I'm putting computers in the Dog Pound today. They've nickel and dimed me like a Vegas slot machine during a Bingo convention, and I'm ready to throw all of my machines into a river just outside a waterfall.
After failing to sell my 2.4C setup a month or so ago, I scrapped my plans to go LGA775 and bought a 3.2C. My revised goal was to play with water cooling and see who would drown first, me or the proc. As timing would have it, Soyo says "Hey, we're giving away motherboards, they're asstastic but they get the job done." So I bit and picked one up. Thus began my upgrading adventure of not only my PC, but my roommate's and my son's. Here's how it broke down:
Soltek SL-75DRV4 -->Soyo SY-P4i865PE+v1.0 Dragon 2
2100+ Palomino -->2.4C
384mb PC2100 -->512mb PC4000 OCZ Gold
Abit VT6X4 -->Chaintech 7NIF2 nForce2
P3 866MHz -->Unlocked Barton 2500+
512mb PC133 -->512mb Mushkin PC4000 Enhanced
Asus P4P800 -->Same
512mb PC4000 OCZ Gold -->1gb PC4000 OCZ Gold
With the free mobo, the sales of old parts, and the deals I struck with the upgrades, it didn't do as much damage to my wallet as one would expect. Still far from free though. In any event, I'm happy as all three machines got a pretty major boost in performance almost overnight. Things were going well and then earlier today, Soyo says "Hey, remember when I said I was asstastic? Well, let me show you!" *POOF* It froze so I hit reset. No POST. Hmmm. Let's clear the CMOS. No POST. Let's start swapping parts. No POST. Let's unplug it and drain the power. No POST. Let's take a walk because I'm getting frustrated. No POST. It powers up just fine with fans spinning, hard drives and opticals turning on, but NO F-ING POST! It's not a grounding issue, it's not a heat issue, it's a 'Nothing in this world is free, including motherboards' issue.
My roommate and I both make our living on our PCs, so I didn't really have time for this. I troubleshooted more than I would have liked, so I ended up taking her hard drive out and putting it into my computer. Windows coughs and burps, whines a little bit, but ultimately I get the correct drivers replaced/installed and hug my computer goodbye as she carries it into her room. I wasn't looking for a longterm commitment, but I only had the thing a couple of weeks.
Her problem is solved, but I still need a computer. I take my hard drive out and put it in my son's machine. Windows coughs and burps again, but this time pukes and shuts off. Armed with a power button, I press it symbolically with my middle finger. Halfway into booting it flips me back and turns off. Two more times I try this and two more times I fail. 'You lousy sh*t' I think out loud, 'You're going to make me reinstall Windows.' I give it one more shot and enter the BIOS, getting ready to change my boot order to CD. It's then that I notice the CPU temp is at 80C and rising! I peek inside and sure enough, the fan on the heatsink is not spinning, and the heatsink is hot enough to cook a steak, damn the eggs.
Time to figure out the new problem. Luckily, I jiggle the cord and the fan spins right back up on my first attempt at a solution. Nice. Right at that point, I hear "Look at my Soyo impression!" and it now refuses to POST. Not to be outdone by the Soyo, I'm seranaded with a beautiful melody of 'beeeeeeeeeeeep', 'beeeeeeeeeeeeeep,' 'beeeeeeeeeeep,'.... Well looky there, it would seem I figured out the HSF problem just in time to watch my proc fry. That's two dead PCs within a matter of an hour. Refusing to belive it was the proc, I try to restart it several times, clear the CMOS, let the power drain, and am about to give up. I notice the Mushkin stick is a bit more crooked than I remember, as it was rubbing up against the hard drive. I take it out, press the power button, and holy hell the friggen thing boots! Woohoo to me, only one dead PC today!!
So here's where I stand - I've upgraded 3 computers, one of them died, I've given mine away, and I stole my son's. I have my RMA from Newegg for my asstastic Soyo that will quickly find it's way to EBay once replaced, and I'm in a bittersweet situation. I need to replace my computer, so I'm seriously considering the upgrade I wanted to do in the first place - s939 AMD or LGA775 Intel. I had to scrap making a choice between the two when my original 2.4C setup didn't sell, but since I have to upgrade again anyway, I might as well get what I want. Either direction will be more than what I wanted to spend, and I was content with the 3.2 Northwood that is now a needless upgrade, and I'm still frustrated at today's events, and despite venting in this longwinded post, I'm officially putting COMPUTERS in the Dog Pound.