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Fried Socket AM2 chip? Now what?!

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March 8, 2009 6:48:23 PM

I've been posting all over the internet looking for help with my PC that since last week will not power on. I thought it was the PSU, but replacing that did nothing.

I've finally got to the point of taking bits and pieces off the motherboard, and when I took the CPU fan and chip off, I was horrified to find that one pin looked to be burnt out (char marks on the socket itself), one other was missing, and two of them were squished flat. I don't think this was a result of me removing the chip, so I'm wondering A) how on earth was my computer ever working, and B) is this the likely cause of my computer not turning on? If the PSU is okay, and the mobo seems to be okay (the Ethernet plug lights up at least), this seems like a logical conclusion, no?

So now what? Should I assume it's the CPU and replace it? The thing that worries me is that from what I understand, even without the CPU the mobo should still beep because it can't post, and my fans should power on, but I don't even get that. I still get absolutely nothing. I've tested for the power button by trying to trip the pins on the mobo with a screwdriver, and that did not work either. I don't have any extra CPU's to test with, or any way of getting one, for free anyway. I'm not sure if I should go with my gut or seek a second opinion. I've already bought a PSU that wasn't necessary...

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March 8, 2009 7:12:14 PM

Bent CPU pins = CPU has been forceably installed incorrectly, resulting in the bent / flat pins.

Not all pins on a CPU carry data etc, most are actually power and are there for a reason. You may have been lucky to have your pc run at all. Burn marks on one pin is pretty much terminal.

March 8, 2009 8:05:03 PM

I installed the CPU myself, and was very careful to do it correctly, so that's why I'm horrified to learn that some pins were bent. :)  I'm still not sure how it's possible that I bent some pins and yet the computer has worked fine for 2 years.

If there is what looks like a scorch mark on a pin hole on the socket, does that mean the motherboard is screwed too? Because if that pin hole is busted as well, that means I need more than a new CPU, right?
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March 8, 2009 9:19:32 PM

Quite possibly as you wont be able to tell if the scorch mark is due to a fauly CPU socket or due to the bent pins.

The other problem you could have is if the missing pin is still lodged in the hole on the cpu socket it will make any attempt at replacing the cpu difficult as it could do either of two things :-

1) stop the cpu seating in the socket correctly

2) short out your new chip.

CPU & Mobo combo deals are common and fairly cheap to come by these days... what spec CPU / mobo do you currently have
March 9, 2009 12:03:27 PM

As far as I can tell, there are no pins stuck inside the socket. One of the two broken pins did remain in the socket, but I was able to remove it easily. So the only thing I'm worried about it that one tiny burn mark and whether that has adversely affected the socket.

I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ in a Biostar NF4UAM2G motherboard. Or I should say, did have. :??: 
March 9, 2009 12:17:41 PM

Bad News: Your CPU is Phuxzored
Good News: It was an AMD which means you probably didn't spend much on it!

For bent pins I've heard of folks using an empty mechanical pencil to fix, but if they're bent off, I've got no clue.

Burn marks on the socket\mobo? That does NOT sound good!

Sorry to hear about your luck. Remember that ZIF = Gentle!
March 9, 2009 12:34:55 PM

I didn't spend much on them, you're right, although I was honestly expecting more than 2 years out of them. As for the bent pins, I was able to straighten them using a sewing needle, but I'd already lost two anyway, and one of them was burned off. :( 

The burn mark is very small and only on one hole of the socket - one of the corner holes, for whatever that's worth.

I think I'm just going to ditch the whole lot and buy a combo from Newegg or Tigerdirect. I don't want to buy a new CPU, put it in my old motherboard, and have the mobo fry my new CPU. So I'll replace both.
March 9, 2009 12:35:28 PM

jtrory said:
As far as I can tell, there are no pins stuck inside the socket. One of the two broken pins did remain in the socket, but I was able to remove it easily. So the only thing I'm worried about it that one tiny burn mark and whether that has adversely affected the socket.

I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ in a Biostar NF4UAM2G motherboard. Or I should say, did have. :??: 


I know I wouldn't risk it. Sounds like definitely a popped CPU, and no telling what might be bad on your mobo if there was a short/surge.

Dunno what kinda budget you'd have to get a new setup, but if you have money:

AMD 720BE x3/Biostar 790GX setup I got that's on combo special now $211.99


If your budget is sorta restricted:

AMD 7750 x2 BE/Biostar 790 AM2+ board combo special $149.98

Good luck
March 9, 2009 12:43:26 PM

Thanks, yeah I've been looking at those Newegg combos and they seem pretty reasonable. I think while I'm at it I might throw in a 2GB stick of RAM as well.

