ASRock 939A790GMH

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Skybuck Flying, May 7, 2011.

  1. Ok,

    At one webstore I have little choice for a replacement, the only socket 939
    motherboard they have is this relatively new one:

    ASRock 939A790GMH (Retail, RAID, Gb-LAN, VGA, Sound, µATX)

    (AMD 790GX chipset)

    Some issue's:

    1. It's micro atx but my case can mount that I think.

    2. It has very little space for PCI express, if I were to add my graphics
    card to it then it would pretty much be full, the remaining pci express
    would be unavailable because otherwise it would block the airflow.

    3. It only has 1 network port, thus this would require an additional network
    card which doesn't seem possible unless perhaps the little port is used.
    Quite strange that it has a little port... there is very little hardware for
    it as far as I know... pretty insane... I suspect it might be used for
    debugging purposes for hardware or so ?!

    4. I can forget about using the creative labs soundblaster which on one hand
    would be a real shame, because it has nice software too and just got the
    drivers working... and less frames in games... but on the other hand perhaps
    I will then not kill the motherboard anymore...

    I probably figured out how to connect 7.1 to motherboard, apperently not all
    holes need to be used, one might be optical, so only 3 outs are probably
    present which is exactly what it would need, but never tried this.. perhaps
    more is necessary after all so I am not sure if I would be able to connect
    the receiver. The motherboard as protected outputs... but perhaps it's still
    possible to kill it one connecting receiver when power is on...

    5. There seemed to be some troubles with smart information reading from sata
    drives, some also say the sata drivers are slow/bad... might be an issue.

    Also it seems to have aluminium solid capacitators ?!? not sure what that is

    It also has an integrated graphics cards which is kinda interesting, but
    it's not very powerfull, I doubt it can do opencl probably not.

    Perhaps I should look a bit further at other stores...

    Feel free to comment ;) :)

    Skybuck Flying, May 7, 2011
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  2. Skybuck Flying

    Paul Guest

    I think you should return, to the debugging of the broken computer.

    You would start, by removing hardware items one at a time, and see
    if the symptoms change or not.

    For example, unplug the Creative sound card (with the power off) and
    put it in it's protective antistatic bag. Then, try to start the computer.

    Since you have two video cards, remove one of them, and test with a single card.

    When you install add-on cards in the computer, do you install the screw
    that holds the faceplate of the card in place ? Holding cards securely
    is important, because if the card becomes loose, the wrong contact
    touch together in the socket.


    When you install a motherboard in a computer case, there are a number
    of screws that hold the motherboard in place. The position of the
    motherboard in the case is important - if the motherboard slides
    too far up or down within the computer case, there will be a
    misalignment of the faceplate hole in the computer case, with
    respect to the slot the card uses.

    When that happens, you'll notice it takes extra force, to put the
    card into the slot. When I put a motherboard in a computer case,
    I try to test the fitting of the add-in cards, to make sure they
    fit smoothly, and one isn't taking a lot more force than one of
    the others.

    I've had a PCI sound card fit so poorly, that one of the PCI bus
    data bits stopped making contact. That caused the card to be
    recognized as an "Unknown" type in Windows, because all of the
    configuration data from the card was corrupted on a read operation.
    The triggering event, what would cause the contact to open, was
    pushing on the faceplate of the sound card, with the force of
    inserting the computer speaker plug.

    Adjusting the position of the motherboard, within the computer case,
    fixed that, and helped the card fit more smoothly and without
    warping the PCI card.


    Let's assume your computer is ruined. If you're going to buy a new
    computer, consider how cheap an AM3 processor is, which would
    have equal power to the processor you currently own. You could
    likely find a new AM3 processor for $100, that would match the
    computing power of your current dual core processor. So if you
    wanted to buy a more modern motherboard, you would have more options
    by using a newer processor.

    This motherboard supports AM3 processors and has two video slots. $139
    You would have to check the slot layout, to see if all your
    add-in cards would fit properly.

