So here's my build:
I managed to install Windows 10 Pro on it. I installed the necessary drivers to get the Internet connection, sound and graphics settings working. And even now, I've been trying to take small steps in improving the PC, hopefully culminating into something truly special.
Then I noticed the PC's CPU is running way too hot. When I checked both the motherboard's BIOS and a monitoring software (NZXT Cam), the temperature was around 40 - 50°C when it's not under load. Sometimes, the PC would freeze up for no apparent reason, even though the CPU isn't even close to 20% load. Sometimes, the screen just freezes entirely and I can't do anything. Sometimes, my programs would just freeze and the Task Manager is unable to shut any of them down. I did try resolving this by deactivating a piece of software, which I believe is part of the problem (Razer Cortex, which installed from my mouse). For a time, my PC didn't freeze anymore.
Over the days, the CPU's temperature has been climbing up to 60°C and even as high as 80°C for just having Discord and Microsoft Edge open. My house isn't even terribly hot (and it's winter). So I realized this is eventually going to be a major problem, so I bought two Noctua case fans (as intake fans) in hopes that it would cool everything down. I moved the two stock case fans as exhaust It seemed to work a tiny bit, but not a significant drop. It still sometimes climbs up to 75°C. Today, I tried launching Metro: Exodus on Steam, a game that's known to be resource-intensive. Almost immediately upon launching the game, the whole PC shut off. My GPU has never even come to close to having problems with its temperature, so I knew it had to be the CPU. I tried decreasing the clock rate and the voltage usage, and it seems to cool down the CPU somewhat (it went below 60°C).
But I knew this is only a temporary solution, not for the long run. I figured I must've done something wrong with the CPU cooler installation, so I decided to take apart the PC today in hopes that I can resolve it. So I cleaned up the existing thermal paste (apparently, I used a tiny bit too much last time as it was dripping down from the CPU's sides). I applied new thermal paste and tried a different way of applying it (thin spread using an applicator). I made sure the CPU cooler is screwed onto the standoffs tight enough and that the latches are on the standoffs. I put everything back together and tried to test the PC to make sure the whole thing powers on.
And then, the video card is the only part that showed an LED on when I turned on the case's power switch. Everything else, including the motherboard and all the smaller parts, never turned on. I pressed the case's power button several times, but nothing turns on. The RAM's LED lights are not on. The fans are not spinning. So I tried checking on my cables: the 24-pin and the 4+4-pin connectors and all the small ones like the power switch, reset switch, etc. They're all plugged in and not loose. I checked the connections on both the motherboard and the PSU. Nothing's loose.
Since the video card's LED actually turned on, I figured the PSU isn't the problem. It still managed to provide power after all. It's most likely the motherboard, the one thing that's supposed to bring power to everything else. I don't know how it happened, but I think I somehow broke it. I tried to take every precaution possible to make sure the PC is in a good environment to be worked on. I stayed away from carpeting. I kept my hands on the case most of the time to keep myself grounded. I even worked on this shirtless, everything to prevent the risk of a static charge. The CPU cooler was a very tight fit, so I had to loosen the standoffs just to get it in (and out the first time) to begin with. I don't know when it happened, but I think the motherboard broke.
I did buy a $299.99 2-year protection plan with Micro Center as a safeguard. It's on my receipt listed as TWG TWG-2YR BYO BNDLE 023101, and it shows it covers the CPU, the SSD, the RAM, the GPU, the motherboard, the PSU, the case and the PC monitor.
I'm just... devastated now. I put in so much time and effort in trying to put this rig together and it also costed me about $2,500. I spent hours just trying to troubleshoot every little thing to make sure everything works fine. I don't even know if I resolved my CPU's heating issue since the PC won't even boot. It's been almost a month since I bought the parts (I bought them during Black Friday sales). I tried my absolute best to do everything correctly. I even had the PC running decently at one point, and now it's a big expensive piece of metal.
EDIT: I should mention that I did take out the CPU out of the socket (to clean it more easily) and both RAM sticks so I can easily take the CPU cooler out. The Wraith Prism cooler is a bulky thing; hard to put in, hard to take out.
I also tried to clear out the CMOS. Didn't do anything. I tried replugging the 24-pin and 4+4-pin connectors again. Didn't do anything.
However, I did find something odd. When I unplugged the PC and plug it back in, then turned on the case's power switch, I saw a white light flash at the upper left area on my motherboard for a millisecond. It ONLY shows up if I unplug the case and plug it back in again, then turned on the power switch. More specifically, the light flashed around the Aorus board's logo, the piece of plastic that sits to the left of the CPU. Does that mean my motherboard is still functional?
EDIT 12/09/20 -
Hello @TSPhillipT So I tried to jumpstart the motherboard by placing a flathead against the two POWER SW pins. Unfortunately, nothing turned on.Then tested the PSU by connecting the 4th and 5th slots. I switched the PSU on and the fan is spinning. However, I flipped the switch off and turned it on again. It didn't do anything. So I unplugged the PSU and tried the process again. When I flipped the switch on, it worked. But once again, I flipped the switch off and tried turning it on again. The fan didn't spin. Is this normal behavior for a PSU?
TSKyleH said:Thank you for the information, since the fans did spin, I suspect the issue is more likely the motherboard. We do normally offer a 15 day return/exchange period for the motherboard, however if it was purchased in November it would qualify for our extended return until January 15th. Details on the return policy can be found on our knowledge base at https://community.microcenter.com/kb/articles/24-can-i-return-a-product-that-is-defective. If possible your welcome to try testing the power supply in another build altogether or if you have a spare laying around you can try connecting it up as well.
@SeanE The RM850 supports Zero RPM cooling mode, so it's possible the fan just isn't running after the initial startup, because this has kicked in once the temperature wasn't detected. And this 'resets' when you discharge the power supply. Unfortunately, discharging the power supply only proves if the PSU is totally dead. It doesn't tell you if you have a bad rail.
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