Asus A8R32-MVP Issues - UPDATE 9th March ****See the bottom of the post for todays update**** Those of you who have visited the site in the last week will have noticed that our coverage of ATI’s Crossfire 3200 has been non-existant. We have been quiet on the reasons behind this because we were working through them with ATI/Asus and our A8R32-MVP. Here is an extract from our as yet unpublished review: “Once we were up and running within windows we ran the system in general use for a few days and all seemed well. Next up was our plan to perform performance testing on the board, this is when we started to experience some concerns. The first issue we found was that the Sisoft Sandra results for the system were pretty random. On one run we would score in around the expected performance and then a repeat run would show results 10x more than expected. Run it again and we were just as likely to receive a result of about 1000points less than expected. Thinking this was most likely a random issue with Sandra we moved on to PCmark05, however this resulted in more issues being highlighted. For example, hard drive performance on our SATA drive was reporting almost zero. And on occasion some tests would hang or loop. So we now had several applications giving us unexpected results. In an attempt to fix this we performed numerous installs, new CPU’s, memory, psu, gfx, heatsink/fans, drives, drivers, patches and an initial updated BIOS (0307). You name it and we more than likely swapped it out. All the while our voltages and temps were reporting fine through bios and Asus probe. So having given up we contacted ATI (and they contacted Asus) looking for any assistance… …a few days later we received a note from ATI with a new Bios attached. The note accompanying the bios stated that a timing issue had been found and that this was resolved by the new bios. This happened early on the 4th March which by this time was well after NDA expiry so most other reviews you have seen of this board use the BIOS which has timing issues. Following the bios update we were pleased to see that the Sisoft Sandra results were fixed, we also noted that our own (real world) Driver heaven Photoshop benchmark was reporting much more stable results. So we retested in Pcmark05. Disappointingly there was still an issue with some of the tests and so we reported back to ATI at the same time we reported a minor bios issue involving the onboard LAN config. ATI responded letting us know that a clock issue was still being worked on by Asus, so again we waited on a fix before proceeding.” That brings us up to this evening when some of our readers contacted us saying that they and a few others were experiencing random performance issues in real world programs (such as Quake 4 and Battlefield 2) when using their A8R32-MVP. Having read through those issues it was clear that they too had attempted many of the same fixes as us and as they did not have access to the timing fix bios (v 0309) they were left with an unusable board and worse, a waste of money. We have chosen to publish the above information to ensure that anyone wishing to purchase the A8R32-MVP is aware of the issues that end users are currently experiencing as no online review has yet made people aware of the performance issues with this particular board. We also want to make existing users aware that they cannot fix the issues themselves. We await the fix from ATI/Asus and will report back on its success as soon as we have tested it. Hopefully now that real users are affected Asus will give the fix a higher priority. ****Update 07/03/06**** Today we received a new bios (v0033 dated 03/07/06 at 4pm) from no less than 4 sources in ATI and Asus! Having run preliminary tests on this bios we can confirm that both Sandra and PCmark now complete without issue. We are looking into 3d testing at the moment however initial results are promising. It is our intention to suggest to Asus that this beta bios is released for anyone with issues as soon as possible (at this time we have not been given permission to distribute the new bios). More will follow as we have any updates.... ****Update 09/03/06**** Asus will today be releasing bios version 0311 for end users, we have tested this version and can confirm it fully resolves the performance issues we reported. We will monitor end user results and update as required. ****Update 09/03/06 - 2**** Ok guys, get it here - please note Driverheaven or Asus will NOT in anyway be responsible for anything that MAY go wrong, this is an unsupported bios.