    "ASUS M4N98TD EVO AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI ATX"

    (Dual core AMD processor at 3.2GHz for $84)

    (DDR3 memory 2x2GB $53)

    So for a bit more money, you could replace the processor and
    RAM, and then have more motherboard options available to purchase.

    Paul, May 7, 2011
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  3. Skybuck Flying, May 11, 2011
  4. Yeah it's a software, and trail too... I guess this could prove that X-Fi
    soundblaster is just bullshit and it's all software back-ed up by some audio
    processor... pretty lame, and it caused all this trouble... gjez...

    Skybuck Flying, May 11, 2011
  5. The more I look at this board, the more I start to like it... it's passively
    cooled... that's pretty cool... but I might also look at newer sockets in
    case I decided to replace everything with lower watt's/tdp's components ;)

    Skybuck Flying, May 11, 2011
  6. Skybuck Flying

    GMAN Guest

    No, having the SB card smacked between two SLI'd video cards with less than
    millimeters of space between them is what probably killed the board/card.
    GMAN, May 11, 2011
  7. That's not how it was placed in the third build, only 1 gpu and 1 soundcard.

    So all this "chat" and "thought" about to little airflow is B.S.

    My PC had more airflow then 99.9% of the pc's out there is my bet ! ;)

    Other theory could be heat from harddisks and/or memory chips...

    I will have to look into that as well... but I suspect that little bit of
    heat (though still 60 degrees power connectors from harddisk) will quickly
    be blown out of case... but I could be wrong... this heat from harddisk
    could perhaps also slowly frie the motherboard.

    Perhaps I even have further evidence that there was a lot of heat in the pc
    case, too much heat, perhaps also caused by a little bit of turbulence by
    the plastic fan holder that came with antec 1200 inside the duct... none the
    less still enough airflow. The evidence is the see through window... it
    seems to have melted just a little bit... like 1 nanometer or something... I
    placed it near my balkony door and placed in a certain angle/light I could
    see a "oil-like rainbow".

    Perhaps this "oil like rainbow" is from the manufacturing process but it
    could also be a "heat related oil-like rainbow".

    So the rainbow could have been produced by heat... perhaps little particles
    stuck to the window... perhaps oil particles from cars/busses from the

    The oil pattern seems to follow the flow of the airflow.

    Perhaps later I will try to make a nice picture of it to show you guys just
    for the fun/interest of it ! ;) =D

    None the less... if I am right then another sign of way too much heat in the
    case... there shouldn't be an oily pattern like that ! ;) =D

    Skybuck Flying, May 11, 2011
  8. Also there was a huge ammount of dust in the graphics card heatsinks... I
    haven't cleaned it in a few years or so... also some oil I put in there
    might have made it slightly worse... but the oil probably has little to do
    with it...

    Though the oil that I put in it could also explain the oily look on the
    window... perhaps a few of those oil particles got heated and started

    Anyway I am tired of the whole dust situation with the antec 1200... last I
    heard from you you had that case as well ?! You tired yet of cleaning those
    dust filters every month or two ?

    And the dust filters don't even help that much...

    I am sick of the dust crap... another good reason for to stick with
    "passively cooled" heatsinks...

    At least they don't collect dust that fast... and will probably continue
    working even if there is a little bit of dusting lieing on top of it...

    The question remains what happens to a 7900 gtx if it's heatsink is full
    with dust ?!? It will continue to function... but what happens to the heat
    around it ?!? Will parts of the motherboard around it start to heat up, fry
    ? damage ?

    Also most of the burned looking spots... could also be corrision but I don't
    think it's corrision seem to be along the lines of the motherboard.

    So either the motherboard it self is processing to much data... like to much
    bandwidth is flowing through it causing these tiny little lines to heat

    Or the heat from other components is crawling/creeping into these tiny lines
    like a radiator and spreading the heat across the motherboard... ultimately
    leading to some kind of motherboard death.

