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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2008, 04:12 AM
~misfit~
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.

First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with Intel
gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm a fast
learner.

A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a crappy
Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He bought it to
me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I Googled both the above
components and realised that the company who sold him the PC were obviously
getting rid of lemons.

The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB 7200.11
HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake Soprano case..

Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable condition a couple
weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's random and
doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU. He's decided that
he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and PSU and get me to rebuild
for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we come to it. It's a single 2 GB
stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)

I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for money
on the market, at least here. They're all I've used for a few years now with
*zero* PSU-related problems.) but am really not up-with-the-play with AMD
motherboards. I like Asus (it's all I use personally) but I've had good
experiences with Gigabyte too. My first instinct was to get a mobo with the
same chipset to avoid re-installing XP. (I'm not being paid for this, it's a
favour to a mate) However, I don't know if that's a good idea. The M3A uses
the AMD 770 chipset. Is it any good? (Bearing in mind there are financial
constraints involved.)

Also, please bear in mind I'm in New Zealand so URLs to amazing deals at
Newegg will only make me cry. <g> Also not all models of motherboard are
available here. However, suggestions are still appreciated, I'll then suss
out if I can source the mobos. The guy's not rich, he's still got the PC on
his credit card hence the request is for suggestions on mid-priced boards.

This is time-sensitive, hence the cross-posting, something I'd not normally
do. He'd like to re-build this weekend.

Any and all replies greatly appreciated. Meantime I'll be searching my usual
suppliers websites but a good word from someone with first-hand experience
(or a good reputation <g>) would go a long way towards helping.

Regards,
--
Shaun.



Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2008, 05:26 AM
Phil Weldon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

'Shaun' asked "Good AMD2+ mid-priced mobo?"
_____

Don't go there. There is no 'good AM2 + mid-priced motherboard' that has
ANYTHING to recommend it over a 'good Core 2 + mid-priced motherboard. I
shouldn't tell you this, but three weeks ago Fry's (US
brick-and-mortar/retail discount
everything-from-barbecue-grills-through-PC-components-to-kitchen-appliances
store) was offering a Q6600 plus an Intel chipset motherboard for $179.98 US
(granted the motherboard was pretty limited, but still both for less than
the cost of a triple core Phenom 9500 alone).

Oops, I misread (never had an AMD CPU); you mean 'a good mid-priced
motherboard FOR an AM2 +, not AND.

Buy a Core 2 AND motherboard then sell the AMD CPU and motherboard?

Never mind.

My suggestion would be to buy a brand with a good reputation and go for low
cost; no sense in throwing more good money after bad than is necessary.

Phil Weldon

"~misfit~" <misfit61nz@hooya.com.au> wrote in message
news:483f7eb5$1@news2.actrix.gen.nz...
>I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.
>
> First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with Intel
> gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm a fast
> learner.
>
> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a crappy
> Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He bought it to
> me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I Googled both the
> above components and realised that the company who sold him the PC were
> obviously getting rid of lemons.
>
> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB 7200.11
> HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake Soprano case..
>
> Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable condition a
> couple weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's random
> and doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU. He's decided
> that he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and PSU and get me to
> rebuild for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we come to it. It's a
> single 2 GB stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)
>
> I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for
> money on the market, at least here. They're all I've used for a few years
> now with *zero* PSU-related problems.) but am really not up-with-the-play
> with AMD motherboards. I like Asus (it's all I use personally) but I've
> had good experiences with Gigabyte too. My first instinct was to get a
> mobo with the same chipset to avoid re-installing XP. (I'm not being paid
> for this, it's a favour to a mate) However, I don't know if that's a good
> idea. The M3A uses the AMD 770 chipset. Is it any good? (Bearing in mind
> there are financial constraints involved.)
>
> Also, please bear in mind I'm in New Zealand so URLs to amazing deals at
> Newegg will only make me cry. <g> Also not all models of motherboard are
> available here. However, suggestions are still appreciated, I'll then suss
> out if I can source the mobos. The guy's not rich, he's still got the PC
> on his credit card hence the request is for suggestions on mid-priced
> boards.
>
> This is time-sensitive, hence the cross-posting, something I'd not
> normally do. He'd like to re-build this weekend.
>
> Any and all replies greatly appreciated. Meantime I'll be searching my
> usual suppliers websites but a good word from someone with first-hand
> experience (or a good reputation <g>) would go a long way towards helping.
>
> Regards,
> --
> Shaun.
>



Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2008, 07:22 AM
~misfit~
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

Somewhere on teh intarweb "Phil Weldon" typed:
> 'Shaun' asked "Good AMD2+ mid-priced mobo?"
> _____
>
> Don't go there. There is no 'good AM2 + mid-priced motherboard' that
> has ANYTHING to recommend it over a 'good Core 2 + mid-priced
> motherboard. I shouldn't tell you this, but three weeks ago Fry's (US
> brick-and-mortar/retail discount
> everything-from-barbecue-grills-through-PC-components-to-kitchen-appliances
> store) was offering a Q6600 plus an Intel chipset motherboard for
> $179.98 US (granted the motherboard was pretty limited, but still
> both for less than the cost of a triple core Phenom 9500 alone).


Oh, I'm Intel "Core" tech all the way myself ATM. I'm just trying to sort
something out to fix a friend's problem. He already has the quad core 9500
AMD.

> Oops, I misread (never had an AMD CPU); you mean 'a good mid-priced
> motherboard FOR an AM2 +, not AND.


Yeah, sorry my bad.

> Buy a Core 2 AND motherboard then sell the AMD CPU and motherboard?


I would too. However, he doesn't have the money, he's trying to do this as
cheaply as possible, he's just forked out for a new machine (that the
sellers tell his is fine..).

> Never mind.
>
> My suggestion would be to buy a brand with a good reputation and go
> for low cost; no sense in throwing more good money after bad than is
> necessary.


I largely agree. However, the board he has is "low cost" so I'm leery of
buying another problem, hence the request for a mid-priced option. Also, I
know nothing of current AMD gear so I'm hoping to find out the "good
reputation" bit from the replies to this post.

Cheers Phil.
--
Shaun.

> "~misfit~" <misfit61nz@hooya.com.au> wrote in message
> news:483f7eb5$1@news2.actrix.gen.nz...
>> I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.
>>
>> First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with
>> Intel gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm
>> a fast learner.
>>
>> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a
>> crappy Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He
>> bought it to me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I
>> Googled both the above components and realised that the company who
>> sold him the PC were obviously getting rid of lemons.
>>
>> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB
>> 7200.11 HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake
>> Soprano case.. Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable
>> condition a
>> couple weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's
>> random and doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU.
>> He's decided that he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and
>> PSU and get me to rebuild for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we
>> come to it. It's a single 2 GB stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)
>>
>> I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for
>> money on the market, at least here. They're all I've used for a few
>> years now with *zero* PSU-related problems.) but am really not
>> up-with-the-play with AMD motherboards. I like Asus (it's all I use
>> personally) but I've had good experiences with Gigabyte too. My
>> first instinct was to get a mobo with the same chipset to avoid
>> re-installing XP. (I'm not being paid for this, it's a favour to a
>> mate) However, I don't know if that's a good idea. The M3A uses the
>> AMD 770 chipset. Is it any good? (Bearing in mind there are
>> financial constraints involved.) Also, please bear in mind I'm in New
>> Zealand so URLs to amazing
>> deals at Newegg will only make me cry. <g> Also not all models of
>> motherboard are available here. However, suggestions are still
>> appreciated, I'll then suss out if I can source the mobos. The guy's
>> not rich, he's still got the PC on his credit card hence the request
>> is for suggestions on mid-priced boards.
>>
>> This is time-sensitive, hence the cross-posting, something I'd not
>> normally do. He'd like to re-build this weekend.
>>
>> Any and all replies greatly appreciated. Meantime I'll be searching
>> my usual suppliers websites but a good word from someone with
>> first-hand experience (or a good reputation <g>) would go a long way
>> towards helping. Regards,
>> --
>> Shaun.





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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2008, 11:48 AM
Sleepy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?



