Capacitor replacement on ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe...


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ThaCrip

I mainly have one question in regard to 'extremely low ESR' capacitors and your more typical 'low ESR' capacitors which are easier to find and generally a bit cheaper etc. because online I noticed a seller say the following...

 

"820uF 6.3V Nichicon HN - Intended for computer motherboards. These have an extremely low ESR but also less long term endurance than the Rubycon ZLJ. The HN capacitors are primarily intended for motherboards starting from around 2002 until the early 2010s, when motherboards stopped using this type of capacitor. For most other applications the Rubycon ZLJ capacitors are preferable. Late 1990s (and most pre-Pentium4 era) motherboards don't require the HN's specs and should find the ZLJ well suited as a long life replacement."

 

so the question is... can I use the Rubycon ZLJ 6.3v 820uF 105c Low-ESR caps on my ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard? ; because even if they are not as good as the 'extremely low-esr' caps, as long as they work 'well enough' (so system is stable/reliable), that's all that matters.

 

I have attached a small picture that shows my board as I have put a RED dot on the capacitors that are bad (generally swollen, although 3 might be very slightly leaking) and additionally I put a YELLOW dot on the 6.3v 1800uF caps, but the YELLOW ones appear to be fine by looking at them, so I am hoping to avoid replacing those. basically 16 out of the 25 6.3v 820uF caps are visibly bad.

 

so my plan, at least at the moment, is to just buy 25 of the Rubycon 6.3v 820uF caps, which is enough to replace all on my motherboard of that type of capacitor as they are the only ones that are swollen etc.

 

I first bought that board in March 2006 and it was in use, pretty much 24/7, til May 2012 and then sit until Jan 2019 when I put it into a old case I had from 2001 etc. but even back when I initially retired it, the caps were pretty much like they are now. also, I did notice very recently (before I removed the motherboard from case) that when I powered it on, it seemed to have froze at the BIOS screen. but I just powered off and back on and it seemed okay once again. also, I notice weird messages when booting random Linux stuff to (I don't have the exact message of what was listed on screen though) that after rebooting are not there. so I am kind of assuming this is capacitor related.

 

but stuff like that aside, the board still works and seems stable in general usage. but I figure since I can get the replacement caps cheap enough (probably around $12 in total) I figured I might as well replace the caps so the board should be good for many more years. but obviously, it's not worth investing much into since it's older tech, but I figure a board like that might be nice to keep around for a backup computer (which should probably still be passable for a basic internet machine for some odd years to come) or something that might need a IDE connection from time-to-time.

 

one last thing, I just noticed I got a reply from the seller saying the following...

 

"For that motherboard the Nichicon HN would be a more exact match to original specs, but in practice I believe the Rubycon ZLJ would work fine. They would certainly be much better than any cap that has bulged - by the time a capacitor shows any visible bulging or leaking they have already failed internally and are extremely out of spec."

 

so unless anyone else has anything to add, ill likely opt for the Rubycon caps ;)

A8N32SLI.jpg

Edited by ThaCrip
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hellowalkman

wow sounds like an old system. sure go ahead. what's the worst that could happen? also if you got a good psu, that would help a lot

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ThaCrip
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hellowalkman said:

wow sounds like an old system. sure go ahead. what's the worst that could happen? also if you got a good psu, that would help a lot

 

Yeah, the PSU in it is quality (Seasonic 420watt) as I got that in Jan 2019 for only a little less than $22 (I got lucky) as which shortly after I got it I think the seller realized he was selling them a little too cheap and raised price to $40 which I think was more of the typical price on them at the time at which point I would have held off on buying it had it been at that price range. basically my reasoning at the time was a quality PSU for only $22 and even if that A8N32-SLI board died it would have made a good backup PSU for my main PC, so I could not lose.

 

so it was a way to revive that A8N32-SLI board which was collecting dust from May 2012 til Jan 2019 as prior to that I was using a ancient 1.2Ghz Athlon computer for a backup which is simply TOO slow to use in semi-recent memory when I retired it in Jan 2019 (the board 'FIC AD11' (originally a Alienware PC) I think is sitting in my A8N32-SLI box right now I think). so I just removed the Athlon 1.2Ghz board from it's original case in 2001 and put the A8N32-SLI board in it's place, so now I got a passable backup computer instead of one that's full-on ancient/too slow even for a internet machine (unless of course you got the patience of a Saint then it's usable ;) ).

 

basically there have been a total of three PSU's in use on that A8N32-SLI motherboard...

 

1)March 2006 til about 2010 (Enermax PSU with 3 year warranty if I recall correctly)

2)Rosewill (about 2010 til Nov 2012. had a 2 year warranty)

3)Seasonic 420watt (the current PSU in it since Jan 2019 but only see's occasional/limited use now unlike before between March 2006 to May 2012 it was pretty much 24/7 use. but I am sure will last longer than the previous two combined most likely given the Seasonic 520watt in my main PC is 8 years and 6 months old and still going strong and it's been in 24/7 use since I got it basically)

 

but I am sure you already know, it's best to not cut corners on PSU quality as a general rule. because while that Rosewill one was probably a bit on the cheaper/lower quality side, all of my previous PSU's I bought over the years were at least respectable quality wise (since it seems 3 years was a pretty typical warranty period for decent PSU's back-in-the-day) but they just don't seem to last much beyond warranty period besides the Seasonic ones I am using in recent memory which I got a high opinion of those as it went well over the end of the 5 year warranty it had which that warranty would have ended Nov 2017 and here it is June 2021 and it's still going strong as it's what's in the computer I am using to type this message.

