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Beware of Cheap Mobo!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by compilerxp, Jan 30, 2003.

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  1. compilerxp

    compilerxp Thread Starter

    Feb 24, 2002
    I've been on and off again on this site for a good many years...

    I've seen many "scam" class junky computer products that allows vendors (normally fly-by-night, no quality types) to sell computer cheap with DIRT-CHEAP components.


    93-94, the "486DLX33" built onto the Mobo. costs was about $125, it was really a 386CPU with some "486-like" functionality.

    94-95, the INFAMOUS "912" board, made by PC-CHIPS was sold all over the world. It was a HORRIBLE product. It was a 486 cpu board that could handle intel, Cyrix and AMD processors. Many of these had "FAKE" cache memory... meaning SLOW performance. It was sold under MANY different brand names.

    97ish : The "TXPRO" boards... these were "name-liked" of off Intel's TX Chipset which was the LAST and very GOOD chipset from intel for the P1 cpus. Because it was a "pro"- people were thinking it was an improvement over the "TX" - it had built-in audio and video that the "TX" didn't have. This was another PC-CHIPs rip-off product. These were typically slower and had very high failure-rates of total death or contant errors.

    Now for the present:

    I would like to post a warning to something a client of mine ACCIDENTLY bought. She went about bought a computer without talking to me. She blew $750+ tax on a "AMD duron 1.4ghz with 256mb DDR, 40gb 7200 rpm HD on an ASUS mobo".

    What she got was PURE junk worth about $250. A used 17" monitor (2years old), an Amptron BS mobo, a HD from a compaq PC (30gb 5400rpm), cheap keyboard & mouse & case... oh and 128mb of SD-RAM!! Windows XP & Office XP were of course pirated.

    Had to call the police because the vender refused to refund the money back. Took a week, but money was returned and we went to SAMS and got ger a $595 computer with AMD XP2000, 256mb DDR, 40gb drive (5400, but shes getting what shes paying for), decent speakers & key/mouse.

    The board she was sold on the 1st computer is PURE junk. heres a link from the manufacture :


    Called the : K7- 810DLM4 (AMD 1400+)

    Why is it junk?

    1 - only venders I wouldn't trust would sell this product.

    2 - It's sold as an "AMD 1400+ Mhz type system" - but Windows told me otherwise and of course it took some digging and going to the site to find out its a duron-950mhz.

    3 - Its TOTALLY NON-UPGRADEABLE. No AGP Slot! The AMD cpu (if its legit) is not removable! The HSF (Heat Sink Fan - for cooling the CPU) is SCREWED onto the board and won't use standard HSF... so when it DIES, your CPU dies and you replace the whole thing.

    4 - The drivers it came with worked like junk... the moron who built the machine (he was a moron, he couldnt hook up the power light for the case to the mobo) handed her a PC without all the drivers working... then again, the CD-ROM with the drivers didn't work at all.

    5 - this board with its CPU may cost you around $50... its CHEAP and maybe worth it to YOU if youre on a budget. But its life span is about 0 to 6 months... Its not a long term, high performnce reliable product! They don't even have a PROPER listing of this product on their pages... don't expect to FIND anything about this model on their website in 6-9 months.

    6 - This is a QUICK-SELL type product. When I was younger and new to the business, the company I worked for bought a WHOLE bunch of mobos like this with the 486-SX cpu built-on. Cost was about $50! Sold like hot-cakes. They were NOT bad... for the price back then. AMD no longer makes DURON cpus... Consider that the XP2000 costs about $75~100 (twice that of a Duron 1.2) 0 why bother? This company bought a WHAREHOUSE load of these CPUs (paid about $1-3 per chip) and glued them onto a minimal functional mobo.

    PC-CHIPS is a group of companies linked to Amptron, ECS, Chaintec and ASRock which seems to have a LOGO simular to ASUS - the #1 Mobo maker in the world! The way they do their business - you don't KNOW exactly WHO you are doing business with.

    I post this warning as a WAY to protect yourselves.

    If you want a cheap board, ECS does make an upgradable SIS chipset board with AGP, etc. Starting around $50. You can then throw in a DURON 1.3Ghz CPU for about $35~45. Then add a fan for $10. So yes, its about $50 more in the end, but you'll have a product that will last longer and upgradable. Pay an extra $20~30 and get a board with the VIA KT333/400 chipset and get even more performance and a more trusted product.

    The $50~75 saved.... is it worth it when the computer dies in 3-6 months? Having constant crashes? Down time... reinstalling drivers and windows while trying to trouble shoot a problem?

