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Worth the repair/upgrade?


tabor
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So I think my CPU just died yesterday, parts were purchased more than 3 years ago, so it's out of warranty. It's an AMD Athlon X2 4600+ AM2. I left my computer on, and walked away, came back half an hour later, and computer is completely shut off. I power it back on, all fans turn on (video card, cpu fan, psu fans), but nothing comes on screen. I say the CPU is dead because I have a usb bracket that came with the motherboard, and has 4 LEDs that describes the nature of the problem. All 4 LEDs were red, and according to the motherboard manual, the CPU is either incorrectly installed or damaged.

Since the rest of the parts of the PC are still good, and I want to salvage whatever I can use, I'm wondering if it is worth "upgrading". There's a AMD Athlon X2 5200+ on ebay for $70, Retail box. I couldn't find much on newegg for the AM2 sockets.

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If you are 100% sure its the CPU and not another component, I say give it a shot, but if it burned out, chances are something else is afoot. Do you overclock?

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Nope, I did not overclock, and I don't plan to with a newer cpu. My motherboard is actually very limited in overclocking.

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CPUs don't just die usually, and if they do it's because the motherboard malfunctioned... which means if you put another CPU in there it's just gonna do it again. In my opinion though, it's just the motherboard malfunctioning and giving off bad error codes. If you or any of your friends has a space AM2 mobo lying around you can use that as a testing bed for what hardware works and what doesn't.

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When replacing a CPU dont you have to use some kind of silicon stuff or something that goes between the chip and the fan? or can you just switch them around real easy like a PCI card, Ram or anything else in the computer box?

I tried to replace a processor chip one time for practice on a old computer but failed, this subject seemed intresting to me, thanks

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CPUs don't just die usually, and if they do it's because the motherboard malfunctioned... which means if you put another CPU in there it's just gonna do it again. In my opinion though, it's just the motherboard malfunctioning and giving off bad error codes. If you or any of your friends has a space AM2 mobo lying around you can use that as a testing bed for what hardware works and what doesn't.

This might be true, since I was not doing anything CPU intensive, I rarely do. But if my motherboard had indeed fried the CPU, there's no way to test the motherboard of failure then. All capacitors on the board look fine, none bulging.

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When replacing a CPU dont you have to use some kind of silicon stuff or something that goes between the chip and the fan? or can you just switch them around real easy like a PCI card, Ram or anything else in the computer box?

I tried to replace a processor chip one time for practice on a old computer but failed, this subject seemed intresting to me, thanks

Usually when replacing a CPU best practice is to put a dap of thermal grease or past between the heatsink and the cpu. It helps prevent overheating, and most new heat sinks come with some already applied in most cases.

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I was in almost the same exact situation with my old motherboard. In my experience, if the CPU is dead, you don't get anything (no power, etc). Especially when it gets burned out, since most motherboard have fail safes that stop the computer from being powered when it feels the CPU is bad. I know you mentioned all the lights being on being a CPU issue, however a bad motherboard can give incorrect codes too.

So, IMHO, if you have $70 to gamble, I would go for it. If not, you could find yourself a pretty good deal on newegg, when I went to replace my cpu I wound up getting a core2 quad, mobo, and 4 gb of ram for something silly like $300. My older mobo also had rambus ram, which was very fast at the time, but, way to expensive to upgrade, so that was another reason I jumped on the mainstream intel chipset bandwagon.

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IMHO, before anything reseat and take out ea. ram chip. they can throw those codes you speak of.

Let me ask you this: is it beeping? if not, then try just taking all the memory out, and if it starts beeping then that is the issue.

*BTW* you HAVE to have thermal compound of some kind on the processor. I suggest Arctic silver, it's tried, true, cheap, and been around for years and years and just works. The reason for needing thermal compund is because even though the chip and heatsink both have flat surfaces, there are usually imperfections in both in the flatness that make it not spot on flat (were talking less than 1/2 mm here), and thus will not transfer the heat properly. Thermal compound is the bridge used in this gap, and the higher grade you use the more efficient it is for the transfer of heat.

That is another issue that could be the problem. Take the heatsink off and check the compound. If it's all dried up and chips off, chances are that the cpu is overheating instantly and is making the computer lockup as soon as it boots up.

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This happened to an old box i've had around for YEARS. Some weird board (PC Chips?) with a AMD 1.8ghz Sempr0n CPU. One day the computer wouldn't power up at all. The fans (CPU, Case, PS, ect) would start to spin but then you would year the voltage being cut from the entire board and all the fans would stop.

I first tested with a different power supply, same issue.

So i took out all the hardware, i mean everything, no ram, no cpu, just the board and PS. Guess there's some fail safe on it because it wouldnt power up unless there was RAM and a CPU present.

To this day it does the same thing, starts to power up, then cuts out. I always blamed it on the cheap CPU. I guess i could go buy one for like $12 in todays market :)

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oh yeah, semprons you can buy like candy *and for just as cheap*

One time there was a guy I knew that built his own system, but he couldnt get it to power on, it was basically the same issue that the OP has, but this was a brand new build. It was an AMD based system, but it would only beep that the processor was dammaged, so even though the first thought was the proc was dammaged, I decided to check the issue. 1. no thermal compound, so we put some on, and then it booted but could not get to anything but the bios. I kept asking if it was the right heatsink he had (I have always been into monster sized heatsinks, and he had a tiny little one he bought separate from the proc). He said yeah, so I didnt question it.

After a week he came back and told me he found out the heatsink was for intel systems and OLD AMD's... Computer still works like a charm to this day.

~AMD says burn baby burn~

I'm starting to really wonder about AMD though. I have always liked them for the price to value ratio, and I have always had great results from them, even with gaming. I have talked to people that have the phenom X2 quads and they said they love it, and that the price point vs. noticable performance difference greatly outweighs buying a corei7. I have seen the benchmarks and blahblahblah, but at the same time, I wonder how it is in real life side by side.

