Help with Motherboard Upgrade

Hi all,

I'd like some suggestions regarding a motherboard upgrade. The one I'm using currently has finally gotten on my last nerve. It is a Biostar model TG31-A7. I've never had strange problems like this although I haven't done a whole lot of computer builds. When I first built this machine it would randomly shut down. It seemed that for whatever reason it's due to having 2 RAM sticks inserted simultaneously. I remember testing both RAM chips and each working individually. So instead of my preferred 4 GB I've been running it with 2. I figured fine, I'll just deal with it since I don't want to RMA.

However, I recently got a video card. It was running fine I thought, but then I tried to render a project with Vegas and I'd get a blue screen and immediate restart every time. I didn't know what the problem was, but I removed the new video card and rendered while using the mobos video output and my projects rendered fine. I don't know why these things are happening, but I'm pretty sure it's the motherboard, which as far as I can tell isn't made by a quality manufacturer although it was rated high on newegg when I bought it:

Most of the time the board works, but weird problems like this just aren't going to cut it for me anymore. So I'm thinking about buying this Gigabyte: I usually just go to newegg and look through the top sellers till I find the one that best suits my needs.

The other parts I have are:
OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400):
Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 650W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply with Three 12V Rails:
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro: (Actually this looks like an updated version. Mine has the plastic pins you push in instead. It should fit the new mobo correct?)

And the new video card: ASUS EN9600GSO/DI/512MD3/V2 GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card:

Unfortunately I don't have an ATI video card for Crossfire, but this mobo still looks like the best one. I looked through other Gigabyte mobos and the above one seems like the only standard ATX which supports DDR2 800 RAM.

Anyway, this is a long winded post, but at this point I want to make sure I get the right parts. Assuming it is indeed the mobo which is at fault.

If you have some thoughts please let me know.

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  1. Two quick questions:

    1 Are you sure you've got the latest graphics drivers?

    2 Are you running Windows 7? Are you sure the version of Vegas you're using is fully compatible? There may be some weird glitch which hasn't been ironed out which could potentially cause that to happen.
  2. I would get one of these motherboards for a quality board that doesn't cost a lot.

    GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $79.99


    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $89.99 - $10 MIR
  3. I would RMA...its probably still under warranty and more than likely if their customer service is good they will pay shipping both ways.

    Did you try flashing the bios to the latest revision?

    That model is no longer available on newegg anymore.
  4. Thanks for the replies. I am using the latest graphics driver, and no it's XP 32bit sp3. Someone pointed out that it may be the PSU that's suspect, so I'm going to test that.

    Shortstuff thanks for the suggestions on those boards. As far as RMAing goes I'm in contact with Biostar. I got the board in Sept 08, but just recently got the video card so I'll just have to see if they'll go for it. I could try flashing the bios, thanks.
  5. I'm going to reopen this thread again since the problem has come up again when trying to play Prototype. This is a post I made at

    Can someone help? I should have the latest BIOS revision.

    Here's an update. I ran Memtest off the motherboard and it froze twice. The first time at 9 something minutes and the second time at 11:01 I think. The cursor was still blinking but the wall time was stuck and I had to manually reset the machine since the keyboard wouldn't work either. Because of this would it almost for certain be the RAM? Or could the cpu, gpu, mobo etc still potentially be at fault? I'm going to see if I can take this machine to OCZ in the morning and have someone there take a look at it.

    And another update:

    I feel like I might be getting closer to narrowing the problem down.

    I got some PNY RAM, removed the OCZ RAM and put the PNY in the same slot. Then I tried to export a project in Vegas. At a certain point the screen froze.

    So I removed the PNY, but the OCZ back in on the same slot and removed the Asus video card. Then I ran Prime95 with the same test as earlier and at a certain point the screen blanked. I also noticed the red error light on the RME Multiface was blinking so I tried to reboot. I had to unplug the power and plug it back in to get the machine to boot.

    It looks like I've narrowed it down to either the CPU or the mobo. I don't think it's a hard drive or software because I got those 2 lockups when running Memtest off the mobo (although it wasn't exactly a screen freeze because the cursor was still blinking). Shouldn't be the RAM because I tested 2 different brands and the freeze behavior seems the same.

    I guess the question now is, is the CPU overheating or is the mobo trash? I posted the CPU temps at the Cubase forum: They don't seem too hot for a stress test right? Since I RMAed the mobo and have the same behavior with the new one that should rule out an individually defective mobo. I also had the PSU replaced because that one did fail. The guy I talked to at Biostar said 650 watts should be enough for what I've got installed. Other than what I've listed I only have 2 sata drives, a dvd-rom drive, and a dvd burner.

    Again 2 RAM sticks don't work with this board, so I don't think it has to do with how much CPU is being used. Also, I had the problem with the top PCI slot not working with the wireless N card I just got.

    It looks like I have 2 choices. RMA the processor, or buy a new mobo and see if that one works. If I buy a mobo I think I should get it locally and not through Newegg if I have the same problems and have to return it. What would you suggest? And if I get a new mobo I want the best I can get. By now mobos for Core 2 Quads should be pretty inexpensive right?

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