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Old 12-27-2010, 09:13 PM
"tv.debian@googlemail.com"
 
Default need motherboard recommendation

Le 27/12/2010 19:45, Stan Hoeppner a écrit :
> tv.debian@googlemail.com put forth on 12/27/2010 3:24 AM:
>
>> Frankly, I am not sure those technos are worth it on mother/gfx boards
>> unless you're a keeper, it will probably be replaced long before it
>> bursts a capacitor, much cheaper boards with whatever capacitors can
>> last for a couple of years should be good enough for most use.
>
> FWIW, I have a manufactured in 1999 Abit BP6 PPGA 370 mobo with _dual_
> Mendocino Celeron 366s o'clocked to 550. Currently it's in my headless
> home office Lenny smtpd/imapd/smbd/httpd/ftpd/webmail Swiss Army Knife
> server. I bought the board in used condition off Ebay in 2002, so the
> original owner ran it for at least a couple of years before I acquired it.
>
>>From 2002'ish to 2006 all it did was crunch 4 processes of the Linux
> Seti@Home client 24x7x365. It's been running 24x7 for 8 years now, 4 of
> those at constant full CPU load. It has the old industry standard
> cheapo caps. It still runs fine, although a little slow at times by
> today's standards, mainly when manipulating photos and videos
> (imagemagick and ffmpeg) and running curator against dirs with thousands
> of jpgs.
>
> AFAIK the caps haven't burst, though last I looked at the board, a year
> or so ago when I added a new SATA controller and drive, a few caps
> around the ZIF sockets were bulging a slight bit. This board has seen
> more current load on its caps than most boards ever will due to the
> constant Seti@Home for 4 years.
>
> My point is that tantalum caps might be nice and on average give longer
> life, but, they aren't absolutely necessary for long life. If you
> consider 10 years of pretty harsh duty a "long life". Who knows how
> many years my BP6 has left in it. Hopefully at least a few, as I still
> love this board, and it works great in its current role.
>

Nice, that's what I meant by "unless you're a keeper". I have an IBM
small form factor tower with some Pentium II, can't check since it's
retired at my mother's but still worked the last time I tried, was a
mt-daapd server for years. It is rather unlikely that it would fit the
OP as a replacement for his motherboards though...
I keep around an ECS board with a AMD Athlon XP socket A, it's been
working great and still does (4 years old loves it) despite the complete
lack of any fancy capacitor or such. But the main workhorses are
multimedia (video, mostly HD) stations, performances usually get dwarfed
by newer hardware every couple of years, and the (relatively) "old" gear
is replaced. In this league the computer is very unlikely to outlive
high quality components. Of course it doesn't hurt.


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Old 12-28-2010, 12:10 AM
"Russell L. Harris"
 
Default need motherboard recommendation

* Stan Hoeppner <stan@hardwarefreak.com> [101228 00:28]:
> The line artifacts you describe, if you are indeed describing them
> accurately, are nearly always caused by static stray magnetic fields.
> Something as innocuous as a small decorative refrigerator magnet stuck
> to the PC case can cause things like this.
>
> I can almost guarantee you from knowledge and experience that if you
> have the same line artifacts with two different mobo models or two
> different vid cards that it's not the mobos or vid cards causing the
> problem.

Ah-so! Now I see your point of confusion. At the start of the
thread, I mentioned two motherboards -- a P5Q-EM and a M3A78-T. With
the M3A78-T there were line artifacts. But with the P5Q-EM, the
problem was simply that the display went blank when X started; there
were no line artifacts.

The X problem began with the installation of Lenny (stable); it was
not present in Etch, and it disappeared once I installed Squeeze
(testing).

The line artifacts problem has persisted with multiple monitors (each
with its own cable), multiple physical locations, and three trips back
to the US Asus facility. Moreover, I have no external video card; the
problem is in the on-board graphics of the M3A78-T. The only thing in
common was the chassis and an Asus power supply.



> Did you ever actually bench test your components? I highly doubt you
> did or you'd have already discovered the boards aren't the problem. You
> have not described any detailed troubleshooting or bench testing
> procedures, only anecdotal evidence.
>
> For instance, if you are doing all your mobo testing inside the case,
> then you haven't followed proper thorough testing procedure. You need
> to eliminate _every_ component, including "inert components" of the
> system, including the case itself.

