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Question Which component is more prone to failure? PSU or Motherboard?

altair44

Junior Member
May 6, 2021
4
1
36
Hello,

My PC sometimes fails to POST and the motherboard shows a white LED (CPU_ERROR). All fans spin (including the graphics card).

To make it POST, I do the following,
  1. Turn off power and clear residual charge by pressing power button for 10-15 seconds.
  2. Unplug the PC connections.
  3. Clear the CMOS battery with jumper.
Then it boots up (80% of the time). I don't have a lot of money for immediate replacements, so I try things like these to solve the issue and get by.

But recently this is happening more and more which is very irritating. Adding to that, now I see a black screen after the UEFI splash screen which stays for 2-3 seconds, then it boots. It was not like that before.

I think one of the component is failing. Either it is the PSU or the motherboard. (I cheaped out on both to save money). Don't want to replace both of them right now. But not sure which one is the culprit. Cant be both of them!
Also I am pretty sure, the CPU is not faulty. Tested that in intel service center with at least 2 different motherboards.

Any experienced builders or engineers here can suggest something?

My PC Specification
CPU - i5 10400F
Motherbord - MSI H410M PRO VH
RAM - Corsair 16 GB Ram (2x8Gb modules)
GPU - Sapphire Pulse RX 5600XT BE
PSU - Antec Neo-Eco 550W Semi Modular 80 Plus Bronze
SATA SSD - 500 GB Samsung Evo (Windows 10 Boot drive)
M.2 SSD - WD Green 250 GB (Ubuntu Budgie Linux boot drive)
HDD - WD Blue 1TB
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,031
1,098
126
Just off the top of my head or as I might incline with a guess, I would test the PSU first of all. Put it another way -- I would hope that the problem is a faulty PSU. It would be helpful if you could somehow borrow a known-good PSU with wattage ample for your system, test the system (motherboard etc.), and go from there.

I have no particular reason to make this judgment, but I don't like your PSU very much. Not particularly because it's Antec, but I always buy Seasonics or rebadged Seasonics. Further, you say you "cheaped out" on your purchase of a PSU.

Never -- Never! -- buy a low-end PSU for your systems, particularly if you're building them yourself.

Find a PSU make, model and capacity that has a 5 year warranty. Don't even consider any unit with a 1 or 2 year warranty. I say this because you may never need a warranty except for a cheap PSU, but the warranty is an indication of the unit's quality. Seasonic makes models that have 10-year warranties.

That being said, there are "less expensive" PSUs and some that are more expensive. If it's your desire to save money, and you know you won't overclock the system or overburden it with additional hardware, at least use the warranty as a guide.

Further, the actual weight of a PSU is also an indication of build quality, in addition to the warranty offered. The heavier -- the better.

One more observation. Standard ATX PSUs all have the same connectivity features. But motherboards are priced according to "feature extras" - in addition to the number of power phases. The latter spec would mostly be useful to pick one that would be a good overclocking board.

But I've built many systems using "low-end" ATX and MATX boards -- some of them in the $80 to $90 price range, and they all worked flawlessly.

You should infer the best answer to your question from the information and opinions I've provided here.
 

Magic Carpet

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2011
3,472
223
106
I found a similar problem at Tom’s. Can’t rule out PSU, but If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the mobo. What exact component has failed, it’s hard to say, but it’s definitely not the CPU.
 
Last edited:

altair44

Junior Member
May 6, 2021
4
1
36
I found a similar problem at Tom’s. Can’t rule out PSU, but If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the mobo. What exact component has failed, it’s hard to say, but it’s definitely not the CPU.
Looks like a similar problem. No idea why this happens. Anyways I bought an AData XPG Reactor Core Power supply 80 plus Gold (Seasonic is the OEM). Hopefully the issue goes away and I can work in peace.
 
Last edited:

altair44

Junior Member
May 6, 2021
4
1
36
Just off the top of my head or as I might incline with a guess, I would test the PSU first of all. Put it another way -- I would hope that the problem is a faulty PSU. It would be helpful if you could somehow borrow a known-good PSU with wattage ample for your system, test the system (motherboard etc.), and go from there.

I have no particular reason to make this judgment, but I don't like your PSU very much. Not particularly because it's Antec, but I always buy Seasonics or rebadged Seasonics. Further, you say you "cheaped out" on your purchase of a PSU.

Never -- Never! -- buy a low-end PSU for your systems, particularly if you're building them yourself.

