ASUS Motherboards - Quality or Goofballs?


T

TVeblen

I've been looking at the new i7 motherboards and reading the customer
reviews on Newegg. I was getting nervous because of all the DOA and Dead In
a Week boards. I was beginning to believe the common rants that Asus was
rushing beta boards to market. So I looked at other boards for "legacy"
processors and there is the same degree of postings for DOA and DIW - about
25%.
Many 2 and 3 egg reviews note that upgrading to the newest BIOS version
solved all their problems.
So what do you think is going on here? Is Asus quality dropping off the
cliff? Are the boards good but they are being shipped with unstable BIOS? Or
are 25% of the builders doing something wrong: no static precautions or
incompatible components or those types of goofball explanations?
 
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M

Mike Painter

TVeblen said:
I've been looking at the new i7 motherboards and reading the customer
reviews on Newegg. I was getting nervous because of all the DOA and
Dead In a Week boards. I was beginning to believe the common rants
that Asus was rushing beta boards to market. So I looked at other
boards for "legacy" processors and there is the same degree of
postings for DOA and DIW - about 25%.
Many 2 and 3 egg reviews note that upgrading to the newest BIOS
version solved all their problems.
So what do you think is going on here? Is Asus quality dropping off
the cliff? Are the boards good but they are being shipped with
unstable BIOS? Or are 25% of the builders doing something wrong: no
static precautions or incompatible components or those types of
goofball explanations?
There is no way to know.
One thing that is certain is that not everybody posts a review and in
general more will complain if it's bad then if there is no problem.
Bad batches happen in any industry but 25% would show up in big red letters
in the industry rags and a recall would probably be cheaper for ASUS.
http://tinyurl.com/ak4g4u is the only thing I've come across and it's not
really about the board letting out the magic smoke.
 
D

Dave

TVeblen said:
I've been looking at the new i7 motherboards and reading the customer
reviews on Newegg. I was getting nervous because of all the DOA and Dead In
a Week boards. I was beginning to believe the common rants that Asus was
rushing beta boards to market. So I looked at other boards for "legacy"
processors and there is the same degree of postings for DOA and DIW - about
25%.
Many 2 and 3 egg reviews note that upgrading to the newest BIOS version
solved all their problems.
So what do you think is going on here? Is Asus quality dropping off the
cliff? Are the boards good but they are being shipped with unstable BIOS? Or
are 25% of the builders doing something wrong: no static precautions or
incompatible components or those types of goofball explanations?

Asus is crap. Always has been and always will be. I don't know how they
get such a good rep. when their quality control is probably the worst among
the major brands of mainboards. If my life depended on a mainboard being
rock-solid stable, I would pray that it wasn't an Asus board. Even many
so-called experts who SHOULD know better give Asus rave reviews. Makes me
wonder if they were paid off or something. Anybody who actually works in
the IT field will tell you the same thing...avoid Asus at all costs. If
they were a car, you would call it a Yugo. -Dave
 
T

TVeblen

Dave said:
Asus is crap. Always has been and always will be. I don't know how they
get such a good rep. when their quality control is probably the worst
among
the major brands of mainboards. If my life depended on a mainboard being
rock-solid stable, I would pray that it wasn't an Asus board. Even many
so-called experts who SHOULD know better give Asus rave reviews. Makes me
wonder if they were paid off or something. Anybody who actually works in
the IT field will tell you the same thing...avoid Asus at all costs. If
they were a car, you would call it a Yugo. -Dave

One note: I saw roughly the same percentage of 1-2-3 eggs for a few of the
other manufacturers I glanced at out of curiosity. There seems to be a
built-in unhappy customer factor regardless of brand. Unlike processors
which everyone seems to like, regardless of brand. That's why I'm thinking
it is part bad quality, part human error.

Which manufacturers do you like?
 
