Like the title says, I discovered today that the CPU fan in my AthlonXP 1800+ PC at work was dead, and likely has been dead for months- if the north bridge fan hadn't been dying and making so much racket, I'd probably never have noticed! The amazing thing to my mind is that I hadn't noticed for so long- this PC has been running rock-stable at 88°C or higher for perhaps months on end, and is still going strong! The sole cooling for the case (aside from the tiny NB fan intermittendly working) has been an 80mm on the back. At any rate, I put in a trouble call (I'm technically not even allowed to so much as take the side off the case, letalone install a CD-RW like I was doing this morning) but when I saw hot hot it was getting, I tore a fan out of a dead PC right away- temps are a more reasonably 45°C now!
oh man, I am so screwed- that's not the worst of it! The power supply had crapped out too- the fan was gone, and the damned thing was so hot, you couldn't touch it with bare hands. And 13 of the 14 caps on the motherboard were either half-blown and bowing or leaking- I honestly don't know how this computer is running. It could really go at any time... And I'm not alone- almost every PC in here is built with the same shoddy components; we apparently lose 4 or 5 of these craptacular motherboards every time the power fluctuates. Not to mention any names, but it was Coolermaster bushing fans, Eagle PSU and Epox EP -8K7A+motherboard
The good news is, I got the CD-RW software installed and am backing up my files
The case badge: LEGEND COMPUTERS: Computers that stand the test of time lol
Last edited by grover; January 30th, 2004 at 05:10 PM.
Wow, this is a good story! I think the caps blew because nothing was being cooled. All that heat was probably creating some extra resistance. At the least, the supply of power was becoming inconsistent. Keep in mind that the caps and mosfets can get warm too, so the extra system heat would not help matters at all. You probably had an inside case temperature of 40-45C in places! Ironic that the cheapest and most simple part of the PC failed--the fans.
Case temp was OK- failure of the CPU fan just meant the CPU had to get hotter to dissipate the same amount of heat; the mobo temp stayed around 30C. Mobos without fan failures are dying, too. I really think it's just a bad batch of caps that happened to hit the assembly line. Or maybe bad power, or a combination of the two. We didn't have this sort of problem with the PIIIs...
These capacitor issues have popped up several times over the last 5 years and have hit P3 boards too. I have seen systems fail one after another because of a bad batch. They tend to start giving out when the temps go up in the Summer (no AC on the floor at my plant). These were Compaq P3 systems. I do have an Abit KT7 that has some bad capacitors. I have had the Duron 600 running at 900Mhz sinse the KT7 boards hit store shelves. Some of the capacitors just below the CPU are pretty swollen now and I did have to clock it back to 800Mhz a few months ago. This is my #3 LAN machine with a GeForce2 GTS, so I do not really want it to crap out on me. The temps are fine, so it was not heat and the PS was a decent HEC 250w power supply (rated for Duron 1Ghz) with a second fan installed.My Epox 8KHA+ (KT266A) board has been just fine for quite a while now. The performance was pretty good, but the board or CPU just did not want to run stable if I overclocked it at all.
Everybody is trimming costs and these things seem to happen more than they should. Heck many manufacturers are outsorcing their budget boards to ECS. ECS is not bad, but I have had trouble with some of their cheap boards. The K7S5A in my mom's computer was the worst. The front USB never worked and the integrated sound died after about a year. It was never very stable either and had all sorts of problems running WindowsXP for some reason. Windows 98 was usable though.
AMD Phenom II x4 945 3Ghz | ASUS M4A77TD | 2X WD 1TB SATA 2 hard drive | 2x2GB Corsair XMS3 | nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS | ATI TV Wonder Theater Pro 550 | Antec P-160 case | Antec 650w Earth Watts | LG Blu-ray Super Drive | LG DVD RW | Windows 7 Pro
Will this happen to any capacitors over time, or just those which are stressed / hot? I've never had an issue with them before on any of the computers I or the rest of my family have owned, but none of those were overclocked. My current is overclocked and running 100% load pretty much all the time, should I look out for my capacitors swelling?
I presume you mean the ones immediately around my CPU - I have 5 big ones there, and 3 big ones down by the northbridge, with some smaller ones dotted around.
hehe, i suffered the exact same injury once doing the exact same thing :P was cutting up ramsinks for a video card.
damn that electrolytic fluid looks like nasty stuff, im gonna be keeping an eye on my caps. i run the side of my case off so i can monitor them all the while i am at my computer :P
that article was interesting mOOp. i wouldnt have thought such respectable motherboard manufacturers would allow such products to get into their lines, but i suppose all it takes is one weak link in the chain and all sorts of crappy components can get onto the board. that seems to be in the past now though luckily, i think in grover's case it was due to extreme conditions :P