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About EarthQuake

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  1. tl;dr version: I need a motherboard with an AGP slot.

    A couple weeks ago my PC gave me my first BSOD in nearly a decade. "Machine Check Exception", so it said, and after some research this was most certainly caused by a hardware failure. Cracked the machine open, cleaned out a brick of dust, and started it up. Same deal. Ran a battery of diagnostics and stress tests on the CPU, memory, and hard drives, but nothing so far. Resorted to removing each component one-by-one, stripping out everything except the bare essentials... still nothing, except the BSOD had now turned into a system lockup.

    A friend came online and I happened to mention the problem to him, and within several minutes he goes "Did you check the motherboard for any blown capacitors?" I sorta paused for a moment, then I reached over to my flashlight and examined the exposed guts of my PC.

    Fuck. Silly how I missed it, but a capacitor near the power connector was oozing crusty stuff, and three more nearby looked like they were ready to explode. Okay, so I need a new motherboard...

    I'm a pretty poor person so I can't afford to replace too much, and I'm not especially handy with a soldering iron, so fixing the board is out of the question as well...

    I already know half the people that will read this will probably know more about this shit than I do, so I'll beg for some advice.

    Here's my current specs:

    Yes, it's a cheap piece-o-shit mobo. I'm already aware.

    I'm almost 100% certain my RAM modules are fine. The video card I intend to keep (enough said). The CPU I am not as sure about, although all tests indicate that it is working properly. Nothing in my machine is overheating (100% positive).

    So the only major consideration is that the new mobo supports AGP, which as we all know is a dying breed. I am open to PCI-E, but I have no reason to throw away such a fine card after owning it for less than a year. The CPU and motherboard on the other hand are the two oldest components in the whole machine, so I don't mind buying a new processor if upgrading the motherboard requires so.

    I was doing some research on boards with both AGP and PCIE, but it seems most of those don't have real AGP support, meaning my card would take a hit in performance. Some exceptions to this were the following boards:

    ASRock 939Dual-VSTA
    ASRock 939Dual-SATA2

    These are "budget boards", and I think I'm okay with that, but I didn't see any alternatives other than buying a higher quality mobo with just AGP. They also require getting a hold of an AMD processor, which I'm quite unfamiliar with.

    I'm not really sure what to do. Should I get a board with both and get a new CPU, or should I merely find a replacement for my leaky mobo? If the former, what processor should I go with that is also affordable and comparible to the one I have? Are there other options that don't involve tossing my Radeon?

    1. Show previous comments  8 more
    2. Super Jamie

      Super Jamie

      EarthQuake said:

      I am open to PCI-E, but I have no reason to throw away such a fine card after owning it for less than a year.

      My AGP HD3850 is frowning at me from the closet, even now, for doing the same thing to it.

      Just get with the times, buy a new PCI-E card and flog your AGP card for 20 bucks on eBay.

      I skimmed the rest and you don't seem to be wanting an AMD CPU. Good idea, stick with Intel.

    3. EarthQuake


      Thanks Maes... I was actually unaware I would run into such a problem when "transplanting" a motherboard! Imagine my surprise when I boot up after installing a new mobo, heh.

      Fortunately, since I've created a mess with my OS trying to get various things to work the way I like, so a fresh install would probably do me some good. I have a habit of getting under the hood and tinkering with things I shouldn't. ;)

      Plopping in a completely different motherboard doesn't concern me, but it's still useful to know what happens when you do.

      Super Jamie said:

      Just get with the times, buy a new PCI-E card and flog your AGP card for 20 bucks on eBay.

      That's easier said than done. When I said my spending limit was about $200, I meant to say that is about $100-200 that I shouldn't be spending. If I feel compelled to really upgrade things (which I doubt I would need to any time soon) I will wait until next year after I get my tax refund. Money is extremely tight for me, and getting a new video card doesn't address the problem I am facing. I want to get this PC back into a stable condition while spending as little as possible.

      Why do I need to "get with the times" when my hardware does what I need it to? I am not like the majority of people, I don't have some inane need to have the latest and greatest. In fact, it's quite the opposite, I am more proud of my system because it's using hardware other people consider antiquated.

      Still though, thanks for the replies.

    4. GreyGhost


      If you're looking to recycle as much as possible - an eBay search for "AGP 775" will turn up a bunch of suitable motherboards for you to research.