Compatibility Issue Between MB and CPU?

August 17, 2009 at 13:33:00
Specs: NA, 2.4GHz Quad-Core
Ok, so here's the problem. I bought new components to build a new computer, just as I normally do. I got a Gigabyte MB, and an Intel Q8400 processor. Built the computer, just as I normally do with all the others that I have built, started the computer up with a keyboard, mouse, and screen, and it shows the Gigabyte logo (like on my other computers with gigabyte mobo's) but it stays frozen on that logo.

Restarted the computer.....nothing, not a thing came up on the screen. I checked all connections, cpu power, main 24pin power, etc. etc. Nothing happened. So I swapped out the graphics card for another one that was newer like this one, and still nothing came up.

I also noticed that when the computer was on, it would restart itself every maybe 30 seconds when the cpu was connected. So I disconnected the cpu power connector to see if it would do the restarting thing, and it didn't do it this time. So basically, when the cpu is connected, the motherboard restarts every 30 seconds, when it is not connected, it does not restart.

So I attempted to replicate this by turning my intel rig with a gigabyte mobo off, and disconnecting the cpu power. I found that when I did this, it did the same thing, nothing would show up on the screen, and I could tell that it did not go to POST, because the multicolored LEDs on the mobo did not turn off (as they normally do on POST).

I reset the CMOST, etc. but still nothing. When I had previously started building the computer, I did bench-test it as I always do with my builds, making sure that everything started up just fine.

So, as it is now, I have don't have a newer mobo to test the cpu on (this is the new intel cpu type...with no pins on the bottom, just the golden contacts. The mobo is the same, there are pins on the mobo now.)

So, I am trying to find a computer store that will stick the cpu in on of their mobos to test it, but I need some ideas. But something tells me that I could get newegg to send me back a new mobo and q8400 and they will still not work, but I am not sure.

Thanks in advanced!


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#1
August 17, 2009 at 14:45:53
State the mboard model.

Some recent or fairly recent mboards that have onboard video DO NOT disable the onboard video when aPCI-E card is installed, and a video card in a PCI-E slot produces no video by default. You have to connect to the onboard video, change the default setting in the bios for Intialize Video First or Primary Video or similar to PCI-E, save settings, THEN the card in the slot will produce video.
......

"When I had previously started building the computer, I did bench-test it as I always do with my builds, making sure that everything started up just fine."

Remove the computer case side panel on the back side of the mboard - the right side as seen from the front of the case, and MAKE SURE you DO NOT have metal mounting posts in places that don't line up with a mounting screw hole on the mboard.
A metal mounting post in the wrong place can cause all sorts of random symptoms if it's touching something conductive on the mboard, and that can ruin the mboard!
.......

People often think they have a cpu (or mboard) problem , whatever problem they're having.
If you're trying to use a cpu that IS compatible with this mboard and is supported by it's bios version, it's extremely unlikely the cpu is the cause of your problems - there is probably something else wrong.

If the cpu you are using is in the cpu compatibility list for your mboard model on the Gigabyte web site, it should work fine. NOTE that if there are several bios updates available for the mboard, the cpu list often tells you which bios version you must have to support newer cpu types. If the bios version presently on the mboard is not new enough to support the cpu type you are trying to use, you, or some computer place, may have to temporarily install a cpu your mboard DOES work fine with, with your present bios version, flash the bios to a newer version that supports your cpu type (the latest version usually includes all fixes listed for versions that are older but are newer than the version your mboard has) THEN the cpu you are trying to use will work fine.
......

One thing you have not mentioned is the ram modules.
Your problems could certainly be caused by ram problems.

A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
This usually happens a long time after the ram was installed, but it can happen with new ram, or after moving the computer case from one place to another, and I've had even new modules that needed to have their contacts cleaned.

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...
......

Check all the connections of the wiring to make sure they are all the way onto their pins and into their sockets, especially the main connector from the power supply. The wires close to the mboard going into the main power connector/socket should be more or less perpendicular to the mboard surface rather than at an angle. Make sure all cards in slots are all the way down in their slots.
.....

If you randomly bought ram rather than looking up which modules work in your mboard for sure, not all ram that you think should work is compatible with your mboard.

We frequently hear about people who have bought the wrong ram!!

