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Flatlander
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:23 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

So, my gaming rig died Sad

Specs:
Abit Fatal1ty AN8 SLI motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 3200+
3GB DDR400 RAM
PNY NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS 512MB
SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card
2 Seagate Barracuda 160GB SATA HDD in RAID 1
Sony DVDRW
Windows XP Pro

Problem started earlier this week, the trackball stopped working about 15-20 minutes after booting into Windows. I could still get around Windows using the keyboard. At first, I could reboot and the mouse would be fine again, but eventually when I tried rebooting, it hung at the POST screen. If I let the computer sit overnight, it would boot up fine the next day, but then repeat the same sequence of problems. Eventually, it got the point where it would just lock up at the POST screen and not boot at all - sometimes I could get into the BIOS setup and it would lock up there. Tried clearing CMOS, same thing. Stripped it down today to motherboard, CPU, 1 stick of RAM, video card and PSU - same thing. Cleaned and reseated everything, including CPU with new thermal grease, also tried different video card - same thing. Also checked PSU voltages, seem OK.

So, I'm fairly certain that the problem is with the motherboard (especially since the problem started with a USB device plugged into an onboard USB port).

So, my dilemma is:

1) See if I can get an identical replacement motherboard. This would be the easiest way of fixing the computer. I found two places online that still sell it (albeit one is listed as refurbished). I like this motherboard, it's worked great until now. A simple swap and I should be back up and running.

2) Use this as an opportunity to upgrade my gaming rig. However, I don't really play that many new games - I mostly play FH1 for BF1942 and FH2 for BF2, with a handful of newer stuff like HL2, Portal, etc. So, I don't think I really need to upgrade that much, and if I did, I would probably need to get at least a new CPU and RAM also, maybe also upgrade to Win 7 since I will need to reload if I replace the motherboard.

3) Trash the whole thing and get a gaming laptop instead. This would be nice for when I travel. I already have a basic laptop, but it can't really run any games. However, I would like to have something with a full-size keyboard - I'm left-handed and have a funky keyboard control layout (or I would need to drag along an external keyboard). Also doubt I could find a modern gaming laptop with a game port, so bye-bye MS Sidewinder 3D Pro (don't use it that much, but still...)

So, which option? (options 2 & 3, post some examples of what I could upgrade to if ya want).




roid
Inane!




PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:10 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Replacing mobos, or replacing ANY components that i can't test myself gives me the creeps. Coz i mean - the process of elimination has suggested that the mobo is the problem - but you won't really know that until you can test a working mobo in your system.
I always get the fear that i'll buy the new mobo - find that it didn't fix the problem, and i just wasted my money which could been spent getting a better system instead of unsuccessfully fixing my old POS. And it turns out it was actually an intermittent problem with my Ram or PSU that i couldn't diagnose and didn't leave evidence.
What do? Shocked Wut do indeed.

a sidewinder USB adaptor (see thread) will fix the 3d pro problem though, no worries.

i wouldn't recommend a gaming laptop, they are incredibly expensive and AFAIK still have disadvantages of a laptop: can't upgrade the mobo or videocard, and if they actually break & NEED replacing you're totally stuffed and have to replace the whole laptop.
(This happened to the 3D card in my laptop)

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Pun
DBB Admin




PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:51 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Was talking to Rook recently about the subject of a gaming laptop. His conclusion...best bang for your buck, run windows on a Macbook pro. Check out the stats on those things, they are pretty wicked and they don't look like a frickin' alien head.
Perediablo
Ace




PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:29 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Pun wrote:
Was talking to Rook recently about the subject of a gaming laptop. His conclusion...best bang for your buck, run windows on a Macbook pro. Check out the stats on those things, they are pretty wicked and they don't look like a frickin' alien head.


I agree. It's what I'm running. 15" macbook pro. Intel i5 processor. Not sure on all the other specs though. Don't care, it runs all windows games very well. EQ2 on the highest graphic settings runs pretty smooth, just a little stutter every so often. Will be trying BF2 as soon as I can find my discs.

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Flatlander
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:51 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Thanks guys, I already ordered a replacement motherboard. I'm fairly confident that's the problem - I did get paid for 10 years to fix computers, before my current job Very Happy

The SB Audigy 2 has a gameport, so I'm good there.

Not really into Macs, I always really hated fixing them, such a pain in the ass to take apart.
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