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Discussion Starter #1
I've come across a good mystery here and I am hoping the community has some ideas.


I built the following system:

Intel G530

ASUS P8H61-I

2x2GB Kingston RAM

120GB SSD

120W DC/84W AC power supply


Sometimes it takes a few hours of Prime95 large FFTs but usually it takes about 5 minutes to end up with this (sorry for the blurry photos -- it's a black screen with squiggly lines on the left side):




or this:




and everything is locked up completely.


So far I've swapped out the SSD, memory and PSU with no change in behavior. I've also built the PC outside of any case -- no change. That leaves only the motherboard and the CPU as suspects. I don't believe at all this is some kind of driver issue. The driver version doesn't matter (I've been through various reinstalls). Temps all look good (46C in Prime95) though I suspect there is some temp-related issue because today when it's 78F in here I can reproduce it very quickly whereas the other day when it was 68F in here it took 5 hours. It's hard to say though.


Anyone ever seen something like this? Any thoughts as to which it is -- the CPU or motherboard?
 

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Loose video cable?
 

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Discussion Starter #4

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22150712


Loose video cable?

I don't think a loose video cable (it's not) would lock up the PC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruiner  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22150721


Default HSF? VRM's getting air?

Do memtest yet?

Do you have another PSU to test with?

Please read the original post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22150613

So far I've swapped out the SSD, memory and PSU with no change in behavior. I've also built the PC outside of any case -- no change. That leaves only the motherboard and the CPU as suspects. I don't believe at all this is some kind of driver issue. The driver version doesn't matter (I've been through various reinstalls). Temps all look good (46C in Prime95) though I suspect there is some temp-related issue because today when it's 78F in here I can reproduce it very quickly whereas the other day when it was 68F in here it took 5 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22150771


Its almost never the cpu

I am thinking that too -- though with the GPU/Northbridge and memory controller all on the chip -- all my first suspects -- I am confused as to which it could be.


Unfortunately I don't have a spare motherboard to test the CPU with or vice-versa.


I am hoping someone has seen this exact kind of behavior before. I never have.
 

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I'd still run memtest. The bySPD timings may not be stable on that board for either set of sticks.


To me, the heat issue points to mobo if your core temps are that low. I'd look at VRMs, NB first.


Was the other PSU the same model or a full size ATX?
 

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Discussion Starter #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruiner  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22150798


I'd still run memtest. The bySPD timings may not be stable on that board for either set of sticks.

To me, the heat issue points to mobo if your core temps are that low. I'd look at VRMs, NB first.

Was the other PSU the same model or a full size ATX?

I ran Memtest86+ through two passes on the memory with no errors (even before I installed the OS and started running into these issues). It seems Prime95 Large FFTs is doing something more rigorous perhaps though the same sticks with Prime95 on the other PC does not cause any errors. I replaced with a set of known good sticks from another PC that's been running for a while and also had Memtest86+ run on it. I've also tried a single stick -- no change in behavior.


AFAIK, with the Sandy Bridge the NB resides on the CPU, not the motherboard. Same with the GPU and memory controller (hence my confusion about where the problem might lie).


I don't have an ATX PSU available to me but I've tried all known good DC-DC/external AC power supplies from three different manufacturers (including a picoPSU). There are good on the PSU tester and used without issue in other PCs, including one with identical hardware.


In the absence of something definitive I might just have to order another motherboard and try the CPU in it and then figure out what to RMA. Only the CPU and motherboard were new components.
 

