Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Motherboard Fails

Filed under
Just talk

Hardware is reasonably reliable if you're careful to buy components of decent quality. Recently, a bargain motherboard/CPU combo purchase at Fry's Electronics came back to bite me in the fanny.

I live in Grants Pass, Oregon, about 35 miles north of the southern border to California. Fry's Electronics is located near Portland, Oregon, at the other (north) end of the state. So, I only get up there occasionally.

One morning, while perusing the Fry's store advertisement page in the (Portland) "The Oregonian" newspaper, I see an ad for a Motherboard/CPU combo--it's an Athlon 6000 CPU/ECS NForce 6M-A motherboard combo for around $200.

I think to myself, "not bad--I want to upgrade my CPU from an Athlon 3200, and a socket AM2 motherboard will be ready for future Athlon processors." Then I recall thinking, "...the motherboard must be pretty cheap for the price--oh well, it'll probably be just fine."

The next week, my wife had a medical appointment in Salem, Oregon, just 40 miles or so south of Fry's. So, I took this opportunity to make a side trip to Fry's to purchase this CPU/motherboard combo.

Back home, I upgrade my system, installing the new motherboard, CPU, and a new video card and RAM I'd also picked up along the way. It worked great too--for precisely a month and a half.

Last week, this system just abruptly stopped. I attempt to power it back up--no go. After an hour or so, I finally conclude it's a bad power supply. Down to a local store to get a new one (500W Antec at my local Staples) for $99.98. Install it in the box, reconnect everything, and...no joy.

Finally, after some fiddling around and experimentation, it dawns on me that it's the ECS motherboard that's failed. A day later, I make it into Medford, Oregon, and purchase a decent quality Asus motherboard ($126).

So, how much did this "bargain" cost me? Over $400. Partly because I'd misdiagnosed the problem as a failed power supply. But mostly because it doesn't pay in the long run to use cheap motherboards.

Later, I was talking with a local small computer parts store owner who asked me, "Was it an ECS motherboard? I've had more problems selling their board than any other brand. I don't carry them anymore."

"Yes", I replied. "It was my first ECS motherboard, and my last."

More in Tux Machines

Transcend Wifi SD Card Is A Tiny Linux Server

He read a post about these cards on the OpenWRT forums. They’re all a similar configuration of a relatively large amount of memory (compared to the usual embedded computer), a WiFi chip, and an ARM processor running a tiny Linux install. The card acts as a WiFi access point with a little server running on it, and waits for the user to connect to it via a website. It also has a mode where it will connect to up to three access points specified by the user, but it doesn’t actually have a way to tell the user what its IP address is; which is kind of funny. Read more

Atom-based gateway taps new open source IoT cloud platform

Eurotech’s rugged, IP40 protected “ReliaGate 20-26” IoT gateway runs Red Hat Linux on a Bay Trail Atom, and has cellular, GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth options. Eurotech’s ReliaGate 20-26 is the latest in a line of Internet of Things gateways, such as the ReliaGate 10-11, based on a TI AM3352 Sitara SoC, and the Intel Atom Z510-based ReliaGate 50-21. For the ReliaGate 20-26, Eurotech advances to a more modern “Bay Trail” Atom E3800. Read more

Scientific Linux 6.8 to Be Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.8, RC1 Is Out Now

Today, June 30, 2016, Connie Sieh from the Scientific Linux development team has had the pleasure of announcing the immediate availability for download of the first Release Candidate (RC) of the upcoming Scientific Linux 6.8 operating system. Read more

The OpenGL Speed & Performance-Per-Watt From The Radeon RX 480 To Radeon HD 4850/4870

With the Radeon RX 480 Linux review now being out of the way and our various other RX 480 Linux benchmarks, the latest results I have to share with being a benchmarking fanatic are RX 480 results with high-end AMD GPU tests of each generation going back to the Radeon HD 4850/4870 (RV770) days. This article has high-end GPUs from the RX 480 to RX 200, HD 7900, HD 6900, HD 6800, HD 5800, and HD 4800 series compared side-by-side with the latest open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver code. Not only is the raw performance being looked at but the system power consumption was also being polled in real-time for looking at the performance-per-Watt too. For any other benchmarking fanatics curious about the Radeon GPU evolution over the past eight years (RV770 launch in 2008), here are the numbers to enjoy. Read more