Asus A8R-MVP Discussion

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by HardwareHeaven, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    At the request of forum members, here is a thread to further discuss the A8R mobo from Asus. this is now broken from the original thread over here which dealt with the *32 model as well.

    A quick recap from my colleague Stuart "Veridian3" Davidson and his talks with asus regarding the problems with this board.

    ___________________________________________

    OK guys, Asus have responded to our email which contained all your feedback on the A8R-MVP.

    Here is the unedited mail, please let us know any comments you would like fed back to Asus re the response and any further questions it raises.

    Issue 1

    A fix is needed for the fluctuating vcore. ie: when set in bios @ 1.45v +
    auto overvoltage it reads (fluctuates) from 1.488 > 1.536v. A simple fix
    may be just to add an option of .2v overvoltage or open more options in
    bios. ie: 3200 venice default voltage 1.4v maximum option in bios 1.65v.

    Or
    Big voltage fluctuation on vcore (sometimes it can go from 1.37v to 1.44v
    (readings made with Asus Probe).

    Or
    AMD 4200+ allow max of 1.48v (1.4v +overvolt) however fluctuates down as
    far as 1.41v


    Asus Response
    The Vcore will not be contantly fixed at a voltage point even if the CPU loading is
    kept. Additionally, switching noise and any high frequency operations of CPU also
    make Vcore variant. The reading from hardware, temperatures & voltages are
    translated from analog to digital converter (ADC) in hardware monitor chip. It will
    not be 100% accurate. In addition, the hardware monitor in a PC system also has a
    certain range of variation. Besides, the power for hardware monitor will also varies
    and impatcs the reading. Voltage fluctuation is inevitable. Therefore, if the
    variation is within 50mV, we can consider it stable.


    Issue 2
    The A8R-MVP is advertised to reach up to 1.65V on the Vcore. Depending on
    the processor installed, the max you can actually select is either 1.40V
    or 1.45V (The Opteron 148 allows selections up to 1.45V). The "Vcore
    Overvlotage" option is supposed to give up to .2V OVER whatever you
    manually select. If you select 1.45V and "Vcore Overvoltage" on, the
    processor should be able to get up to 1.65V. However the Vcore will not go
    over 1.55V no matter what, and fluctuates quite a bit!


    Asus Response
    We are following AMD's specification. VID+50 is what AMD defines and Asus increases
    it to 100. This +100 limit is to protect user's CPU. A8R-MVP is designed for the
    mainstream market so we take more conservative options for it.


    CPU type --- Recommended Voltage --- Maximum VID adjustable --- Maximum Voltage after Vcore over-voltage Enabled(+0.1V)
    Clawhammer 1.50V 1.55V 1.65V
    Opteron 1.40V 1.45V 1.55V
    Some new 90nm CPU 1.35V 1.40V 1.50V


    According to AMD Cool&Quiet spec, VID's overvoltage limit is 50mV (2 steps),
    together with the additional 0.1V. The maximum voltage setting should be default
    Vcore voltage + 50mV +100mV= default Vcore voltage +0.15V. The mentioned max 1.65V
    is possible only on some Athlon 64 Socket 939 CPUs which the highest voltage is
    about 1.50V. This doesn't mean that A8R-MVP supports 1.65V on every CPU model. For
    example, enthusiasts like to use Opteron 14X/15X CPU which has a default VID 1.40V.
    Thus the max Vcore can be set to be 1.40+0.15=1.55V.


    Issue 3
    Vcore reads higher than what it's set at in BIOS and in Asus Probe (I
    don't have a DMM). For instance, 1.35v shows at near 1.40v (or even higher
    because of fluctuation).


    Asus Response
    When CPU is idle, the Vcore voltage reading usually looks a little higher. If the
    loading gets heavier when running program, the Vcore voltage shall drop down a
    little.
    That's a normal phenomenon in a regulator design.


    Issue 4
    Some users reporting that they are unable to use 1T even at stock speeds.
    (Results in random reboots and errors). There are many postings here which
    cover this issue:

    http://www.ocworkbench.com/ocwb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/44/91.html

    http://vip.asus.com/forum/bbs.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=A8R-MVP


    Asus Response

    According to AMD's spec, 2T is the suggested value. Not every memory module on the
    market could perform or operate well under 1T so this really depends on the loading
    of memory module and quality of memory chip. In our previous experience, only light
    loading DIMM like 1 single side with top-grade memory chip can be easily set to 1T &
    work well. If a double side DIMM is used, or with B/C class chip, or with more than
    1 DIMM on each channel, 1T is more difficult to achieve.
     
