Any tips on how to label all the connectors? I was thinking of using my Ptouch labeler and just label the connector whatever the mobo says on the board itself (for example, 'SATA3/SATA1')
 

Your_Moms_Box

Free Shit / Socialism 2016
Dec 20, 2004
628
#4
Scrap everything and get a dual core system :)
 

Deadbent

You can go fuck.
Aug 19, 2005
508
#5
Hah, yeah. Scrapping it all and going dual core is a good bet, too :p


But the best bet in this situation is to draw a diagram and write notes if this is your first time under it's hood disassembling stuff.

It's really no sweat. Just don't unplug anything without tracing where the wire comes from, and writing it down. Your hard drives are the only thing you might have to pay attention to where you plug/unplug them, and in what order and where they plug back in. Looks like your hard drive was running in raid.

Unplug one thing at a time, and notate it. You've got the right idea on the labeling.

(E.g. top hard drive to bottom left red sata1 port. Bottom hard drive to bottom right sata2 port, etc. etc. )

You'll want to reconnect the power supply wires just as you find them also. That'll be the only part that's a pain. Just isolate each "rail" as you disconnect them. (a rail is any one line of wires coming from the power supply. Most power supplies have 5 or 6 rails)

Eh, and as far as scooping up the fried one, who knows. Your best bet is to RMA the sucker. Don't go buying a new one.
You'll get the newest revision of board from asus when you do.
I'd only be interested in it in the event you were gonna go scoop a brand new one. Don't worry 'bout it.
 

Blue Heeler

Uber Listener / Asshole
Aug 24, 2007
126
#6
If you have a digital camera, take tons of pics and label them in photoshop or equivalent. (Just remember to print everything out!)

I agree though, ditch the AMD and go Core 2 Duo, also you really don't need to run SLi, you can get better performance out of a newer card than those 6000 series you have now.
 

Your_Moms_Box

Free Shit / Socialism 2016
Dec 20, 2004
628
#7
Oh, and one mistake i learned years ago when I built my first PC....


Rember where the screws under the motherboard go!!!!!!!!!

Do not put one in the hole under the processor (If there is one there)

If you do, you will be out a processor.... then again, that will give you an excuse to buy this http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529665347.php


Although I am a fan of Athlon over Intel

my current system is
http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/1008848/1008848sp2.shtml

Although I immediatly upgraded to a Radeon X1300 Pro, Audigy 2 Soundblaster, and A little more RAM
 

thelord68

There's always time for lubricant
Feb 24, 2003
0
#8
Good suggestions - take pictures. Except for the hard drives and header for the case (HD lights, power switch, reset switch, etc.), it really doesn't matter where you plug stuff back in as for the most part, as most things will only go one place.

If you haven't done so yet, disconnect everything from the motherboard except for your boot drive, primary video card and RAM. This means all optical drives, floppy drive, sound card, etc. to see if your MB is really the problem.

From your equipment list, it seems like you're stressing your power supply - even though it claims to be 550 watts.
 

Mommadeez4u

Bastard coated bastard w/ bastard filling
Mar 26, 2005
608
#9
From your equipment list, it seems like you're stressing your power supply - even though it claims to be 550 watts.
I ran speedfan frequently, it has an excellent voltage monitor log. The voltages were always nominal even under heavy load.
 

Mommadeez4u

Bastard coated bastard w/ bastard filling
Mar 26, 2005
608
#10
I'd like to replace the hard drives as well and would appreciate some input as to what are acceptable replacements. It's currently using 2 of the following:

Western Digital WD Caviar SE
Serial ATA Hard Drive
Drive Parameters: LBA 312581808 160 GB
WD PIN: WD1600JD-00HB00

(read right off the drive itself)

Newegg doesn't have the exact model I don't think, I'm wondering how much leeway I have in getting replacements and not creating more problems getting them to work with the existing system.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated, especially if there's a good deal on them!
 

umo

Registered User
Jan 27, 2005
0
#11
According to Moore's Law every brand new computer becomes obsolete within two years. Junk the old box and get a new one. That's the reality of high tech...it moves forward non stop.
 
Oct 5, 2004
486
#12
According to Moore's Law every brand new computer becomes obsolete within two years. Junk the old box and get a new one. That's the reality of high tech...it moves forward non stop.
Yep, I'm coming up on 2 years in a few months and already shopping for a new system.
All I can suggest is don't buy cheap stuff that seems powerful but the technology is on the brink of becoming old.
 

Bobobie

Registered User
Oct 1, 2005
651
#13
You can go cheap on a Dual Core Chip and get something more powerful later when and if you really need it. My A64 3200 motherboard is 3 years old and it runs Bioshock just fine. The only thing really wrong with it is that the AGP is obsolete.
 

Mommadeez4u

Bastard coated bastard w/ bastard filling
Mar 26, 2005
608
#14
Ended up sending it in for a repair and also buying this bad boy:







setup:

MB ASUS M2N32-SLI DLX WIFI AM2

VGA EVGA 7950GT KO 512-P2-N637-AR R

PSU ABS|ITZ700 700W RT

CPU AMD|A64 X2 5400 2.8G AM2 2x512

MEM 1Gx2|COR 240P TWIN2X2048-6400C4

HD 250G|WD 7K 16M SATA2 WD2500KS

HD 250G|WD 7K 16M SATA2 WD2500KS

DVD BURN LITE-ON|LH-20A1L-05 LS

DVD BURN LITE-ON|LH-20A1L-05 LS

CPU FAN| AMD64 K450 CL-P0075 TT RT
 

WaddleDoodle

Creepy? We're the CIA. It's what we do.
Mar 15, 2005
0
#15
I'll add to the questions.

I'm definitely going to be upgrading when the 9800s come out in November. Actually, if going to be more of a complete rebuild, since all my components are outdated except for my CPU cooler ").

I like my Antec 900 case for the cooling aspects, but it is a loud beast, and since my rig is in my bedroom, it isn't that conductive to sleep. All those LEDs don't help either.

I've heard decent things about the Sonata III, and the P180/190s. Anyone have a preference or opinion on silent, moderately cool cases? Doesn't have to be flashy.
 

poopiebottoms

Sparkling Wiggles Lover
Aug 23, 2002
356
#16
I've had problems with my Asus board (p5ad2-E premium) since I installed it in 2004.

It has integrated RAID features, but occasionally loses the hard-drives. I've tried swapping out drives, different OS's, and the MB is the only possible cause.

My plan was to retire this computer around now to be a server, but the hard drive issue would make it too unstable. I'm going to have to replace the MB too.
 

Deadbent

You can go fuck.
Aug 19, 2005
508
#17
I'll add to the questions.
I've heard decent things about the Sonata III, and the P180/190s. Anyone have a preference or opinion on silent, moderately cool cases? Doesn't have to be flashy.

It always comes down to budget. I can vouch for the p190 being bad ass. It's huge, heavy, well constructed, there's rubber grommets on practically everything, and the stock fans included in it make for a pretty nice, quiet case. To say the least.
As of the begining of the year, I hadn't seen a better tower under 500 bucks.
Unfortunately, they're still like 300+ bucks. ;p


After seeing a 190 upclose, and inspecting the construction, don't expect to actually "like" any other kind of cases.

Sonatas were always good, but I always had to cut out a piece here, or an extra fan hole there on them. And for reasons mentioned above, both the sonatas and 180's seem like crap to me now.


Silverstone is also up there in good case manufacturing. Might want to look into them. Some good cases in the sub-200 range.