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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am making this thread to ask a question, so if you are looking for an answer to the question, I cannot provide one, although I have ideas.

The question at hand: In standard retail systems, (including those of Dell, HP, Acer Group, and others), are motherboards made in the past (about 5-10 years ago) better or worse in quality than todays motherboards that come in standard PCs.

So to sum it up, have motherboards gotten better or worse in quality in a retail PC?

The reason I ask this: I happen to have an older computer still laying around, probably like a lot of us. It is a Dell Optiplex GX260 circa 2002. Now, note that the Optiplex branding might have something to do with it.

Well, I opened it up, expecting to see complete crap, but to my pleasure, I saw the opposite. The capacitors were a mixture of Nicchicons and Rubycon with Toshiba ICs. 90% of them were rated for 105C with a couple smaller ones only 85C. Regardless, the fact that Dell used such good capacitors surprised me. Taking apart the power supply revealed a mixture of Rubycon and Teapo. Teapo, although not as hgih end as Nicchicon, Nippon/United-Chemicon and others, is still a solid brand for Japanese capacitors.

Note, these are all electrolytic capacitors. Solid state organic polymer capacitors are still very new to the retail segment. Newer models manufactured in the last 1-2 years will incorporate a combination of electrolytics and solids.

So, whether you don't really know and you just want to give your opinion, or if you repair computers for a living and can make a comparison, I'd like to here your opinion.

Thank you.
 

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Quote:
note that the Optiplex branding might have something to do with it.
Virtually all OEMs had bad cap issues 8-10 years ago. I don't remember which cap companies were good or bad though...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_caps
 

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I'd say this could go either way.

I still have a Gateway in operation, it has a T-Bird 800mhz Slot A with 512 133 mhz Ram and random AGP card.

That board survived a direct lighting blow to a nearby pole. The cdrom/psu/hd were blown but the board and cpu were ship shape. The MB just says AMD on it and doesn't have the word gateway on it at all. It was THE top of the line they offered in like ... 99?

Though i've seen other from same era~ that were garbage.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Virtually all OEMs had bad cap issues 8-10 years ago. I don't remember which cap companies were good or bad though...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_caps
There was a really bad cap issue around 2004-2005 where Dell was completley screwing every customer over, and then not admitting they had used some cheap Chinese capacitors that were very intolerant and prone to failure. Since Dell is mainly supplied by Foxconn, many other companies recieved bad boards (including Apple, HP, and Acer).

The reason I say Optiplex might be a reason is that Optiplex was designed as a business workstation that will get heavy use. Usually manufacturers will just tell you its a business/workstation PC while there is very little/no difference between the retail home PC and the enterprise business PC.

But perhaps Dell decided to give the Optiplex's a little extra juice to back the branding.
 

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Originally Posted by BigpoppaFrary View Post
I'd say this could go either way.

I still have a Gateway in operation, it has a T-Bird 800mhz Slot A with 512 133 mhz Ram and random AGP card.

That board survived a direct lighting blow to a nearby pole. The cdrom/psu/hd were blown but the board and cpu were ship shape. The MB just says AMD on it and doesn't have the word gateway on it at all. It was THE top of the line they offered in like ... 99?

Though i've seen other from same era~ that were garbage.
Indeed, I suppose there are too many variables to say. Even today, look at the OEM market, and then compare those boards to an Asus or Gigabyte.
 

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Originally Posted by TheLaw View Post
There was a really bad cap issue around 2004-2005 where Dell was completley screwing every customer over, and then not admitting they had used some cheap Chinese capacitors that were very intolerant and prone to failure. Since Dell is mainly supplied by Foxconn, many other companies recieved bad boards (including Apple, HP, and Acer).

The reason I say Optiplex might be a reason is that Optiplex was designed as a business workstation that will get heavy use. Usually manufacturers will just tell you its a business/workstation PC while there is very little/no difference between the retail home PC and the enterprise business PC.

But perhaps Dell decided to give the Optiplex's a little extra juice to back the branding.

The Optiplex GX270 and GX280 are known to have bad caps and were part of the coverup.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheLaw View Post
Indeed, I suppose there are too many variables to say. Even today, look at the OEM market, and then compare those boards to an Asus or Gigabyte.
Pegatron is the OEM builder which has the same parent company as Asus.
 

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Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
The Optiplex GX270 and GX280 are known to have bad caps and were part of the coverup.
Phew, good thing I have a 260.
 

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Foxconn, ECS,and MSI are the major OEM mobo makers.
 

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Originally Posted by TCOC View Post
Foxconn, ECS,and MSI are the major OEM mobo makers.
Uh...yes, but the boards affected were generally Foxconns.
 

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Originally Posted by TCOC View Post
Foxconn, ECS,and MSI are the major OEM mobo makers.
Gigabyte and Pegatron are up there too.

BTW, there is no real incentive to improve OEM motherboard quality. They just need to be enginnered to last as long as the warranty period. Any extra life expectency is a cost with little return to the companies. This is true with everything (basically).

If you over-engineer something, then that extra cost in making something better is rarely recouped unless it is part of the brand (i.e. IBM/Lenovo).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quote:

Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Gigabyte and Pegatron are up there too.

BTW, there is no real incentive to improve OEM motherboard quality. They just need to be enginnered to last as long as the warranty period. Any extra life expectency is a cost with little return to the companies. This is true with everything (basically).

If you over-engineer something, then that extra cost in making something better is rarely recouped unless it is part of the brand (i.e. IBM/Lenovo).
^The truth unfortunatley. But it it doesn't mean they couldn't have gotten worse...
 
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