I don't know anything about the AMD Phenom chips, other than I guess they're supposed to be better than the Athlon 64, but there's a few good deals on those too ($150 w/ ASUS mobo).
March 9, 2009 12:52:58 PM

jtrory said:
Thanks, yeah I've been looking at those Newegg combos and they seem pretty reasonable. I think while I'm at it I might throw in a 2GB stick of RAM as well.

I don't know anything about the AMD Phenom chips, other than I guess they're supposed to be better than the Athlon 64, but there's a few good deals on those too ($150 w/ ASUS mobo).


I got the first combo. Was able to unlock the 4th core with that mobo. YMMV, so don't count on what I got being what you'll have if you order it.

The Phenom II is better than Phenom I, and Phenom I x2 is better than Athlon 64 x2 supposedly.

I know that my performance with the PII 720BE running x4 vs the PI 9850BE x4 is substantial. I run 1 video card with the 720BE, and I get 3DMark06 benchscores 4000+ points higher than the 9850BE with 2 video cards. Could be the mobo or something, but I like the performance benefit.

So long as nothing off the mobo got hit (HDD, etc) and all your on-board/in-slot stuff is ok (mem, GPU, etc), I'd say get a new mobo/CPU combo that fills your needs and get her back up and going in 3 or 4 days. :) 
March 9, 2009 1:01:37 PM

Well see this has been my issue ever since my computer crapped out - I don't know if my memory is okay, or my GPU, or my HDD, and I've really got no way of knowing. Since I now think I know the cause of all this, I can replace those parts I am sure don't work. But as for the rest, we'll have to wait and see. I really hope I don't spend $200 on a new CPU and mobo and find out that the rest of my hardware got nailed when the CPU exploded.
March 9, 2009 1:12:03 PM

jtrory said:
Well see this has been my issue ever since my computer crapped out - I don't know if my memory is okay, or my GPU, or my HDD, and I've really got no way of knowing. Since I now think I know the cause of all this, I can replace those parts I am sure don't work. But as for the rest, we'll have to wait and see. I really hope I don't spend $200 on a new CPU and mobo and find out that the rest of my hardware got nailed when the CPU exploded.


Yeah, spending money is never fun :( 

One thing you have to remember tho about buying one part at a time:

If you know your PSU is good for sure and you know the current mobo popped/scortched the current CPU...who isn't to say if you put the new CPU in there that it won't pop it too? That's why I'd get a whole new mobo and CPU...just to be safe and not spend $50-225 on a new CPU for nothing.

There is a good thing tho to it, if you find out you bought parts you didn't need:

Put them back in the box, and save them. Never know when a mobo or CPU or fan or memory module will go bad.

I have a box with CPU coolers, cables, CPUs, fans, etc., and I keep them around so that if I need something I can just go dig and maybe not have to wait 3 days to get it.

March 9, 2009 2:04:48 PM

Right, I agree with the playing it safe thing, getting both a new CPU and motherboard.

So here's two questions I have for you then.

1) The PSU that I'd bought to replace the one I thought was bad is a 580w Seabeam. The old one, which I think actually is still good after all, is a 500w Artec. Is it worth putting in the more powerful but perhaps less reliable Seabeam? Because otherwise, I'll stick with the Artec and return the Seabeam.

2) I notice that with only a few exceptions, the CPU's that are sold in combo with a motherboard on Newegg are OEM, meaning they won't come with a heatsink. Do you know if my AM2 heatsink from the my old CPU could be used on an AM2+ chip? I'm looking at a combo with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma, but it's AM2+ and I have no idea how that compares to AM2.
March 9, 2009 3:09:24 PM

jtrory said:
Right, I agree with the playing it safe thing, getting both a new CPU and motherboard.

So here's two questions I have for you then.

1) The PSU that I'd bought to replace the one I thought was bad is a 580w Seabeam. The old one, which I think actually is still good after all, is a 500w Artec. Is it worth putting in the more powerful but perhaps less reliable Seabeam? Because otherwise, I'll stick with the Artec and return the Seabeam.


Um...the PSU brands I think you are saying are Sunbeam and Antec?

I think that Antec is known to be better, but others here would have to state their opinions to be sure about that.

I would think based on your processor/GPU power needs, you'd put in the PSU that has the best rated power for those components. Plus, max power output is not always the defining quality of a PSU.



2) I notice that with only a few exceptions, the CPU's that are sold in combo with a motherboard on Newegg are OEM, meaning they won't come with a heatsink. Do you know if my AM2 heatsink from the my old CPU could be used on an AM2+ chip? I'm looking at a combo with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma, but it's AM2+ and I have no idea how that compares to AM2. said:

2) I notice that with only a few exceptions, the CPU's that are sold in combo with a motherboard on Newegg are OEM, meaning they won't come with a heatsink. Do you know if my AM2 heatsink from the my old CPU could be used on an AM2+ chip? I'm looking at a combo with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma, but it's AM2+ and I have no idea how that compares to AM2.


