So my PC died yesterday. Like, D-E-D dead. You turn it on, the drive spins up, the fans turn on, and... nothing else happens. No video signal. No flickering LED indicating hard-disk activity. If you yank all the memory out and turn the computer on, you don't even get the PC-speaker "hey, I don't have any memory" error beeps. Dead, dead, dead.
I've tried re-seating the CPU on the off-chance that it had gotten loose, but that had no effect.
At this point, consensus seems to be that it's either the power supply or a dead motherboard.
So I guess "plan A" is to try buying a new power supply at Best Buy -- or maybe borrow an extra one from somebody? (*ingratiating smile*) -- install that, and see if that solves the problem. If it doesn't (which, let's face it, it won't), then I take the power supply back to Best Buy and proceed to step 2.
At this point, it pretty much has to be the motherboard, right? I currently have an ASUS M3A78-EM motherboard with an Athlon 64 x2 6000 CPU and 2GB of RAM. (I bought it in late '08.)
I *could* buy a replacement (used) ASUS M3A78-EM for $65. But it looks like it wouldn't cost too much more to replace the Mobo/CPU/memory combo.
I was working from the Ars Technica Budget System Guide -- I don't need an OMGAWESOMEGAMINGRIG, so that seems like a reasonable place to go. They recommend the ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 motherboard, which Newegg sells for $80. The closest thing Newegg has to the recommended CPU is the AMD Athlon II X3 455, again for $80. And Crucial recommends 8GB of memory for that, for $46.
So that's $205 -- an extra $140 -- for a significant upgrade from my current core setup.
I guess my main questions at this point are:
1. Is there really any chance it could be the power supply, or should I just skip that step?
2. Would the ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 motherboard be compatible with my current case, an Apevia X-QPACK2-AL/500. If not, then am I willing to spend ~$90 on a new case? (Also, do I need a bigger power supply than my current 500W one?)
3. Am I actually capable of installing a new motherboard in this case? Looks like there are a lot of connections to plug in, which means finding all of them on the new motherboard, and no doubt taking lots of photos of the existing setup before I take it apart. It'd be awful to do all this work and end up with a setup that still doesn't work.
 I'm thinking that taking my current machine to a repair shop would cost something similar to that, with no upgrade involved, so I'd like to go this route instead of the repair shop.
 It also occurs to me that it's a setup that goes well beyond the capabilities of Win XP -- I suppose it's finally time to upgrade to Windows 7.
Mood: grumpy · Music: none