As mentioned previously, my Foxconn nForce 590 SLi motherboard appeared to be dying. The 2 gigabit network sockets stopped functioning towards the end of last year and more recently the keyboard has been playing up. Thinking it may have been the keyboard itself, I switched to a spare PS/2 keyboard to prove the theory. This too didn't work correctly, by typing random characters every few seconds. To top it all off, the AM2 cpu bracket on the motherboard itself gave way to the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64's weight.
So, I purchased a replacement motherboard the other week - a Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H, in other words, a motherboard utilising AMD's 780G chipset, with HDMI output amongst other things. I'm proud to say that it was bit-tech's recent preview that swayed my decision from the previously mentioned ASUS enthusiast board. The motherboard has all the features I currently need, along with future proof options, such as the AM2+ support, 16GB maximum memory and the HTPC features.
To top it all off, I purchased an additional 4GB of memory, from Corsair - the TWIN2X4096-6400C5, which coupled with my current 2GB kit (TWIN2X2048-6400C4) brings the total to 6GB - very handy for running multiple VMs simultaneously!
Once the parts arrived, I removed the 'broken' Foxconn motherboard and fitted the Gigabyte board with the additional RAM. I then proceeded to install a fresh copy of Vista Ultimate x64.
Unfortunately, within an hour of use, the keyboard started playing up again! This time, I popped to Maplin and purchased a Saitek Multimedia Keyboard to replace my current Saitek Eclipse. So far, so good as I'm typing this with no issues.
Looking back, I don't regret purchasing the new motherboard, as the current Foxconn did have some issues (Gigabit ports) that were a pain to live with. And, in a year or two I'll probably upgrade to a Quad Core AM2+ chip, perhaps converting the desktop PC to a HTPC affair. Finally, although I've maxed out the RAM sockets with 2 x 1GB and 2 x 2GB - there's potential in future to fit 4 x 4GB, totalling 16GB - ideal for a home server upgrade.
The moral of the story? Triple check your components and try several different configurations prior to binning them and purchasing replacements...
Nearly 2 years after purchasing the relevant parts to make Red19, the Foxconn C51XEM2AA-8EKRS2H motherboard is slowly dying. A while back, both of the onboard Gigabit network adapters stopped working, which forced me to purchase a PCI adapter to continue using the machine.
Recently the keyboard has stopped responding after a period of time. Firstly it would spew out a string of random characters, after merely pressing A. But now it has evolved to no output at all. Initially thinking it was Vista (with a format on the horizon), I then noticed that it wouldn't work during POST (let alone the BIOS). So that ruled out the software setup. Then thinking it was the Saitek keyboard itself, I opted for an old PS2 affair - but today this has proved to be useless too. So, putting it altogether I'm concluding that the motherboard is at fault.
The AM2 CPU HSF bracket on the Foxconn had snapped a few weeks ago, which I didn't notice until I pulled the side off for a spring clean. This meant that the CPU had been overheating for weeks (perhaps months). But after fitting a new bracket and a new blob of thermal paste, the problems have continued.
So, now for options. Budget is tight here, as Lily is on the way. And it's not an emergency, as I'm typing this on my VAIO without any problems. But my new HDD video camera is filling up with video that needs editing soon (and putting on the web!), so I'll need Red19 up and running again in the near future.
- New AM2+ motherboard (with support for Quad core)
- New Intel 775 motherboard + Core 2 Quad Q6600
However, after reading many news articles about Intel's (and AMD's) new motherboards just around the corner, I think 1 is more practical. Afterall, I made the choice to go AMD 2 years ago, a few months prior to Core 2's release, thinking that it would be nothing special...
Let me know if you have any AM2+ motherboard recommendations. No special requirements, apart from the option of continuing with the overclock for the 4000 X2 processor (2.0GHz > 2.6GHz) with no fuss. The Foxconn was good, but has shortlived all expectations I had for it - especially as it was around the £150 mark. RMA may be an option, so I'll let you know if I go down that road.