I understand what you are saying; but from my perspective, life is too
short and components are too inexpensive to spend hours and days with
this, when there is a work-around. I replaced the M3A78-T with
another motherboard, using the same chassis and power supply, and
there is no problem with line artifacts. The M3A78-T obviously is
defective.

RLH


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Old 12-28-2010, 12:24 AM
"Russell L. Harris"
 
Default need motherboard recommendation

* Stan Hoeppner <stan@hardwarefreak.com> [101228 00:28]:
> Paul I get the feeling you've read a lot of forums and magazines, and
> know some people who might know their stuff, but that you personally
> don't really have any experience as a PC/server hardware tech. Is this
> an accurate assessment?

I am not a technician; I am an engineer. My experience includes
electronic design.

But this is not a question of my credentials. As a trip to the
library would verify, the capacitor problem was front-page news and
the subject of feature articles in respected professional publications
such as Electronic Design, Electronic Engineering Times, and EDN.

Furthermore, the limited life of electrolytics is well-known in
industry. A typical Sprague data sheet from the 1970's lists the
shelf life of a particular electrolytic as two or three years; and the
service life as five years.

Accordingly, in the petrochemical industry, spare electronic modules
for critical machinery -- such as the governor for a large steam
turbine -- were stored in special racks which kept them powered up
continuously.

But enough of this; the thread has gotten far off-topic.

RLH


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Old 12-28-2010, 12:41 AM
"Russell L. Harris"
 
Default need motherboard recommendation

* Stan Hoeppner <stan@hardwarefreak.com> [101228 00:28]:
> consider 10 years of pretty harsh duty a "long life". Who knows how
> many years my BP6 has left in it. Hopefully at least a few, as I still
> love this board, and it works great in its current role.

When one speaks of the lifetime of a capacitor, the usual meaning is
the USEFUL lifetime; this lifetime is limited by the ability of the
capacitor to provide sufficient capacitance without excessive
resistance, as well as by catastrophic failure of the device.

Capacity decreases with time and heat; resistance increases with time
and heat. Excessive resistance leads to heating, and excessive
heating causes internal pressure which leads to shorting or bursting.

Electrolytic capacitors are not precision devices; the capacitance of
an electrolytic typically is specified as +100 percent/-10 percent (or
thereabouts). So a capacitor which has a nominal value of 100
microFarad may, when new, actually have a capacity anywhere in the
range of 90mF to 200mF. It should be obvious that a nominal 100mF
capacitor which starts out at 200mF is likely to have a longer useful
life than is one which starts out at 90mF.

If the capacitor is used in a filter circuit, the ripple increases as
the capacitance falls. When the ripple becomes so great that the
circuit no longer functions properly, the capacitor has reached the
end of its useful life, even though it may still hold a charge.

RLH



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Old 12-28-2010, 12:58 AM
Stan Hoeppner
 
Default need motherboard recommendation

Russell L. Harris put forth on 12/27/2010 7:10 PM:

> Ah-so! Now I see your point of confusion. At the start of the
> thread, I mentioned two motherboards -- a P5Q-EM and a M3A78-T. With
> the M3A78-T there were line artifacts. But with the P5Q-EM, the
> problem was simply that the display went blank when X started; there
> were no line artifacts.

Thank you for clarifying that. Yes, I understood that you had the line
problem with both motherboards.

> I understand what you are saying; but from my perspective, life is too
> short and components are too inexpensive to spend hours and days with
> this, when there is a work-around. I replaced the M3A78-T with
> another motherboard, using the same chassis and power supply, and
> there is no problem with line artifacts. The M3A78-T obviously is
> defective.

Given my understanding of the problem, no matter how many times you
swapped the motherboards the problem would persist because it lay in
something other than the electronics.

However, depending on the dollar value of one's time, I can wholly agree
with your point. Replacing an entire PC with a branded unit can be done
for around $300-400 sans monitor today, or with a cheap bundled 17" LCD
during a sale (Dell, HP, etc). Replacing the entire unit would have
solved the problem I foresaw. Although, one still has drive cloning or
OS/app/data reinstall labor on the bill. If you have an easy and
reliable drive cloning process this time is minimal.

--
Stan


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