Find a PSU make, model and capacity that has a 5 year warranty. Don't even consider any unit with a 1 or 2 year warranty. I say this because you may never need a warranty except for a cheap PSU, but the warranty is an indication of the unit's quality. Seasonic makes models that have 10-year warranties.

That being said, there are "less expensive" PSUs and some that are more expensive. If it's your desire to save money, and you know you won't overclock the system or overburden it with additional hardware, at least use the warranty as a guide.

Further, the actual weight of a PSU is also an indication of build quality, in addition to the warranty offered. The heavier -- the better.

One more observation. Standard ATX PSUs all have the same connectivity features. But motherboards are priced according to "feature extras" - in addition to the number of power phases. The latter spec would mostly be useful to pick one that would be a good overclocking board.

But I've built many systems using "low-end" ATX and MATX boards -- some of them in the $80 to $90 price range, and they all worked flawlessly.

You should infer the best answer to your question from the information and opinions I've provided here.
Thank you for the input. I also feel the PSU could be the problem. This one has 3 + 2 years (maybe they added the last 2 to make it more "sellable") warranty. Sadly I cannot take the PSU and claim warranty as the issue is not reproducible. Happens randomly. Working right now as I am writing it on the same PC.

One peculiar thing I noticed which signals a PSU issue: After I press power button, it takes 2-3 seconds for the compoments to turn on including the RGB fans. This was not happening before.

Anyways, I just ordered a new power supply ADATA XPG CORE Reactor 80 Plus GOLD. The OEM is Seasonic. Listed under Tier -A in other forums. Hopefully this will work. Too much dependent on PC for WFH, cant take chances.
 

Mahzinho

Member
Sep 20, 2020
39
1
16
Both, but a faulty PSU can brings very large osc., ripple thing, bad energy to the mainboard and makes it operates wrongly, weirdly. I would look firstly for the PSU case.
 
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GunsMadeAmericaFree

Senior member
Jan 23, 2007
560
31
91
Other than a bunch of motherboards I bought back around year 2000 failing due to swelling capacitors, I have definitely lost more power supplies than motherboards over the years. I don't know whether this is because voltage spikes and such go directly into the power supply, or |?
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,887
635
136
If the new PSU doesn't solve the problem, you might try to check the motherboard mounting for a grounding issue. To do so, remove the motherboard/CPU/cooling solution from the case and set it up on a piece of cardboard. Plug in one memory module, the GPU, and hook up the power cables to everything (you don't have to dismount the PSU, just place the case close enough to plug everything in). Use a screwdriver to short the power switch pins to start the system. If it starts consistently without exhibiting the problem, remove the hardware and try to remount the motherboard/CPU/cooler. During remounting, pay very close attention to the motherboard standoffs to ensure every single one of them are all placed properly where they should be (i.e. not touching something they shouldn't). Reassemble the rest of the system and power it up to see if it works consistently.

If the system keeps displaying this issue, you might try to remove the CPU and carefully check the CPU socket for bent pins, followed by a re-mount your CPU. Test again.

If the problem still persists, the motherboard is likely defective. It is probably less than a year old and should have a 3 year warranty from MSI, so absent bent pins in the CPU socket you should be able to send it them for warranty replacement.
 
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altair44

Junior Member
May 6, 2021
4
1
36
If the new PSU doesn't solve the problem, you might try to check the motherboard mounting for a grounding issue. To do so, remove the motherboard/CPU/cooling solution from the case and set it up on a piece of cardboard. Plug in one memory module, the GPU, and hook up the power cables to everything (you don't have to dismount the PSU, just place the case close enough to plug everything in). Use a screwdriver to short the power switch pins to start the system. If it starts consistently without exhibiting the problem, remove the hardware and try to remount the motherboard/CPU/cooler. During remounting, pay very close attention to the motherboard standoffs to ensure every single one of them are all placed properly where they should be (i.e. not touching something they shouldn't). Reassemble the rest of the system and power it up to see if it works consistently.

If the system keeps displaying this issue, you might try to remove the CPU and carefully check the CPU socket for bent pins, followed by a re-mount your CPU. Test again.

If the problem still persists, the motherboard is likely defective. It is probably less than a year old and should have a 3 year warranty from MSI, so absent bent pins in the CPU socket you should be able to send it them for warranty replacement.
I purchased a new power supply (ADATA XPG CORE Reactor 80 Plus GOLD). PC is running fine now. Atleast for the last 3 weeks. Havn't encountered any issues. Hopefully it was a PSU problem. Fingers crossed.
 
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