I Hate Computers

After a hectic week at work, I was looking forward to a chillful (yes, I just invented a new word) weekend. Some quality time with the wife, hanging out with a few friends and maybe even indeedy a smidgen of gaming. Annoying how things don’t work out the way you plan. I awoke to find my wife sick and that my desktop computer had died. Passed away. Kicked the bucket. Ceased to function within normal operating parameters.

Regular readers will know that my PC has been acting up on me for some time. Back in March it decided it wouldn’t boot if it had been on previously within the past 4 hours or so. A new PSU fixed that but then in September it started rebooting on me randomly. I was kinda living with it and thought it wasn’t too bad as sometimes it would last a good 3 hours or so without a reboot. That is, of course, until this morning. I turned it on and just after it posted, it rebooted and then wouldn’t start again.

I have absolutely no idea what’s wrong with it. I would’ve thought it was the PSU had it not been for the fact that it has a brand new Corsair one in it. I also would’ve thought it was overheating but I ran a ton of CPU and GPU temperature tests over the last few months and none showed any problems. I’m stumped and my only conclusion is that it’s something quite serious, possibly a fault with the motherboard. Any techies out there got any thoughts?

I’ve still got my laptop but it overheats and shuts down when I play games although i just purchased a $10 laptop cooling stand which I’m using now and it’s quite efficiently cooling my testicles as I write this article. Hopefully it will be good enough to let me play some games on the ol’ laptop until I get the big boy fixed or replaced.

And I am seriously considering replacing it even though new components or a new build won’t be cheap. I’ve been looking at an Intel i5-750 CPU, Windows 7, either 4GB or 8GB or RAM and a GeForce graphics card, maybe the GTX295 but probably the GTX285. Although not cheap this would give me a significant upgrade to my current desktop and then I can try to salvage what I can from it to make a second, backup PC. Anyone got suggestions for components or recommendations on these parts?

Wish me luck; computer’s suck. Ooh, I made a rhyme…

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  1. no clue at all – but I have to admit that “chillful” is a nice creation!! Will start to use that word as well! ;)

  2. Ramon says:

    Could be faulty capacitors. For a while, mainboard manufacturers bought cheap Chinese capacitors, which all started failing or exploding after a while. Some as early as after 6 months. That’s why ASUS now proudly states “100% Japan-made capacitors” on their mobo boxes.

    Look for leaking or bulging caps on that mobo. Here’s a page with example pictures:


    And those components you picked seem to be very nice in terms of price/performance. Either Anandtech or Tom’s Hardware reviewed a bunch of processors for gaming recently, and that i5 came out on top. You don’t really get that much more gaming performance from an i7, but you pay a ridiculous amount for the upgrade. Or in other words, the bang isn’t as big as the buck :)

    • Gordon says:

      Cool, thanks for the info! I’ll take a look at the mobo in the morning and see if I can spot any dodgy capacitors. The PSU is new so I figure it can’t be that plus the CPU fan still seems to run OK. The odd behaviour seems to indicate a bad mobo or something more serious.

      In regards to RAM, do you think 4GB @ 1666mhz is better than 8GB @ 1333mhz?

  3. [...] to respec to Arms for the time being. The main reason behind the decision is that as long as my desktop computer is fubared (technical term) I really don’t think I’ll be running many groups on my [...]

  4. Ramon says:

    Just make sure the RAM isn’t slowing you down (e.g. if you have a mobo with a 1600 MHz FSB, don’t get 1333 MHz RAM).

    Although all this RAM shamanry has become a bit more complicated now with timings and clock rates since DDR3 and Intel XMP and all those crazy technologies, but I think the above is still valid advice :)

  5. Justin says:

    I think it’s most def your mobo. I had a problem with a home built xfx 750i mobo that was giving reboots, and lock ups, and just generally unstable at stock speeds. RMA’d it, got another one that lasted about 4 months then wouldn’t even do a POST suddenly. RMA’d that one and everything has been fine for the past 5 months. Stable overclocked. I have a Q6700 OC’d from 2.66 to 3.33 GHz on it. Bad mobos are fairly common and I happen to get two in a row, so I’d say the mobo is to blame. Possibly damaged from inconsistent power output from your old PSU.

    As for RAM, less is actually faster – albeit very slightly, even at the same clock speeds. I’m running 2 2GB sticks of OCZ Fatal1ty 1066MHz DDR2, with two open slots so if games get INTENSELY more memory hungry I can buy 2 more and up it to 8GB. Till then enjoy the speed of 4 GB.

  6. Andrew Pelt says:

    There are a lot of people who do not pay any attention to RAM when they buy their laptops. They may be ignorant or perhaps plain negligent on this. But when the laptop works slowly or perhaps conks off in the middle of important tasks, they wonder as to what happened suddenly.

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