Did you check the capacitors on the mainboard?
Generally when I see PSU failures these days its either due to the PSU
being a complete piece of shit from the get-go (Powmax ftw!) or its
starting to eat capacitors. The era that system was made we saw tons of
rapidly failing capacitors being soldered into EVERYTHING, including
PSUs and mobos.
Almost every system I see with a blown PSU has blown mobo caps. Not
sure which one causes the other to fail, but they're definetly linked,
and PSU replacement alone won't keep these systems alive long. I
personally haven't had a problems replacing caps as long as I used
proper low-ESR caps. Don't go to radio shack trying to get
replacements, you'll get a bigger mess than you have already.
I've seen perfectly good brand/model/age mainboard capacitors fail due
to bad PSU caps. The dirty power the PSU dumps out seems to raise hell
with everything farther down. Because of this I also pretty much
require a new PSU in any system that requires an HD replacement,
assuming the failed HDD is a semi-modern FDB-equipped HDD with no mass
failure issues. Upon inspection 90%+ of the time I've found blown
capacitors in the PSU.
For more info on the capacitor problem and how to diagnose it:
Of course, these days $160-170ish worth of parts would get a machine 6x+
faster (Athlon64 x2 3600+ on an nforce 6100 mobo) in the same case,
including 1GB of modern RAM and a decent PSU. It all comes down to what
your time is worth...
Several years ago there were major issues with inferior motherboard
capacitors. Several employees from a major capacitor factory left and
started their own company. Their capacitors were much cheaper so many
motherboard manufactures switched to them. Often these new cheap caps
failed in only 1 or 2 years. MSI, ASUS, ABIT, and others all used these
cheap caps and suffered the consequences.
Suddenly, without warning, miles exclaimed (7/1/2007 11:50 PM):
Yuppers. My otherwise worthy ASUS board suffered from weird USB issues
throughout its life. No *visible* damage to caps, but as it came from
that era I'm pretty sure they were marginal on my board.
Just replaced it with another ASUS, an M2N-SLI-Deluxe (plus a dual-core
AMD 64 X2 5600+, 4MB Ram, and between internal and external, about 1.4TB
of HD space). Didn't have to replace the PSU though (CoolerMaster),
it's still sound.
New system kicks butt though, especially since I upgraded from a mere
AMD 64 3000+ w/1GB RAM.
I'm pleasantly surprised there seems to be as many geeks in here as
mechanics. Guess I shouldn't be, since the skillset/interests are
I'm a geek that can sometimes fix my truck, rather than a mechanic that
can fix a computer, though :)
mine is a microstar ms 6340 with a AMD processor. It has served me well,
when i get a chance though i think its time to upgrade though, i want 2 gig
of memory and at least 250 gig of hard disk space =)
as far as the caps I'm sitting here looking at them. i see no physical
signs of damage. and the system still performs as well as it ever has.
What type of software are you running that would be slow on a AMD 64 3000?
I used to upgrade every couple years because speeds would double and
triple or more every year. Now we see gains of 10-20% each year and
only in certain specific areas of computing.
Hard drives are still the bottleneck. SATA is an improvement but we
still are using a mechanical disc & head mechanism. I've used SCSI for
years. Expensive but ran circles around ATA. Still use SCSI in servers.
Well true but not many applications for windows require much more than
an AMD 64 3000. So my question is what application are you running
where the the AMD 64 is too slow and you're having to wait? About the
only application I run that the faster the better is FEA analysis
software. It can take hours or days to run a stress analysis. So the
faster the CPU the better. Normal consumer software rarely would benefit.
Suddenly, without warning, miles exclaimed (7/3/2007 11:05 AM):
Editing RAW photos from my 10MP Canon Rebel XTi (400D outside of the
US). Mostly I think I needed the extra RAM.
Also, I multitask, multiple different proggies open at the same time.
In normal stuff, surfing and email and all, the extra processing power
doesn't make a lot of difference, but it's just about halved the time it
takes to save an image after editing.
Must have been a lousy SATA interface on the motherboard or slow chipset
& drivers. An AMD 64 3000 should easily be able to handle data at the
capabilities of SATA and todays hard drives. The seek and latency time
of a mechanical hard drive is far slower than the CPU.
Suddenly, without warning, miles exclaimed (7/5/2007 12:25 PM):
I think it was more that I didn't have enuf RAM for the large operations
I was doing - the images I play with are very large - sometimes over
10MB - and I don't do just one at a time...
It's not really any faster for the day-to-day stuff, but then I didn't
expect it to be.
Might have been mobo problems. I mentioned before that the old mobo was
made during the 'bad caps' era, and may have been affected.
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