Finally giving up on my video upgrade woes, I decided that they only way to drive my three flat panels is a new video card that uses the PCIx slot format. Alas, this means a new motherboard. New motherboard means new CPU/RAM/Power Supply, and at that point, you're only a couple bucks from a complete system. Therefore I went to a reliable vendor and ordered up a complete set of parts. This was the start of my troubles.
I started the system by examining various motherboard/CPU combinations, worked to figure out the crazy AMD naming scheme and what the numbers meant versus various Intel offerings. Finally I saw a bundle which matched a CPU and a motherboard that was about the right price and, since they were bundled by the vendor, presumably compatible. Right off of that page were links to memory modules and a power supply so I tossed those into the virtual shopping cart and wandered over to the new case section. I picked something medium sized and moderately priced, figuring it's more important that it shield the room from the cpu and keep all the guts aligned than look sexy. The two case fans seemed like a good idea as well.
Finally I tossed in some inexpensive (refurbished) hard drives. That was everything a boy could want when it comes to a new computer. Since I have been without a useful computer for 2+ weeks, I ensured that everything I ordered was listed as in-stock and ready to ship. I then chose next-day shipping because, well, I need a working computer!
Much to my dismay, I received an email on Monday (I placed the order late Saturday/early Sunday) stating that my CPU was on back-order. I was VERY upset by this. After all, I had chosen next-day shipping and only in-stock items to avoid this very situation. Well, long story short, everything but the CPU arrived on Tuesday and I was able to assemble the computer sans-CPU Wednesday. Happily, my CPU did arrive on Thursday instead of the 7-10 days they said back-ordered items require. Unhappily, I've spent all day today (Friday) trying to get the damned thing to work.
No combination of parts and settings will allow me to boot the damned thing. Sometimes if the winds are right I can get it to POST, but most times it's simply no dice. I've found numerous similar descriptions of this vague, won't post type situation, on many message boards. The whole thing has me quite frustrated as well as regretting the move away from a lifelong Intel addiction. I've always found Intel based systems to simply be easier to integrate than anyting else. I almost regret buying this Athlon based doorstop.
Well, as it stands now I've cried out to Asus support as well as the VERY friendly people over at the clearly but hugely named A HOME FOR THE A8N SLI DELUXE ASUS BOARD.
I've bought a duplicate power supply in an attempt to solve what most people claim is the common problem with this mobo, but it did no good. Now I'm faced with the choice of buying a new mobo, $199 locally and/or dealing with Asus or TigerDirect for return service. As I'm already into this thing for $290 more than I had planned, the additional $220 for a duplicate motherboard seems worth trying, though I hate throwing good money after bad.