Ram that works in another mboard , or any ram you buy or have lying around, may not work properly, or sometimes, not at all - even if it physically fits and is the right overall type (e.g. SDram, DDR, DDR2, etc.; PCxxxx, xxx mhz) for your mboard. In the worst cases of incompatibilty your mboard WILL NOT BOOT all the way with it installed, and the mboard may not even beep - the ram has to be compatible with the mboard's main chipset, or in the case of recent mboards, compatible with the memory controller built into the cpu.

If you still have the ram that was installed when the system worked fine, try installing just that ram.


See response 5 in this for some info about ram compatibilty, and some places where you can find out what will work in your mboard for sure:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...
Correction to that:
Mushkin www.mushkin.com

Once you know which module ID strings work in your mboard, you can get them from anywhere you like that has ram with those ID strings.

If you have brand name ram, it is usually easy to look up whether it's ID string is in a list of compatible modules found by using your mboard or brand name system model number.
If the ram is generic, that may be difficult or impossible.
.......

It is easy to test for incompatible ram that has caused your mboard to fail to boot or fail to work properly.

Make sure you have a speaker or speakers or the equivalent connected to the mboard so you can hear mboard beeps (see your mboard manual if you need to).
Remove the AC power to the case/power supply.
Remove all the ram.
Restore AC power.
Try to boot.
If nothing else is wrong, you will get no video but you will hear a pattern of beeps that indicate no ram is installed, or a ram problem.
E.g. for an Award bios or a bios based on one, that's often a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, continuously.
........

You have not mentioned your power supply capacity or what make and model it is.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.


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#2
August 17, 2009 at 15:07:20
Ok, sorry I didn't get you all the info. Before I go into what models I purchased and all that, I must explain to you that I am not new to computers or building computers as your response somewhat assumes. I've built about seven computers, 5 being AMD computers, and 1 being an intel computer. I don't use el cheapo parts (thats something that I know about all to well), and I always get parts that are compatible.

1. Yes, the CPU is on the mobo's compatibility list.

2. I cannot flash the BIOS when I cannot see anything on the screen. Though I thought of that.

3. For every computer that I have built, I have used Gigabyte motherboards, and Kingston memory.....not your average knock-off brand. And yes, the ram is 1066MHz DDR2, which is supported by the motherboard as stated on the website.

4. I tested all connections last night, main power, cpu, etc etc.

5. I have the AC'97 audio connected to the mobo, and I would be able to hear the audio codes if it there were any.

6. I know about cheapo PSU's as well. For all of my builds, I have used Thermaltake power supplies (as stated as one of the best PSU's in the link you attached). Not to mention that this one is a 600W.

7. I do now the difference between on board video and a dedicated graphics card. The mobo supports a PCI Express x16 2.0 card, that is what I bought for it. I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but I did try a different monitor as well as graphics card.

Here are the system specs:

Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3320418AS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80580Q8400

GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard

EVGA 01G-P3-N958-LR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

Thermaltake Purepower W0121RU 600W ATX12V V2.0 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply

Thanks!


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#3
August 17, 2009 at 15:15:22
This is interesting, why on this Gigabyte page does it show "F3" under the Intel q8400 processor?

Edit:
And I am guessing that I cannot take the q6600 out of my computer and stick it in this one right?

EDIT:
And what do the "F"s refer to on the compatilbility list. Most of them say f1, but the processor I have says f3.

Thanks


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#4
August 17, 2009 at 16:04:25
See the second part I added to response one.

" I reset the CMOST...."

Did you move the jumper back to the "normal" position?


"This is interesting, why on this Gigabyte page does it show "F3" under the Intel q8400 processor?"

The F1 to Fx refer to the bios version - the higher the number, the newer, usually:
http://www.giga-byte.com/Support/Mo...

The bios version must be F3 or higher in order to support that cpu properly. If the bios version presently on the mboard is not high enough, that cpu may not even boot the computer properly in a default mode.
If the q8400 was installed when you bench tested, if it worked, it should still work, but the bios may not set the settings for it right if the mboard bios version is too old.
Otherwise, or in any case, try cleaning the ram contacts, re-seating the modules.

"And I am guessing that I cannot take the q6600 out of my computer and stick it in this one right?"