    So another good reason to get rid of hot components is to prevent "heat
    crawl" lol ! ;) =D

    Skybuck =D
    Skybuck Flying, May 11, 2011
  9. The theory/hypothesis of oil particles drifting and melting onto the window
    can probably be dismissed, since I whiped that window with a dust cloth a
    couple of times in the past... I can't imagine the temperature to be hot
    enough to melt oil particles into the window... I could be wrong though...
    but I don't think so...

    It's probably the glass-like-plastic itself that got heated up by airflow
    and got somewhat heated/melted to form this oil pattern... or it was
    production process... but this last seems a little bit unlikely... I'd love
    to see a video/picture of a new/unused plastic window to see if it has the
    oil pattern or not... and not just any oil pattern but an airflow like
    pattern ;)

    Skybuck Flying, May 11, 2011
  10. I am considering this board out of lazyness, however figuring out how to
    connect the 7.1 receiver to it is the hard part.

    This sentence is a bit weird:

    "- HD Audio Jack: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker /

    Almost seems like only a few speakers can be connected ?!?

    Anybody know for sure if 7 analog RCA/speakers can be connected to it via
    receiver with 3 plugs or so ? (Don't need bass).

    I'll go check manual, maybe there is some information inside it about but I
    doubt it... the asus manual didn't...

    Skybuck Flying, May 12, 2011
  11. Ok, asrock's manual is a bit better, it explains what each audio hole does
    and how it can be configured... what's missing is what kind of cables
    needed... I am guessing probably 2 metal ring plug cables or something or
    maybe 3...

    Gonna be extra expensive if I have to buy new cables again... but old cables
    will probably fit but won't go in entirely or maybe they will... perhaps
    using wrong cables could even lead to damage ?

    Skybuck Flying, May 12, 2011
  12. Hmm.. I spotted an incompatibility with my memory sticks.

    First of all I have 4 memory sticks.

    The board only has 2 slots available.

    Second of all the slots are 240 pins while my sticks are 184 pins.

    This is very tiring.

    A new interesting development is integrated motherboards with cpu gpu audio
    network on it, but no memory sticks.

    Perhaps in the future the whole board will be complete including memory

    Then it's just selecting one integrated motherboard/pc and be done with

    Now I have to start a whole new selection process for components and check a
    zillion little thingies to spot these kinds of tiny little fucky issue's,
    takes huges ammounts of time, like weeks, which sucks.

    Alternative is to find another webstore with an old socket 939 motherboard
    which does fit my old hardware and try to keep it going for as long as
    possible for now...

    Skybuck Flying, May 12, 2011
  13. Lol...

    I was watching the manual of an integrated board... I am starting to confuse
    things lol.

    The ASRock 939A790GMH does have 4 slots... and probably 184 pins... but I am
    gonna check to be sure...

    Apperently the integrated board is 240 pins and something else ;)

    Skybuck Flying, May 12, 2011
  14. Hmm, so far there is one thing missing on this board... a parallel printer
    port... hmm...

    Maybe I'll buy a new printer... I still got an old printer from the stone
    age ! ;) =D

    Skybuck Flying, May 12, 2011
  15. Skybuck Flying

    Paul Guest

    So I'm looking at the page you posted.

    I see:

    1) Micro ATX Form Factor: 9.6-in x 8.6-in

    It only has room for *one* video card.

    2) 4 x DDR DIMM slots

    Those are the 184 pin kind. Two blue ones, two black ones.

    3) S939 socket - you check the CPU support table, to make sure your 3800+
    revision is supported.

    4) 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC888 Audio Codec)

    There are actually two different motherboard manuals. One is 58 pages
    and the other is 129 pages. In the 129 page one, there is a table
    which shows audio configurations. None of them give decent
    documentation on audio.

    I had to refer to my ALC888 designer's data sheet. It
    shows several jack configurations. This is the "five jacks
    plus SPDIF" configuration, which is not the same as a regular
    "six jacks" audio setup I have on my motherboard. By using
    a "five jack" setup, you get four jacks for 7.1 plus Microphone
    input and lose the Line In connector. The SPDIF_OUT is a digital
    connector, for a 75 ohm coaxial connection to your receiver/amp,
    and would not be very useful for 7.1, so you would not be using it.
    That makes the SPDIF_OUT jack a waste of space.