"~misfit~" <misfit61nz@hooya.com.au> wrote in message
news:483f7eb5$1@news2.actrix.gen.nz...
> I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.
>
> First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with Intel
> gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm a fast
> learner.
>
> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a crappy
> Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He bought it to
> me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I Googled both the
> above components and realised that the company who sold him the PC were
> obviously getting rid of lemons.
>
> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB 7200.11
> HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake Soprano case..
>
> Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable condition a
> couple weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's random
> and doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU. He's decided
> that he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and PSU and get me to
> rebuild for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we come to it. It's a
> single 2 GB stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)
>
> I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for
> money on the market, at least here. They're all I've used for a few years
> now with *zero* PSU-related problems.) but am really not up-with-the-play
> with AMD motherboards. I like Asus (it's all I use personally) but I've
> had good experiences with Gigabyte too. My first instinct was to get a
> mobo with the same chipset to avoid re-installing XP. (I'm not being paid
> for this, it's a favour to a mate) However, I don't know if that's a good
> idea. The M3A uses the AMD 770 chipset. Is it any good? (Bearing in mind
> there are financial constraints involved.)
>
> Also, please bear in mind I'm in New Zealand so URLs to amazing deals at
> Newegg will only make me cry. <g> Also not all models of motherboard are
> available here. However, suggestions are still appreciated, I'll then suss
> out if I can source the mobos. The guy's not rich, he's still got the PC
> on his credit card hence the request is for suggestions on mid-priced
> boards.
>
> This is time-sensitive, hence the cross-posting, something I'd not
> normally do. He'd like to re-build this weekend.
>
> Any and all replies greatly appreciated. Meantime I'll be searching my
> usual suppliers websites but a good word from someone with first-hand
> experience (or a good reputation <g>) would go a long way towards helping.
>
> Regards,
> --
> Shaun.
>


I would replace the PSU for sure with something in the 500w range from a
decent make
like Antec to ensure adequate power. Set clock speeds and RAM timings
*manually* - don't
use AUTO settings. And make sure the case has an extractor fan at the back
to ensure
airflow through the case and decent temps.


Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2008, 02:00 PM
TM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?


"Sleepy" <nospam@here.com> wrote in message
news:qQR%j.7$8z7.5@newsfe30.ams2...
>
>
> "~misfit~" <misfit61nz@hooya.com.au> wrote in message
> news:483f7eb5$1@news2.actrix.gen.nz...
>> I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.
>>
>> First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with Intel
>> gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm a fast
>> learner.
>>
>> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a crappy
>> Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He bought it
>> to me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I Googled both the
>> above components and realised that the company who sold him the PC were
>> obviously getting rid of lemons.
>>
>> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB 7200.11
>> HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake Soprano case..
>>
>> Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable condition a
>> couple weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's random
>> and doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU. He's decided
>> that he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and PSU and get me to
>> rebuild for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we come to it. It's a
>> single 2 GB stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)
>>
>> I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for
>> money on the market, at least here. They're all I've used for a few years
>> now with *zero* PSU-related problems.) but am really not up-with-the-play
>> with AMD motherboards. I like Asus (it's all I use personally) but I've
>> had good experiences with Gigabyte too. My first instinct was to get a
>> mobo with the same chipset to avoid re-installing XP. (I'm not being paid
>> for this, it's a favour to a mate) However, I don't know if that's a good
>> idea. The M3A uses the AMD 770 chipset. Is it any good? (Bearing in mind
>> there are financial constraints involved.)
>>
>> Also, please bear in mind I'm in New Zealand so URLs to amazing deals at
>> Newegg will only make me cry. <g> Also not all models of motherboard are
>> available here. However, suggestions are still appreciated, I'll then
>> suss out if I can source the mobos. The guy's not rich, he's still got
>> the PC on his credit card hence the request is for suggestions on
>> mid-priced boards.
>>
>> This is time-sensitive, hence the cross-posting, something I'd not
>> normally do. He'd like to re-build this weekend.
>>
>> Any and all replies greatly appreciated. Meantime I'll be searching my
>> usual suppliers websites but a good word from someone with first-hand
>> experience (or a good reputation <g>) would go a long way towards
>> helping.
>>
>> Regards,
>> --
>> Shaun.
>>

>
> I would replace the PSU for sure with something in the 500w range from a
> decent make
> like Antec to ensure adequate power. Set clock speeds and RAM timings
> *manually* - don't
> use AUTO settings. And make sure the case has an extractor fan at the back
> to ensure
> airflow through the case and decent temps.