Yes you can, if it's one of these, according to the CPU compatibility list:

Intel Core? 2 Quad Q6600 2.40HGz 8MB Kentsfield 65nm G0 95W 1066 F1
Intel Core? 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz 8MB Kentsfield 65nm B3 105W 1066 F1

http://www.giga-byte.com/Support/Mo...

......

F4 appears to fix a small bug in F3.
I would flash with F4 If I were you.

I recommend you use the bootable floppy method. The bios update download includes a Dos flash utility, and most new desktop mboards still have a floppy data cable header.
http://www.giga-byte.com/Support/Mo...

I have found more recent (newer than ten years old) floppies often have undetected bad sectors on them, when new, or they develop them in a short time.
I recommend you check the floppy you use by Full formatting it, then checking it's Properties to make sure it has no bad sectors.
.......

It says on the Gigabyte web site where you get the bios update downloads that you must load bios defaults after flashng the bios.

After you flash the bios, the first time you boot you will get a "Cmos Checksum Error...." or similar message. You will either be prompted to enter the bios Setup or you will automatically go there. Enter the bios Setup, and load Bios Defaults - save settings, reboot. You MUST do this (or Clear the CMOS by moving a jumper on the mboard) in order to make sure the bios update is fully accepted by the mboard's bios - otherwise, the contents of the Cmos part of the bios and what you see in the bios Setup may not match the bios version, and your settings in the bios Setup may not work properly.
Loading Defaults may work in situations where Clear Cmos does not help.

If there is the choice to load Optimal defaults, use that - the bios should automatically use suitable settings for your situation.


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#5
August 17, 2009 at 18:14:59
I meant CMOS :)

Yes, I took the jumper off of the heads that reset the CMOS.

Does that mean that the mobo that I bought (it came three days ago) has the F1 version?

I could take my Q6600 out and stick it in this one, but I think that I will wait to do that until Newegg sends me the new parts. They are sending them as soon as they receive the parts that I need to send in. Or do you think that I should take my CPU and put it in this one before I send the parts back?

The other thing: I cannot flash the bios if I cannot see anything on the screen. But I guess that could be remedied by putting my cpu in the computer...

Thanks


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#6
August 17, 2009 at 19:00:21
"Yes, I took the jumper off of the heads that reset the CMOS."

I gathered that but...
"Did you move the jumper back to the "normal" position?"

"Does that mean that the mobo that I bought (it came three days ago) has the F1 version? "

I don't know. It could have F2 and not support recognizing the cpu properly either.
If the mboard worked fine with the cpu you were using (q8400) when you bench tested it something else may be wrong.

I do know ...
- mboards sometimes sit in warehouses for months or longer after they've been made, so when you bought it may not be significant.
- the date the board was manufactured MAY be on the label on the box the mboard came in. If that date is more than, say, a month newer than one of the updates, then it probably has been flashed with that closest dated update.
- the bios version MAY be on the label on the box the mboard came in,
- or it MAY be on the label on the bios chip, but usually it isn't.
- or, if you have video, it MAY be shown higher up on the on the first black screen as you boot, or it MAY be shown in the bios Setup, or if you see a bios string on the first screen as you boot, it often starts with a date, it's usually at the very bottom of the screen, that's a very good clue (you may have to disable showing the logo screen or turn off Quick boot or similar in the bios in order to see the bios version or the bios string).
Usually you can press the Pause key to stop the boot so you can read what's on the screen, press any key but pause to continue booting.

- you could try finding the serial number of the mboard and emailing Gigabyte about what bios version it's likely to have, but it may take them a while to respond. That's probably on a label on the box the mboard came in, AND on a label on the mboard.

"I could take my Q6600 out and stick it in this one..."

Do that.
Doing that will not void the mboard warranty, and if that doesn't work something else is wrong. If it does work you should have video, if nothing else is wrong.

However
- usually you must remove the heatsink before you you can get at the socket lever, or whatever you mboard has - if the Q6600 is"glued" to it, because a thermal pad or a certain thermal compounds was used, it will be difficult to do that - you could try warming up the cpu first by running the computer until it's temp is stable - a damaged thermal pad must be replaced or you use thermal compound or thermal grease instead (thermal grease never "glues" itself to the cpu and heatsink - sometimes thermal compound does). Try unclamping the heatsink, then pressing downwards on the heatsink and cpu while twisting the heatsink back and forth - a thermal pad will usually loosen it's grip eventually, thermal grease will unstick itself, but thermal compoung may have glued itself like crazy glue.
- you MUST remove the AC power to the PS when you fiddle with any connection to the PS or any connection or component for the mboard.
- if you do flash the bios, if the flash fails because the flash chip physically fails, the mboard will not boot, and no warranty covers that. On the other hand, for aGigabyte mboard, it's not likely to fail because of that.