If you have your HSF model and NewEgg still carries it, you could look it up for compatibility both in their specs as well as the manufacturer's product page link.

However if I remember right, AM2 and AM2+ do not differ in size and shape of the clip for HSFs. Only the pinout config and capability onboard a mobo. If I am right, you should be fine using an AM2 HSF on an AM2+ mobo, so long as the HSF is rated to handle dissipating the heat from your CPU. Make sure to look it up that CPU your HSF will work on.
March 9, 2009 3:58:53 PM

Yes you're right, Sunbeam and Antec. I'm not good with names. :) 

I have no idea how to read the specs of a PSU, or how you could determine easily whether what you were looking at was average or max output. Looking at the two, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference.

I think maybe the Sunbeam is a little more powerful but not by much. And the one thing that worries me about the Sunbeam is it's much lighter than the Antec, making me think it's cheaper (it was cheaper, actually). Although the Antec is modular and the Sunbeam isn't. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Oh, and with regards to the heatsink, the combo I ended up choosing from Newegg came with both retail motherboard and CPU, so I'm assuming then that I get a new heatsink as well.
March 9, 2009 5:22:03 PM

jtrory said:
Yes you're right, Sunbeam and Antec. I'm not good with names. :) 

I have no idea how to read the specs of a PSU, or how you could determine easily whether what you were looking at was average or max output. Looking at the two, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference.

I think maybe the Sunbeam is a little more powerful but not by much. And the one thing that worries me about the Sunbeam is it's much lighter than the Antec, making me think it's cheaper (it was cheaper, actually). Although the Antec is modular and the Sunbeam isn't. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Oh, and with regards to the heatsink, the combo I ended up choosing from Newegg came with both retail motherboard and CPU, so I'm assuming then that I get a new heatsink as well.


I would, just as a guess, think that the Antec would be the better PSU.

Can't say for sure. Never owned an Antec or Sunbeam as far as I know.

And yes, the retail CPU comes in the box with the stock HSF. However, I have never used a stock fan. I was always taught that the cooler you keep the chip, the better. So, I always put a 3rd party HSF on the thing to make sure it runs cool as can be. If you won't OC, then you can most likely run the CPU at stock speed with no fears.
March 9, 2009 5:22:16 PM

jtrory said:
Yes you're right, Sunbeam and Antec. I'm not good with names. :) 

I have no idea how to read the specs of a PSU, or how you could determine easily whether what you were looking at was average or max output. Looking at the two, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference.

I think maybe the Sunbeam is a little more powerful but not by much. And the one thing that worries me about the Sunbeam is it's much lighter than the Antec, making me think it's cheaper (it was cheaper, actually). Although the Antec is modular and the Sunbeam isn't. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Oh, and with regards to the heatsink, the combo I ended up choosing from Newegg came with both retail motherboard and CPU, so I'm assuming then that I get a new heatsink as well.


I would, just as a guess, think that the Antec would be the better PSU.

Can't say for sure. Never owned an Antec or Sunbeam as far as I know.

And yes, the retail CPU comes in the box with the stock HSF. However, I have never used a stock fan. I was always taught that the cooler you keep the chip, the better. So, I always put a 3rd party HSF on the thing to make sure it runs cool as can be. If you won't OC, then you can most likely run the CPU at stock speed with no fears.
March 9, 2009 5:22:43 PM

jtrory said:
Yes you're right, Sunbeam and Antec. I'm not good with names. :) 

I have no idea how to read the specs of a PSU, or how you could determine easily whether what you were looking at was average or max output. Looking at the two, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference.

I think maybe the Sunbeam is a little more powerful but not by much. And the one thing that worries me about the Sunbeam is it's much lighter than the Antec, making me think it's cheaper (it was cheaper, actually). Although the Antec is modular and the Sunbeam isn't. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Oh, and with regards to the heatsink, the combo I ended up choosing from Newegg came with both retail motherboard and CPU, so I'm assuming then that I get a new heatsink as well.


I would, just as a guess, think that the Antec would be the better PSU.

Can't say for sure. Never owned an Antec or Sunbeam as far as I know.

And yes, the retail CPU comes in the box with the stock HSF. However, I have never used a stock fan. I was always taught that the cooler you keep the chip, the better. So, I always put a 3rd party HSF on the thing to make sure it runs cool as can be. If you won't OC, then you can most likely run the CPU at stock speed with no fears.
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