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Most failed computer part

Last response: in Systems
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Which fails most frequently?

Total: 55 votes (17 blank votes)

  • Motherboards
  • 8 %
  • GPU
  • 0 %
  • RAM
  • 24 %
  • CPU
  • 3 %
  • Hard Disk
  • 24 %
  • PSU
  • 35 %
  • Disk Drive
  • 6 %
  • Network, Audio, TV Tuner, etc. Card
  • 0 %
  • Sata, USB, ATA, etc. Controller Card
  • 0 %
  • Other
  • 3 %
January 4, 2011 5:45:41 PM

I have had 4 computers and in the past 5 years I have had many component failures. I was just curious as to what everyone else's experience is for the most unreliable component. 3 of the systems are moderately overclocked. I have lost:

3 Motherboards - A Gigabyte S3 Micro ATX (2yr), Gigabyte P965 DS3 (4.5yr), and a Biostar T-Force Micro ATX (1.5yr.).

2 GPUs - X1950XTX (Due to overclocking, 1yr.), and a X1650XT (2yr.)

1 Patriot DDR2 (1yr) stick. One died after a year, sent it to patriot and even the replacement was DOA. (DOA doesn't count, I didn't kill it)


And amazingly all of my hard drives in use are 2-6 years old and are fine; as well as the PSUs.

I should add that the Gigabyte P965 DS3 is still working and I am currently typing this on it. However my computer is upside down. It won't run upright because I think the cpu cooler (TT Big Typhoon) weighs too much and broke a soldier joint. I have reassembled the computer 3 times now. Any vibration will shut it down. It even makes a sparking sound from the cpu when it does shut down. This is what happens after 4.5 yrs @ 3.46ghz and 70C temps on soldier with a lot of weight i guess. Similar to the Xbox RRoD.

More about : failed computer part

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2011 6:05:03 PM

As far as failures after assembly the MB wins. There are more ways for one to fail.

However, out of the box I would say RAM is the most prone to be faulty. At least historically.

And PSU faults are far more common than you might think. It's just that you can't see them and don't know that they exist except that your other hardware keeps failing. I'm sure the primary cause of failed motherboards are bad PSUs.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2011 7:20:50 PM

I'd like to add this varies greatly depending on what quality products you buy.

Amongst even the best MOBO companies, there's a pretty consistent failure rate due to the many points of failure, or PSU causing failure.

However, if you're someone who consistently uses seasonic PSU's, you'll see a massive difference in failure rate, vs someone who uses say In-Win.

Same with RAM. Use Corsair or G Skill and you'll see a much lower failure rate in RAM than someone who sticks with the cheapest or say OCZ.

So how this affects results is:
1. If I use ASUS Mobo's, Seasonic PSU's and G Skill RAM, I'd probably see mobo failure the most.

2. If I use Asus's Mobo's, Seasonic PSU's and OCZ RAM, I'd probably see RAm failures the most.

3. If I use Asus Mobo's, In Win PSU's and G SKill RAM, I'd probably see PSU failures the most.

And then various combination's of above and also throw in other components.

Also, since network, Audio and controllers are usually just the mobo built in ones in most builds, kinda silly to put them as a separate category, unless you specifically mean addon cards for those functions.

In my experience disk drives don't really fail, unless its due to physical dmg. CD tray as cup holder, cough cough.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2011 7:31:10 PM

I've replaced three PSUs in 9 systems built since 1998. Had one 845G mainboard (with Coppermine P3/850) fail, not worth replacing MB for after 5 yrs.

Nothing else has failed....
January 4, 2011 7:59:39 PM

i say psu's but mostly due to peopel buying cheap crappy ones , thats the most common issue i see and fix ... if tis too good to be true it peobably is and if its a psu under 50 bucks... don't buy it
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2011 8:05:59 PM

A PSU failure that kills a mobo, GPU, and/or anything else counts in my book as strictly a PSU failure. I've seen more of those than anything. Using quality PSUs, I think I've had one mobo fail (Gigabyte), and nothing else that I remember; my father's GPU (HD2600 Pro) died not long ago though...

Edit: I mostly agree with Goofy, but must point out that the excellent 380W Earthwatts is $45, and Seasonic has some 80+ bronze units suitable for office PCs (no PCIE connector) that are around $40-$44.

Out of the box, I've had 1 DOA HDD and some DOA RAM; nothing else.
January 4, 2011 8:10:12 PM

The human at the keyboard is the number one cause of system failure and problems.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2011 8:23:04 PM

Overall i think i have had 3 Optical drive failures, one bad stick of ram, one bad hard drive, a bad PSU, and a bad motherboard, however none of these were premature deaths, only the ram failed early one(about 1 year) everything else made it about 5 years so it was its time by then since most of them werent super high end(optical drives were in HP prebuilts, so was the PSU and HDD, bad motherboard was a Dell GX270)

For quality products the failure rates a pretty small so its hard to isolate whats most likely to fail, but in general, if it moves it can break(ODD/HDD/Fans), next up if it gets warm it can fail (CPU/Motherboard/PSU/GPU etc) memory failures are usually a manufacturing defect.
January 4, 2011 8:23:07 PM

I've been working on PC's as long as there have been PC's to work on.

