How did we get here?
In this case, it was simple. I saw a few videos with people tinkering with old FX series processors, and though, sure. Two different people on two different continents were testing cheap 83xx processors and I thought, hey, I have an old motherboard for that.
I should have left it at that. Buying a similar chip here in the States turns out to be four times the price, and I don’t even know if the board works. I can also buy two intel MB/CPU combos that definitely work for the same money. Still, I wanted to try, so I found a cheaper CPU to order and test. Keep in mind, its been several years since I have even tried to test this MB and I stopped using it in 2015 because I thought I bricked it.
I ordered the CPU, it came quicker than I expected, thank you eBay seller, and I was excited to test. I gathered everything I would need, looked at the CPU and it had bent pins. Great. AM type processors have pins on the CPU instead of the motherboard and sometimes they bend. I didn’t panic. It was very slight and I could use a razor. Problem solved.
My next issue was the cooler. AM3+ and AM4 are different sized brackets, and have different mounting holes. Luckily I have a few different coolers and chose a tower cooler that is far more than that processor should need. I grabbed known good working parts from another system, and installed them. It was time to start it up.
Everything started, but nothing posted. No HDMI cable in the Graphics card. That was the last good feeling I had about this set up. I connected the HDMI, started it again, and waited, nothing. No post, no beeping, no nothing. Okay, I can’t say nothing. The CPU fan was running, the GPU leds were on (no spinning fans), and leds on the motherboard lit up. There is nothing fancy about the leds on the mobo, it’s just to show they have power.
I tried one stick of ram in each slot. No post on any combination. An hour or so of troubleshooting produced the same result. This was not working.
I faced a bit of a conundrum. I have a ‘tested good’ CPU, and a questionable motherboard. Do I count my twenty bucks as a loss, or do I look for a different mobo? How important is this video? How deep do I go in the rabbit hole? Used motherboards for this series are running from 40USD to 100USD. What? Are you serious? They’re 8-10 years old.
There is no reason I can think of that this platform should be so expensive eight years later. It wasn’t a high performer and it was inexpensive to start with, yet it’s holding it’s value and people are buying them. AMD was my preferred platform for a long time based on price to performance, but it didn’t age well. Pricing is very different here than the rest of the world evidently.
So what’s next for this set up?
First, I’m not upset spending 20 bucks testing an older board. I am not 100% sure it’s the problem, but the odds are high. The CPU tested good from a reputable seller, so I am okay with that. The issue is whether to sink more money into a used board just for the sake of a video. I don’t dare get something ‘high’ end just to check the CPU, but if it is good, what’s my next step? Yep, to buy a better board and a better CPU. This can’t end well. And it can’t end cheap. I have a lot of thinking to do.
There’s no video on this, yet, because the story isn’t over, but it may be time to hit the used market and find the next rung in this impossibly high later to nowhere. Wish me luck.