"The other thing: I cannot flash the bios if I cannot see anything on the screen. "

Yes you can, if you use the bootable floppy method, and a command line string with specific switches in Autoexec.bat for the Dosflash utility - in that case it will do it automatically - however, that likely will NOT work if you use a cpu the present bios version has no proper support for while flashing the bios.

Seethe link I just added after this in the above:
"I recommend you use the bootable floppy method. The bios update download includes a Dos flash utility, and most new desktop mboards still have a floppy data cable header."

If you need the command line string with specific switches, I could dig that up, but I need to know or dig up whether it's got an Award or AMI bios.
........

Update

Apparently...

"Use of licensed AWARD BIOS "
in it's specs.
It's got an Award bios.

- double clicking on the bios update download extracts it's contents to the folder you have the download in by default and shows you that, but you can change the location to A:\ , if that floppy is already bootable, or anything you like.
- the Dos flash utility, Flashspi.exe, included in the bios update download, is a combo Award / AMI one that can flash both types. according to the link I supplied that tells you how to flash the bios varoius ways.


Searched for: flashspi command line switches.
Found this:
http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/bio...
Excerpt...

Running only flashspi lists available command line switches.....these are:

/C - Clear DMI pool data after...(flashing?)
/D - Load CMOS defaults after ...(flashing?)
/E - Clear CMOS after...(flashing?)
/R - Reboot System after...(flashing?)
/S - Save Original BIOS ...(before flashing)

(most of those those are NOT the same as the Award switches)

(To confirm the switches for your version of Flashspi are the same - they probably are - make the bootable floppy with flashspi.exe on it, but without Autoexec.bat on it, boot with it, type flashspi, nothing else. If that doesan't give you the list, try flashspi /?, or flashspi /h, a space between)

So, if you wanted to flash the bios without needing video (DO NOT do that when the present CPU has no proper bios support) , you make this line in Autoexec.bat on the bootable floppy, for version F4:

flashspi ep43ud3l.f4 /C /D /E /S

All on one line, a space between all.

I do NOT recommend you use /R, because you MUST be ALERT and EJECT the floppy when the computer auto reboots, otherwise the bios will be flashed again. In that case, without /R, reboot when you see a message the bios was successfully flashed, or at wait at least 5 minutes after the last time the floppy led has flashed if you have no video.

If you DO use /R, then if you miss it re-booting, DO NOT eject the floppy until the flash has finished again, THEN Eject it.

IMPORTANT: If Autoexec.bat already exists, and you need to add or change a line in it, RIGHT click on it and use EDIT - DO NOT double click on it or RIGHT click and use Open - that will RUN it on whatever computer you make it in.
If it doesn't exist, make a text file and Save it as Autoexec.bat.

However, Flashspi will quit if it detects the flash chip is not the right type, or if the I/O chip on the mboard is not the right one or one of possible ones (I'm not sure which or if it's both), so if you make the floppy on an older computer, you are probably in no danger even if you did double click on Autoexec.bat or RIGHT click and use Open. (It quits on my old Epox EP-MVP3-G5, when i do a Dos boot with a floppy; it may quit in Windows in any case).

IMPORTANT: BEFORE you make the bootable floppy...

I have found more recent (newer than ten years old) floppies often have undetected bad sectors on them, when new, or they develop them in a short time.
I recommend you check the floppy you use by Full formatting it, then checking it's Properties to make sure it has no bad sectors


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#7
August 17, 2009 at 21:43:34
Yes, CMOS jumper back to normal setting.

Here is the info sticker on the gigabyte box, I don't know if you will be able to tell the date from this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/332112...

Thanks


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#8
August 17, 2009 at 22:07:36
I can't tell the bios version from that. The serial number is probably the one at bottom left that starts with SN.
Rev 1.0 is the mboard revision - there is only one revision of this model. Some mboards have several Revisions or Versions for the same model number - it's often very important to make sure a bios update is for the correct Revision or Version number, or the series of that - 1.x, 2,x, etc. .

