Advice: Replace older mobo or upgrade?

First my specs: Asus P5QL SE, GTX280, E8400, Crucial 4gb RAM, Windows 7 64 bit Home. My first Asus died after only about 6 months; it was a P5QL Pro shipped here from America (as was the GTX280, the CPU, and the RAM). The SE was the closest replacement I could find. Initially the SE was solid but problems began to grow. It started off with constant crashing; when resuming the computer out of sleep, I would load up a game and within 10 minutes the whole computer would freeze and the entire screen would be corrupted with green and pink artifacts. I'd have to restart, and sometimes it would happen once or twice more. Oddly, when it 'caught', I could literally play computer games from morning until night, 8+ hours, and not have a single problem. Then, the next day, after waking my computer up (or turning it on, I tried both sleeping and turning it off but they had the same effect) the cycle would restart. I kept SpeedFan up and my GPU never went above 77-78C, and my CPU never went above 60, most of the time down in the 50-55 range.

However, this problem worsened. For the past few weeks, I didn't have to start a game to have the computer crash; it began to crash upon loading Windows (at the end, just as the loading screen would fade to desktop, it would crash before showing the desktop), but just like before, I would have to restart 2-10 times and eventually it would 'catch' and I could play non stop for days. Which is what I did; leave the computer on for days at a time. This worked for a while but then I would open up a normal TV show in VLC player and randomly it would crash the whole system. I had watched many videos in the days prior, and even in the hours prior, but something apparently changed so that one time it crashed the system. An hour or two of restarting and crossing my fingers and voila, the system would work for a couple more days. Until yesterday.

Now, two things happen when I turn on my computer; one, it crashes at the end of Windows load screen (showing one solid color, one time blue, one time red, one time teal, or just going black with one quick stripe of color on the lower portion of the screen), or two, not even posting and kicking the CPU fan into overdrive. I don't have a system speaker and don't really know where to find one (I'm in Korea) so I think my main option is just to hope it's the mobo and simply replace it (luckily they do have return policies here so if I replace and it's still borked, I can get my money back).

Which brings me to my question: should I buy ANOTHER 775 socket mobo (the third one in a year), or upgrade the mobo+cpu? If the former, what options do I have other than P5QL SE (which they do still sell here for around $100 US)? If the latter, what mobo/cpu is the cheapest while still performing at or above the E8400?

Sorry for the wall of text!
7 answers Last reply
More about advice replace older mobo upgrade
  1. Didn't you RMA the first motherboard? The one that you now have also is under warranty; therefore you could certainly RMA it. How did you determine that the issue isn't with the PSU or another component?

    You can buy a cheap 8 ohms .25W speaker. It might not look pretty, but it does the job.
  2. I didn't RMA the first because that would entail (I thought) sending it to America, RMAing it to Dell (where I bought it), waiting for them to replace it, then shipping it back here. The main reason I can't do that stuff (RMA the second, get the speaker) is because I'm in a small corner of Korea. The place I bought the replacement mobo from (the SE) said I could return it within 30 days which is long since up, but as far as a warranty from Asus, I don't even know where to begin. I have plenty of people who could help me with the Korean translation but none of them are computer savvy, so it'd just be an exercise in frustration to go from computer talk in Korean to computer talk in English.

    Which is why I've sorta just resigned to spending money to fix my problem.

    And to be honest I really can't remember how I tested the power supply back then. I suppose it'd be a good time to do it again now; how should I do that? As for the other pieces (ram, video card) I was gonna follow this guide ( 5 posts down) but I don't have the speaker to hear the beeps.
  3. At this point a speaker might not help much, but I just can't believe that there a re no electronics shop in Korea that sells cheap 8 ohms speakers (size doesn't really matter, but the smaller the better). Once your system works, does it keep on working properly as long as you don't shut it down?
  4. No, it works for a couple days but inevitably it'll crash.
  5. Do you have a quality PSU?
  6. I had to buy the power supply here and so all I could do is trust the opinion of the guy helping me order it. It's a Skydigital Powerstation 2, 650w. Judging from the price (not cheap but not expensive) and build quality (modular design, nice extras) I'd say it's good, but that really doesn't have any indication on its actual performance, so I don't know.
  7. It's difficult to determine exactly what's wrong, but I wouldn't blame the motherboard more than the PSU or or the GPU. Have you tried with a different GPU? Even an old cheap or free PCI video card would be good enough to perform that test.
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