I mean yah, you could run a webserver/photoshop/ 3 instances of a vm/and play a game on a core i7, but... even though some of us do that, not too many, including myself because I like having just a few programs open at a time. I believe in conservation and simplicity in my own desktop for the point of productivity (which is probably just because i'm gettin a lil' old in my ways) but at the end of the day, if you have only a few programs open and wanna play FarCry2, it's the video card that really makes the difference...

@the same rate though now, it seems AMD has little going for it since the i7 boards are going down in price, and it kinda pissed me off that AMD thought "hey I know what will make us competitive, lets take the phenom x1's with the 2 bad cores, and rebrand them into overclocked Athlons"... They could have just worked on bringing back the Athlon name as a flagship, not a crapchip that my old Athlon X2 5600+ could outdo. (and mine is a REAL athlon).

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@the same rate though now, it seems AMD has little going for it since the i7 boards are going down in price, and it kinda pissed me off that AMD thought "hey I know what will make us competitive, lets take the phenom x1's with the 2 bad cores, and rebrand them into overclocked Athlons"... They could have just worked on bringing back the Athlon name as a flagship, not a crapchip that my old Athlon X2 5600+ could outdo. (and mine is a REAL athlon).

Absolutely LOVE my AMD Athlon X2 chip. I built it with a gaming rig setup roughly 2 1/2 years ago and it's still kicking some ass today :) Some of our users on IRC are running the new i7 intel chips and love them. I also like how you can OC the i7's and when the thermal sensor reads that its getting to warm to keep up with performance, it starts to under clock the chip to cool it back off. Pretty neat, IMHO.

I 100% agree with bringing back the Athlon flagship. I would want nothing more from AMD.

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IMHO, before anything reseat and take out ea. ram chip. they can throw those codes you speak of.

Let me ask you this: is it beeping? if not, then try just taking all the memory out, and if it starts beeping then that is the issue.

*BTW* you HAVE to have thermal compound of some kind on the processor. I suggest Arctic silver, it's tried, true, cheap, and been around for years and years and just works. The reason for needing thermal compund is because even though the chip and heatsink both have flat surfaces, there are usually imperfections in both in the flatness that make it not spot on flat (were talking less than 1/2 mm here), and thus will not transfer the heat properly. Thermal compound is the bridge used in this gap, and the higher grade you use the more efficient it is for the transfer of heat.

That is another issue that could be the problem. Take the heatsink off and check the compound. If it's all dried up and chips off, chances are that the cpu is overheating instantly and is making the computer lockup as soon as it boots up.

I have tried taking out all the ram, and powered it up, all fans are on, but no beeps, and nothing on screen. And I have tried testing each of the ram, no beeps, only fans.

I have never removed the heatsink from the cpu since I first installed it, which was about 3 years ago. Guess I'll try this, but I'll have to get some denatured alcohol.

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Actually, I'll try taking out the USB bracket reader (the thing that has LED codes of errors). Maybe the motherboard is not beeping because I have the bracket plugged in.

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Well at this point the only other thing that I would really suggest, unless you would want to just use it for parts or for making a junk server, is just to try another wall plug (yes it has happened before).. other than that, sounds like you need a new system cheif...

And there is NO better way to spend $1100 than this:

Asus Core i7 Barebones Kit

Here's teh specs:

NZXT Tempest Black ATX Mid Tower Case

Asus P6T LGA 1366 Motherboard

Intel Core i7 920 Processor BX80601920

2 Sets of Corsair XMS3 Tri Channel 6GB PC12800 DDR3 Memory

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB Hard Drive

Corsair TX750W 750-Watt Power Supply

Throw about $200 for an ASUS made GTX 260 from newegg, and you got one hell of a system for $1300!

The only thing I do not agree with on this kit is the seagate hdds (I have a personal beef with them though.. I dont like them and they dont like me.)

Wish the kit came with WD Black 1tb drive... Then it would be solid.

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I just found out some good news. I purchased this processor beginning of 2007, which means I am still under warranty. Going to check with AMD on this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the late reply, but I finally got around to testing other things.

I tried taking out the PSU, and put in a slightly older PSU, one that has only a 20-Pin motherboard connector. But the problem still exists, cpu fans are on, so are other fans, no display, no beeps. I managed to remove the heatsink to test the CPU temp, when heatsink is not on top. I let it run for about a minute, and the CPU was beginning to get warm, then I shut it off.

So it has to be either the CPU or motherboard now. Any other clues?

Other things, I have tried: Changed motherboard battery, reset to default BIOS, removing all other components.

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wha? :o you turned it on without the heatsink? Don't do that. You can seriously dammage it that way. What I meant was just putting some thermal compound on it and putting the heatsink back on. If it were not dammaged before, it very well could be now....

That proc. gets super hot, lightning quick.

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wha? :o you turned it on without the heatsink? Don't do that. You can seriously dammage it that way. What I meant was just putting some thermal compound on it and putting the heatsink back on. If it were not dammaged before, it very well could be now....

That proc. gets super hot, lightning quick.

That's just the thing, I know to turn it off if it got super hot. But it really didn't, just slightly warm. I touched it while it on, but it never got super hot.

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That's just the thing, I know to turn it off if it got super hot. But it really didn't, just slightly warm. I touched it while it on, but it never got super hot.

When you are in there touching components and have it running, are you wearing any kind of grounding strap? Because even if the pc is off and you are working on it, changing components, ESD could render your system unusable, depending on what gets damaged in the process of changing things around and such.

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I am constantly grounding myself by touching the edges of the case. This should not be the issue, since my computer went out while I was away from it.

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