So I’m building my daughter a basic computer. And I thought the $20 I paid for a 2nd gen Gigabyte motherboard was the bargain of 2024, right until I spent most of the night and half of the morning wrestling with it just to get the damn thing to behave..
Then I remembered that this isn’t the first time I’ve had a wrestling match with Gigabyte products and come out of the other end wondering why I bothered in the first place.
Yes I know these Gigabyte motherboards I’m talking about are old
But I also find it strange that I’ve had far more misses than hits. Actually come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve had any hits whatsoever with Gigabyte motherboards whatsoever (as I write this through my MSI product) where as there’s other old second and possibly third hand motherboards from other manufacturers working just fine in the house at the moment.
Is it because I haven’t bought any Gigabyte shares? Is that the issue? Has the company decided I need to be cursed and pull someone else’s hair out whenever I touch Gigabyte motherboards? Did they sic their gypsy’s on me and curse everything computer related I buy from then until I sink more into their coffers? Seriously, if this is the company pushing me to buy their stock then it’s not working very well to be honest..(And it’s not like I don’t have enough cursed tech in my life already..)
But maybe I’m just unlucky and all the bargains I thought I picked up turned out to be absolute potatoes. Let’s start from the latest and work our way back through this disappointing history hey?
Gigabyte ga-z77x-ud3h – two minds, none of them working
I’m not an overclocker, I just want my BIOS (basic input output system, not Built in operating system as I first though) to do it’s thing and be like Pink: Namely get the party started – boot up the computer, let me fill it full of cat pics for Sophie. Only here this Gigabyte Motherboard has dual bios and I’ve found out the hard way that it’s gone for the U2 experience instead as it’s now Stuck in a moment you can’t get out of.
If it has a problem loading the main bios, it goes to the backup bios. If it has a problem with the backup bios, guess where it shoots next? Yes you’re correct and a gold IT star for you, it’s back to the main one. And what happens when both of them go on holiday possibly to corruption city? Well here we are.
Press on, the fans spin, it lights up the bios chip, decides it doesn’t like that one and switches to the other, decides it doesn’t like that one either and shuts itself off. Then on occasion five seconds later it forgets its limited success and tries again only this time using the bios chip it used last and going from there.
So far I have tried: Different ram in different slots, re-seating the CPU, jumping the bios chip, pulling out everything except for the bare essentials, pulling the Gigabyte motherboard out of the case for the possibility the case was causing a short somewhere, swearing at it. Nothing has got things pumping along for more than five seconds at this stage.
I might throw some holy water at it next, the day it still young.
Yes I’m open to suggestions if you have any but there’s every likelihood this board will be a hunk of plastic slag by the time this post gets submitted to the interwebs and I’ll have something that works far better. You’re welcome to try though.
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DSP – stuck in second gear
Oh this brings back memories. Memories of having parts all over the dining room table trying to get the thing working after paying $65 for it and a few bits and pieces from Facebook classifieds. From my blog at the time:
After connecting it all up it started, then stopped. So I started it up again and it stopped again. This would be a common theme all night as I experimented with taking bits out, putting them back in, using one stick of ram instead of two, pleading with it to stop shutting things off randomly, getting into the Bios once every 100 shutdowns to try scaling things back. After a week (yes seriously I have tried so many different online solutions to fix this..) I finally discovered what was going on…-Me, back in 2016
The issue this time was the modified 771 chip in a 775 socket. There was something about a sticker on it from eBay that allowed it to work? Well that’s what the seller told me but sticker or no, this idea never worked.
It seems the engine of this thing (the Xeon X5460) was heating up ridiculously quick before racing off at top speed into the nearest wall and shutting down. God only knows why and so much for having this twin turbo chip doing all the work. I found this out by substituting it’s slower half cousin E8200 in its place and incredibly everything worked without a single shutdown. Not one power down, not one random reset.-Me again, still 2016
The slower chip worked just fine but the board still had the occasional problem. And when I say problem, I’m talking the Gigabyte motherboard problem where you’d have to pull out ram sticks and connectors and then put them back in a different order just to keep the machine spirits happy.
This happened a lot sadly, right up until I parted out the machine and sold off bits out of frustration. But still, it was just slightly better than the original experience..
Gigabyte GA-M6IVME-S2 – Bulging in all the wrong places
What does $20 and a trip the local computer recycling centre get you when you have barely any idea of computers whatsoever? Not a great time, at least not in my experience. Welcome to the original $20 Gigabyte motherboard experience that should have stopped me from repeating things twice more…but then I’d have nothing to write about would I?
A long time ago I built an arcade machine in my shed (oh god, how I miss that shed) and needed something to be the brains out of the outfit. And boy oh boy would this killer little unit with history unknown do the trick. I mean just look at these stats that would make a very piss poor backward IT company drool:
-Supports AMD Athlon/ Sempron processors
-Supports high performance Dual Channel DDR2 800 memory
-Integrated NVIDIA® CineFX 3.0 Graphics Engine
-Features NVIDIA® SATA 3Gb/s with RAID function
-Integrated 10/100 Ethernet solution
-Enhances security with NVIDIA TCP/IP Acceleration technology
-Features 8 channel High Definition Audio
-RoHS compliant motherboard for green computing
Woof! What a beast! Until the next day when I felt the best way to improve this smooth groover was to actually set it alight. Because things worked…for the length of a cup of coffee. And then they’d crash harder than Onetel stock. There’s only so many times* you can install an operating system into things unsuccessfully until you realise that this was a bad idea.
*12 times in case you were wondering. And being pre solid state drive tech here, they were very slow installs..
I tried. Oh god did I try. Updates, different parts, I even soldered in fresh caps to replace the bulging ones I didn’t notice earlier. I’d get it up and running for a short time and then things would happen to sour the experience like it couldn’t find my keyboard no matter what I plugged in and unhelpful crashes. Finally it refused to boot from anything other than USB for some infernal reason. Gah, that was enough. Time for a new one (and more drama as you read from the model above this one!)
So where do we go from here?
I recently bought an hugely oversized case (it’s massive!) from the boss as well as a few other parts including an i7 2600, 750w power supply, drives, Asus wifi adapter and a enough screws to build a battleship. In the shed there’s ram, there’s drives a plenty and plenty of cords. So effectively I just need a working motherboard with a 1155 chipset and away we go. (Oh and a graphics card eventually.)
I mean all she wants to do with it is play Minecraft, Roblox and occasionally print out things to draw. Building something working and reliable with old parts shouldn’t be that hard.
Or is the general consensus with computer gurus that this level of tech is far too old now and I should be looking for something far newer like 5th generation onwards? If you’ve got any advice, please chuck a comment down below.
Unless it’s a suggestion for a Gigabyte motherboard – no thanks, I think you can see so far that I’ve already had my fill.