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What to replace Motherboard or CPU?


I have a unique situation. I have a VAIO desktop with Intel D915GRO/PRO MOBO, CPU is Pentium 4 J530 (3.0 GHz, HT). If I run some applications (random, sometimes IE, or just when I copy folders), it just crashes. The display becomes garbled and switching it off and on again is the only option. However, when I run my WinTV PVR 150, it runs fine for hours.

I had bought the motherboard on ebay, the processor is original. Two of the motherboard's RAM sockets are shot, however the other two are hosting a total of 1GB RAM..

I ran the memory test, it ran fine without any problem. The CPU temp is HOT. Defaults it shows 55 deg c and when running some apps it shows 62 deg c.

NOW, since I want this computer to be UP, but not spend a lot of money on it, I am wondering what should I go after.

1. Assume it is CPU heat problem and buy a swiftech heat sink (there have been posts that the processor runs hot and needs a good heatsink) ? I redid the thermal paste and original heatsink 3 times now, but the temperature does not change. Would a new heat sink work? I am not sure if it will fix my problems.

2. Assume the Processor has gone bad ( I ran it once withot heatsink and it shut down, but then I put the heatsink nicely). Have I caused permenant damage to my CPU?

3. Change the motherboard and CPU together? I would like to use my Memory chips (DDR 400).

I would love to go for option 3, but I am worried that it may cost me a lot (more than 100?)..

What would you do ?
Thanks in advance

6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about what replace motherboard
  1. Your best choice is to probably replace the mobo and cpu together. Check out newegg, tiger direct, etc..., as they have cpu-mobo combos for fairly cheap depending on what you are after. You can probably find a C2D or C2Q combo deal for a pretty fair price.
  2. Best answer
    This is far from an ideal situation. If forced, this is what I would do as close to $100 as I can get. It has the ability to add more ram later and upgrade the CPU.
    AM3 mobo $52
    Sempron $37
    1gb DDR3
    Totals $112

    There's this too, very much slower than the yours, but $50 and you'll need a HSF for $10 or so:

    As for your current system, I'd guess mobo before CPU, but putting any money into an old mobo with a questionable CPU is probably going to cost more than buying current tech.
  3. I agree with skora here. You have an old CPU on an old motherboard with old memory - all of it questionable.

    Cheap new parts are better than questionable old parts.

    And while you are at it, you should give skora credit for best answer.
  4. See if you can isolate the cause of your problem.

    1) Which memory test did you use? Memtest86+ is the gold standard. It should run for a pass or two with NO errors.
    2) Test the cpu. Run prime95 with the rounding error checking on. Monitor the cpu temperature, and let it run untill the cpu temperature reaches maximum. It should run with NO errors. If it passes the test, your cpu is ok.
    3) The hard drive manufacturer will have some drive diagnostics which you could run to check out the hard drive. If you have S.M.A.R.T. activated check out the hard drive health statistics.
    4) Could you possibly have a virus or some other malware?
    5) 1gb of ram is very small these days. Use the windows performance monitor to see how much ram your aplications are using.
    6) Are your drivers up to date?

    If you can't find the problem, and want to upgrade, I agree with earlier posters that a complete replacement is the better way to go. You can reduce the cost by selling off the good parts on e-bay. I think ddr400 ram can fetch a good price.
  5. Best answer selected by ajitab.
  6. This topic has been closed by Maziar
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