Which is faulty: Motherboard or CPU?
Posted on 2007-08-12
I recently decided, after 4 years, that it was time to upgrade my PC. So I bought a number of new hardware items, including a new CPU, a new motherboard, and new RAM (2 sticks).
I ordered most of those from Newegg, and the RAM from Crucial. I went to install it all, and much to my dismay, nothing really worked right. So being the A+ certified tech I am, I ran MemTest+ right away and found about 30,000 errors before the test stopped completely and shut down the computer. "Okay, so the RAM is bad," I thought. So I sent the RAM back to Crucial, and they sent me another 2 new sticks, which just arrived yesterday.
I went to install them and still ran into many of the same problems. I thought it was awfully strange that 4 different sticks of brand new RAM would all have the same problem, so I went over to a friend's house, installed the RAM on his computer and re-ran MemTest+. No errors. None at all. Okay, so the RAM's not bad.
So then I stripped my system down bare, so that the only components connected were: CPU, Heatsink/fan, Motherboard, RAM, 1 × DVD drive, 1 × Hard Drive, and Power Supply. I unplugged everything else, including the graphics card, opting to use only the onboard graphics. This ensured that as few devices as possible were drawing power from the power supply. I re-ran MemTest+, and still came up with all the same errors.
So now what I'm thinking is this:either the CPU or the motherboard is at fault. However, I'm not sure how to definitively tell which one is faulty. I can see that MemTest+ fails consistently no matter what RAM I put in there, but I'm wondering if anyone else has come across any similar situations, and if so, what does this mean? Do I remove the CPU from the motherboard and send one (or both) of them back? Thanks.
Here are the full details on the hardware I ordered:
* CPU: AMD Athlon 64 6000+ (Socket AM2)
* Motherboard: Giga-Byte GA-M61P-S3
* RAM: 2 × 2.0GB 240-pin DDR2 PC2-5300 DIMM (Product #CT2KIT25664AA667)