 

but ill stop babbling and order those caps now ;)

 

p.s. but yeah, that ASUS A8N32-SLI is old as, like I mentioned, I had it since March 2006 which was the first PC I custom built (even though I been using PC's since 1995) ;)  ; hell, Windows 10 64bit won't even install it on as it's lacking something called 'nx-bit'. I suspect the CPU would be fine but it must be some motherboard issue(?). the 32bit version of Win10 installs but it's unstable. Win7 is stable on that computer, which as you already know, has not been supported since Jan 2020. so Linux is basically the only option on it.

Edited by ThaCrip
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ThaCrip
Posted (edited)

A small little update that I was fortunate to spot. but thankfully it won't effect me buying the 25 6.3v 820uF caps already. so I am still good ;)

 

basically I thought I was going to install 25 caps (only 16 were bulging etc though like I was saying) but it's only going to be 23, so ill have a couple of spares left over as there are two that I thought were 6.3v 820uF but are actually 16v 470uF. but thankfully those 16v 470uF appear to be good (i.e. no bulging).

 

so basically 16 out of 23 caps (of the 6.3v 820uF type) are visibly bad. so about 70% of those caps are bad on the motherboard. everything else appears to be okay.

 

the two 16v 470uF caps are near the GPU slots. one near the BLUE GPU slot (at front(which would be towards back of case)) and the other near the BLACK GPU slot (at front(which would be towards back of case)). they are easy to overlook as they are nearly the same size as the 6.3v 820uF caps but just a touch smaller as I can see it when I really look but casually looking, I am not surprised I overlooked it.

 

p.s. my ASUS A8N32-SLI board tops out at 4GB of RAM (4x 1GB) supported which is what I got installed in it. so just on this you can tell it's pretty old.

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+BudMan

Curious - why?

 

What do you do with such a old board, that couldn't prob be done with a $30 pi?  I get there is a can I get this old piece of junk to work again factor.. But I just don't see the point?  What are you actually going to do with it once you get it working? 

 

One thing if was an old car - you could still drive it around... And show it off in shows, etc. get people to turn their heads as you drive past, etc.  But I don't get what you do with antique hardware like this..

 

Would your friends be impressed coming over and you pointing out hey look at this old PC I have from 199X - I can still run minesweeper on ;)  I spent hours and hours and $$ on replacing old parts on it.. But hey look how slow it boots up ;)

 

edit: I thought of couple of more things you could point out.. See how it makes my electric meter spin faster when I turn it on, and see how it heats up the room ;) hehehe

 

Don't get me wrong - I am glad you are having fun, and its a hobby like anything else.. I just don't get what you will do with it if you get it running again?  Besides the nerd factor, I just don't get it.  You prob get more use out of refurb an old butter churn.. Atleast that could be seen as a piece of art you put in the corner and conversation piece, etc.  And could make some tasty butter with it..

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Arceles
2 hours ago, BudMan said:

Curious - why?

 

What do you do with such a old board, that couldn't prob be done with a $30 pi?  I get there is a can I get this old piece of junk to work again factor.. But I just don't see the point?  What are you actually going to do with it once you get it working? 

 

One thing if was an old car - you could still drive it around... And show it off in shows, etc. get people to turn their heads as you drive past, etc.  But I don't get what you do with antique hardware like this..

 

Would your friends be impressed coming over and you pointing out hey look at this old PC I have from 199X - I can still run minesweeper on ;)  I spent hours and hours and $$ on replacing old parts on it.. But hey look how slow it boots up ;)

 

edit: I thought of couple of more things you could point out.. See how it makes my electric meter spin faster when I turn it on, and see how it heats up the room ;) hehehe

 

Don't get me wrong - I am glad you are having fun, and its a hobby like anything else.. I just don't get what you will do with it if you get it running again?  Besides the nerd factor, I just don't get it.  You prob get more use out of refurb an old butter churn.. Atleast that could be seen as a piece of art you put in the corner and conversation piece, etc.  And could make some tasty butter with it..

You probably do not see the use in old things or in repairing old things. You see, in japanese folklore, if you, for examble, broke a plate well, you could toss it of or you could repair it. This was done often with some sort of metal, such as gold. The repaired plate ended up being more valuable, simply because the person who repaired it often put some artistic effort in repairing it. Thus, since somebody repaired it... now it was more valuable.

 

Sure this might be not for everybody, but then I give you a more practical example. I recently turned on my old single core 756 mb ram amd 3200+ computer. I needed to use it in order to install homebrew into an original xbox. I needed to use an IDE cable to do so and it worked quite wonders. Also, another practical use is that you can use all the software of that era, no compromises.

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+BudMan
2 minutes ago, Arceles said:

Also, another practical use is that you can use all the software of that era, no compromises.

You can also just run a VM.. just saying.. I have a VM running dos 6.2 ;) I don't need old box from the 1980s ;)

 

An antique plate is something you would keep, it has family history, etc.  You can eat food off it - other than running old hardware for out dated interfaces.. Like your IDE cable example I just don't see the point..  But if it makes you happy, I wish you all the luck in your endeavors.  And I do get the nerd, cuz you can factor.. Just not my cup of tea I guess.

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+warwagon
12 minutes ago, BudMan said:

You can also just run a VM.. just saying.. I have a VM running dos 6.2 ;) I don't need old box from the 1980s ;)

 

An antique plate is something you would keep, it has family history, etc.  You can eat food off it - other than running old hardware for out dated interfaces.. Like your IDE cable example I just don't see the point..  But if it makes you happy, I wish you all the luck in your endeavors.  And I do get the nerd, cuz you can factor.. Just not my cup of tea I guess.

I'm just as bad as him. Cleaned up and old gateway 2000 machines as in dusted, cleaned and made it look like new. Oh gosh I had so much fun. :D 

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ThaCrip
6 minutes ago, Arceles said:

Sure this might be not for everybody, but then I give you a more practical example. I recently turned on my old single core 756 mb ram amd 3200+ computer. I needed to use it in order to install homebrew into an original xbox. I needed to use an IDE cable to do so and it worked quite wonders. Also, another practical use is that you can use all the software of that era, no compromises.