T

TVeblen

Larc said:
|
| | > I've been looking at the new i7 motherboards and reading the customer
| > reviews on Newegg. I was getting nervous because of all the DOA and
Dead
| In
| > a Week boards. I was beginning to believe the common rants that Asus
was
| > rushing beta boards to market. So I looked at other boards for
"legacy"
| > processors and there is the same degree of postings for DOA and DIW -
| about
| > 25%.
| > Many 2 and 3 egg reviews note that upgrading to the newest BIOS
version
| > solved all their problems.
| > So what do you think is going on here? Is Asus quality dropping off
the
| > cliff? Are the boards good but they are being shipped with unstable
BIOS?
| Or
| > are 25% of the builders doing something wrong: no static precautions
or
| > incompatible components or those types of goofball explanations?
| >
| >
|
| Asus is crap. Always has been and always will be. I don't know how
they
| get such a good rep. when their quality control is probably the worst
among
| the major brands of mainboards. If my life depended on a mainboard
being
| rock-solid stable, I would pray that it wasn't an Asus board. Even many
| so-called experts who SHOULD know better give Asus rave reviews. Makes
me
| wonder if they were paid off or something. Anybody who actually works
in
| the IT field will tell you the same thing...avoid Asus at all costs. If
| they were a car, you would call it a Yugo. -Dave

Don't hold back, Dave. Tell us how you really feel about Asus. ;)

Larc

I think I made a mistake in singling out Asus for this post. I had just
finished reading their reviews and fired it off without completely thinking
it through. I should have asked "Are a lot of motherboards bad or are people
just screwing them up?" Maybe I'll repost.
 
R

Rarius

I used to think Asus were the best and for many years they gave me and my
company flawless performance. I am now, not so sure. A couple of years ago
we replaced a whole load of PCs with new Athlon64 based PCs with Asus
motherboards. In the last few months we have had nearly half of them die.

Its a great pity that ABit have stopped making motherboards as they started
to make a really good range just before they pulled out of the market. I
use an ABit IP35Pro which has been solid since day one, overclocks like
stink and does everything I ask of it.

Rarius
 
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D

Dave

One note: I saw roughly the same percentage of 1-2-3 eggs for a few of the
other manufacturers I glanced at out of curiosity. There seems to be a
built-in unhappy customer factor regardless of brand. Unlike processors
which everyone seems to like, regardless of brand. That's why I'm thinking
it is part bad quality, part human error.

Which manufacturers do you like?

In order, AOpen (doesn't make motherboards anymore), Epox (doesn't make
motherboards anymore, I don't think), DFI (still make good stuff,
thankfully), Biostar (HIGHLY under-rated, and MUCH better quality than
Asus!) and Gigabyte (almost as good as Biostar). Yeah, I know Gigabyte was
Asus for a while. Which is why I was avoiding Gigabyte during that time...I
was afraid the quality would go to crap because of being associated with
Asus. -Dave
 
D

Dave

What brand do YOU suggest?

Depends on what you are building.

Intel CPU:
Intel or Gigabyte or Biostar mainboard

AMD CPU:
DFI or Gigabyte or Biostar mainboard

AOpen was always my first choice, while they still made mainboards. They
were the best quality, PERIOD, at any cost. And usually not too expensive.
Biostar is highly under-rated and MUCH better quality than Asus. So Biostar
is a good bargain choice. You end up with something that actually has a
chance to last several years and don't spend a lot of money on it. Good
deal! But for Intel CPUs, it is tough to beat the quality of an Intel
mainboard. They aren't too exciting, but they just plain work. DFI is
great quality. Same with Gigabyte.

Just about anything though is better than Asus. I'd even recommend ECS
before Asus. At least ECS pops out some good stuff every once in a while,
while Asus is predictably garbage. -Dave
 
P

Paul

david said:
You can't go wrong with Intel.

