Dead Motherboard? Should I just go ahead and upgrade?

RazorWind

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
4,100
The system in question:

Gigabyte H61M-D2P-B3 (with latest BIOS - F15, I think)
Core i7 3700
2 x 4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 Ram
1 old OCZ Sata II SSD (Windows 10 on here)
3 Hard drives of 500GB - 1TB each. 2 Western Digital, 1 I forget, Hitachi, maybe
Gigabyte GTX 970 - I forget exactly what model this is, but it has the three-fan windforce cooler, and comes slightly overclocked
Corsair 650 watt power supply - TX series, I think. It's a modular type, at any rate.
Hauppauge HVR-1650 TV tuner card

The other day, I needed to boot into OSX (which I have installed on a separate, not listed, SSD) to make an OSX install disk. It had been a while since I used my OSX SSD, so I plugged it in, forgetting that I'd also swapped out my CPU in the interim. OSX complained about this, so I swapped the old CPU back in (an i5 2500K), booted up OSX, and did my thing. Later, I shut the system down, swapped the i7 back into the socket, and tried to start the system back up. When I swapped the CPU back in, I fumbled it just a little getting it into the socket. I couldn't see any visible damage to the socket or the CPU so I carried on.

At this point, the system powers up for a few seconds, and them immediately shuts down again. Then it starts up again on its own. It seems that it will start up and shut down indefinitely, but it never POSTs or boots.

I've tried the following to rectify the issue:
Reseat the CPU and RAM
Swap the i5 2500K back in
Removed both PCI-E cards (GPU and the TV Tuner)
Replace the PSU with a known-good Corsair CX750
Unplug all the SATA drives

At this point, the common components are the two CPUs, motherboard and RAM. Is it reasonable to conclude at this point that, maybe as a result of fumbling the CPU, the motherboard is the culprit here?

If that's the case, and I have to replace a motherboard, would it be prudent for me to think about upgrading to a Skylake CPU? I really like the 3770, and from what I can tell, the latest CPUs, even at the high end, aren't that much faster, but new motherboards have some nice features I wouldn't mind having, like USB 3. Also, I don't relish the idea of spending a Saturday reinstalling all my software, just to back where I started.

The cost of upgrading to DDR4 RAM, a 6500K or 6700K and a Z170 board appears to be $450-600. This is obviously not nothing, but it's not going to kill me, either.

What say you guys?

Fake edit: I've never seen corrupt or bad CMOS settings cause the system to behave like this, but it just occurred to me that resetting the CMOS is something I should try this evening as well, and also the RAM. I think the CMOS was just set to all the defaults, though.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Well assuming that your CMOS reset didn't work, unless you absolutely need those new features to the point that the $600 is worth it, just get a newer Z77 motherboard and you'll be set.

Then again, why did you upgrade from the 2500K to the 3700? That doesn't make much sense.
 

RazorWind

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
4,100
Update: Resetting the CMOS didn't work. Nor did removing the motherboard from the case and testing on the bench, or swapping out the RAM.

I upgraded to the 3770 because it happened to be free. It actually did make a difference in games, as measured with the framerate counter. I'm not sure I could tell the difference otherwise. <shrug>

As you suggest, I could just go find a Z77 board and put the issue to bed. Trouble is, the going rate for Z77 boards (on ebay, at least) appears to be greater than they went for new, and also greater than the price of a Z170 board in some cases. Part of me knows you're right, and this is the least expensive option, but the other part objects on ideological grounds to paying more for older equipment.
 
Joined
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Well, the advantage of upgrading is that you get all the new features of a Z170 board, and you'll have a new system with components that largely have less wear than your current ones. Also, I agree with you that I hate overpriced older equipment that's designed to gouge people who aren't ready to upgrade. I'd rather spend that money to support MSI or Corsair rather than some guy trying to make money off my attachment to an old system.

I was in a situation a lot like yours with a Q6600. I needed a new motherboard to overclock it and run my new GPU because my old one just couldn't deliver the juice... but then I looked at the cost of a new motherboard for the system, and found they were ridiculously overpriced. $300 for a good one. So I just sold everything off and got a Sandy Bridge system. I also built an Ivy Bridge system just so I could have a second computer and ended up making it my main one.

Then again, the performance boost I was getting was also a lot greater.

I would say it depends on whether you've budgeted for an upgrade or not. If you can afford it, there's really no reason not to do it, unless you want to wait for some feature that's coming out with Kaby Lake or Cannonlake like USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt. But having a dead system kind of trumps a lot of the arguments for waiting. The thing is, upgrade cycles aren't what they used to be, and the decision to upgrade isn't as easy as it once was because the chipset improvements are now more compelling than CPU improvements. Stuff might start wearing out before you want an upgrade at this rate. W

Also, swapping out CPUs is a lot more dangerous than it used to be in terms of damaging them. They're more sensitive now because of the LGA design, and also easier to install them wrong. I used to manhandle some of the old processors and they were still fine... but these new ones, not so much.
 
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RazorWind

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
4,100
Stuff might start wearing out before you want an upgrade at this rate.

That seems to be what's happened here - this H61 board that just died on me has been my main one since like 2011 or something. It was getting kind of long in the tooth, especially given the lack of USB 3 ports, but still getting the job done, mostly.

Another option I'm considering, in lieu of Skylake is an X99 setup with a 5820K. This sacrifices a little bit of gaming performance to get an extra two cores and big sticky pile of PCI-E lanes. I think I may be OK with that. Price-wise, it's actually a few bucks less than the Skylake setup, and I've always wanted to try out one of the hot-rod chipsets setups.

Maybe I'm wrong, but given that the biggest gains in performance in the last few years have involved increases in the number of cores, the X99 board's superior support for this makes sense to me, as an upgrade path.
 
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