 

Yeah. because while I get how someone would easily say "it's not worth it", having older hardware around can be of occasional use from time-to-time with older stuff needing a IDE port for example etc.

 

sure, it's not something ill use much, as like I mentioned it's a backup computer to my main PC, but it's a cheap enough fix ($12) and it's still passable for basic web browsing etc (unlike my full-on ancient 1.2Ghz Athlon CPU that I had in 2001 is which is just TOO outdated to be usable (which is why it was officially retired in Jan 2019). so that board I am fixing is still usable with a dual core CPU and 4GB of RAM). plus, only reason I got that working was because I got a quality PSU for very cheap ($22) and even if that board died, the PSU would have been a great backup in case my main PC's PSU dies and it would be a great way to confirm whether it truly is the PSU that died or not by simply testing it before potentially ordering a new PSU etc. so getting that running was more of a bonus. but obviously I was taking into account $$$ because I would not have bothered to do this had it cost say $30-50+. but at $12, it's cheap enough and it's nice to be able to keep older hardware going for a while and you never know when you might need some older hardware etc.

 

hell, it might be nice just to see how that machine is in 5 years, which will basically be 20 years old, just to see how it holds up. like if it's still usable or if it's dead-slow like my old computer was in 2001 etc as that was full-on ancient probably somewhere around mid-2010's as you can see, before I retired it in Jan 2019, that just doing anything on it, was TOO taxing to the CPU as it was often pegged at 100% CPU load and you had to wait for stuff to load etc. so while you can see that PC I am fixing has some age on it, at least it's CPU cores are not TOO taxed yet as it's not at that pretty much unusable state.

 

plus, another reason to get it working is it's the only backup desktop computer I got.

 

and to be honest... I think at least partially, I am doing it just to see if I can fix it to get it back to optimal running order. but I am confident I can as I replaced caps (four of them) in my old Linksys WRT54GS v1.1 router in Feb 2020 (currently running DD-WRT r46640 firmware from May 13th 2021, so it should be secure from stuff like KRACK/Fragattack etc) . I know some might think these routers are ancient, and they are, but if your on a internet line that's not that fast, which mine is not, it's still plenty good enough and these routers are rock solid. plus, with the replaced caps in it, that router will probably be good for the foreseeable future.

 

2 minutes ago, warwagon said:

I'm just as bad as him. Cleaned up and old gateway 2000 machines as in dusted, cleaned and made it look like new. Oh gosh I had so much fun. :D 

 

Yeah, a little nostalgia etc never hurts either ;)

 

p.s. in fact, the case of the board I am fixing is from the 4th PC I ever owned... 1995/1996/2000/2001. it's the 2001 case (which was the last pre-built PC I ever bought as it was originally a 'Alienware' case). the one from 2000, which was a eMachines PC, I dumped years ago as even the case on that was crap unlike the case from 2001 which is pretty much more of modern standards.

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+warwagon
29 minutes ago, ThaCrip said:

and to be honest... I think at least partially, I am doing it just to see if I can fix it to get it back to optimal running order. but I am confident I can as I replaced caps (four of them) in my old Linksys WRT54GS v1.1 router in Feb 2020 (currently running DD-WRT r46640 firmware from May 13th 2021, so it should be secure from stuff like KRACK/Fragattack etc) . I know some might think these routers are ancient, and they are, but if your on a internet line that's not that fast, which mine is not, it's still plenty good enough and these routers are rock solid. plus, with the replaced caps in it, that router will probably be good for the foreseeable future.

You should purchase a WRT AC1900 off eBay for $40 that thing is a beast!! ... well at least for $40. ... I paid $270 for mine 6 years ago. Still working like a champ got one for my GF's house and parents house for cheap.

 

Dual Core CPU -Marvell MV78230 @ 1.2 GHz

Wireless AC

USB 3.0

Esata
256 MB of ram
128GB Flash ram

and VERY DD-WRT and OpenWRT compatible.

 

 

image.png.cb27d81cfbbd47fc342bbba90029d8c9.png 

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shockz
8 hours ago, BudMan said:

You can also just run a VM.. just saying.. I have a VM running dos 6.2 ;) I don't need old box from the 1980s ;)

 

An antique plate is something you would keep, it has family history, etc.  You can eat food off it - other than running old hardware for out dated interfaces.. Like your IDE cable example I just don't see the point..  But if it makes you happy, I wish you all the luck in your endeavors.  And I do get the nerd, cuz you can factor.. Just not my cup of tea I guess.

The nostalgia? I've got a 286 running all the classics and wouldn't ever trade it in for a VM. Have the old monitor too. It's just the experience. 

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goretsky
Posted (edited)

Hello,

 

I would suggest replacing all of the capacitors, if possible; not just the 6.3v 820µF ones, but the 6.3v 1800µF ones as well.  Since you are already going to be replacing twenty-five capacitors, replacing an additional six (?) should be a relatively minor amount of additional labor to add on, and you will not have to disassemble the PC to replace them again in the near future.

 

I am not an electrical engineer, but I would think that the key to longevity here would be to keep the system cooled as much as can practically be done.


You may wish to replace the fans in the case as well as mount new ones when you have the system offline for repair.  If the case uses older 80mm style fans, you might want to consider removing the hardware and installing it in one that uses 120mm fans, or use 120mm-to-80mm fan adapters if they can be installed without blocking each other or the hardware.  It may also be a good idea to reapply thermal paste any on-chip heatsinks as well.

 

Once you have the system set up again, it will hopefully provide many more years of use.  Perhaps it could even be donated to a school or charity that could still find use for such a PC (running educational software, data entry, etc.).

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 


 

Edited by goretsky
edit: a missing word
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hellowalkman

some folks like old stuff. it is what it is.

