A780GM-A Issues (bad board?)

I have a support ticket into ECS about this, but I thought I'd post here too.

Product Name: A780GM-A
Model Version: V1.1
BIOS Version: 11/06/2008

CPU: AMD A64 X2 4850e AM2
Memory: 2x1GB CORSAIR XMS2 DDR2 800
HDD: WD GreenDrive 750GB
Operation System: Windows XP
Power Supply: OCZ StealthXstreme 500W

All the components of this system are brand new (from newegg of course). Bios was updated to the lastet version from the website without errors. All drivers are installed in windows.

I have a few problems. First and foremost, the system seems to "go blank" at seemingly random times. By go blank, I mean my screen goes black and the monitor reports "no signal". The the fans and everything are still running and the computer does NOT reboot itself. It just sits in this state until I push the reset button. I'm not sure if I've just lost video or if the whole thing gets hosed.

It's happening frequently, but I can't seem to reproduce it in a consistent manner. I have had this happen while in Windows (idle) and while in BIOS (idle). It often seems to coincide with when there is a slight movement of the case. For example, when I open the cover for the front usb panel, or when I hit the DVD drive open button. I have checked for loose electrical connections and have not found any. I have tried an alternate PSU and it didn't fix the problem. I have tested the voltages on the PSU and all are inline. I don't think it is an overheat issues as the CPU heatsink (stock) is quite cool, the northbridge heatsink is warm but not real hot, and the problem has occurred soon after boot up so I doubt heat is an issue.

The second issue is that I seem to get seemingly meaningless temperature data. In the BIOS, if I look at the PC Health section, the CPU temp ALWAYS reads 40*C. Doesn't matter if it was just turned on, or if I've been running benchmark apps, it ALWAYS reads 40*C. I tried CoreTemp in windows and it shows anywhere from 0*C - 10*C for either core. This can't be right either, it's way too low (I just have the stock fan).

The third issue I have is with voltages. I DO NOT want to overclock my system at all. I don't need it. However, in the M.I.B. section of the BIOS, the RAM clock speed is set to 12. That was the default. Is this correct? Along these same lines, the manual for the motherboard says teh BIOS should have a Frequencey/Voltage Control section, but all I see is the M.I.B. section.

I'm trying to figure out if I should RMA this board back to newegg. I dont want to pay for shipping it back just to have the same problems with another board. I'd like to stick with this ECS model since it was such a good deal. Ive always had good luck with ECS in the past.

Any suggestions?

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  1. I would reseat your video card, and check the lead going to your lcd. Mine has no screws, so it can work loose. 40c is actually ok; the other temps are obviously bogus. I also get a "no monitor" on my starlogic lcd when the screen goes into an autofocus mode sometimes while using vista.
  2. I'm using onboard graphics so no video card to reseat. The cable to the monitor has screws on both ends and is tight. I've been unable to reproduce the problem by wiggling the cable.

    I agree that 40*C would be ok, but it never changes. That is the problem. I would expect it to rise with activity, but I have never seen anything other than 40*C

  3. Eureka. I think I may have discovered the problem, but I'm not sure yet how to fix it.

    Turns out, it wasn't the movement of the case that was causing the problem, it was me touching it. I should have paid more attention to it last night, but sometimes, when I would touch the front of the case (dvd button, usb panel, etc) I'd get an small static shock. Turns out that that is what is causing the problem. I AM finally able to reproduce it reliably. I have tried touching other portions of the case and while I did get a shock, there was no ill effect - computer kept running. However, anytime I touch the aluminum front panel and get a static shock, the PC immediately goes into this "locked up" state.

    I've been trying to do a little research online tonight and it seems like the problem is that the front face connects to the case with plastic. I might need to somehow ground my front face to the rest of the case.

    Does this sound correct? Any ideas how to do this?

    Should I worry that I've damaged any of my components with these static discharges?

  4. Any one know of a way to ground the front face? The case is Athenatech A3701BB. It's a similar case to the NZXT Duet but with a different face.

    Last night I tried using some 18 gauge speaker wire that I had sitting around. I looped it around a few of the screws that hold the plastic backing to the aluminum face. Then I routed it into the case and screwed it down. Seemed to help some (ie. took a few shocks before problem resurfaced, but it still does it.

    Any suggestions?

  5. Sounds like a bad motherboard to me.
  6. Well I think I fixed the problem last night after the suggestions I got at work.

    First thing I did was take the whole thing back apart and make sure there was nothing under the motherboard that would be shorting it out. It looked fine.

    I added a ground wire so that it now connects from the back of the front face to the screw holding the PSU in place.

    I used the supplied ferrite donut and tightly wrapped my front panel wires around it 3-4 times each. Previously they were wrapped only once and VERY loosely (barely even touched the ring).

    After hooking it all back up (which was harder due to the shorter wires from the front), I got the pleasure of purposefully zapping myself several times to test it out. Touched in many spots and not a single problem.

    So I'm not sure which of the 2 suggestions worked, but the case seems to be working appropriately now.

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