    (Orange) Center/Sub ---> X X <--- Side Surround Pair (blue)

    (Black) Rear Pair ---> X X <--- Front Pair (green)

    SPDIF_OUT ---> X X <--- Microphone Input (pink)

    The jack configuration means you can do 7.1 audio output, but at
    the expense of losing Line In. I use my Line In for a TV tuner card,
    so the audio setup on this motherboard would not be useful to me.

    If you use the RealTek Audio control panel to change the configuration
    to 5.1 mode, the jack definition looks like this.

    (Orange) Center/Sub ---> X X <--- Line In (blue)

    (Black) Rear Pair ---> X X <--- Front Pair (green)

    SPDIF_OUT ---> X X <--- Microphone Input (pink)

    To get your own copy of the ALC888 reference design document, go here
    and scroll down to the ALC888 section. Look for 2008/5/8 382k.
    Using one of the three FTP servers, should give you a downloaded
    file with the name
    and inside there is a PDF file.

    Paul, May 12, 2011
  16. Well concerning the audio cables.. I'll probably need new audio cables
    again... which is really depressing..

    Current 3 cables are: 1 plug to 3 rca's.

    These were necessary for creative x-fi soundblaster, these were actually
    video cables used as audio cables.

    Since the soundblaster would now be left out, which I regret but might
    ultimately be better but I doubt that too but ok...

    these cables will have to be replaced with:

    4 cables: 1 plug to 2 rca's.

    Such cables can be quite expensive about 10 to 16 bucks per cable... so
    that's 4x15 bucks or so.. is another 60 bucks.

    Which makes this a bit expensive...

    However the audio back plate of the motherboard also has optical out and the
    receiver has optical in... so perhaps if such a cable could be used to
    support 7.1 then that would be pretty cool... only 1 cable needed, and
    perhaps less chance of electrical damage...

    Also no need any more to figure out how to connect them... though I did
    label the 3 cables with a bit of sticky tape ;) but not the rca 8's so if I
    unplugged those from the receiver I would have to re-figure that out
    probably... but that's something I would normally not do... and let them
    hang in the receiver...

    Hmmm another documentation failure... receiver manual contains no
    explanation of optical in/out/cables...

    This seems to be a prime candidate for a nice question on an audio
    newsgroup... to see if anybody has experience connecting optical

    Last time I read something about that it was limitations in x-fi
    soundblaster which would loose certain features...

    I wonder if on-board audio has such limitations as well or perhaps not ?! ;)

    Skybuck Flying, May 12, 2011
  17. I just spotted a potential issue with this board.

    The cpu fan connector seems to be 4 pins, while the amd x2 3800+ stock
    cooler fan comes with 3 pins connector.

    Perhaps it can be connected, but I have seen stupid issue's like this

    The manual of asrock also seems to have things swapped, the manual actually
    believes cpu_fan1 is 3 pin, while the screenshots show 4 pins.

    There are 4 pin after mark cpu coolers available which I am interested in.

    Perhaps this board can use both, the manual says so... but it's been wrong
    before apperently... hmmm...

    Skybuck Flying, May 20, 2011
  18. Ok,

    It's not an issue for me at least, the connectors will probably fit, I was a
    bit confused about the motherboard manual... but now I understand what it
    means... so it's ok.

    The 4 pin connector is kinda nice it offers speed control.

    I think I will buy the most advanced cpu heatsink/fan I can find which blows
    maximum ammount of air...

    And then hopefully the motherboard can throttle it a bit... so it doesn't
    need to spin at max that be cool.

    I also have earplugs nowadays... so I can have some noise ! ;)

    It shouldn't be excessive though ! ;)

    Skybuck Flying, May 20, 2011
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