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ROG STRIX Z690-F GAMING WIFI Red Light (sometimes)

Level 7
I built a PC with the following:

Intel i7-13700k
G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB Series 64GB F5-6000J3040G32GX2-TZ5RS
Corsair HX1200

Put it together and the Red CPU Light on the mobo stayed lit for 20 seconds then rebooted.

I did a BIOS FlashBack to 2204 but that didn't help.

So I bought a Celeron G6900 to troubleshoot since it was cheaper than any DDR5 mobo.

The PC boots fine, no issues, can get to the BIOS.

I have tried both other possible BIOS(s) 2103 & 2004 which was when the i7 13th Gen was first supported.
I have removed the hard drive and memory.
There are no beeps from the speaker. (except after post with Celeron)
I tried disabling Asus MCE

The i7 was within the 30 day return window so I sent it back and bought another i7 from a different vendor.

Put it together and the Red CPU Light on the mobo stays lit for 20 seconds then it reboots. AGAIN!

And I repeated the troubleshooting steps again.

Any help would be much appreciated, I have no idea what I am missing. Except for extremely bad luck of possibly getting 2 bad i7-13700k processors in a row!

Level 15
Not sure what the problem is, but what version of Intel ME firmware are you on? You should have version for BIOS 2204. Not sure if that could be the cause, but the problem might be that you need to access Windows to change it (although sounds like you can install Windows with the G6900 and then flash it). You can see what ME version you have on the main BIOS screen. If you've tried two i7 CPUs then if it's a hardware fault my money would be on the motherboard. Anyway, do check the ME firmware and make sure the CPU cooler is not overtightened and that the CPU socket has no damaged pins or contains any dirt. Unlikely if the G6900 is working, but worth double checking I think.

Also, just wondering, does the G6900 have fewer contact pads on the bottom of the CPU? If it does, then it might be a damaged pin that is only used for the i7 CPUs. Perhaps the G6900 has the same number of contact pads but some are not used? I don't know anything about the G6900, so nothing more than an idea. Two faulty i7 CPUs does seem highly unlikely.
Z690 Hero, BIOS 2305, ME Firmware, 7000X Case, RM1000x PSU, i9 12900K, ASUS TUF OC 3090TI, 2 x 16GB Corsair RAM @ 5200MHz, Windows 11 Pro 22H2, Corsair H150i Elite AIO, 4x Corsair RGB fans, 3x M.2 NVME drives, 2x SATA SSDs, 2x SATA HDs.