I'm not so sure that Antec is the way to go. Nice cases--"suspect" power
supplies. "Droopy" 5V rails.
>




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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2008, 02:10 PM
~misfit~
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

Somewhere on teh intarweb "Sleepy" typed:
> "~misfit~" <misfit61nz@hooya.com.au> wrote in message
> news:483f7eb5$1@news2.actrix.gen.nz...
>> I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.
>>
>> First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with
>> Intel gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm
>> a fast learner.
>>
>> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a
>> crappy Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He
>> bought it to me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I
>> Googled both the above components and realised that the company who
>> sold him the PC were obviously getting rid of lemons.
>>
>> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB
>> 7200.11 HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake
>> Soprano case.. Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable
>> condition a
>> couple weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's
>> random and doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU.
>> He's decided that he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and
>> PSU and get me to rebuild for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we
>> come to it. It's a single 2 GB stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)
>>
>> I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for
>> money on the market, at least here. They're all I've used for a few
>> years now with *zero* PSU-related problems.) but am really not
>> up-with-the-play with AMD motherboards. I like Asus (it's all I use
>> personally) but I've had good experiences with Gigabyte too. My
>> first instinct was to get a mobo with the same chipset to avoid
>> re-installing XP. (I'm not being paid for this, it's a favour to a
>> mate) However, I don't know if that's a good idea. The M3A uses the
>> AMD 770 chipset. Is it any good? (Bearing in mind there are
>> financial constraints involved.) Also, please bear in mind I'm in New
>> Zealand so URLs to amazing
>> deals at Newegg will only make me cry. <g> Also not all models of
>> motherboard are available here. However, suggestions are still
>> appreciated, I'll then suss out if I can source the mobos. The guy's
>> not rich, he's still got the PC on his credit card hence the request
>> is for suggestions on mid-priced boards.
>>
>> This is time-sensitive, hence the cross-posting, something I'd not
>> normally do. He'd like to re-build this weekend.
>>
>> Any and all replies greatly appreciated. Meantime I'll be searching
>> my usual suppliers websites but a good word from someone with
>> first-hand experience (or a good reputation <g>) would go a long way
>> towards helping. Regards,
>> --
>> Shaun.
>>

>
> I would replace the PSU for sure with something in the 500w range
> from a decent make
> like Antec to ensure adequate power. Set clock speeds and RAM timings
> *manually* - don't
> use AUTO settings. And make sure the case has an extractor fan at the
> back to ensure
> airflow through the case and decent temps.


Hi Sleepy,

Yeah, the PSU is going to be replaced. I use AcBel and I can get this one at
a good price:

http://www.acbel.com/PDF/P_PC/ps2_500W_gold.pdf

I like them, been using them for a while now and never had a problem with
one. In fact fitting them has fixed problems in the past.

The problem lies in finding a better motherboard than he has. It has bad
reviews all over teh intarweb so I'm not confident that a new PSU will do
the trick.

The BIOS stuff has all been played with without a good result so far. I
might have to get it, with the new PSU and play with it. <sigh> I dislike
these unpaid favours for mates that can run into many hours of fiddling and
stress-testing. Also, he lives a fair distance away which just makes things
harder.

Thanks for your input. :-)
--
Shaun.



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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2008, 07:22 PM
Phil Weldon
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

'TM' wrote:
> I'm not so sure that Antec is the way to go. Nice cases--"suspect" power
> supplies. "Droopy" 5V rails.

_____

> I'm not so sure that Antec is the way to go. Nice cases--"suspect" power
> supplies. "Droopy" 5V rails.

_____

+ 5 V ? We doan need no steeken + 5 V

Seriously, what's to cause + 5 V 'droop' these days? Not CPU, memory,
chipset, display adapter... What then? Drives, LAN, and audio?

