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  Need advice on replacement motherboard 
 
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David Pantich Jun 27, 2014, 08:50am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Hello,

A lightning storm recently put my desktop out of commission. When I press the power button, the fans would start to spin for a second, the lights would come on and then immediately everything would turn off. Not being sure what had been damaged, I took every component out of it and put it into my son's computer one by one to see which one was causing the problem.

The RAM, video card and CPU all worked fine in his computer so all I can think of is that the motherboard had been damaged. Is that a good assumption? I guess the only other thing I did NOT test was the power supply but I'd think that if it was bad, I wouldn't get ANY "juice" to the computer and I wouldn't see any lights of fans spinning. Again, is that a good assumption?

So I'm thinking I need to get a new motherboard but I want one that I can use all the other components on. The motherboard is a MSI 870A- G54. I've searched for that particular one and it's not being sold at most of my normal shopping sites (Amazon, NewEgg, etc). I did find it on eBay (worried about buying anything there) and a couple of other places (over $175 which seems like a lot for such an old motherboard).

What I'm hoping you all can help me with is some recommendations on what motherboard I can get that I can use my current CPU with and the DDR3 RAM I already have.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.


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Dr. Peaceful Jun 27, 2014, 09:40am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jun 27, 2014, 09:58am EDT

 
>> Re: Need advice on replacement motherboard
David Pantich said:
...A lightning storm recently put my desktop out of commission...

The RAM, video card and CPU all worked fine in his computer so all I can think of is that the motherboard had been damaged. Is that a good assumption? I guess the only other thing I did NOT test was the power supply but I'd think that if it was bad, I wouldn't get ANY "juice" to the computer and I wouldn't see any lights of fans spinning. Again, is that a good assumption?
...

That sucks. Good job for testing the components. To rule out if it's not just the PSU, you need to swap out the PSU with a known good one (your son's?) and test the motherboard with it. If still have problem, then it's safe to conclude that the motherboard's damaged as well.

You have a Phenom II mobo. If you do need to replace it, I am sure the guys here (just the few who remained) can give you some good recommendations.


Edit to add: A bad PSU not necessary won't give power at all. It could be partially damaged and seems to still provide power, but it may not be stable. Anyway, I wouldn't trust a PSU after a lighting strike. You wouldn't want your brand new replacement motherboard to suffer the same faith, would you? The PSU should be in your replacement list as well.

Naveen Goud Jun 27, 2014, 02:24pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Need advice on replacement motherboard
Hello,

As per my knowledge, you cannot ignore the power supply in this case.

But yes, i had a similar experience, when my desktop MOBO showed these signs. I took it to a professional and he said that there was an issue in the circuit which has to be corrected by the factory professionals.

So, he said to me to go for a new MOBO. The reason he included in the case sheet was that the circuit burn and it might have caused due to moist conditions.

But my advice is to check the power supply by connecting it to a different PC. If it works, then go for the purchase of the MOBO.

BTW is it a MOBO of a desktop or a laptop. If it is a laptop, then my best advice is to give a call to the laptop maker and ask for a suggestion. That will surely help and will make a difference.

Company: http://www.stonefly.com

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/stoneflyinc

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john albrich Jun 27, 2014, 03:40pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jun 27, 2014, 03:49pm EDT

 
>> Re: Need advice on replacement motherboard
Naveen Goud said:
...But my advice is to check the power supply by connecting it to a different PC. If it works, then go for the purchase of the MOBO....


I would NOT plug a suspect PSU into someone else's PC (and generally speaking, not even mine...at the very least with one of my own PC's I'd first use a "dumb" PSU tester (~$15) to verify the PSU voltages are at least within spec and don't damage the tester itself. These cheap testers definitely don't analyze every possible PSU problem but they are a good first pass "go/no-go" tool.)

You should be able to find a replacement motherboard that supports AM3/AM3+ CPUs in the $50-$70 range (at least on newegg, one of the etailers you mentioned). Regardless, check the details of the specs all around. Make sure it supports YOUR specific CPU (E.G. an AM3 motherboard won't support an AM3+ CPU), RAM ( type, speed, and GB for example, some older motherboards don't support memory modules >2GB), and physical size and slots supported by your case (e.g. don't buy a 7 slot motherboard if you have a "micro" desktop)

For such an apparently low-power desktop, you can likely get by with a decent medium power PSU (e.g. ~500-600W) if that's the problem. A decent brand would likely cost about $40-$50 (depending on sales, rebates, etc).

