12 Mar 2006 nutella
Asus and Antec and AMD, oh my!
As I mentioned elsewhere I am creating a new box to replace my aging homebrew PIII/600. I can scavenge most of the current one (SCSI card, drives and optical drives etc.) leaving the need for a new CPU, motherboard and memory (I can make do with an old Matrox PCI card for now). I thus acquired an Asus socket 939 motherboard, an AMD 64 x2 CPU and 2 x 1 GB ECC memory. I also realised I'd need a new power supply and decided to pick one that was supposedly "quiet" (if not silent). I thus have an Antec SmartCool. The assembly did not proceed smoothly. I hooked everything up and pressed the big red button. There was a "pfft" from the PSU, the LEDs flickered and then nothing, except the motherboard LED was still illuminated so I new I hadn't blown things completely. If I cycled power I could repeat the show. I stripped it down to PSU, motherboard and CPU and the same game happened. I pulled the battery and cleared the RAM and the same thing happened. I checked the web and found some folk had run into similar problems with the same kind of setup. There was no obvious solution and some folk blamed the smart cooling function. Out of curiousity I pulled the square four pin power plug from the board and tried again with only the 24 pin connector in place. Woohoo! CPU and chipset fans spun up and the case LEDs stayed on, but I didn't hear a POST beep. I shoved in the video card, powered up and saw only a blank screen. Determined to beat the problem I plugged in the 4 pin connector again. Genuine Woohoo! It's alive! I still don't know the cause but I am glad it is working now. I had to set the fan warnings to the lowest speed (800 rpm) to stop boot errors but otherwise the remainder of the assembly is proceeding apace.