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I had a similar situation when I upgraded my HTPC to Sandy Bridge last spring. System wouldn't boot (ran BIOS ok, but random blue screen on boot from Windows install media). Eliminated power supply and memory right away so knew it was either the motherboard or CPU. I didn't have a spare compatible motherboard or CPU, so I couldn't swap things to eliminate one or the other. After speaking with a tech at Intel and given that it is usually the motherboard, RMA'd the motherboard. New motherboard came... same problem. Intel then approved RMA on the CPU and that was the trick. So... CPUs can be bad. But usually it is the memory, or motherboard (in that order) before it is the CPU.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanM  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22151058


I had a similar situation when I upgraded my HTPC to Sandy Bridge last spring. System wouldn't boot (ran BIOS ok, but random blue screen on boot from Windows install media). Eliminated power supply and memory right away so knew it was either the motherboard or CPU. I didn't have a spare compatible motherboard or CPU, so I couldn't swap things to eliminate one or the other. After speaking with a tech at Intel and given that it is usually the motherboard, RMA'd the motherboard. New motherboard came... same problem. Intel then approved RMA on the CPU and that was the trick. So... CPUs can be bad. But usually it is the memory, or motherboard (in that order) before it is the CPU.

I had the exact same experience last fall with my i5-2500k. I've never had a mobo fail, but now I've had one CPU fail. So much for CPUs never failing!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Before this spring, I'd never had to RMA anything. I've had a DOA HDD, 2 ASRock motherboards and now possibly this ASUS mobo or the Intel CPU. I think the law-of-averages is catching up with me.
 

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I'd had great luck for a long long time with components, but on my desktop build last month I had to return both a motherboard and memory. And neither were bargain brands. It was an Intel motherboard and Corsair Vengeance memory. So it can happen with anything.


The new motherboard works perfectly and I put in Mushkin sdram and it works perfectly. I guess I was due too.


But it's still a pain in the butt to go through the whole "rebuild the system piece-by-piece out of the case swapping componnents one-by-one" process.


I was down to the point of "it's either the motherboard or the cpu because I've swapped out everything else with parts that I know work" and was considering pulling the i3 out of my htpc or the i5 out of my wife's desktop to try when I decided it would be easier to just go ahead and drive up to Micro Center with the motherboard and get a new one, and if that didn't work, I'd know it was the cpu. New motherboard worked fine (thank goodness).


My problem, by the way, was that I couldn't get to the bios screen. System came on, fans ran, screen would come on and display the Intel logo, and then nothing more would happen. It just stayed there. Couldn't get into the bios, couldn't do anything. And trying to reset the bios either with the jumper or by pulling the battery for a couple hours didn't work either. Never ran into that situation before.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22151316


I was down to the point of "it's either the motherboard or the cpu because I've swapped out everything else with parts that I know work" and was considering pulling the i3 out of my htpc or the i5 out of my wife's desktop to try when I decided it would be easier to just go ahead and drive up to Micro Center with the motherboard and get a new one, and if that didn't work, I'd know it was the cpu. New motherboard worked fine (thank goodness).

I did order the CPU and motherboard from Amazon so at least the RMA is easy. I just did the motherboard RMA and ordered a replacement. I'll then drop in the CPU and see what happens. If it's the CPU then I'll RMA that and I'll be making that drive to MicroCenter too for a G530 or G620, whichever they have in stock.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22151343


I did order the CPU and motherboard from Amazon so at least the RMA is easy. I just did the motherboard RMA and ordered a replacement. I'll then drop in the CPU and see what happens. If it's the CPU then I'll RMA that and I'll be making that drive to MicroCenter too for a G530 or G620, whichever they have in stock.

My problem (which I didn't know I had until I went back to Micro Center) is that I'd bought the motherboard and CPU together 20 days before, and their new rules are 15 days for returns (which I didn't know - who the heck reads all that fine print on the receipt?). They went ahead and gave me the new motherboard anyhow, but for a few hours I was worrying "I hope it's not the cpu because I'm not sure they're going to take that back too." Big sigh of relief when I assembled the new motherboard outside the case and the bios screen came up.


The Vengeance sdram went back to Amazon for a refund. But I was thinking I still had ten days to return everything.
 