Phil Weldon

"TM" <Tee_emm@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:xRT%j.1067$bZ3.108@newsfe16.phx...
>
> "Sleepy" <nospam@here.com> wrote in message
> news:qQR%j.7$8z7.5@newsfe30.ams2...
>>
>>
>> "~misfit~" <misfit61nz@hooya.com.au> wrote in message
>> news:483f7eb5$1@news2.actrix.gen.nz...
>>> I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.
>>>
>>> First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with
>>> Intel gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm a
>>> fast learner.
>>>
>>> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a crappy
>>> Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He bought it
>>> to me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I Googled both
>>> the above components and realised that the company who sold him the PC
>>> were obviously getting rid of lemons.
>>>
>>> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB 7200.11
>>> HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake Soprano
>>> case..
>>>
>>> Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable condition a
>>> couple weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's random
>>> and doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU. He's
>>> decided that he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and PSU and
>>> get me to rebuild for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we come to it.
>>> It's a single 2 GB stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)
>>>
>>> I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for
>>> money on the market, at least here. They're all I've used for a few
>>> years now with *zero* PSU-related problems.) but am really not
>>> up-with-the-play with AMD motherboards. I like Asus (it's all I use
>>> personally) but I've had good experiences with Gigabyte too. My first
>>> instinct was to get a mobo with the same chipset to avoid re-installing
>>> XP. (I'm not being paid for this, it's a favour to a mate) However, I
>>> don't know if that's a good idea. The M3A uses the AMD 770 chipset. Is
>>> it any good? (Bearing in mind there are financial constraints involved.)
>>>
>>> Also, please bear in mind I'm in New Zealand so URLs to amazing deals at
>>> Newegg will only make me cry. <g> Also not all models of motherboard are
>>> available here. However, suggestions are still appreciated, I'll then
>>> suss out if I can source the mobos. The guy's not rich, he's still got
>>> the PC on his credit card hence the request is for suggestions on
>>> mid-priced boards.
>>>
>>> This is time-sensitive, hence the cross-posting, something I'd not
>>> normally do. He'd like to re-build this weekend.
>>>
>>> Any and all replies greatly appreciated. Meantime I'll be searching my
>>> usual suppliers websites but a good word from someone with first-hand
>>> experience (or a good reputation <g>) would go a long way towards
>>> helping.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>> --
>>> Shaun.
>>>

>>
>> I would replace the PSU for sure with something in the 500w range from a
>> decent make
>> like Antec to ensure adequate power. Set clock speeds and RAM timings
>> *manually* - don't
>> use AUTO settings. And make sure the case has an extractor fan at the
>> back to ensure
>> airflow through the case and decent temps.

>
>
>
> I'm not so sure that Antec is the way to go. Nice cases--"suspect" power
> supplies. "Droopy" 5V rails.
>>

>
>



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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2008, 11:23 PM
Peter van der Goes
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

"~misfit~" <misfit61nz@hooya.com.au> wrote in message
news:483f7eb5$1@news2.actrix.gen.nz...
> I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.
>
> First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with Intel
> gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm a fast
> learner.
>
> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a crappy
> Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He bought it to
> me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I Googled both the
> above components and realised that the company who sold him the PC were
> obviously getting rid of lemons.
>
> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB 7200.11
> HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake Soprano case..
>
> Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable condition a
> couple weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's random
> and doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU. He's decided
> that he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and PSU and get me to
> rebuild for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we come to it. It's a
> single 2 GB stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)
>
> I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for
> money on the market, at least here. They're all I've used for a few years
> now with *zero* PSU-related problems.) but am really not up-with-the-play
> with AMD motherboards. I like Asus (it's all I use personally) but I've
> had good experiences with Gigabyte too. My first instinct was to get a
> mobo with the same chipset to avoid re-installing XP. (I'm not being paid
> for this, it's a favour to a mate) However, I don't know if that's a good
> idea. The M3A uses the AMD 770 chipset. Is it any good? (Bearing in mind
> there are financial constraints involved.)
>
> Also, please bear in mind I'm in New Zealand so URLs to amazing deals at
> Newegg will only make me cry. <g> Also not all models of motherboard are
> available here. However, suggestions are still appreciated, I'll then suss
> out if I can source the mobos. The guy's not rich, he's still got the PC
> on his credit card hence the request is for suggestions on mid-priced
> boards.
>
> This is time-sensitive, hence the cross-posting, something I'd not
> normally do. He'd like to re-build this weekend.
>
> Any and all replies greatly appreciated. Meantime I'll be searching my
> usual suppliers websites but a good word from someone with first-hand
> experience (or a good reputation <g>) would go a long way towards helping.
>
> Regards,
> --
> Shaun.

