I just recently purchased the ECS A55F2-M3, FM2 Motherboard.

I have a couple pictures to show you:

I think it is a voltage regulator that had went up in flames.

My questions are:

  • What caused this to happen?
  • Could this have happened because of my power supply (only a 220W stock HP PSU) or was this a manufacturing defect?
  • What will I have to do? Buy a new motherboard?
  • 2
    My guess is a manufacturing defect caused a short between the layers of the PCB. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 1 '13 at 21:25
  • 1
    wierdly the voltage regulator looks fine. They don't even look singed. – Journeyman Geek Jan 2 '13 at 0:31
  • My dad cleaned off the burned areas to clear it up a little more. – Thomas W. Jan 2 '13 at 2:06

What cause?

I acutally suspect the protective paint covering the middle leg has impurities, maybe some metalic fragment or even dirt mixed from air flow, during the manufacturing process.

It may not has problem during testing phrase in factory, but accumulated too much heat during actual use.

It can be seen from the photo that the paint cover was almost completely gone while not much damage to the chip. There is a small burn mark on the corner of the chip but that is from the fire of the burning paint.

The chip packaging is intact. So the chip did not burn itself.

Related to PSU?

Really doubt. This is motherboard manufacturing defect.

Buy a new mother board?

You do need a replacement. Contact your seller and arrange RMA shipment. You may have to pay for one-way (not both ways) shipment. The whole process can from 2 weeks to 2 months(there is no standard and depends on situation). You have to confirm that with your seller.

If you are in a hurry to build the machine, then yes, you may have to buy an extra board.

  • Well you gave me a wonderful answer, thank you so much, and some of the burn marks arent there because we cleaned it off a little with paper towel to get a better look, but other than that, you answered 100%, thanks. – Thomas W. Jan 2 '13 at 2:16

If this is a new motherboard, it must be a manufacturing defect. An underpowered PSU shouldn't cause damage to the motherboard, and no matter how overpowered one might be, the motherboard will only draw as much current that it needs.

I would contact ECS for a replacement. Hopefully it is under warranty.

  • Perhaps too little or too much power headroom is not itself a problem, but a poorly regulated PSU can harm other components in the system, and most PSUs only regulate well within the specified range of loads. – Ben Voigt Jan 1 '13 at 21:30
  • I am actually thinking of going with an Asus motherboard, but need to know if it will do better. The Asus is an A85X chipset. edit Guy up top said I should go with a Gigabyte, so ill look for one of those. – Thomas W. Jan 1 '13 at 21:31
  • @BenVoigt That is true. However, unless the PSU catches fire itself, I doubt it would cause problems such as what was pictured. Poor power regulation can cause hardware failure, but I doubt it could cause the motherboard to catch fire. – Ben Richards Jan 1 '13 at 21:45
  • A number of years ago, I had a properly-spec'd PSU that caused very similar damage to three motherboards (2 different manufacturers). The PSU itself appeared fine on the surface - no fire, no visible failure, but after replacing the PSU along with the last motherboard, I had no further problems. – alroc Jan 31 '13 at 13:40
  • 1
    @Ben Richards - I'm not saying that it's impossible that it's strictly a motherboard defect. Just pointing out that it is possible for the PSU to cause motherboard components to fail. I don't feel it's appropriate to state that it's most likely not the PSU without evidence that the PSU is functioning properly - it really ought to be tested, else the new motherboard may suffer the same fate in the future. – alroc Jan 31 '13 at 21:49

It is definitely not because of lack of wattage. I would rather bet on manufactured defect, ut it also would not surprise me if that was PSU's fault. In the end of the day, your warranty service should accept the motherboard as it is almost impossible to know whether it was burned on purpose, due to PSU or due to poor microschemes/conductors, etc.

  • I have a bunch a parts coming, new PSU, GPU, and I already have the A10 5700. Would you recommend me getting a new motherboard or get the replacement from ECS, because I will be playing a good bit of games on this system. If you need specs let me know. Because I did find an Asus motherboard, and want to know if that would do better than the ECS. – Thomas W. Jan 1 '13 at 21:29
  • If you want a good motherboard, I would go for Intel products. However, they are not cheap. Next I would pick Gigabyte. Asus has never been a good motherboard manufacturer and for its "AsRock" is often regarded as "AssRock". – Ernestas Jan 1 '13 at 21:31
  • Well I do have a A10 5700 so I can not get an intel motherboard. – Thomas W. Jan 1 '13 at 21:32
  • newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128570 You think this motherboard will do me good. – Thomas W. Jan 1 '13 at 21:38
  • Yes, it has more memory sockets, more expansion slots, has a more reasonable audio chipset and etc. – Ernestas Jan 1 '13 at 22:02

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