I would say that hard drives are the most prone to failure, by a very large margin. In a period of 4 years I replaced 7 hard drives in 4 computers, and one power supply in another computer. Nothing else failed.

As for parts out of the box, I've had some bad ram but no other bad items.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2011 9:55:19 PM

I was only considering the "modern" era (2000+?); back in '84 and '85 some weeks I'd have to replace 2-3 floppy drives where I worked, as they were always going out of alignment.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2011 10:09:17 PM

Hard Drives....some models, most notably the Raptor had 25% failure rates (see data on storagereview.com)
January 4, 2011 10:23:28 PM

it's kind of a toss up. I have had a stick of OCZ PC 6400 Fry, a BIOstar 785 Mobo went on me and a 250GB WD Caviar Black let go too. I would have to say that it really depends on the quality of the product in question as to how much it will fail.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 4, 2011 10:54:29 PM

Personally, in 12 years I've had these failures:

4 PSU's
3 HDD's (1 was DOA)
2 RAM sticks
3 Motherboards┬╣
1 CPU

┬╣ One of the failed PSU's killed all 3 motherboards :lol:  It was an Antec, and it seriously had the Grim reaper's touch... instantly sucked the souls out of two different motherboards, and one RMA replacement never to POST again!
January 5, 2011 12:10:48 PM

jtt283 i should have specified 50 bucks for a sub 450 watt psu :D 

my wife had a earthwatt 380 antec lasted her for 3 years onyl reason we eplaced it with a corsair tx750w was to upgrade her video card from a hd4670 to a gts 450,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and the only reason for the 7w0 watts is this month we are getting het a new mobo/cpu that supports sli and then in another month we're gonna sli 2 of em :D 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

we'll btoh be unning dual gts 450's at tha tpoint.. granted mine are two of these

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

... but as far as she knows they are the same ;) 

but yes if you can get away with a sub 450 watt psu then i'd edit my statment to you can go down to 40 bucks... but thats about the floor
January 5, 2011 10:01:57 PM

Dogsnake said:
The human at the keyboard is the number one cause of system failure and problems.

Also known as the ID 10t error :p 

= = = = =
After reading the other posts, I have to think about possible causes for failures I have had. They have ranged from MBs, video cards, and HDDs. However, many of them failed with questionable PSUs or over-loaded PSUs.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2011 11:44:30 AM

g00fysmiley said:
i say psu's but mostly due to peopel buying cheap crappy ones , thats the most common issue i see and fix ... if tis too good to be true it peobably is and if its a psu under 50 bucks... don't buy it

I paid less than $50 each for my three Corsair 400CX's.

I work in Saudi Arabia where I see a lot of dead PSU's - almost all of them Chinese cheapies. It's hard to find good PSU's here. Coolmax is an average quality PSU here. :o 

Optical drives are next. But I regard a dead optical as in inconvenience.

And I also have never had any DOA components.
January 6, 2011 3:14:27 PM

ChromeTusk said:
Also known as the ID 10t error :p 

= = = = =
After reading the other posts, I have to think about possible causes for failures I have had. They have ranged from MBs, video cards, and HDDs. However, many of them failed with questionable PSUs or over-loaded PSUs.



the ID 10 T error is infamous as well as when you show up to fix the issue and its a

PICNIC error (problem in chair not in computer)

where you teach the person to use it properly
a b B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2011 3:59:23 PM

I selected RAM, because overall the computers I've worked on, combined with the posts on Tom's, this is the most defective encounter. However, of the systems I've built, I've had 2 bad mobos - 1 ASUS and 1 Gigabyte; 1 RAM kit - OCZ Platinum; 1 GPU - PNY GTS 250; and one CPU - AMD Sempron.

BTW, GOOfy, give us an example of a PICNIC error.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2011 4:18:45 PM

I cna remember our first homebuilt. dad built a toaster in a box and plugged i n one of these

http://www.dvorak-keyboard.com/

I think it got rma'd in the first week and a half as none of us could use it. I think dad figured it would catch on.

PS a PICNIC error means the "problem in chair not in computer" meaning some people just should leave it to the professionals or semi-professionals
January 6, 2011 4:20:37 PM

well ID 10 T to us here is the person installed a program and it was a virus, or short thier system by trying to force a firewire plug into a usb port (you laugh.. i've seen it and it was not some huge person i don't know how they managed it >_<)

a PICNIC would be where you say get somebody saying "my printer doesn't work, and when you go to print it works, they just were doing somethign liek hitting print screen button and unsure why that didn't make it print for them (also seen this many times unfortunatly) ... so you teach them to use the computer correctly... thats a picnic problem
a b B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2011 6:36:02 PM

I get it now. That's f-ing hillarious. I've seen my share of those errors, too.
!