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-   -   Popped caps got me looking for a new mobo. (

FreeStyler 16th October 2005 11:54

Popped caps got me looking for a new mobo.
Yesterday my second PC crashed, nothing new you'd think, but I couldn't get it running no matter what I tried.
So today I opened it up, and thanks to the Epox hex display I found out it was a memory problem. No problem, exept that swapping the memory didn't help.
So I woke up, (it's early here) and I found that nearly every single one of the larger capacitators popped. That's 13 caps in total of several different kinds.

I did notice 2 extra exhaust fans stopped working, what might have caused this problem. But this wasn't a very warm PC. Athlon XP 1800+ running at 166 FSB. So that shouldn't have been too big of a problem.

Popping caps? I thought we passed this problem a long time ago. And although an Epox 8RDA+ isn't very recent, I had expected more from it. And I've seen more recent boards with similar problems. If problems like thins won't be fixed, why bother with higher speed PC's. Luckily some manufacturers use "high quality caps", or at least they say they do. I guess I'll be looking for these words more often now.

And now I'm left thinking if I should try and fix the board, but is't a pain to solder 13 caps? Not to mention high Q caps of these kinds aren't cheap, especially in limited quantities.
Should I try to find a replacement for the board? But socket A mobo's are pretty rare, and I'd like one with some OC capabilities. Should I go for second hand stuff, with all the risks involved, or just settle for something not quite that fast. (luckily THIS PC isn't pushed to it's limits)
Lastly, the industry preffered way these days, just whip out the wallet and get me a new mobo, and new CPU? Probably while I'm at it, just replace the entire PC.

The best part however, my main rig is running on the same motherboard, with a higher overclock, same voltages to memory, and a 200MHz FSB. This is one rig I wouldn't want to loose yet. I'm just not ready to go for any of the new standards. Or should I say, the 'standards" aren't ready for me. If you'd like to call things that change every one or two years, standards anyway.

Today I'm feeling a bit :puke: about this.

jmke 16th October 2005 13:50

The Athlon XP is a HOTTER running core than recent Athlon 64 offerings, so don't think that OC'd XP1800+ is "cool". The fact that your rear case fans stopped working might have something to do with it. What CPU cooling were you using? A large 92/120mm fan which covered the mobo also.. or just a small one 70/80mm for the CPU?

those caps can get quite hot (80-100) and although active cooling is not required it does help prolong the life of these components.

I would say; get a 2nd hand Socket A motherboard from Ebay or somewhere likewise; max price 20-40 should get you up and running.

RichBa5tard 16th October 2005 14:08

A common problem with the 8rda+ and no/little case cooling i'm afraid. : /

Time to upgrade!

jmke 16th October 2005 14:13


Originally posted by RichBa5tard

Time to upgrade!

not needed in my humble opinion, a 2nd hand Socket A mobo would the cheapest and quickest way to get the system going again.

Sidney 16th October 2005 16:51

Based on how you described your use of equipment in terms of product cycle, a second handed board will be the best way.

I am still using the XP1700+ @2.1Ghz and it is certainly doing the job for the day.

goingpostale1 17th October 2005 02:45

If you attend any local LAN Parties ask around about a Nforce 2 Socket A mobo on the cheap. I picked up a Biostar Nforce 2 mobo for $20.

187(V)URD@ 17th October 2005 08:55

I have the same problem, 3 caps popped open in my msi + duron proc.

Same thing going to happen in my dads pc (also expor 8rda+), I already told him to get some cooling on the caps and surround components.

We'll see :)

Wolf2000me 17th October 2005 11:18

Send a mail to

Bad caps on that mobo type is very common as many manufacturers have used those. Epox has a good customer support for that problem as many have had a bad caps problem. Worst case scenario is that they will ask you a small fee for repairing it but chances are they'll do it for free.

cheers ;)

FreeStyler 18th October 2005 15:17

it has got to be over 3 years old, so free repair isn't going to happen. but I can try to have them ship replacement caps at a small fee.

The CPU was cooled by an arctic cooling heatsink, (the first model with copper plate I think) It's not a top preformer but it could take care of the CPU at higher clockspeeds. Off course case heat might have played some issue here. I can't say how long the fans have been busted, I found this out in the debugging process. Luckily my main rig has 5 fans, + PSU and a zalman on the CPU.

But I found this: =1
And it's available for under 50, and it looks nice. It has SATA, and is prettly small, but no soundstorm. This is my second PC however and it rarely uses sound anyway.

jmke 18th October 2005 15:56

that CPU cooler had 70mm fan if I'm not mistaken, so it won't cool the components around the socket sufficiently.

Soundstorm will come into play when you use high quality output devices; (5.1&7.1 sets, high quality hi-fi set, etc). For everything else, AC97 will surely be good enough

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