Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Outdated hardware? Or worth fixing?

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 13, 2010 10:59:59 PM

I'm no expert... I might be leaving out important information, so let me know!

I built a system buying most parts from Newegg back in 03/2008 (two and a half years old)

Parts are:
Motherboard: MSI P7N SLI Platinum LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor BX80562Q6600
Memory: CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C4DHX
Case: APEVIA X-DISCOVERY-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case


In 04/2008, I upgraded from something to a new video card:
Video Card: EVGA 512-P3-N861-AR GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

In January 2010, I had a power supply problem, I replaced it with:
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

I also have two Western Digital 250GB drives installed (striped) with the NVraid.

I use the PC for playing games, browsing the web, data storage (photos), etc.
Friday, I plugged in an external USB drive, backed up some data, then decided to clean up my HDDs. After running a defrag, the computer was just sitting there, and click. Turns off. I pushed the power button, but got nothing. I opened up the case, and unplugged it, plugged it back in, and pushing the power button makes the fans wiggle (trying to turn for a fraction of a second, but not powering up). I tried to do some online research, unplugged everything inside the case. Tested the PSU using a paper-clip and the fan on the PSU spins. After reading a couple of other posts, people were complaining (with similar issues) that everything spins up when the 8-pin power connector for the CPU is unplugged. I tried that, and I have the same thing. All my fans will spin up, and everything lights up, if I have the 8-pin disconnected from the motherboard. Plugging that back in, nothing comes on.

So I'm thinking it's probably the motherboard. MSI tells me it might be the power supply or the processor still. I think back then, the motherboard only had a 1 year warranty (according to the old link on Newegg), so I'm guessing they're not going to want to replace it. I *could* test the power supply by tearing apart BOTH of my computers, and plugging it into PC2. I really can't test the CPU, since the 2nd machine is AMD. So at this point, since I can't test every part and tell them it's "for sure" the motherboard, and since I can't guarantee they wouldn't just tell me "It's 2 1/2 years old and out of warranty", I'm think it might be time for a new motherboard.

So the question is... Do I buy something I can use with the existing processor/memory? Or is the hardware getting too old and does it make more sense to just get a new motherboard, CPU, memory and GPU? ... I could probably spend the money, but I'm not sure I want to spend too much...

My goal is a system that works very well, medium to medium-to-high performance, and one that doesn't require a lot of tweaking/playing with. I always thought I'd love to be an overclocker and tinker with my stuff, but I'm learning that I *hate* having to tear this thing apart and deal with downtime.

I'm also considering if I do build another PC (or if I have to reinstall anyway, because of a new motherboard) that I'd probably just go out and get Windows 7, instead of installing XP again. Then I came across a bunch of threads around here about SSD (I admit, that's all new to me)... I think that the OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) looks awesome, and I'm starting to think SSD for a system/OS drive with Windows 7, and the existing SATA drives I have as data drives... I have no idea how easy that is, or if it's really a good idea. I feel like I would consider building a new machine every 4-5 years....

Any advice? Is it worth just fixing this build and waiting another year or two? I guess some of these questions only I can really answer, but what would you do?

Thanks in advance!
a c 103 B Homebuilt system
September 13, 2010 11:14:44 PM

Q6600 is by no means an outdated CPU. Pared with a decent GPU it still makes a nice gaming machine. You are right though about the answer has to be yours but I would ,if I could narrow it down with certainty which part is at fault, fix it.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
September 13, 2010 11:28:10 PM

^1 rolli59
m
0
l
Related resources
September 13, 2010 11:44:25 PM

Assuming it IS the motherboard, does anyone have any suggestions on what the best way/best one to replace it would be? Something that works with my CPU and memory, obviously. I guess I'll have to reinstall XP, after replacement...
m
0
l
September 14, 2010 2:10:43 AM

i have a 6600 on one of my gaming rigs and i have to agree, it is by no means a slouch. What i would recommend is doing just what you are thinking right now anyways. Replace the mobo cause the cpu is probably fine. Because its a 775 pin i would try to keep the price low while getting good specs. check out evga b-stock stuff. i get good stuff thats still relevant here all the time and for 775 boards its awesome.

http://www.evga.com/products/prodlist.asp?switch=20

then like you I would get the ocz vertec 2 60 gb like you and install windows 7 and use your current hard drive for storage. after that i would see how everything goes and then just wait for a price drop in a gtx 460/ gts 450 or 5770 when you think its time to get a new vid card. other then that you still have a very capable system. good luck
m
0
l
September 14, 2010 6:12:37 PM

Does anyone know much about the EVGA nForce 750i SLI FTW (123-YW-E175-RX)?
How is that different from the EVGA nForce 750i SLI (123-YW-E173-RX)?