Hmmm...
Coincidentally, I have a 9500 running in an M3A and (with the latest BIOS)
it's solid as a rock @ 2.5 GHz. I really think a good PSU is the answer. I'm
running a 600W and it's fine. IIRC, AMD says you need a 600W+ PSU for the
Phenoms.

You *did* install the latest BIOS for the M3A, correct?



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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2008, 07:03 AM
larry moe 'n curly
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?



Sleepy wrote:

> "~misfit~" <misfit61nz@hooya.com.au> wrote in message
> news:483f7eb5$1@news2.actrix.gen.nz...


> > I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for
> > money on the market, at least here. They're all I've used for a few years
> > now with *zero* PSU-related problems.)


> I would replace the PSU for sure with something in the 500w range from a
> decent make like Antec to ensure adequate power.


AcBel is actually pretty good.

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2008, 08:02 AM
larry moe 'n curly
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?



~misfit~ wrote:

> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a crappy
> Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He bought it to
> me a week or so after buying it as it kept crashing. I Googled both the above
> components and realised that the company who sold him the PC were obviously
> getting rid of lemons.
>
> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB 7200.11
> HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake Soprano case..
>
> Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable condition a couple
> weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's random and
> doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU. He's decided that
> he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and PSU and get me to rebuild
> for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we come to it. It's a single 2 GB
> stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)
>
> I know what PSU I'll use (AcBel for anyone interested, best value for money
> on the market, at least here.
>I like Asus (it's all I use personally) but I've had good experiences with

< Gigabyte too. My first instinct was to get a mobo with the
> same chipset to avoid re-installing XP. (I'm not being paid for this, it's a
> favour to a mate) However, I don't know if that's a good idea.


> Also, please bear in mind I'm in New Zealand


There's nothing wrong with AMD systems, and while AcBel's PSUs aren't
the very best, they're more than good enough.

I'd check voltages, heat, and memory.

Verify that the CPU heatsink is firmly pressed against the CPU (i.e.,
no broken hook or latch) and that its fan spins at a decent rate. Run
the machine with the case open, and if it stops crashing, look for bad
air flow due to a case fan blowing the wrong way, cards or cables
blocking air flow, or hot air blown out by a fan being sucked back
into it.

Measure the voltages with a digital multimeter (cheapos are more than
accurate enough, but try to get something rated for at least 3.5
digits, or 2000 count), including at the connectors that are plugged
into the mobo and hard drive because unplugged connectors can be
horrible but still show good voltages (no current flow = no voltage
droop). Also measure the motherboard for the voltages going to the
CPU, PCI-e slot, and memory connectors.

Test the memory overnight with a GOOD diagnostic, like MemTest86
(www.memtest86.com), MemTest+ (www.memtest.org), and Gold Memory
(www.goldmemory.cz). The latter will probably find errors the
earliest. Many other diagnostics will miss even really bad errors --
see the review of RAM diagnostics at www.RealWorldTech.com. I've run
one diagnostic they disliked, DocMem, from SIMMtester.com, for hours
without it detecting errors, but MemTest86 or Gold Memory would fail
the same modules in the same mobos within minutes. A lot of junk
memory has been sold, even by the biggest module makers, like
Kingston.

What brands of mobos and PSUs are available in your area?

Some very good brands of PSUs that are hard to find on the retail
market in the US include Delta, Zippy-Emacs, Newton, LiteOn (AKA
SuperMicro), Enhance, Wintact, and Etasis. Many of these are sold
under other brands as well. Good brands we can get here include
Fortron-Source-Sparkle (Thermaltake GamePower and ToughPower, Antec
Basiq), Seasonic (almost all other Antecs, some still by Channel Well
Technology -- CWT, which would be great if they got away from the
junky Fuhjyyu capacitors and run them so hot with their slow fans).






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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2008, 09:16 AM
larry moe 'n curly
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

On May 30, 7:10*am, "~misfit~" <misfit6...@hooya.com.au> wrote:

> The BIOS stuff has all been played with without a good result so far.


I've had bad memory that wouldn't run error-free, except when I slowed
the memory bus speed below spec or changed the 1T/2T command rate to
2T; none of the other parameters, like Tcas, Trd, bus settling time,
etc., had any effect.