Not sure how experienced you are but feel free to ask for more info. For example, to use your RAM at its rated speed on an AMD motherboard you may have make BIOS/UEFI adjustments.

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edit to add: Also, IF you plan to add a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to try to reduce such events in the future, keep in mind that many USPs...esp the economy USPs (of any wattage capacity)...do NOT work properly with PSUs that have "Active" PFC (Power Factor Correction).

David Pantich Jun 30, 2014, 09:59am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Need advice on replacement motherboard
Well, I replaced the PSU and I'm a bit further along. All the fans started spinning. I could hear the hard drive spinning but the monitor says there is no input. I made sure to check that the video card was seated properly in its slot and that its fan was spinning.

I had tested that video card on my son's PC and it worked fine there. Is that a sign that there is something wrong with the motherboard?

If I DO need to replace the motherboard, can someone suggest a few that will work with the hardware I have?

john albrich Jun 30, 2014, 02:48pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jul 01, 2014, 09:31am EDT

 
>> Re: Need advice on replacement motherboard
David, if you're asking someone to recommend a SPECIFIC motherboard, then a lot more information is required. For example, if you relied on features on the old motherboard and still require them on the new one: (e.g. provides an IDE/PATA connector, 8 channels of audio, gigabit ethernet, optical SPDIF connector, etc). For example, one would need to know whether you connected your PC's optical audio output to a sound system and need the new one to have the same optical SPDIF connector or did you simply configure the audio output for 5.1 sound using the analog connectors?

For best compatibility, the motherboard will also depend on EXACTLY which model and speeds of CPU, RAM, Video card, etc you are using. Whether you would be happy with pcie2.0 (your old motherboard) or want a motherboard that will allow you to operate the video card at pcie2.1 functionality, or want to be able to soon upgrade to a pcie3.0 video card, and so on. If your RAM is 8GB modules, then some motherboards cannot handle those. Some can't even handle 4GB modules. So, you can see it's not a question of just recommending any old motherboard.

Each motherboard generally has lists of compatible CPUs and RAM provided on their websites by the manufacturer and the customer needs to verify either his components are on those lists or is willing to accept the chance the motherboard won't work with the RAM and/or CPU they have. Some AMD motherboards allow manual over-clocking to use higher-speed RAM, others don't have much flexibility, and will default to a low speed like DDR3-1333MHz even with user RAM rated at DDR3-1866MHz. So there are conditionals in play.

Earlier I said this and stick by it...

john albrich said:
...You should be able to find a replacement motherboard that supports AM3/AM3+ CPUs in the $50-$70 range (at least on newegg, one of the etailers you mentioned). Regardless, check the details of the specs all around. Make sure it supports YOUR specific CPU (E.G. an AM3 motherboard won't support an AM3+ CPU but an AM3+ motherboard MAY support your old AM3 CPU (again, one must carefully verify specific CPU support), RAM ( type, speed, and GB for example, some older motherboards don't support memory modules >2GB), and physical size and slots supported by your case (e.g. don't buy a 7 slot motherboard if you have a "micro" desktop)....
(note: italics show added clarification re AM3 v. AM3+ CPU support)



For economy builds, I've had very good experiences with Gigabyte and ASRock AM3+, 970 series (SB950) ATX form-factor motherboards which often can be found on sale for about $60 but more typically run about $70 or so. And personally, I prefer motherboards that have a heatsink on the voltage regulators (adds ~$10 to cost) as well as the standard chipset heatsinks. But ultimately, you will have to make sure a specific motherboard will work with your specific components, adapters, and configuration/peripheral requirements.


201406301850uct
edit to add:
Also keep in mind that you will have to INSTALL the OS on the new/different motherboard configuration. If you don't have INSTALL media you likely won't be able to do this. In otherwords, you can't simply use the old hard drive or "restore" the operating system from a backup and expect it to work with the new/different motherboard. The motherboard must also support the OS you plan to use (usually not a problem even with older XP OS unless you buy a really recent motherboard that doesn't provide XP drivers).

201407011310uct
edit to add:
Another example of the details involved in a replacement motherboard, is that I noticed your old motherboard "Supports AMD high performance 140W CPUs"
That's an exceptionally high CPU power-handling rating for a motherboard. You need to make sure your new motherboard supports at least as many watts as your current CPU is specified to require, and preferably 10% higher (e.g. if you have an ~90W rated CPU, then the motherboard should be spec'd to handle a 100W or higher CPU). Under heavy processing usage, a high-wattage CPU installed on a lower-CPU-wattage rated motherboard would damage the motherboard.


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