    This is the same with the $20 PC cases I see on the street. They have very weak 200watt power supplies that can DIE quickly. These cheap cases don't usually have proper air-flow. A bad cheap Power supply can cause you down time with system crashes and instability and of course... could possible DAMAGE your electronics!!

    Spend $75~100 for an In-win or Antec case... they have 300watts, less likely to CUT your fingers and will last a long time.

    Good luck!

  2. rmay635703


    Nov 7, 2002
    Hmm I was wondering what the real speed of the xp1400+ duron was. Those things are a crock but follow the new amd "speed rating bs" 950 x 1.5 same as the new XP's which also don't run at their speed, unethical either way.

    Its too bad they are abusing name games to trick people...

    I do however run m810's in my business (for myself) and they have been cheap and reliable. You just need to know your stuff if you want to deal with one (and definately don't pay $750 for one).

    For example I am now running for the third year an m810lmr rev1.6 (the first one) and I even have a processor installed that EXCEEDS its max listed speed of 1ghz (and the core is NOT supported for that matter) along with that its overclocked and it still lives and chugs along happily going on the third year. This board has fairly good performance and definately exceeds my expectations of a $45 motherboard.

    In terms of reliability the pcchips boards have done well with me (never had one die, yet), I have actually had more problems with Asus lately than others, my last two A7v's have been DOA (blasted memory beeps) and thanx to ebay they aren't being refunded either :-(

    Now days you really have to watch EVERYTHING because the big names are meaningless nowdays. All have an increasing rate of defective parts. Take the Maxtor/Quantum BS, 1yr warranties because thats how long they last, my latest Maxtor has been rma's three times. US robotics is another, their latest modems have been reminding me of those blasted PCTel things but they cost more.

    Your best bet is to find a GOOD local supplier (you know personally) that accepts returns for more than 14days and offers their own warranty then buy whatever you want regardless of brand and if it fails get another. Thats the way of the world now.

    My 15 cents

    My little pile that doesn't stop

    Duron Morgan 1.2ghz
    PCShips m810lmr rev1.6
    512mb PC150 (overclocked using tweaker bios)
    Onboard 64mb video (hmm voodoo 3'ish but fine for msorface)
    Maxtor 60gb ATA100 hd
    Onboard sound, usb, modem, nic
    3com 10/100
    235watt Future Power ATX supply (pulled from p133)
    DVD drive
  3. compilerxp

    compilerxp Thread Starter

    Feb 24, 2002

    1 - another reason why its not generally a good product - the actual speed is difficult to locate. The current version of the board I have posted has NO upgradable abilites. 1- not the CPU, no AGP option.

    2 - XP ratings are based off of AMD Thunderbird CPUs. An AMD XP1600 has a slower Mhz than the TBird 1.4ghz, but is easily a faster and cooler chip. The new 64bit CPUs are not 2-3ghz class CPUS but are the faster replacement of todays CPUs. Even the Newer Northwood P4 CPUs are faster than the older P4s at the same mhz.

    Yep... true. One of the issues is WHAT kind of dealer is willing to sell such a product. For $50 with the CPU - its a reasonable price product. As long as the customer KNOWS its a no-frills, no future product.

    Good for you. But note that your M810 is not the same as the one sold today. The new ones have a NON-removable CPU... the BIOS doesn't support anything else. And there is not proper documentation or support for the product.

    Note a company like ASUS makes millions of motherboards a year. Even their #2 compeitior (MSI) is tiny next to ASUS. They will have their failure rates. Also, you purchased boards from EBAY? Ebay is typically a used-product service. I have friends WHO do buy and sell on EBAY. But buying a Mobo from a source like ebay and because they are bad isn't exactly a way to deterimne that it is a "bad" product. Bad memory could do the same thing.

    ALL HD manufactures are now 1yr warranty. In reality, their OEM supplied drives have been 90day~1year warranty for YEARS (Compaq / Dell / HP / etc). This MAKES sense. Out of all the parts of a computer to FAIL, its moving parts that DO fail... #1 on the list will be the HD. Parts are more reliable now than before.

    1yr warranty is by: ibm, WD, Seagate, Maxtor, Quantum, Samsung and others. If you buy the HIGH-END retail versions of the drives (Maxtor / Seagate / IBM / WD) they still come with 3yr warranties.

    Offering 3 years on a product that costs $100 (or less) is deadly. This is not like the OLD-DAYS when drives costs $500 each or more.

    Thats caused by abuse of many people who TRY products out and contsantly RETURN them... It TOTALLy sucks!! But I understand why they do it. If you buy the product from SAMS or COSTCO - they offer better warranties - particular COSTCO.
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