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Elliot B.
On 17/06/2021 at 19:34, ThaCrip said:

<snip>

 

so the question is... can I use the Rubycon ZLJ 6.3v 820uF 105c Low-ESR caps on my ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard? ; because even if they are not as good as the 'extremely low-esr' caps, as long as they work 'well enough' (so system is stable/reliable), that's all that matters.

 

<snip>

Sorry to jump in, but you reminded me of the Asus A7N8X (nForce2) motherboard I bought in 2003, which I combined with an AMD Athlon XP 2700+.

 

Nostalgia!

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ThaCrip
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, goretsky said:

I would suggest replacing all of the capacitors, if possible; not just the 6.3v 820µF ones, but the 6.3v 1800µF as well.  Since you are already going to be replacing twenty-five capacitors, replacing an additional six (?) should be a relatively minor amount of additional labor to add on, and you will not have to disassemble the PC to replace them again in the near future.

 

You make a good point. I considered this, but the cost would start to creep up a bit higher than I would like especially if I literally replaced ALL capacitors I can as to do that I would have to replace a total of 41 capacitors (instead of the 23 (only 16 are visibly bad) that ill be doing soon)...

 

-16v 100uF (11 total)

-16v 470uF (2 total)

-6.3v 820uF (23 total) NOTE: the only ones that are visibly bad as it's 16 out of the 23 and not 25 like I initially thought since the 16v 470uF are very close in size to the 6.3v 820uF.

-6.3v 1800uF (5 total) NOTE: which are the five I marked in YELLOW color in my initial picture. but these are still good, at least from what I can tell visually as the top of the caps are perfectly flat still.

 

that's why I am hoping that just replacing the 6.3v 820uF are 'good enough' for the foreseeable future as, like I already mentioned, the system is still pretty much stable short of weird glitches like it hanged on BIOS screen once recently and during boot up of Linux (which is here and there over the last some odd months/years) it shows some weird, what I think are error types of messages(although system still boots to desktop and 'appears' to be fine), that usually are not there as ill see it, then reboot and it's back to normal.

 

so while I suspect it's possible some of the caps that appear to be normal may be out of spec a bit internally (I think one needs some sort of 'ESR meter' to properly test them), I tend to assume they are still noticeably better than the ones that are swollen which are pretty much shot and are probably doing their job very little, maybe nothing(?). so I am kind of hoping the 'weird glitches' I experiencing are taken care of once I replace the obvious failing caps and that I can extend the life of that for the foreseeable future. because I figure as long as that board functions well enough for a basic internet machine etc for years to come, assuming the CPU don't become TOO slow like my old Athlon 1.2Ghz CPU computer did from the year 2001, then it's hard to complain. maybe I am wrong, but my best guess is that will hold up longer than than 1.2Ghz CPU did before it was just ancient as doing just about anything on that 1.2Ghz CPU on the board I had since 2001, would peg the CPU to 100% pretty routinely where as that tends not to happen on the dual-core CPU in that board I am replacing the caps on. so it should still have some life left in the tank for years to come I suspect.

 

p.s. as for thermal paste... I am pretty sure that was done in 2010 because it was either that year or very close when I replaced the single core CPU (AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2Ghz I think) with the current dual core (AMD Athlon X2 3600+ (2.0Ghz, but overclocked to 2.4Ghz (although I noticed RAM speed slowed down when overclocking)) in it. it's using the same tube of thermal paste I had since March 2006 (which I still got). Arctic Silver 5. it's the same tube I used when I installed my i5-3550 CPU last year into my main PC. with that said... it appears there is a way one could potentially remove that heatpipe which is covering three different areas (as you can see with the copper fins, then below CPU where it says 'ASUS' and below that the square Alife section) but I suspect I won't touch this on a side of caution(?) since things have been good for a rather long time now. NOTE: on a side note, I originally replaced that single core CPU to a dual core CPU (along with GPU(Geforce 7900GT 256MB to Radeon 5670 512MB)) so I could play Mafia II (2010).

 

as for fans... that's probably my biggest complaint about that old board in comparison to my main PC is it's noticeably louder which I imagine is mostly the CPU fan because besides that it's just the PSU, which I am sure is quiet, and the GPU which I know it's not that and the motherboard itself has no fans besides the fan on CPU. also, I would say the case that board is currently in has less airflow then the case it was originally in when I first built it in March 2006 (the March 2006 case is my main PC case which is the i5-3550 CPU etc) as I imagine currently more heat ends up flowing through the PSU than it would had it been in my main PC's case since it's the only exhaust fan and the only real intake fan is a 80mm one on side of the case from 2001 (which is currently where the board I am fixing is in). but I figure even if there is a bit more heat here, that PC does not see more than light use (maybe moderate tops) in general. NOTE: my main PC's case currently has two 120mm fans (one exhaust, one intake) although originally, and for years, it was just one 120mm exhaust fan which is located near PSU area.

Edited by ThaCrip
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goretsky

Hello,

I understand the work to reward ratio with old hardware.  If you are planning on using this machine long-term, perhaps it would be a good idea to some up with some sort of budget on how much you want to spend on it quarterly, annually, or what-not.

 

From looking around Amazon, accurate ESR capacitance ohm meters range from around $60-300 for those that test in-situ.  There are some $20 models, but those appear to require you to de-solder and insert the part, which seems like more work than its worth.  Then again, though, I am not great at soldering.

 

Arctic Silver 5 is my go-to thermal paste.  The manufacturer claims that its life is essentially unlimited, but I suppose there is always the possibility for the material to settle.  Some folks recommend keeping the syringes horizontal to ensure any settling occurs across the long axis and that after squeezing a portion out, it be spread out/around the surface of the CPU die/heatspreader to help re-mix it.