I can't find anything that compares the two... I see the FTW is $10 more, so I'm guessing it must have something the non-FTW doesn't have. Good board (I know it's old)? Any opinions of EVGA boards as a whole? I used to always go ASUS, then decided to give MSI a try...

Thanks
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2010 6:22:28 PM

The fault is more likely to be a faulty power supply than the motherboard, substitution is the only reliable test
m
0
l
September 14, 2010 6:51:52 PM

Ok. Good advice.

What I'll do is either go out and get a Power Supply tester (which would probably be useful to have in the future anyway)... or tear apart my 2nd computer to pull the PSU out of it to test 1 with. I just hate to tear apart my only working computer to test the dead one...
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2010 10:12:05 PM

I don't trust power supply testers, substitution of the power supply is the only reliable test.
m
0
l
September 14, 2010 10:16:56 PM

pop in another psu. if it doesnt work evga boards are great imop. i have 4. gigabyte is good too. then the rest. thats how i feel. go for the ftw as it clocks better and is cooler. you should be happy with it. good luck
m
0
l
September 14, 2010 11:48:31 PM

Ok. While out at lunch I grabbed a power supply tester...

It tests fine, with the tester anyway. I guess since the MBs are so cheap now, I'll get a refurbished one anyway. Then when I'm ready to tear everything apart to install the new motherboard, before I take anything out, I'll try the power supply from computer 2 first.

If swapping the power supply works, then I'll RMA the bad power supply and have an extra $45.00 motherboard.

If swapping the power supply doesn't work, then I'll have the motherboard for replacement and everything already opened up to perform surgery. Then I'll need to reinstall the OS, but I was ready for a new install soon anyway. At that point I guess I can decide if I want to get a SSD and Windows 7, for fun.
m
0
l
September 15, 2010 12:19:36 AM

Nevermind... The wife came home from work and decided she wants to take our 2 year old with her out to dinner with my inlaws. So I have the peace and time to test the 2nd power supply now. Not sure why I'm telling anyone this...

Anyway, I guess I'm hoping it *IS* the power supply, since that's under warranty and won't require a reinstall... I'm almost willing to bet money, though, that it's not the power supply, because I'm NEVER that lucky.
m
0
l
September 15, 2010 12:42:27 AM

That went quicker than I thought... Plugged in just the 24-pin motherboard connector and the 8-pin motherboard connector... Got the red light on the motherboard.

Turn on, the blue light actually flashed for a second, then went off... The fans all wiggled, but stopped.

Turned the PSU off... Unplugged the 8-pin... Turned the PSU on... Turned on the PC... Fans spin up and everything...

So... What are the odds there's something weird with the processor? I'm still thinking motherboard, but MSI techs on their boards say it could still be the processor...
m
0
l
a c 103 B Homebuilt system
September 15, 2010 1:43:18 AM

Well if you remove the CPU connector every thing seams to work. They might be right, it is one side of the socket or the other.
m
0
l
September 15, 2010 1:58:01 AM

I guess cheap motherboard is the next step then... Cheaper than getting another CPU right now, right?

Or is CPU *more* likely? 50/50, right?
m
0
l
a c 103 B Homebuilt system
September 15, 2010 2:03:47 AM

Remove CPU inspect socket and CPU if nothing visible toss a coin. remember cheap is the key word here. I am typing this on a computer with a 4 year old $50 mobo from ebay.
m
0
l
September 15, 2010 2:07:27 AM

The nForce 750i SLI FTW from the EVGA link that letsgetsteve posted above is $45. I think I might just order that right now...

Thanks for all your help, guys!
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
September 15, 2010 11:00:12 AM

If the choice is between the motherboard or the processor then the odds are that the motherboard is the problem component
m
0
l
September 19, 2010 4:01:52 AM

Got the EVGA FTW motherboard in a couple days ago... Tried it today... After extensive testing and working with their tech support, the 1st PCI-E slot is bad. =( RMA being processed...

Anyway, the processor works fine on the new board, so it's FOR SURE the MSI motherboard that's the problem. Just thought I'd update you guys on what the problem was.

Thanks again everyone for your help and advice.

m
0
l
!