If those parameters can't be adjusted in the BIOS setup, as a last
resort try a memory module SPD editor, like SPDtool, but be very
careful because writing the wrong parameters to the SPD can prevent
booting. You'll need to install the memory in a computer that runs
100% stable with it, and make sure no other modules are in there at
the same time, both to prevent programming another module by mistake
and to test the reprogrammed module properly (for days, with good
memory diagnostics). Don't reprogram any other module until you're
sure the first module works well in every computer.

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2008, 01:36 PM
darklight
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

~misfit~ wrote:

> I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.
>
> First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with Intel
> gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm a fast
> learner.
>
> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a crappy
> Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He bought it to
> me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I Googled both the
> above components and realised that the company who sold him the PC were
> obviously getting rid of lemons.
>
> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB 7200.11
> HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake Soprano case..
>
> Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable condition a
> couple weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's random
> and doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU. He's decided
> that he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and PSU and get me to
> rebuild for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we come to it. It's a
> single 2 GB stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)


i would test the ram before you bye any thing and if possible test the other
components in another pc. from my experiance it sounds like a memory
problem.

to test that it is not the os run a live linux cd/dvd and see what happens
it won't cost you nothing or time to do that.



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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2008, 05:49 PM
Paul
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

darklight wrote:

>
> i would test the ram before you bye any thing and if possible test the other
> components in another pc. from my experiance it sounds like a memory
> problem.
>
> to test that it is not the os run a live linux cd/dvd and see what happens
> it won't cost you nothing or time to do that.
>


There is also a version of Prime95 for Linux, which can be used for stress
testing. By creating more than one folder with the executable in it, it is
even possible to run more than one copy of Prime95 simultaneously, which
is handy for multicore processors. (Adjust memory allocation per copy -
with two Prime95's running, give each one half the memory. CD to folder with
Prime95, and execute ./prime95 )

Finding a stress test for graphics, under Linux, might be harder. There
isn't a 3DMark to run, and when I played with Linux a bit, all I could find
was GLXgears. Maybe someone who uses Linux more regularly, knows of an application
to provide real video stress testing.

Paul

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2008, 12:21 AM
~misfit~
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

Somewhere on teh intarweb "darklight" typed:
> ~misfit~ wrote:
>
>> I could use some prompt advice re: the subject line.
>>
>> First, it must be said that, while I'm fairly up with the play with
>> Intel gear these days, AMD is a bit of a mystery to me. However I'm
>> a fast learner.
>>
>> A friend bought a lemon. It has an Asus M3A (vanilla) mobo and a
>> crappy Thermaltake 430 W PSU, both of which, IMO, need replacing. He
>> bought it to me a week or so afer buying it as it kept crashing. I
>> Googled both the above components and realised that the company who
>> sold him the PC were obviously getting rid of lemons.
>>
>> The rest of the PC seems OK. Phenom 9500, Seagate SATA II 500 GB
>> 7200.11 HDD. Asus optical drive. XFX 9600GT PCIe card, Thermaltake
>> Soprano case..
>>
>> Despite me getting the PC to what I thought was a stable condition a
>> couple weeks ago it's crashing on him every 15 - 30 minutes. It's
>> random and doesn't seem to be tied to load, either graphics or CPU.
>> He's decided that he'd like to keep everything except the mobo and
>> PSU and get me to rebuild for him. (RAM? We'll face that if/when we
>> come to it. It's a single 2 GB stick of DDR2/400 AFAIK)

>
> i would test the ram before you bye any thing and if possible test
> the other components in another pc. from my experiance it sounds like
> a memory problem.
>
> to test that it is not the os run a live linux cd/dvd and see what
> happens it won't cost you nothing or time to do that.


Turns out that ny gut instinct was right. I replaced the crappy Tt "550 W"
PSU:

"So, like its predecessor, the XP550 isn't true to the declared wattage.
This is in fact an ATX12V 1.3-compliant 300W unit from HEC reinforced with a
second fan. This may make it a 330W unit, but not better. The PSU just burns
down at a load of 380W due to overheat of the switching transistor."

From:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/oth...oundup_18.html

The Tt has a single 18A 12V rail. This to run a quad core Phenom and a
9600GT! It's no wonder, when I got my hands on the machine yesterday,
replaced the PSU and installed Hard Disk Sentinel I got this screen on
startup:

http://test.internet-webmaster.de/upload/1212279232.jpg

The PSU I chose as a replacement was an AcBel with two 18A 12V rails, rated
at 450W continous, 510W peak. (And believe me, AcBels use *genuine* ratings,
not figures made up by marketers. I swear by AcBels. They're actaully made
by AcBel, (tier 1) not by some random company and then labeled by the
'manufacturer'. They have a 20+ year history in the PSU industry, having
made PSUs for the likes of IBM and Apple. They are the only PSUs I will buy.

www.acbel.com

Anyway, long story short, problem appears to be solved. If my clown of a
friend still had his reciept I'd be at the shop where he bought it from
insisting that they replace the HDD at the very least. There's no way they
should have sold a PC that will pull 400W with a PSU that can't even produce
300W cleanly.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
--
Shaun.



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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2008, 12:31 AM
~misfit~
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

Somewhere on teh intarweb "Peter van der Goes" typed:


[snip]

> Hmmm...
> Coincidentally, I have a 9500 running in an M3A and (with the latest
> BIOS) it's solid as a rock @ 2.5 GHz. I really think a good PSU is
> the answer. I'm running a 600W and it's fine. IIRC, AMD says you need
> a 600W+ PSU for the Phenoms.
>
> You *did* install the latest BIOS for the M3A, correct?


Hi Peter,

As I just mentioned in another post in this thread, I fitted an AcBel 510W
PSU last night. (IME an AcBel will out-peform most PSUs rated 20% higher
effortlessly.)

Yes, I did update to the latest (beta) BIOS. (0901?) However, on advice
received, I set the Vcore manually. The Vcore figure selected in the BIOS
screen seems to have little correlation to the actual Vcore that the CPU
gets (checked with CPUZ and a couple other utils, all of which agree).

I had to set the BIOS to 1.45V to get 1.26V in Windows. There seems to be a
0.2V difference across the range of selectable voltages. However, at that
setting it's rock-solid and runs coolish. (Max of 32C above ambient at 100%
x 4 loads after an hour running the stock cooler.)

You're right, a good PSU *was* the answer.

Thanks,
--
Shaun.



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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 06-02-2008, 07:03 PM
Philip Wright
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

larry moe 'n curly wrote:
>

<snip>
> What brands of mobos and PSUs are available in your area?
>
> Some very good brands of PSUs that are hard to find on the retail
> market in the US include Delta, Zippy-Emacs, Newton, LiteOn (AKA
> SuperMicro), Enhance, Wintact, and Etasis. Many of these are sold
> under other brands as well. Good brands we can get here include
> Fortron-Source-Sparkle (Thermaltake GamePower and ToughPower, Antec
> Basiq), Seasonic (almost all other Antecs, some still by Channel Well
> Technology -- CWT, which would be great if they got away from the
> junky Fuhjyyu capacitors and run them so hot with their slow fans).
>
>


Try the PC Power & Cooling S610EPS 610W power supply. You can get it
for $109 at NewEgg. Can't be beat!

-Philip

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 06-03-2008, 11:27 PM
kony
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Good AM2+ mid-priced mobo?

On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 15:03:34 -0400, Philip Wright
<pvwspam@bellsouth.net> wrote:

>larry moe 'n curly wrote:
>>

><snip>
>> What brands of mobos and PSUs are available in your area?
>>
>> Some very good brands of PSUs that are hard to find on the retail
>> market in the US include Delta, Zippy-Emacs, Newton, LiteOn (AKA
>> SuperMicro), Enhance, Wintact, and Etasis. Many of these are sold
>> under other brands as well. Good brands we can get here include
>> Fortron-Source-Sparkle (Thermaltake GamePower and ToughPower, Antec
>> Basiq), Seasonic (almost all other Antecs, some still by Channel Well
>> Technology -- CWT, which would be great if they got away from the
>> junky Fuhjyyu capacitors and run them so hot with their slow fans).
>>
>>

>
>Try the PC Power & Cooling S610EPS 610W power supply. You can get it
>for $109 at NewEgg. Can't be beat!



I'm sure it's nice, most PC P&C are, but some might say that
it's only a good value if you need it, that it can be beat
by any other reasonably quality PSU that both runs the
system acceptibly for it's lifespan, and costs less.

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