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Please help! Is it the motherboard or the CPU?

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  • Homebuilt
  • CPUs
  • Motherboards
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
January 9, 2013 1:14:29 AM

Hello everyone,

I am really struggling with installing my new motherboard and processor. My previous setup is as follows:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition CPU (@3.6GHz)
Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P motherboard
Crucial Ballistix 8GB 1600MHz memory (8-8-8-24)
MSI N560GTX-448 Twin Frozr III Power Edition/OC (@850MHz/1700MHz/2100MHz)
Kingston 120GB SSDNow V+200 SSD
Hitachi 1TB 7200rpm SATA2 HDD
Integrated 7.1 sound card
Corsair Carbide 500R case
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W PSU

The new processor is an i5 3570K. The first new mobo I bought was a Gigabyte Z77X D3H.

Whilst installing the CPU fan (Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus), I managed to scratch the back of the PCB. Once everything was put together, I hit the power button. LEDs flashed on and off on front of the case, and the fans spun. Then half a second later, it died. I retried several times, removed each component and added them back again one by one. Nothing helped.

Thus I figured my scratched has ruined the mobo. I looked at the back of the board, and indeed the scratch looked worse than it had before - like the copper running through the PCB had oxidised or melted or something.

I put the old AMD system back together and everything worked fine.

So I bought another mobo - a Gigabyte Z77 D3H.

After spending a great deal of time painstakingly putting it all together tonight, I have run into the EXACT SAME PROBLEM. ARGGH.

So now I am at a loss as with how to proceed. As I see it, these are the possibilities:

1) The main culprit now is the CPU, right? Is it common for processors to be DOA? How easy is the Intel RMA process?

2) The manual mentions shorting out the mobo - could anything be causing that? What might cause that?

3) Is there any chance that the custom HSF I've installed (which works great for the AMD CPU) is causing problems? Should I at least try the stock cooler? (EDIT: I have now tried this. Same problem, although the stock fan doesn't quite spin, just twitches.)

4) The second mobo could be DOA...? However, as the CPU fan spins, surely that means the mobo is alive?

Please, I would appreciate any support/advice offered. I am finding this processing very disheartening.

Thank you all in advance.

::EDITED:: For clarity.

More about : motherboard cpu

a b B Homebuilt system
a c 160 à CPUs
a c 436 V Motherboard
January 9, 2013 12:01:14 PM

No to a bad cpu; it's extremely rare. Try the stock cooler, but handle the board with care. If you damage the surface in any way, you won't be able to request an rma for it. You may also have damaged some pins in the socket area; inspect carefully when changing to the stock Intel heatsink. Breadboard your setup if you haven't yet.
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January 9, 2013 12:36:16 PM

o1die said:
No to a bad cpu; it's extremely rare. Try the stock cooler, but handle the board with care. If you damage the surface in any way, you won't be able to request an rma for it. You may also have damaged some pins in the socket area; inspect carefully when changing to the stock Intel heatsink. Breadboard your setup if you haven't yet.


Thank you for your response.

I have tried the stock cooler. It does the same thing, although the fan doesn't even quite spin, it just 'twitches'.

I know I have no chance of RMAing the first mobo, I bit that bullet. Very depressing :-( I've been handling the second one carefully.

I did have a look at the socket area. The pins all seemed fine to me.

I have also reset the CMOS by using the two jump pins with the power cord pulled. No difference.

I think I should breadboard, I agree. I can't help but wonder if I'm shorting out the mobo somehow on the case. I do have a cable running behind the board, and it's quite snug. I think I've read that that can occasionally short stuff out. I did not use any standoffs because my understanding of the Carbide 500R is that they are built in for ATX mobos. Everything certainly seems to sit well.

::EDIT:: FYI, I have ordered a mobo speaker to help diagnose the problem.
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January 10, 2013 1:29:13 AM

So I've reinstalled my old AMD CPU and mobo. Everything is still working great. So it CAN'T be the PSU, GPU or memory, or any other peripheral, right?

I don't know what to do. I don't have a piece of cardboard big enough to breadboard. Best I could do was remove the backplate and screws from the mobo whilst the case was on its side, and then, after tucking all wires and cables away and visually checking to make sure no metal was in contact with the PCB, I powered it up. Still no luck.

Also tried only one stick of memory, and a completely different stick of memory left over from my old build.

I feel bummed, as I can't return the i5 (Newegg won't let me, I think I had to agree to something along those lines during checkout), I ruined the first mobo (the Z77X), and I'm now left with what could be a DOA Z77-D3H.

Any advice for someone feeling the homebuild blues?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 160 à CPUs
a c 436 V Motherboard
January 10, 2013 11:59:37 AM

You will have to request an rma from Intel if you decide to go that route. I take it you have tried the onboard video only? Your video card may be the issue. I'm out of advice. Good luck.
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January 11, 2013 1:43:24 PM

o1die said:
You will have to request an rma from Intel if you decide to go that route. I take it you have tried the onboard video only? Your video card may be the issue. I'm out of advice. Good luck.


Yes, I have tried the onboard GPU. I know my proper GPU works, however, because it has no problems in the AMD setup.
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January 11, 2013 1:45:19 PM

o1die said:
You will have to request an rma from Intel if you decide to go that route. I take it you have tried the onboard video only? Your video card may be the issue. I'm out of advice. Good luck.


Yes, I have tried the onboard GPU. I know my proper GPU works, however, because it has no problems in the AMD setup.

Thank you for taking the time to share some advice. I guess I'll RMA the i5.

Anyone know how long an Intel RMA takes? What happens if there is no fault?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 160 à CPUs
a c 436 V Motherboard
January 11, 2013 2:49:42 PM

I did an rma with Intel and the turnaround was about six days. I recommend if the new cpu doesn't work, try a different motherboard (brand,model, etc).
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