 

Fans do wear out after time, bearings wear unevenly and deform, lubricants dry out, and so forth, and this can show up as increased noise and decreased RPMs.  My general rule of thumb is that I replace fans if they no longer move freely (i.e., there is resistance, a grinding noise, or stuck feeling) if very gently rotated while the power is off.  Even a very inexpensive fan will last for several years in a computer used in a dirty environment, and they are usually easy to replace, at least in desktops and servers.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

 

 

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ThaCrip
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, goretsky said:

From looking around Amazon, accurate ESR capacitance ohm meters range from around $60-300 for those that test in-situ.  There are some $20 models, but those appear to require you to de-solder and insert the part, which seems like more work than its worth.

 

Yeah, I found a pretty cheap one, around $15-20, but like you said it appears you got to remove the capacitors and insert into the ESR meter directly. but since I don't do enough of these kind of repairs, I have not bothered to get one since I think for the most part if you got decent or good quality caps they should probably last at least 10-20 years.

 

4 hours ago, goretsky said:

Then again, though, I am not great at soldering.

 

Yeah, I get it. I am not a expert either. but I can do a good enough job as I am confident I can do it given I replaced four caps (which are of similar size to the motherboard I am trying to fix) in my old Linksys WRT54GS v1.1 router in Feb 2020.

 

but during that soldering experience, I learned something which seemed to help quite a bit... basically with a clean enough soldering tip instead of putting that up against the board and trying to melt the solder already holding the old capacitor in place, I noticed it seems to help quite a bit to put a bit of solder on the end of the tip and then lean that melted solder into the area on the board your trying to melt. basically it helps transfer heat into the area you need it much faster so that the capacitor slides out much easier at which point there is solder still filled in the two small holes where the old capacitor was and then I take the old capacitor and stick it next to the new one and then with wire cutters I can basically cut the new capacitors wires to the length I need and then hold the new capacitor I want to install over the holes, which are still filled with solder, and then hold soldering iron on the other side of board and apply a little pressure and once the solder melts you can feel it slide into place and then I just remove my soldering iron away from it and that's that. that one capacitor is in place ;)

 

NOTE: I see people online use different methods, which would be good if there was NO solder at all in the part of the motherboard I was trying to install the new cap as then you can slide the new cap into place with the long wires sticking out and bend them slightly, which helps hold the capacitor in place, and then solder it. then at this point you just use wire cutter to snip the extra long wire off and your done with that one. but I can't do this since removing the solder would be a pain in the rear-end. so I use the method I described above which is faster.

 

4 hours ago, goretsky said:

Arctic Silver 5 is my go-to thermal paste.  The manufacturer claims that its life is essentially unlimited, but I suppose there is always the possibility for the material to settle.  Some folks recommend keeping the syringes horizontal to ensure any settling occurs across the long axis and that after squeezing a portion out, it be spread out/around the surface of the CPU die/heatspreader to help re-mix it.

 

Yeah, from what I can tell that seems about right. because on my main PC... I originally installed a i3-2120 CPU in it in May 2012 and applied Arctic Silver 5 (about a pea (maybe bb) sized amount in center of CPU area) and then put heatsink/fan on and then I used it like usual until last year (in 2020) when I got a used i5-3550 CPU on Ebay for $20. but anyways, after I removed the heatsink to get ready to install the i5-3550, the thermal paste seemed okay (it was stuck to the CPU pretty well etc if that matters(?)) and my temps on that i3-2120 seemed okay etc as I did not notice any increases in temp over the years since short of occasional dust built up which I usually use a air compressor to blow out my case roughly a couple of times a year. so it seems like it's probably okay to apply that Arctic Silver 5 once and you will be good for the foreseeable future.

 

but yeah, I leave my Arctic Silver 5 tube is laying on it's side (so horizontal) on my main PC's monitor area. so while it's not perfectly horizontal, due to that plastic syringe section elevating it a bit (so things may flow a bit closer to tip(?)), it seems to be okay so far given I have basically applied it I think a total of four times now. twice on my A8N32 board in the topic (single core originally, to current dual core in 2010) and twice on my main PC (i3-2120 to i5-3550).

 

p.s. the heatsink I am using on that i5-3550 is from the i3-2120 CPU which is not the proper heatsink since it lacks the copper contact that i think the real i5 heatsinks have. but it works well enough especially after I undervolted the CPU by -0.130v (which is the most I can lower the voltage and keep a stable system) which shaved off 13c under load and now temps are in a range I feel safer with.

 

4 hours ago, goretsky said:

Fans do wear out after time, bearings wear unevenly and deform, lubricants dry out, and so forth, and this can show up as increased noise and decreased RPMs.  My general rule of thumb is that I replace fans if they no longer move freely (i.e., there is resistance, a grinding noise, or stuck feeling) if very gently rotated while the power is off.  Even a very inexpensive fan will last for several years in a computer used in a dirty environment, and they are usually easy to replace, at least in desktops and servers.

 

Thankfully I have had pretty good luck here. although the case fan in my main PC's case (which is a 120mm exhaust), which I got in March 2006, was dying after I want to say about 2-3 years or so, but besides that I never had one fail or be obviously bad yet. I just replaced that fan with another and it's still going strong to this day which, without checking, probably has at least 10+ years of use on it and when I did that, I put the same type into the front of the case to. so the airflow here seems solid to the point it probably does not put much warm air through the PSU area which hopefully will extend the left of my Seasonic 520watt PSU which, as I mentioned before, I had since Nov 2012 (warranty ended in Nov 2017). but on my other case you can feel there is noticeably warmer air out the back of the Seasonic 420watt PSU, but that does not have any exhaust fan on it as it just has a 80mm fan built into the side of the case for air intake. so even assuming this has a negative effect on that Season 420watt PSU's longevity, the good news is that PC does not see all that much use so I suspect ill easily get many years out of it and if my main PC's dies, ill be removing that from old PC to test on my main PC etc.

