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Burning Processors!!!???

Posted on 2001-08-31
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have recently purchased an Amptron ECS K7VZA--200FSB ATA66(cheap but it got good reviews), a 1GHz Athlon, and some memory in hopes of upgrading my old system. I also purchased a new ATX case to put them all in. To make a long story short, after applying power, the processor burned out(visible burn marks). I couldn't imagine what could've gone wrong(I've built several systems before and followed instructions exactly), so I took it to a tech shop. They said that it was only the processor that burned, and that I had probably gotten a bad processor. I returned the processor, got a new one, placed it in the slot, got video output for about 2sec, and it burned as well. Now I'm trying to figure out what the @#%& could be wrong!!!?? and I need your guys' help. I'm assuming(very strongly) that it's the power supply. It is a relatively cheap one(box+ps=$50), but what are the chances that a bad PS will only burn a powersupply??(Everything is fine AFAIK). The shop that tested it after the first attempt tried a Duron, rather than an Athlon. SO...Could a bad powersupply burn out an Athlon, but not a Duron??!!! If not, I'm guessing they must have used their own PS for testing?? Could it be the MB by chance?
Thanks,
tibori
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Question by:tibori
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by:jhance
ID: 6446574
It's doubtful in my opinion that it's the power supply itself.  The CPU in this motherboard is driven from an on-board voltage regulator that is obviously messed up.

I'd say get a new motherboard.
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by:jmfairchild
ID: 6446630
I also doubt it's the P/S. Ensure that your heatsink/fan is properly attached (making good contact with the center rectangular piece of the CPU). You might try a different H/F, also. Ensure that your system bus and/or voltage settings are correct (escpecially not too high).

I recently had a similar experience losing 2 CPUs AND a motherboard. The motherboard ended up being the culprit. Like you're seeing on the news now-a-days, it killed two different CPUs before deciding the jig was up, and killing itself (lol). I agree with jhance, if it's not the heatsink/fan, it's probably the M/B.

- Jim
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by:jlauster
ID: 6446787
Another reason to save your money on other parts beside the motherboard (not that any cheap hardware is cheap in the long run). My father used to have a sign up in his store:

Beware the higher cost of the lower price!
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by:pbessman
ID: 6446859
A little affirmation here.  Try checking the fan operation on your next one.  They need cooling.  I am assuming you have jumpered everything correctly or have a software selection for your processor.  Normally when they boot up it would be underclocked as far as the FSB goes.  However if the voltages are off, (higher in your case) it The processor won't have a very long life.  For it to simply burn up is not without some reason.
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by:jlauster
ID: 6446872
How long did they take before they went South?
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by:netmage
ID: 6447019
Use thermal paste when placing the heatsink to the CPU.

Most new motherboards bios setup screens have a facility to  view current voltage settings.
On first boot of a new machine i make a habit of checking these to ensure correct voltage and bus speeds.

If you install another new cpu then check this first and correct it quickly if possible.

It might be worth you while to reset to factory defaults the cmos jumper on the mobo just incase your current setting is to high.

Netmage
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genguy earned 100 total points
ID: 6447185
If the power supply was no good it would fry the motherboard or other cards, the cpu would be least affected since all it's power is isolated through the mobo's regulator. >Not the power supply.
Cpu could be bad, but 2 in a row? >doubtful.
I doubt that simply overclocking could cause such sudden and severe results, I think that over voltage is the cause.
Most likely is the mobo regulator, as stated already, but the root cause is still not identified.
Since the computer store got it working with a duron, it seems that everthing is probably working as designed, or it would have fried the duron as well.
Check to see which pcb (motherboard) revision you have, from what I can see there is a version 1 and version 3 (what happened to 2 ?). http://www.ecs.com.tw/download/k7vza.htm
 A bios update might be all thats needed to support newer cpu builds requiring lower voltage. You'll need to confirm the numbers from your cpu on Amd's site to see exactly what the requirments are, and confirm that the motherboard will supply that voltage.
http://ask.amd.com:80/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE/,/?St=66,E=0000000000016280217,K=6650,Sxi=5,Case=obj(69)
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by:1175089
ID: 6447289
May be you break processor crystal when you mount heatsink/fan ???Is the heatsink/fan suitable for Athlon processor /Socket A/?
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by:joojant200
ID: 6447327
Two equaly possible reason:
1. Defected motherboard,
2. You didn't mounted CPU cooler properly, or forget to turn in cooler fan power connectors, or unsuitable cooler.
Athlon make thermal disparation of almost 70W and it can fry in less then 30sec if not cooled properly.
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by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6448274
I was looking around on the web, and found that some bad PSUs have been known to blow this motherboard, but not the CPU. So I guess comments about ensuring the proper fitting of the heatsink are more on track. Apparently Deer Brand PSUs have a nasty way with this board, allowing thier 5V output to climb to 7V, toasting the motherboard. This is due to them being rated 250W Max (for startup), but only 150W continous usage I hear. Some cheaper PSUs may also have thier rating misquoted this way. However I note that in the reported failures, the CPUs have been in the 1.2Ghz plus range, and have survived, maybe due to the current draw of these CPUs being higher the board gave out first, it is within the bounds of possibility that with a CPU not quite drawing as much current, the board might just survive long enough to make the CPU fail instead, but it's voltage regs should be proof against that even with overvoltage from the PSU, and they should burn out before they give the CPU any more volts than it should have.

