Is my Mobo or RAM dead?

Building my first computer.
Hooked everything up, but no display on the screen, though it's getting a signal.
Call Mobo manufacturer, they say to ship Mobo and RAM back since they don't know what the errors are.
the mobo site doesn't list this RAM as compatible, though the RAM site says it is compatible. Dunno if it's a compatibility issue, or if one or both are DOA, or something else.

I have two video cards in the PCI slots, crossfired two 6950s. We tried each of the two ports on each of the two cards. Got a signal from each one, but no picture, which makes me think it's not the cards that are the problem.

Processor is 2600k, 850W Corsair PSU, Seagate 2 TB HD, all of which are working as far as we know (power works, we can hear the hard drive, and processor gets hot).
Can't think of what it could be. lmk if you need other specs.

For the RAM we did both blue slots in the mobo, both whites, then did the sticks one at a time in each. Makes me think it might be the RAM, but the Mobo tech support says it could be either the mobo or RAM so get both replaced.
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  1. Sounds like it's not posting (duh...) but I would go as far as to run to Walmart and get some cheap DDR3 Kingston sticks (mine near me has 'em...) and test it that way. I am leaning towards memory being an issue. Just get some DDR3 1333 9-9-9-24 value stuff and call it a day, until you get your RMA back. Then just hold on to that spare DDR3, it never hurts to have some laying around (just don't go overboard. 2 GB for now is more than enough for troubleshooting).
  2. Best answer
    Work systematically through our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
    I mean work through, not just read over it. We spent a lot of time on this. It should find most of the problems.

    If not, continue.
    The following is an expansion of my troubleshooting tips in the breadboarding link in the "Cannot boot" thread.

    I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different, but they all use a single short beep for a successful POST.

    Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.

    Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.

    Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.

    I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case once you are finished.

    You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to. You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.

    If no beeps:
    Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.

    At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5 volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.

    The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.

    You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.

    A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

    This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.

    If the system beeps:
    If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.

    Silence, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.

    Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.
    At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

    Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.
  3. Thanks a lot for the response. Nothing we had came with a motherboard speaker, so I guess we'll purchase one tomorrow (nothing's open because of Easter right now). There is a troubleshooting LED display which keeps displaying A3 (which I assume is 0xA3). The mobo manual lists the error as "IDE Enable"

    We tried:
    1. Resetting the CMOS
    2. Disconnecting and reconnecting all cables
    3. Reseating CPU and Heatsink
    4. Doing the RAM sticks one at a time in each slot

    No luck. =/

    I guess the best thing to do is to get a speaker tomorrow and troubleshoot from there. Really hope it's not the RAM/Mobo so I don't have to pay shipping costs and wait a week or so.

    Anyone have any other ideas?
  4. Best answer selected by neosystems.
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