Question How can I know if my motherboard's capacitors are solid?

Sep 17, 2021
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I have an unbranded H81 motherboard and I like it, it has all functions I need. But I have heard that these unbranded motherboards can have crappy capacitors that shorten the lifespan of the motherboard. All capacitors say "560 ST (ST is inside a circle) e2 6.3v"
 

Eximo

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Pretty hard to have an unbranded board, usually something will be on it. Take some pictures.

Still, h81 is likely to have made the switch to SMD Aluminum Electrolytics, but that doesn't mean they aren't cheap capacitors. Audio chipsets still regularly have non-solid caps nearby, but for the most part motherboards tend to SMD caps. They look like little silver cans with a black plastic base with a black colored marking one side indicating polarity (Sometimes the markings are blue or pink, occasionally red.

If they are colored and wrapped looking like soda cans, with the top overlapping onto the sides, they are standard electrolytic. But that can be the best capacitor for the job in some situations.
 
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Sep 17, 2021
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A good example:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Intel-H81-Motherboard-CIH81M-H81H3-LM-LGA-1150-DDR3-HDMI-SATA-USB-3-0-VGA-/132797047636

Bottom right, all standard caps for the audio. Large buffer cap next to each fan header. A few caps next to the power input. Some next to the USB.

Solid caps around the CPU VRMs, and a few by the PCIe slots (likely done for clearance reasons)
My motherboard doesn't seem like it has an electrolytic capacitor. All capacitors are aluminum-type.
Here is a photo of the motherboard btw.
View: https://imgur.com/vS6i7hx
 
Sep 17, 2021
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If this motherboard can survive more than 6 years, I'm okay with it. I was just scared if one of those capacitors would die very soon and all the components plugged into motherboard would die also.
 
If this motherboard can survive more than 6 years, I'm okay with it. I was just scared if one of those capacitors would die very soon and all the components plugged into motherboard would die also.
The thing to look for is temp rating and life rating on the electrolytic caps. Generally, top-end boards get caps with a 10,000 hour rating at 105C, lesser boards rated 5,000 hour.

Also, country of origin: Japanese made caps are the gold standard but Taiwanese are considered pretty much equal now. It's best to avoid anything Chinese, but some are at least 'adequate' now and that's good because you really can't avoid unless buying top-end or server grade boards. But if you want to assure long life: watch the operating temp of the capacitors, mostly those in the CPU VRM area of the board. They can run very hot when the CPU is overclocked and drawing power beyond the VRM's rating, especially if the caps are lower grade with a high ESR.
 
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Eximo

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Oh that is very much a re-manufactured board from the likes of Bokie, Famure, and other "no-name" brands.

It might last a while, the chipset was probably pulled from an older board, but conceivably that should last decades.

Some of the other chips though, yeah, pretty cheap LAN chip under that black FULLWIN box. Unbranded audio chip (and the one empty spot for an electrolytic, that might make the audio fairly poorly filtered)

I'm sure the caps are cheap, but they kept the bill of materials list short, so that might work out well if they got okayish ones.

Still, it is a low power board. As long as you keep good airflow through the chassis and use a moderate CPU, should be fine.
 
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Still, it is a low power board. As long as you keep good airflow through the chassis and use a moderate CPU, should be fine.
Can Xeon E3-1245V3 cause problems with the motherboard? CPU never runs above 70 degrees.
Edit: Btw, I've had no issues with the sound filtering with this motherboard. I had an old laptop before I built this computer and the sound quality is same with that laptop. The laptop's brand was Acer
 
Can Xeon E3-1245V3 cause problems with the motherboard? CPU never runs above 70 degrees.
Edit: Btw, I've had no issues with the sound filtering with this motherboard. I had an old laptop before I built this computer and the sound quality is same with that laptop. The laptop's brand was Acer
Temp in operation isn't really a good indicator of it's power draw. The CPU's TDP is 84W but even that's an unreliable indicator of it's power draw. Do you have any idea the core current it draws in heavy use?

That motherboard only has what appears to be three phases for the CPU VRM. That's not going to give it very capable power handling. Especially since I'm not familiar with Intel CPU's: one of those three phases could be dedicated to other parts of the CPU leaving only two phases for the cores.

IMO, the real problem with the sound and network chip is how long it lasts. But you've one spare PCIe slot you could use for an add-in network card and audio using a USB DAC is really pretty darn good so you can get along well enough without those if they do fail.
 
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Eximo

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(6)+2 VRM design. They just doubled up the VRMs in parallel and used a single choke for each pair. The two VRMs below the CPU socket are for memory and VCCIO.

Though not sure those qualify as VRMs, more like MOSFETs, I wonder if they just supply a fixed voltage to the CPU? Unless that one chip above the socket is the MOSFET driver, probably so.
 
(6)+2 VRM design. They just doubled up the VRMs in parallel and used a single choke for each pair. The two VRMs below the CPU socket are for memory and VCCIO.

Though not sure those qualify as VRMs, more like MOSFETs, I wonder if they just supply a fixed voltage to the CPU? Unless that one chip above the socket is the MOSFET driver, probably so.
MosFET's are used in a VRM...two for each phase, one high side one lo-side.

I'm not seeing how that's a 6 phase VRM...not unless those are TI PowerBlocks which had (have) the two FET's in each package. Unlikely for this thing, and they don't come in SOT-223 package either.
 
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Eximo

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MosFET's are used in a VRM...two for each phase, one high side one lo-side.

I'm not seeing how that's a 6 phase VRM...not unless those are TI PowerBlocks which had (have) the two FET's in each package. Unlikely for this thing, and they don't come in TO-223 package either.
I suppose I'm just not used to seeing them in that configuration. Seems an atypical design to me, with very large FET packages. (Which could be indicative of inexpensive parts)
 
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