 

even the fan on the CPU on the board I am fixing in the topic still seems okay as I don't feel any obvious binding etc as lightly touching it move it a bit and I can still blow on it with my mouth up close and it spins a fair amount, for whatever this is worth. even moving lightly with my finger in the direction the fan normally spins you can still see it freely springs back or it I push it you can feel the what I assume is the bearing and if you push beyond a certain point it will automatically carry it past it.

 

also, I should have mentioned that while I already said the board in the topic is noticeably louder than my main PC setup, it always has been that way from day 1.

 

and the last I checked... the fan on my main PC's CPU is still okay which has been in pretty much 24/7 use since I first got it in May 2012. so 9 years and a month now. the fan on that old ASUS board I am replacing the caps on was pretty much 24/7 use to but only from March 2006 through May 2012, so about 6 years and 2 months. then it was not used at all until Jan 2019 and even since Jan 2019 to date it only has occasional power ons. so the total use on that CPU fan probably has to be less than 6 and a half years in total and probably not much over the 6 year and 2 month mark.

 

with all of that said... it sounds like your advice is spot-on though as I almost certainly will agree.

 

p.s. while I probably won't try this (but maybe I will ;) )... I wonder if somehow rigging a old 120mm fan (Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F) I have near the CPU area would be 'good enough' instead of using the proper fan, which it's currently using(?). because airflow of that 120mm fan in general I am sure is higher, but at the same time it's not concentrated air to blow deeper into the aluminum fins on heatsink like the proper fan does, which I suspect in the end might not cool as well (although I wonder if it would be 'close enough'). I just wonder if anyone tried this sort of 'home made' methods before? ; come to think of it, I might take a look around online as I would imagine there has to be someone, somewhere who tried stuff like this. also, I know that 120mm Scythe fan seems to hold it's RPM up better even when something gets close to it unlike the 120mm fans in my main PC case which you can see slow down if you put your hand fairly close to them.

Edited by ThaCrip
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ThaCrip
Posted (edited)

Well I just got done re-assembling it and, in short... 'so far' everything appears to be okay in a brief test after re-configuring BIOS (since BIOS default settings won't see the full 4GB of RAM and only sees 3GB as you basically have to enable 'memory hole' option in BIOS and then the OS sees the full 4GB(4GB is supposedly the MAX this board supports)) and booting to Mint v20.1-Xfce OS.

 

but being that before I even touched anything it was pretty much okay short of occasional weird messages upon boot up and it did hang once at BIOS screen etc. so ill have to use it over some odd months and see how things go. either way, being the swollen(leaking) caps are replaced (16 out of 23 of the 6.3v 820uF caps were swollen but I replaced all 23), the computer almost certainly has to be better now than it was before.

 

but I will say installing those caps was a definite chore (several hours of work (with a stiff neck area etc to as I am not getting any younger ;) )) because the method I described in my previous post about holding the new cap in place and heating up board for it to slide in, while it will technically work (but it's not easy), it's quite time consuming/frustrating, especially when you got plenty of caps to install...

 

...but... I got a little lucky as I had a very small manual drill (spun by hand) that I used to remove the solder still in the holes after removing the old capacitors which make it MUCH easier (and a whole lot less frustration) to install the caps as I then used the method I seen online where you just slide the new cap into the two holes (observing proper negative/positive stuff on cap to motherboard (on this A8N32-SLI board negative on cap goes towards brown/dark position on board as the WHITE color is positive)) and then flip the board over and with one hand you hold the cap into place and with the other bend the prongs a bit close to board so it firmly holds the capacitor in place and then solder it in like usual, then snip the ends off with wire cutter and your done with that capacitor. basically that small drill saved me quite a bit of time (even though I still spent hours doing the whole process from start to finish) as without that it would have been extremely frustrating especially given some caps are harder to remove than others were and even installing them without the drilling method I used is somewhat of a crap shoot in the amount of time it will take.

 

so anyone attempting to do this stuff, it would probably be best if you have proper tools to make things easier (I suspect there are ways to remove the old caps much easier than the way I did it) as I just used standard 15/30watt soldering iron (I typically leave it on 30 watt) with some basic solder and using this method prepare for frustration, especially if you got many caps to replace, as some are harder to remove than others which is partially due to the way they are positioned in the board (although some just seem to be more suborn then others are) and you will probably need something to grab the cap (paper towel/needle nose pliers/pliers) since it can get a bit uncomfortable/hot removing the old ones and you got to be careful to as some areas are near stuff which I had to make sure I did not break/damage.

 

hell, I even got a bit of blood drawn from the tip area of my pinky finger as I was angling the board just barely keeping it in position while doing some soldering etc and the board kind of slipped a bit on the counter-top and my reflex action to catch it with my right hand jammed it into what I assume was some sort of sharp/pointy object (on back side of board) as I did not think anything of it at the time but shortly after I could see a bit of blood on counter and noticed a little on that steel plate that holds CPU area down on board. but it did not seem to bleed for too long though (I rinsed it off and use paper towel) and then I continued.

 

so I can easily see why the common person would not even attempt this stuff ;); because putting aside I am sure many don't know how etc, I would imagine most people just don't have the drive/patience to do it and will probably just opt for buying new hardware.

 

but it's a little rewarding to do because of the challenge. so while I said I was confident I could do it, it ended up being more of a challenge than I expected (probably due to sheer volume of caps as some are positioned in areas that are harder to grab etc). but in the end, it appears it worked, so far.

 

now ill probably play around with it a bit with Prime95 etc in a stock state to ensure that's good first, then maybe move to overclocking it a bit ;)

 

p.s. the soldering iron tip got worn down a fair amount doing all of that stuff as while the tip is still there, it ate through the side of the tip area a bit.