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The second screen shot I see occasionally at work. I've also seen the same thing during a failed overclock of a video card. At work what I do to resolve the issue is if it has a video card replace the card and if the video is integrated replace the motherboard. Your best bet is a bad motherboard.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I installed the G530 CPU into a new Gigabyte GA-H61N-USB3 motherboard. I've got Windows installed and updated and Prime95 large FFTs running. So far, no issues.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22151221


Before this spring, I'd never had to RMA anything. I've had a DOA HDD, 2 ASRock motherboards and now possibly this ASUS mobo or the Intel CPU. I think the law-of-averages is catching up with me.

It looks like this law is catching up with me as well.Yesterday last componenent came in and I tried to put all toghether:


ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77

Intel Pentium G620

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3

PicoPSU 120/120

Intel 60GB 120 Series

nMediaPC HTPC 7000B


Fans are running but no video whatsoever. Tried HDMI connection, tried DVI. Removed CPU and installed it again. Tried other PSU. Pulled RAM and tried modules one by one. Nothing - black screen. Besides pulling CPU from the main computer what else I can do to check CPU/MB/RAM?


Before I RMA motherboard what else I can be missing there?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkirienko  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22176879


It looks like this law is catching up with me as well.Yesterday last componenent came in and I tried to put all toghether:

ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77

Intel Pentium G620

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3

PicoPSU 120/120

Intel 60GB 120 Series

nMediaPC HTPC 7000B

Fans are running but no video whatsoever. Tried HDMI connection, tried DVI. Removed CPU and installed it again. Tried other PSU. Pulled RAM and tried modules one by one. Nothing - black screen. Besides pulling CPU from the main computer what else I can do to check CPU/MB/RAM?

Before I RMA motherboard what else I can be missing there?

Make sure the 24 pin power connector and the ATX12v1 cpu power connector are fully seated so that the clips lock. Your motherboard has an 8 pin ATX12V1 cpu power connector, but I expect your pico psu only has a 4 pin ATX12v1 supply. That's ok on this motherboard but make sure you've plugged it into the correct 4 pins. Your manual says "Though this motherboard provides 8-pin ATX 12V power connector, it can still work if you adopt a traditional 4-pin ATX 12V power supply. To use the 4-pin ATX power supply, please plug your power supply along with Pin 1 and Pin 5." page 35 of your manual.


If that's ok, the next thing I'd do is to try one stick of sdram that I know is good, preferably nice plain 1.5v 1333 SDRAM. What speed and voltage ripjaws are you using?


Last thing to try would be to pull the motherboard out and rebuild it with just the PSU, cpu, cpu fan, and one stick of sdram outside the case on a piece of cardboard, just to make sure you aren't shorting something out on the back of the motherboard in the case.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020  /t/1416652/bad-cpu-or-bad-motherboard#post_22177398


Make sure the 24 pin power connector and the ATX12v1 cpu power connector are fully seated so that the clips lock. Your motherboard has an 8 pin ATX12V1 cpu power connector, but I expect your pico psu only has a 4 pin ATX12v1 supply. That's ok on this motherboard but make sure you've plugged it into the correct 4 pins. Your manual says "Though this motherboard provides 8-pin ATX 12V power connector, it can still work if you adopt a traditional 4-pin ATX 12V power supply. To use the 4-pin ATX power supply, please plug your power supply along with Pin 1 and Pin 5." page 35 of your manual.

Clip locks but I will double check if it is connected as per manual. I don't think I can plugin PSU in any different way but it was midnight yesterday and I may ovelooked something. But if it plugged in incorrectly then I think fans would not be running or they would be?
Quote:
If that's ok, the next thing I'd do is to try one stick of sdram that I know is good, preferably nice plain 1.5v 1333 SDRAM. What speed and voltage ripjaws are you using?

I tried RAM from my main box 1333. No difference.
Quote:
Last thing to try would be to pull the motherboard out and rebuild it with just the PSU, cpu, cpu fan, and one stick of sdram outside the case on a piece of cardboard, just to make sure you aren't shorting something out on the back of the motherboard in the case.

This is last thing I did with same results.
 
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