Except that Intel doesn't make the boards. They
are contract manufactured. One year, Asus might
make them, another year, Foxconn. What distinguishes
the designs, is the BIOS, and that probably isn't
part of the contract. The BIOS remains the
responsibility of Intel. With a contract manufacturer,
you can insist on any level of test you want, such as
48 hour burn-in or whatever - it just costs money.
Or, you can insert a penalty clause, such that
there is a penalty for each field return, or whatever.
Quality on demand... it's negotiable.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/22

"Until last month, Intel motherboards were manufactured
by ASUS and, according to Intel, 15 million Intel
motherboards were manufactured in 2003 and the goal
for 2004 is the production of 17 million boards. Intel
broke its contract with ASUS and will start manufacturing
its boards with another company, called Wistron"

HTH,
Paul
 
L

larry moe 'n curly

Dave said:
Asus is crap. Always has been and always will be.

If Asus is crap, what do we have to buy to be sure we get the good
stuff -- SuperMicro?

Asus, even Asrock, at least seems to be built better than ECS/PCchips,
and I've had good luck with the latter, except for a Socket A K7VTA3
ver. 8 that mysteriously stopped working suddenly -- no bad caps (ESR
measured OK on several sampled), no blown diodes or MOSFETs, CPU is
now running in an Asrock mobo. That Asrock blew 5-6 bypass caps
(Ltec, Chinese) but never hiccupped, probably because it has more
bypass caps than the ECS has caps altogether.
 
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L

larry moe 'n curly

Dave said:
In order, AOpen (doesn't make motherboards anymore), Epox (doesn't make
motherboards anymore, I don't think), DFI (still make good stuff,
thankfully), Biostar (HIGHLY under-rated, and MUCH better quality than
Asus!) and Gigabyte (almost as good as Biostar). Yeah, I know Gigabyte was
Asus for a while. Which is why I was avoiding Gigabyte during that time...I
was afraid the quality would go to crap because of being associated with
Asus. -Dave

I had a Socket A Biostar for a week and didn't like it because of the
wierd way it was designed. If something went wrong with the boot
process, sometimes the only way to recover was by resetting the CMOS
battery jumper, and even though this mobo powered the CPU from the
+12V rail, it used only the single 20-pin power connector with its
sold +12V wire.
 
D

Dave

larry moe 'n curly said:
If Asus is crap, what do we have to buy to be sure we get the good
stuff -- SuperMicro?

Just about anything but Asus. Even ECS.
Asus, even Asrock, at least seems to be built better than ECS/PCchips,

We are not going to agree on that point. -Dave
 
D

Dave

I had a Socket A Biostar for a week and didn't like it because of the
wierd way it was designed. If something went wrong with the boot
process, sometimes the only way to recover was by resetting the CMOS
battery jumper, and even though this mobo powered the CPU from the
+12V rail, it used only the single 20-pin power connector with its
sold +12V wire.

The problem with Biostar is price. Those boards are typically so cheap that
they tend to attract people who are shopping on price alone. But they are
VERY solid mainboards, usually. Much better than Asus in particular. If
you pair a Biostar build with a decent name-brand power supply and good
name-brand RAM in particular, you will end up with a very nice system.
Budget build or otherwise.

But then, if you cheap out on everything, you will end up with a piss poor
system and probably blame the motherboard for poor system design. -Dave
 
M

Michael Cecil

Just about anything but Asus. Even ECS.


We are not going to agree on that point. -Dave

LOL. An argument about motherboards from two newbies who post using OE
and Google. What a sad fate for Usenet.
 
D

david

Except that Intel doesn't make the boards. They are contract
manufactured. One year, Asus might make them, another year, Foxconn.

Yes, I am aware of that. However, I'll stick to my experience, and not to
what others think, or glean from Google searches.

Intel DG965WH motherboard: worked right out of the box, has been running
nearly 24/7 for 18 months.

ASUS P5N-ESLI: worked for 1 month, died, RMA, new one sent, that one died
in a week, RMA#2, repaired, died again, RMA#3,... you get the picture.
 
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T

TVeblen

Fitz said:
My last experience with ASUS was frustrating, but in the end,
they got it right.
ASUS Maximus II Formula

1st board RMA for dead SATA port
2nd board RMA for Northbridge overheat (system protection shutdown)
3rd board RMA for bent CPU socket pins.