regards,

Road Warrior
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by:genguy
ID: 6448485
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by:genguy
ID: 6448493
Hmm. still links to the wrong page. Oh well here is a different one. Sorry about the mess everyone.
http://www4.tomshardware.com/howto/00q2/000412/index-06.html
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by:pbessman
ID: 6448588
Was this a DOH I forgot the fan or what?  Where is Tibori???
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by:tibori
ID: 6458312
Thanks EVERYONE!! I haven't dissapeared :), just been on a short vacation. I will need to get back to some of you with more information, but I do have some answers:
The CPU lasted about 3 or 4 sec(not even close to 30)
The fan was installed, and is a proper fan(according to the place that sold it: www.ccraft.net->Cooling Fan->AMD Socket A->Generic up to 1.5GHz($9.99)
As far as the installation of the fan, it felt extremely tight on the first processor I had put it on. In fear of having shattered the processor with the fan, I "loosened" the connector on the fan for the second CPU, but it was still snug. I did use heatsink compound in both cases, although I didn't have too much left for the second CPU. I'll be back with some more details.
Thanks,
tibori
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by:svdamme
ID: 6470391
In all the time i've been working with computers i have never had a burned CPU , if the Power Supply is faulty , then the Motherboard will burn thru..

Cpu's them selves have safety's to prevent tempereature and voltage problems from damaging the cpu...

so in you case i think you have a motherboard or PSU problem
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by:jmfairchild
ID: 6470734
I hate to disagree, but I imagine you haven't worked with the higher end AMD CPU's. I see them burned up all the time by overclockers. The center will actually melt on occasion. I myself have burned up two (see my thread above) and I know the precautions to take to prevent it. In that particular case, my techs were as baffled as I was. Try running a system with an AMD 1.0 GHZ or above Socket CPU without a heatsink/fan on it. It won't last more than 30 seconds, probably much less. You'll smell it starting to burn almost immediately.

Not trying to be argumentative, but I wanted to ensure you knew of this, too.

- Jim
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by:tibori
ID: 6522289
Hello Everyone,
I've finally gotten enough money together to be able to buy a new CPU/motherboard combo. Just to be fair I've doubled the points on this question. I'm planning to buy an Asus A7V-K133 MB with an 800MHz Duron. The reason I'm downgrading the processor(besides the fact that I'm completely happy with 800mHz) is that I MAY try it in the old Motherboard...although I don't feel like burning $100...I don't know...I wish there was a way to tell if a Mb is "bad" without plugging a CPU into it. Maybe I'll take it to the shop and watch them plug an Athlon into it. LOL.
Here's some initial questions I have:
I have noticed that AMD has a list of powersupplies that it recommends....The tech shop recommends that I get one of these(as opposed to a generic PS), but they say that in worst case if I don't do that, the PC may not start(due to insufficient wattage), but that it shouldn't hurt anything.
What are your opinions on this?
What is the relationship between Amptron and ECS. Reason I ask is the motherboard is an Amptron K7VZA(according to manuals, box and labels on MB), however it was sold as an ECS K7VZA. I have seen this at other web sites too, advertised as Amptron/ECS??? The mind-boggling thing is that ECS is rated fairly high(motherboards.org), but Amptron is not rated, and I have read some bad reviews on it...??? Any ideas about this?
genguy: You brought up an interesting issue. I've looked at the links you mention, but I have not been able to determine the type of Athlon(it does not have an explicit OPN number), but one of these might be it. Here's all of the information from the label(as it appears):
AMD Athlon
A1000AMT38
ARGA 0117TPFW
93608530195
1999 AMD

Thanks again for everyone's patience! Hopefully we'll unravel this mystery once and for all!!!
Thanks,
tibori
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by:genguy
ID: 6526164
To me,  Amptron looks alot like a re-packaging and distribution facility.
http://www.amptron.com/html/profile.html
What do you think?

As far as the power supply goes, I agree with the computer shop's opinion.

If this is a new motherboard why don't you just return it and get another one?
Or have the computer shop build it up with an Athlon, then when it smokes the cpu they'll have to deal with it.
After all they tested it and pronounced it O.K. to use right?!
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by:pbessman
ID: 6526987
I have had a couple Amptron Boards.  They sell many motherboards that are also sold under the names PCChips, Alton Boards and quite possibly ECS.  I did not know of this but many boards are sold as one thing but made by someone else.
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by:ComTech
ID: 6703995
Hi all,

This question has been open for quite awhile. I am going to allow feedback from the questioner and experts. If it is not resolved, I will delete or accept an answer based on the info I have been given. Experts, feel free to offer input, or even suggest who you  think is correct. I will monitor this question for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate this question.

Questioner, if you were helped, chooses whom you would like to award the question to, and Accept Comment.  It is your responsibility to complete this question.

Thank you,
ComTech
Community Support

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER
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by:tibori
ID: 6772474
First of all I would like to apologize to everyone for not getting back sooner to this question. I've FINALLY, had a chance to put together this system. I used:
The original MB
A new 850MHZ Duron
A new power supply(AMD approved)
A new fan
Everything worked on the first attempt no problem... So at least I know the MB was(and is) good. I wanted to troubleshoot further, but unfortunately didn't have the $ to do so. In the future I may try another Athlon in the board. If that works, the only culprit(I can think of) would be the power supply, or me breaking the crystal on the chip(this may have been a possibility as well....)
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