Hey, just up front, I fully admit I'm stupidly cheap.
So, I put together a build from scrounged and leftover parts just to house an old PCI tv tuner card (Sapphire Theatrix 650 Pro) so I could capture old VHS recordings to DVD without eating up cycles on my other machines (two gracefully aging laptops and an old Opteron 165-based HTPC). Specifics as follows:
FOXCONN 661FX7MF-S running the last firmware they released (dated 11/01/05)
Pentium D 820 2.8Ghz 90nm(more on that to follow) w/Cooler Master XDream4 using Arctic Silver 5
Old PowerUp 350w PSU
20GB 2.5" Samsung HDD I ripped out of an Xbox 360 years ago to replace with a flashed 160GB
XFX 7600GS w/ generic finned cooler
2 sticks of 256MB Corsair ValueSelect OR 2 sticks Kingston KVR 1GB (both PC3200, tried them both)
some CD drive I had lying around
aforementioned Theatre 650-based TV tuner card
XP Pro Corporate SP3, up to date as of this morning
Before you say it's the PSU, I tried this with a 650W Ultra and got the same results, so I really don't think it's the PSU.
I originally assembled this around a Pentium D 940 3.2Ghz 65nm CPU. Couldn't ever get it to post, so I threw down $10 on eBay and got a single-core 2.8Ghz Celeron D to test if it was the CPU. With that installed, it worked smoothly. I used it to flash the BIOS and tried installing the Pentium again, but again it wouldn't post (no VGA signal, nothing but the fans and drives spinning up). So I went back to the Celeron. No hiccups for 2 months.
But, it sometimes drops frames when recording, when CPU usage hits 100%... so when I got a known-good system pull 90nm Pentium D 820, I swapped it in and closed the hood, hoping for the best. It booted on the first try, but, not surprisingly, XP only saw one core. So, I thought to try a reboot first of all. It wouldn't post. I shut it down walked away a few hours, and turned it back on. No problem starting, but again, only saw one core. Tried restarting again. Wouldn't post. Cleared the CMOS, disconnected everything non-essential (just the HDD and the bus cards were hooked up), swapped the sometimes finicky Kingston memory for the never-given-me-a-problem Corsair... none of it worked. Wiggled a cap that had gotten bent, and wigged the CPU heatsink around. It posted! Tried to restart. Wouldn't post. Wigged again, still won't post. I'm writing this while I leave it unplugged and try to see if it'll post once everything's back at room temp. I'm mystified. One thing I do suspect is that the heatsink or the holes for it on the mobo are out of spec, because it's got an awful lot of bow in it. I don't know how normal that is for 775 boards. Caveat, the newest piece of hardware in this build is the tuner card from 2007.
Any hardware gurus got the answer to this? BIOS not digging the chip? Pins not making good contact? Something else entirely?
Ah, well... that's me being brilliant, as usual. Given the rest of the hardware, more sensible to replace the CPU or the board for what I need it to do (run smoothly during hardware MPEG2 encoding)? It starts to break the budget for this project if I have to get a board that requires DDR2 or have PCI-E power requirements. Is a P4 650 a worthwhile step up from a Celeron D 336 for this use?
Yeah, it definitely is a step up, just not sure if it won't occasionally choke as well. Thank for finding that board, looks sweet. I'll keep both options on my watch list for a while and see which comes up as a deal, I guess.