Edited by ThaCrip
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+BudMan

Glad you got up and running..

 

While I haven't done any serious soldering in years and years.. I did have my micro miniature (2M) cert from back in my Navy days ;)

 

Didn't always have a spare board while at sea, and might have pull something from another card to fix something, etc. So I do appreciate the skill and patience for sure.  I just don't get doing it on such a antiquated piece of gear.. But as long as you had fun.. 

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Mindovermaster
2 hours ago, BudMan said:

Glad you got up and running..

 

While I haven't done any serious soldering in years and years.. I did have my micro miniature (2M) cert from back in my Navy days ;)

 

Didn't always have a spare board while at sea, and might have pull something from another card to fix something, etc. So I do appreciate the skill and patience for sure.  I just don't get doing it on such a antiquated piece of gear.. But as long as you had fun.. 

Don't want to budge in, but that reminded me of this:

 

image.thumb.png.df178390a6222b1856417078f99aa84e.png

Nitro from Down Periscope..

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goretsky

Hello,

 

I always used desoldering braid when I needed to desolder stuff.  You might want to look for some before doing the 6.3v 1800µF capacitors.  It makes life a lot easier.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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+BudMan

@Mindovermaster hahaha - Yeah many a time laying on back under a urt-23 soldering ;)

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ThaCrip
Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, BudMan said:

So I do appreciate the skill and patience for sure.  I just don't get doing it on such a antiquated piece of gear.. But as long as you had fun.. 

 

It was not fun for sure (but it definitely was a test of patience/endurance for sure (maybe a little skill, but probably not too much here)), but being the computer still turns on and 'appears' to be okay so far I consider a success as at the very least it's not in worse shape than I started and should be better.

 

p.s. I ran Prime95 for 20min yesterday and all seemed okay at stock speed (I might play around with overclocking over the next week or so). I even left the top DVD bay open on the case as it seems air flows out of that (I can feel a very slight bit of air being pushed out of it(which is warmer after the PC has been running a while)) which I would assume helps cooling a little since hot air rises. so while I am not sure, I would imagine that would probably help in regards to the PSU having to move less hot air through it, which might keep it cooler and extend it's life(?)

 

8 hours ago, goretsky said:

I always used desoldering braid when I needed to desolder stuff.  You might want to look for some before doing the 6.3v 1800µF capacitors.  It makes life a lot easier.

 

I do have a little of it, but I only briefly toyed with it. maybe I did not use it properly(?) or hold it around the area to desolder long enough for it to work properly(?) as I did not seem to have much luck. but if your saying it works, I suspect I just ain't leaving it in the area long enough and ill have to get something to hold the desolder braid since it did seem to be fairly warm/hot in the brief bit I used it.

 

but come to think of it... next time I try it, I might cut off a small piece and hold it with needle-nose pliers as I would assume the smaller the piece the faster it will heat up and do it's intended job, which is removing solder.

 

but at this point I am probably going to leave the board 'as is' (i.e. replaced all twenty-three 6.3v 820uF) and 'hope' the rest of the caps are still functioning well enough even if they are a bit out of spec. because as long as the system remains stable enough I probably won't touch them. but who knows, down the road maybe ill replace the 6.3v 1800uF/16v 470uF caps since it's only seven (5/2). but all of the other caps, which are eleven 16v 100uF, I probably won't touch as I suspect those will be harder to do then usual as they are smaller (but who knows, maybe these will remove easier(?)).

 

p.s. I don't know the details here but based on the 'watch sensors' command on Linux, all of the voltages (off the top of my head, the 12v 5v 3.3v etc) seem to be stable were they should be (but I never actually looked at before and after to see if there was any real difference here). on a side note... when running that same command on my main PC it does not show as much details as it's just CPU and I think the other temp reading is GPU.

Edited by ThaCrip
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ThaCrip
Posted (edited)

After some more testing (in short, all is good currently and I did not get any weird unexpected messages yet, which looks good for capacitor replacement being a success)...

 

-Stock/default CPU = 2.0GHz (@ 1.400v (default)) with RAM @ 400MHz. Prime95 (for 20min SmallFFT, room temp 75f or so) = 59c (but generally a bit less)
-Overclocked CPU = 2.4GHz (@ 1.300v (using 1.100v + 200mw overvolt option)) with RAM @ 266MHz. Prime95 (for 20min SmallFFT, room temp 79f or so) = 58c (but generally around 56c give or take)

 

-Memtest86+ v5.31b = stock and overclocked did one full pass each which took around 45-50min or so each. both passed with no errors.

 

-According to 'watch sensors' command on Linux Mint v20.1-Xfce (was using 5.8 kernel, but I upgraded to the very recently available 5.11 after testing was done)...
---VCore voltage (CPU) = 1.30-1.31 (after stopping Prime95 = 1.31-1.33)
---+3.3 voltage = 3.28-3.31 (during Prime95 overclocked test = 3.30-3.31 (usually this under load))
---+5 voltage = 4.92-4.95
---+12 voltage = 12.16-12.22 (after stopping Prime95 = 12.22)

 

NOTE: it's using a Seasonic 430 watt PSU (I thought it was 420 watt until I noticed it's actually 430 watt recently).

 

NOTE: I think prior to the capacitor replacement, according to some notes I logged, it appears I could do CPU voltage down to 1.225v as 1.200v had trouble booting up. so my theory is that changing the capacitors from the original 'very Low-ESR' (which seem harder to find but are more optimal) to 'Low-ESR' (which are more easily available/common) caps had a small negative effect here(?), although is worth it given Rubycon's (Japan made I think) are solid quality (unlike original KZG brand) and should last probably 10-20+ years). 1.300v on CPU is the lowest I can achieve on my current setup as any lower, after saving in BIOS and it reboots to apply changes, results in a non-boot state with HDD light being stuck on and no display and then I got to clear CMOS with jumper on motherboard to get it working again, then re-configure to my liking from scratch once again.