If you install the Q6600, you should have video and more places you can look for the bios version.


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#9
August 17, 2009 at 22:13:22
So if you were in my position, would you wait to get the new parts and see if they work fine and swap the cpu if it doesn't, (I don't know if I told you or not, but newegg is sending new parts as soon as they get these, a process that could take up to 10 days) or would you go ahead and try swapping the cpu's now?

Thanks


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#10
August 18, 2009 at 06:54:25
I would go ahead and try swapping the cpu's now.

Whether or not that is easy or not depends on whether the cpu is strongly "glued" to the heatsink.

Excerpts from earlier in response 6...

"...you could try warming up the cpu first by running the computer until it's temp is stable ..."

"Try unclamping the heatsink, then pressing downwards on the heatsink and cpu while twisting the heatsink back and forth - a thermal pad will usually loosen it's grip eventually, thermal grease will unstick itself, but thermal compound may have glued itself like crazy glue."

If you don't already have a spare thermal pad, or thermal compound or thermal grease, you should obtain that first.
I recommend thermal grease - e.g just a silicon paste - it never hardens - it's whitish and translucent, nearly transparent when in a very thin layer.

Most cpu heatsinks come with a thermal pad attached - a thin layer of compound that has definite straight edges - you remove a thin layer of something to get it to stick to the cpu - they're not easy to find as a replacement, but thermal compound or thermal grease are easy to find.

If the heatsink seems like it won't come loose, then wait for the parts.

By the way, which parts?



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#11
August 18, 2009 at 08:25:27
"...the ram is 1066MHz DDR2, which is supported by the motherboard as stated on the website. "

Kingston does NOT list 1066mhz ram for your model:
http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/con...

However, Crucial does:
http://www.crucial.com/store/listpa...

1066 mhz ram is listed in the memory support list for your model - some is Kingston
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList...

but

"Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066"

is NOT on the list.

You can reverse lookup which ram works in which mboards on the Kingston site, though sometimes that doesn't list all possible models.
Search using the part number of the individual module or the set, then you can click on a link to show all models they say are compatible with that ram.


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#12
August 18, 2009 at 11:28:24
Ok, I found the problem thanks to your mention of the ram. I knew that the ram was compatible, but just to humor myself, I took both of the modules out of the new computer, and stuck one of mine in from my computer into the new one I was building, at sure enough, it worked! (Its 1066 ddr2 as well).

So I tried both modules and found that only one of them worked.

Thanks for all the tips!


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#13
August 18, 2009 at 11:40:36
"I knew that the ram was compatible,..."

I knew the exact same thing a couple hundred times too; but, guess what?

Glad you got it sorted out; you both did a good job.

Skip


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#14
August 18, 2009 at 12:37:54
We're glad to hear you solved your problem.

However, you would have solved it a long time ago if you had read and understood and checked out the info I supplied in response 1 starting at
"We frequently hear about people who have bought the wrong ram!!"

regarding which ram you had installed
as I did in my last response (11).

Or if you had commented about this

"If the mboard worked fine with the cpu you were using (q8400) when you bench tested it something else may be wrong."

(I said similar at least twice) and said it did work with the q8400, then the problem had to be something other than the cpu.

Or if you had tried this, you would have probably gotten the Award beeps, indicating the problem is probably not with the cpu:

"It is easy to test for incompatible ram that has caused your mboard to fail to boot or fail to work properly.

Make sure you have a speaker or speakers or the equivalent connected to the mboard so you can hear mboard beeps (see your mboard manual if you need to).
Remove the AC power to the case/power supply.
Remove all the ram.
Restore AC power.
Try to boot.
If nothing else is wrong, you will get no video but you will hear a pattern of beeps that indicate no ram is installed, or a ram problem.
E.g. for an Award bios or a bios based on one, that's often a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, a beep of about a half second, silence for a half second, continuously."

There are lots of DDR2 1066 mhz modules that are not compatible with the memory controllers of certain mboard chipsets, or not compatible with certain memory controllers built into certain cpus, more so than other DDR2 ram. .
....

Have you found which bios version it has yet?


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