At this point the RMA was set to a different department where I dealt
directly with the tech who would be sending out a new board. He called
and asked questions pertaining to my system and said he would bench
test the replacement board with a similar setup prior to shipping. When
it arrived, the 4th board worked perfectly and I have been very satisfied
with it. The box contained a checklist of items tested/checked and the
system
build used to test it.

After the first RMA, ASUS paid all shipping cost both ways (I live in
Alaska, so FedEx/UPS isn't cheap).

I didn't like the fact that replacement boards are refurbished vs being
new and it did seem that until I reached the "Multiple RMA Dept" quality
control was lacking. I think the multiple RMA procedure is designed to
ensure the customer isn't problem as well as ensure the replacement
board is good.

I was certainly disappointed in the 1st (new) board having problems and
I'm not trying to excuse the lack of quality control on the replacement
boards (there is no excuse for sending out a board with bent CPU socket
pins- a simple visual inspection would have identified the problem). But
in the end, they sent a board that met my expectations and has performed
flawlessly.

I have 3 ASUS boards running, and this is the only one I have ever had to
RMA. I've run a couple of Biostar boards and have been satisfied with
them.
They seem very stable and a good dollar value. Documentation is weak.
I wasn't impressed with the one Gigabyte board I've used.

The current ASUS system is running a Q9550 OC'd to 2.99 GHz (FSB 352MHz),
8GB PC8500
memory @ 1127 MHz.
Thanks for that Fitz. I too have an Asus (P4) system that has be rock solid.
I was just surprised to see so many boards being RMA'd on the Newegg site.
And later I found that it was not just Asus, but a quick look (did not read
all the reviews, just looked at the eggs) at a few other manufacturers
showed the same approximate percentage of unhappy buyers. Clearly the large
majority are happy with their decision, but 15 - 20 - 25% DOA - DIW is
enough to make the occasional builder like me pause for a minute.
So barring the possibility that a great deal of the problems are the system
builders screwing something up, do you think that this RMA process is just
cheaper for the manufacturers than a good quality control program?
 
L

larry moe 'n curly

Dave said:
The problem with Biostar is price. Those boards are typically so cheap that
they tend to attract people who are shopping on price alone. But they are
VERY solid mainboards, usually. Much better than Asus in particular. If
you pair a Biostar build with a decent name-brand power supply and good
name-brand RAM in particular, you will end up with a very nice system.
Budget build or otherwise.

But then, if you cheap out on everything, you will end up with a piss poor
system and probably blame the motherboard for poor system design. -Dave

So why did my Biostar have those design flaws? Would you want a want
something that relied on just a single wire to deliver 8-9 amps to the
CPU? BTW I did verify this with a clamp-on amp probe.
 
L

larry moe 'n curly

Michael said:
LOL. An argument about motherboards from two newbies who post using OE
and Google. What a sad fate for Usenet.
I've never pretended to be an expert, and I've fixed only a few
motherboards. So please point out some specifics to prove that I'm
wrong.
 
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L

Lenster

FWIW, I've seen a lot more "system builders" that are lucky to know
which end of the screwdriver goes into the screwhead than I have seen
boards that needed to be RMA'd due to manufacturer defect. The funny
thing is those "system builders" always have a high opinion of their
own capabilities and blamed any problems they caused on their tools
or equipment/material.

If you check those Newegg opinions it seems the same bunch go around
badmouthing the all motherboards. The names are changed but the
spelling, grammar, and other nuances all tend to be the same.

90% of the purchasers have an average or higher rating but 5%
wailing, moaning and gnashing their teeth over what a piece of crap
they bought and everybody should just stay away from anything the
manufacturer makes and they are surely never going to buy from that
manufacturer again, and they have a high or somewhat high tech level
so you should believe them. Ya, right.

I'll give just a little more credance to the other 90%.


Bill

I just installed an ASUS P5Q-E two days ago.
Prior to that was an ASROCK and before that an ABIT. They all worked
out of the box. I personally think that like all purchases the ones
with problems do the most posting.

The one with success go on to other projects.
 

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