 

NOTE: I noticed that in the default state of the board (i.e. no overclock) that I boot into the OS like usual and everything is okay and I can 'reboot' like usual and all works as expected. but I noticed with the overclock stuff in place that it boots up fine, but if I reboot, while it attempts the reboot, it basically hangs shortly after reboot process and even pressing reset button does not work (like it acknowledge reset was pressed but basically same result) as I got to do a cold boot (i.e. power off and power back on) for things to work again. but from what I read online it appears this is a known issue(bug) with this A8N32-SLI board when overclocks are enabled etc. but not a real issue as it's not like I reboot much anyways, so it's a small price to pay for a bit better performance.

 

NOTE: with undervolting CPU (from 1.400v vs 1.300v)... CPU temps dropped a bit as while temp drops are not as good on this AMD Athlon X2 3600+ (2.0ghz default) as my main PC's i5-3550 (which seems to drop 1c every -0.010c lower and I could do -0.130v on that and keep a stable system), they still gave a fair drop in temp by at least 3c but probably closer to 5c or so at stock 2.0Ghz of CPU.

 

NOTE: according to the Linux 'watch sensors' command it shows 60c is considered 'high' and 'critical' is 95c for my AMD Athlon X2 3600+ (socket 939 CPU). so I should still be reasonably safe since I suspect in real world use I probably won't float more than around 50c for any length of time which should be safe enough.

 

NOTE: I am not totally sure but I think the 'MB Temperature' (motherboard temp) may have dropped slightly with the overclock which I wonder if it had something to do with me changing the default of "5x" to "4x" (I forgot the exact name in relation to that at the moment but it's in the BIOS somewhere) as in a default state it's 200 (200x10 = 2GHz)) x 5 = 1000 (which I think this 1000 is Mhz of bus speed or something) and when I overclocked it's 240 (240x10 = 2.4GHz)) x 4 = 960, which is a bit less than the default of 1000. but I heard dropping that default of 5x to 4x is pretty common to jack up the default of 200 to a higher number as if I left the 5x default and increased to 240 (to get the 2.4Ghz), that staying around 1000 would now be 1200 and I heard it's much less likely to be stable at that point.


so in the end... a 400Mhz overclock (2.0GHz to 2.4Ghz) is not bad on a stock heatsink/fan and a undervolted CPU which should generally lower heat vs stock voltage (but what I am seeing is probably pretty common for a board that allows overclocking these kinds of CPU's). sure, the motherboard, which is still auto controlling the RAM side of things slows it down to 266Mhz when I got that 2.4GHz CPU overclock enabled. but it seems CPU speed is more important than RAM speed in terms of general performance. I may be able to tweak RAM manually but I am not going to bother at this point since I suspect gains will be minimal/negligible and would take a fair amount of my time (along with system locking and needing to clear CMOS quite a few times etc which is a bit of a chore to reach the jumper cap and physically remove it and change which prongs it's on etc) and it's easy enough to get straight to the 2.4Ghz and lower Vcore voltage which gives me the most benefits as I get 400Mhz CPU increase with a slightly cooler CPU than stock voltage at stock 2.0Ghz. so it's pretty much a win/win situation (with maybe a small negative on RAM speed, but I suspect is negligible in real world performance).

 

with all of that said... some say this setup is too old to fix, but like I said before, while you can see it's age on some level, it's still respectable for browsing etc even though CPU usage is noticeably higher than it is on my main PC doing similar stuff. but it's not surprising since the age gap between my main PC's CPU and the CPU in the old computer I fixed as while I can't find any details on the exact release date of the AMD Athlon X2 3600+ socket 939 CPU it appears it's likely 2005 where as my i5-3550 appears to be April 2012. so probably around a 7 year gap, so it's not surprising the clear performance gap between the two. but anyways, it's still useable unlike those ancient computers not all that much older where CPU usage is pegged to 100% doing pretty much anything and is basically unusable.

 

so at the end of the day... hopefully I can get at least another 5+ years out of this if not 10 years or so as I don't expect this AMD Athlon X2 3600+ CPU to reach that 100% CPU usage too easily like how those computers from around 20 years old do now (and for a while now) that are basically TOO slow and unusable. so as long as it manages not to tax the CPU too much for the foreseeable future, it will remain a usable computer (especially if I put a SSD in it(see below)).

 

p.s. I noticed when running Prime95 in regards to hammering the RAM etc, that the PC almost appeared to freeze temporarily due to it using swap and I forgot how SLOW regular hard drives are when they start doing that. hell, just earlier while running some system updates on Mint that when trying to load the browser at the same time things really came to a crawl, which I am sure was largely the HDD as I forgot how slow regular HDD's are when you try to do more than one thing at a time that needs decent hard drive access as a SSD makes a rather big difference here. NOTE: if the laptop I ever have dies etc, ill be removing the Intel 545s 128GB SSD and put it into that A8N32-SLI setup. come to think of it, it seems like the A8N32-SLI setup is faster than the HP2000 laptop I got, but since when I am not using my main PC, on causal side use, the HP2000 probably see's a bit more use since it's portable even though I am pretty sure it's slower.

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goretsky

Hello,

 

When I last used desolder braid, I typically unrolled a couple of inches from the spool so that it stuck out like a wire, then placed it on top of the solder joint, and pressed the soldering iron to it.   Typically, I might get two leads desoldered before having to snip off the braid because it became too infused with solder to use.  Here is the first video I found on YouTube showing the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHI5pzLE8Ss

 

Of course, I'm a few decades out of date, so please check with someone who has more recent experience than me; I don't want you to damage anything or hurt yourself (I've burnt my fingers enough times to know how that goes).

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

 

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