Posted by Trixter on August 2, 2007
My anality reared its ugly head — I couldn’t take this computer-in-unknown-state any longer, so I gathered up my birthday money and bought a new power supply and motherboard. Eight hours later at 4am, I finally heard my first BEEP — one long and two short, which was a memory problem. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to hear the damn thing finally speak to me. Some DDR swaps, and we finally boot.
So the motherboard was toast. Problem solved. So why the new power supply? Because it didn’t quite pass the ATX power supply tester I have. You see, the tester is supposed to show lights and beep. The one I was given showed lights… but no beep. So it was flaky. New motherboard: $70. New power supply: $40.
Total cost of this free machine:
free $50 $90 $160. And I still don’t have a PCI-e video card yet (my old Diamond Viper is currently driving the machine. Yes, that’s right kids, a TNT card from 1998 is sitting in an Athlon 64.)
The best part? I scraped off the thermal goo and found it’s an Athlon 64 3200 — as in, the original Athlon 64. It’s slower than my main desktop machine (an Athlon XP). I have now paid upwards of $160 for a machine that is effectively three years old and slower than what I already have. Viva l’irony!
Don’t get me wrong; I think the entire process has been a hoot, and I love solving PC hardware problems. Better yet, the motherboard supports Athlon X2, so when I scrape together some more cash (probably my next birthday ;-) I can swap in an X2 and finally join the world of multi-core computing. It’s all good.