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Full Version: Suggestions for motherboard/processor combo
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I think the motherboard and/or processor in my music machine just died an agonizing death this week. It has been acting flakey for a few months; occasionally when I would try to power it up, the light would turn on and the fans would spin but it wouldn't POST. I could usually get it to work by cutting the power and trying again in a few minutes. Now it won't ever POST, even after about a dozen tries. I even tried disconnecting almost all of the peripherals, using different combinations of RAM, etc., but had no luck.

I took a cursory look at some sites that sell hardware. All of the top offers are these PRO GAMER POWER COMBOS that run so hot that they require a commercial restaurant refrigeration condenser as loud as a jackhammer to keep the CPU below 80° C so that it doesn't turn into magma.

I'm not a big hardware geek, so I don't know where to start. All I want is a CPU that is good enough to support a DAW with a few plugins and runs cool enough that I can minimize the noise of fans, and I don't want to spend a whole month's income on it. I have a slight preference for AMD after the recent Intel debacle... Any suggestions?
What you just described sounds more like a bad PSU than a dead motherboard. But maybe you've already ruled that out?

Edit: I might also add that over my 20+ years of building, repairing and generally mucking around with computers I have experienced failed motherboards only twice I think, there's usually other things that fail far more commonly and can give you all sorts of weird issues. Especially a failing PSU can make your machine behave like it's haunted.
(10-03-2018, 11:54 AM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]What you just described sounds more like a bad PSU than a dead motherboard. But maybe you've already ruled that out?

Edit: I might also add that over my 20+ years of building, repairing and generally mucking around with computers I have experienced failed motherboards only twice I think, there's usually other things that fail far more commonly and can give you all sorts of weird issues. Especially a failing PSU can make your machine behave like it's haunted.

I did try swapping out the power supply, but had no luck with the other one that I tried. Admittedly I got the other power supply from a thrift store and had only tested it once or twice. This morning my friend suggested that I try replacing the CMOS battery, so I'll lift the one from the kids' computer temporarily to see if that works.
CMOS battery shouldn't prevent the computer from POST'ing, but I guess it can't hurt to try.
Wow, I didn't think that would work. I swapped out the CMOS battery, and like magic it POSTed successfully.
Hmm, that is indeed weird. I suppose you hadn't changed anything in the BIOS before the problems began? If not, I wonder if it might be a stick of RAM that's going bad, i.e. maybe it couldn't keep up with the speed/latency set in the BIOS, but the default settings are less aggressive.

Just guessing though.

Edit: meaning, maybe it wasn't the battery swap itself that solved it, but the fact that the BIOS was reset to defaults.
(10-04-2018, 06:57 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Hmm, that is indeed weird. I suppose you hadn't changed anything in the BIOS before the problems began? If not, I wonder if it might be a stick of RAM that's going bad, i.e. maybe it couldn't keep up with the speed/latency set in the BIOS, but the default settings are less aggressive.

Just guessing though.

Edit: meaning, maybe it wasn't the battery swap itself that solved it, but the fact that the BIOS was reset to defaults.


I tried resetting the BIOS a couple of days ago by removing and reseating the old battery, but that didn't help. After my friend suggested replacing the battery, I looked around and found a few claims that some hardware can fail to POST if the CMOS battery is dead. I haven't ever had that happen before on other machines, it's always just been an on-screen warning after the POST.