Re: need motherboard recommendation
On Sun, 26 Dec 2010 11:12:17 +0000
"Russell L. Harris" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I am tossing into the dumpster the last two motherboards which I
> purchased -- Asus M3A78-T (AMD64) and Asus P5Q-EM (i386) -- because of
> video problems. I purchased the boards because of the long-life solid
> capacitors. (Motherboard life typically is limited by deterioration
> of conventional electrolytic capacitors with age and heat.)
> With the M3A78-T, the POST screen displayed a cross-hatch pattern of
> horizontal and vertical red and green lines with a variety of
> monitors, both CRT and LCD. The pattern also is visible in terminal
> mode outside of X. Three trips back to Asus did not cure the problem.
> With the P5Q-EM, the display goes blank ("out of range" message on the
> monitor) when X starts.
> I need a recommendation for a reliable desktop motherboard for normal
> desktop use (no gaming) with Debian Lenny or Squeeze. My primary
> application is writing and typesetting with XEmacs, LaTeX, etc.
> I would prefer a motherboard with solid capacitors. I would prefer a
> brand other than Asus, and I would lean toward Gigabyte or Intel.
> If you recommend a motherboard without integrated graphics, kindly
> recommend also a readily-available graphics card.
I've had a Giga GA-MA74GM-S2H for a year now. It hasn't died yet, and
I can't really say more than that. The most exotic stuff I do is gEDA
PCB layout, and I'm not aware of any performance problems. Built-in
sound and graphics, using 1440x900/60, running Sid in 2G RAM.
I'd have thought MB trouble was rare enough that you won't get
statistically useful results. I have run two Asrock (cheap Asus brand)
boards for several years with no trouble, and still have them as I
don't like throwing things out when they still work normally, I just
wanted more power after a few years.
As to capacitors: the only ones I would deliberately avoid are the
surface-mount aluminium types, the silver ones with the black arc on
top to show polarity. I've replaced many hundreds in the last fifteen
years or so, repaired the PCBs as necessary, and repaired and tested
boards after literally thousands of the little beasts have been
replaced by other people. Before they die they distribute electrolyte
over the surrounding PCB, and that stuff eats copper, particularly
plate-throughs. It's also, rather obviously, conductive, and I've seen
a puddle of the stuff draw half an amp from a five-volt rail. I've
never seen a wired capacitor do that kind of thing. The wired ones are
bigger, but there's not much height restriction on a MB.