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 Post subject: Socket A ATX motherboard is *still* available
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:53 pm 
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Hi,

An Athlon XP 2500+ system I built a long time ago (and rebuilt after the RAID 1 failed) has died for a second time -- the capacitors in the power regulation section are oozing brown goo. So, I was about to give it up for scrap, when I did an Internet search and found a fellow on eBay selling a new ASUS A7N8X-XE Socket A (462) mobo for $48 with free shipping:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360176775268

If anybody needs a Socket A ATX motherboard, you can still buy one! There are also mATX mobo available, but I wanted the 3 RAM slots.

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:14 pm 
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Location: Brisbane Australia
Hardcore D-I-Y folk replace the defective capacitors.

http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=31

Probably *fun* if you have the right tools and skills.

Not for everyone...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:22 pm 
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Location: Plymouth, MI
I replaced the caps in the motherboard I have running in my HTPC--did the ones right at the main ATX power input and memory slots.

Not too hard, and once you play around doing them, it's easier for each one.

You can get the caps nice and cheap, and if you have the soldering tools already it's worth it for a few bucks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:46 pm 
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That is an amazing price for that board. I looked last year when the Epox 8RDA+ I gave my brother gave up the ghost. The cheapest I could find that board--even used on eBay--was $120. Ended up getting one of those junky Jetway VIA-chipset boards for $40. No DDR, two DIMMs, ugh.

I looked at replacing the caps for my Epox, but it just wasn't worth it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:02 pm 
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Hi,

I got the A7N8X-XE motherboard today -- it may be new, but it came without the driver CD-ROM, which is a major pain. The Asus download all-in-one driver comes in two parts and it fails to run. So, as far as WinXP is concerned -- it is no go... :? :roll:

Oh, and the backplate works, but it is not for this mobo.

I am installing Ubuntu, and it looks like it will work fine.

The other issue is the BIOS -- the CPU I have is the 2500+ which should run at 166mHz, but the machine refuses to boot at anything above 100mHz. I will try to find a new/better BIOS, but I'm not holding my breath. It runs at 1.1gHz and it has 1GB of RAM, and so it will be a fine machine for browsing the 'net, etc. And no more Windows headaches...

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
At my office, someone bought a bunch of those Epox 8 series boards (before I arrived here). They *all* died with oozing caps.

The production guys (we manufacture PCBs) soldered on new caps and the boards lived for another year or so to give us time to buy new PCs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:15 pm 
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Neil,

Don't bother with the Asus drivers, they are crap.

Look for the nForce 9.35 Unified Remix drivers. I know they sound a little flaky, but they are the best drivers out there for nForce2 boards. They are a little hacked, but use the most stable and highest performing individual drivers for each component. I used them when I had this mobo in my HTPC and never had a single crash, even when OCing my Barton 2500+ to 3200+ levels.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:44 am 
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Hi,

I will look for those -- do I need to change the BIOS to have it work in Linux? Because, I actually prefer Linux... Are the nVidia drivers for Windows only?

BTW, does anyone want my old Asus A7N8X mobo with the leaky caps?

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:29 am 
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I don't see how the BIOS would affect which OS you can use, as long as the devices are all using standard interconnects.

The drivers would be windows only, sorry. One of the best benefits of that board is the Soundstorm chipset that only works with Windows AFAIK.

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HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:50 am 
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Hi,

I meant to be able to get the clockspeed up to stock, I will need to get the BIOS working, if i need it to work in Linux.

I will check the sound in Linux, as well.

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
I might try an older BIOS as well. Sometimes newer BIOS create problems for no good reason.

BTW, I wouldn't use the 3rd RAM slot if you don't really have to. You lose the dual-channel functionality and it usually causes some severe issues with the chipset. I always wondered why even they bothered with the 3rd DIMM on nForce2 boards...4 would have made sense.

If you choose to not go the Ubuntu route and go windows instead, don't forget to check out s2kctl and 8rdaVcore, to help reduce power draw and temps.

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HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
WHS: DF-85|P8H67-M Pro|I5-3450S/Hyper 212+|Corsair AX650|Sandisk Extreme 240GB, 2xWD20EARS, 2x WD15EARS, WD15EADS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:42 am 
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Location: Texas
jhhoffma wrote:
BTW, I wouldn't use the 3rd RAM slot if you don't really have to. You lose the dual-channel functionality and it usually causes some severe issues with the chipset. I always wondered why even they bothered with the 3rd DIMM on nForce2 boards...4 would have made sense.


Because some Socket A boards allow you to run Dual Channel Memory mode with 3 sticks of memory. Example: 1GB stick on first channel, and 2x 512MB sticks on 2nd channel. Also the memory controller can't support 4 double sided memory chips. If you remember, no socket 754 boards had 4 memory slots for the same reason. It wasn't until socket 939 (socket 940 on servers) that AMD improved their memory controller to handle 4 sticks of memory.

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