pay attention to the capacitators

Philippart

Golden Member
Jul 9, 2006
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In January I took one of my most reliable crunchers down, my x2 4600+ as a result of leaking caps and a failing mobo fan.

Here are some pictures:
pic 1
pic 2
pic 3

It is this mainboard (the last AGP socket 939 board):
link

Please check your boards regularly, I don't know what could happen, but a short circuit or even a fire seem possible to me.
In my experience the caps that tend the most to leaking are those around the cpu which are nowadays more robust (Gigabyte, asus, msi solid caps: Text)

I don't know how it happened, maybe because I ran it 24/7 since august 2006, maybe because in the basement where I run my DC-only-crunchers the air humidity is more than in other places, ...

(I've already set a Pentium 3 mobo on fire due to a leaking cap covered in dust!)

EDIT: I miss my cpu, it's still working...
 

Fullmetal Chocobo

Moderator<br>Distributed Computing
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May 13, 2003
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I don't think it was the environment that you were running it in that did that. This mobo was made during the time that there was some huge thing about capacitors happening--someone stole a formula or something like that--and a lot of mobo manufacturers had issues. Many, if not all, manufacturers were susceptible to getting bad caps with their good ones, and what you see on your mobo is the result.

I haven't heard about major issues with caps on any new motherboards (it happens, but nothing like the frequency that was happening then), plus a lot have went to solid state components.

Sorry about the loss of the compy. My wife's socket 939 motherboard (Asus A8N) just started failing this past week, and now I have the processor and left over from it. She has a new rig now that should be up this evening.

EDIT: Wikipedia - "Capacitor Plague".
 

Smoke

Distributed Computing Elite Member
Jan 3, 2001
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Just as FMC has mentioned, main boards from a couple of years ago were really troubled by bad capacitors. There is even a guy who has made a business out of repairing the old 939 boards ... not going to give a link but a web search will find him pretty quickly.

Sounds like upgrade time to me. ;)
 

Philippart

Golden Member
Jul 9, 2006
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Originally posted by: Smoke
Just as FMC has mentioned, main boards from a couple of years ago were really troubled by bad capacitors. There is even a guy who has made a business out of repairing the old 939 boards ... not going to give a link but a web search will find him pretty quickly.

Sounds like upgrade time to me. ;)

yes it's upgrade time for me: right now 8 cores (2 quads) are on the way to my home :) I ordered them this week.

it's just sad that I lost a dualcore cruncher, I don't want to risk a fire when I'm away:shocked:
 

Assimilator1

Elite Member
Nov 4, 1999
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What FMC said :)

Usually you get stability problems before any severe failure, but not always.
OTOH I had an Asus A7N8X which apart from having to downclock the FSB a couple of MHz from 178MHz, ran fine with 2 bulging caps. Although I only had it like that for few months, sold it as 'for spares or repair'.

IIRC the bulk of the cap problem was from about 2000-2004.

What age was your mbrd?

RIP X2 rig :(.
 

dawks

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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I was hoping there was a difference in the caps. My old ASUS nForce2 board had leaky caps, and I was wondering if that was contributing to my instability issues. I know there was a story back in 03 or 04 talking about a big batch of caps that went out that were faulty... Thought it has been resolved since then.

I'm glad my Mac Pro has solid caps. hopefully it should last a while. The 4 fans in it run at about 500-600rpm, and the CPU is at 55°C, but im using smcFancontrol to spin them up to about 800rpm, which drops the temp to 45°C. Not bad for a super quiet system with 8 2.8ghz cores maxed out on R@H :D (These guys get about 3,500 points a day in R@H if anyone is interested).
 

petrusbroder

Elite Member
Nov 28, 2004
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Leaking caps has been the nemesis of quite a few mobos for me. - three this year. OTOH: they were all at least 5 years old, have run 24/7 for the whole time and went down with a crash --- but no fire. My two 939-mobos work very nice - although I have one 939-CPU in my drawer for spare ...
 

Pokey

Platinum Member
Oct 20, 1999
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My sympathies also. I had a MB die with the same problem a while back, the caps came from that era.
I look for solid caps now.
 

Drsignguy

Platinum Member
Mar 24, 2002
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Originally posted by: Pokey
My sympathies also. I had a MB die with the same problem a while back, the caps came from that era.
I look for solid caps now.




Have to also agree with all the above....So far, so good!

 

The Borg

Senior member
Apr 9, 2006
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I got hold of an old Celeron machine what was dead. I had a look at some of the caps and they where swolen. I decided for th hell of it to replace them and low and behold, the machine worked. Ran for a while then dies again. swoen caps again. Replaced them again and still running. My 1000MHz rig. Once of the more stable ones.

Funny how an old machine with new caps had the same problem. They are near the CPU, so I suspect heat. I get the willies when I see all the caps around modern CPU's. I understand the reason, but with OC'ing, those areas get HOT.
 

Assimilator1

Elite Member
Nov 4, 1999
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The main reason that alot of those caps failed wasn't heat but sub-standard electrolyte which caused premature failure.

Originally posted by: Drsignguy
Originally posted by: Pokey
My sympathies also. I had a MB die with the same problem a while back, the caps came from that era.
I look for solid caps now.

Have to also agree with all the above....So far, so good!
Me too!, both my rigs here have solid caps now :) (although the previous mbrd in my 2nd rig which I've only just upgraded didn't, it's still fine, though it's only ~3 1/2yrs old).
 

caferace

Golden Member
May 31, 2005
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It's not that hard to replace capacitors, and incredibly cheap. Just takes a decent soldering iron rig (which everyone here *should* have :)), some ingenuity to setup a stable platform to place the MB upside down on and a bit of practice on a dead mobo. Much cheaper than buying a new mobo. And new caps are cheap and easy to find...

-jim
 

imaheadcase

Diamond Member
May 9, 2005
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Its not about cheap, its about time. All of the tinkering you could do to save some money, amounts to lots of time in life wasted. :D
 

Assimilator1

Elite Member
Nov 4, 1999
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Actually Jim those caps aren't cheap at all :p;), at least not here in the UK. I looked into reparing an old P4 Gigabyte mbrd a few years back, the cost of the caps were about the same as buying a replacement 2nd hand mbrd. Unless it had rare caps, based on that mbrd anyway it's not worth it for an old mbrd to buy new caps.