  2. AlexM105

    AlexM105 New Member

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    Cool, our own thread. :)

    I'll go ahead and repost what I think of the situation here (Veridian3, please feel free to send it in to Asus whenever you're ready to reply to them):

    This is ridiculous!

    Huge Vcore fluctuations are normal?

    RAM can run in 1T in EVERY other board but this one?


    And how about this...

    Really Asus? Explain this then:

    Viridian3, please don't give up now. Asus is CLEARLY wrong here.
     
  3. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    It certainly is bad PR for Asus IMO.
     
  4. skruB

    skruB New Member

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    so all of the "problems" we're experiencing are "normal"? I love the way they dismiss the "problems" as "operating normally".
     
  5. 360_Rog

    360_Rog New Member

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    Random Freezing

    My issues with this board to date (system specs in my sig):

    1. BIOS posts CPU FAN failure when it is clearly spinning. (Fixed)

    2. Post sometimes is REALLY slow on SATA 3 detect. Sometimes it takes 30 seconds to continue. Random.

    3. Random freezing (infinite loop of about 0.5 sec is obvious if it happens while a song if there is active audio).

    4. I don't overclock. Motherboard set to auto. Vcore voltage falls to 1.14V, and goes as high as 1.41. Not sure if this is normal or not for this processor (X2 4400+ - ADA 4400 D A A 6 CD) / motherboard combo. I read on one of the AMD white papers that it's voltage was "variable" and designated by one of those the "A"s in the number above. I don't know if this is "normal" behaviour for this processor, but the PC Probe alarm keeps going off.

    5. PC Probe constantly reports power fan abnormal (0 RPM) when my AeroCool Coolpanel 2 reports it spinning around 1290 RPM.

    6. AsusUpdate does not work. It always gives me an error about Asus BIOSInfo.dll: "Unable to create NT driver service for BS_DEF.DLL. Click OK and you get another message box saying "Unable to get BIOS information". Click okay one more time and the windows error reporting window pops up, and the program seems to load, but doesn't work.

    7. MyLogo doesn't work either.

    8. System is not responsive if left for a few hours. There is no response from the keyboard or mouse (though it's possible that whatever is causing it to freeze is happening after the monitors turn off, so this may or may not be related to power management).

    I am using BIOS version 0402. 12/28/05.

    On the advice of others, I have disabled Q Fan and uninstalled all the Cool n Quiet software. I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO do this, as it was all presumably DESIGNED to work together! However, so far so good today after uninstalling C n Q and disabling Q FAN (this move was prompted by my three previous freezes today alone!).

    Hopefully between all of us, we can isolate what's going on with this board and maybe figure out some workarounds until Asus posts a new BIOS (speaking of which they seem to have pulled the version I'm using).
     
  6. brutusmaximus

    brutusmaximus New Member

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    I just spent most of last night with my friend who bought this board last week and he was about to throw his PC out the window. he is having BSODs when using any of the asus software and updaters and when he installs the motherboard drivers the machine hard locks on boot up and he has to go into safe mode. Asusupdate gives a BIOSInfo.dll: "Unable to create NT driver service for BS_DEF.DLL" error and when he goes into 3d mode most games crash to desktop. He has tried 3 different power supplies and two graphics cards.

    He took it back and got a DFI board which has worked first time, but it has totally put me off Asus products for life.
     
  7. Ro0t3d

    Ro0t3d New Member

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    well dudes...time to post my own experience with this board!

    I got a few isues at first with it but now all fixed and even using 1T and USB2 for a few days without a single crash or freeze , and im very happy with this board now, and im using a few things that NF4 cant handle like Skystar 2 DVB PCI...since NF4 cant give the 5 volts to pci slots needed for this Satelite Board to work ( a lot of NF4 burned there mobos trying to use this DVB card "as my brother did"..and doing al ot of gaming ( CSS and Comandos SF ) and benchmarking and honestly i was going to buy A8R32 but im very happy with this one so i will not!!!. :)

    what i did!

    Let Windows install USB2 and HD sound...only install latest Marvel drivers from Marvel site...didnt updated Windows...Catalyst 6.3..and turned off a lot of not needed things in Bios like MIDI or PARALLEL..off over voltages shit .

    I got a 3500+ Venice "2.2GHz" overclocked to 2.6GHz. ./ htt - 237mhz / HT - 400 / x11 / mem 186 mhz with all default voltages

    to use 1T i relaxed the timings from 2-2-2-6 to 2.5-3-3-7 ( since i read that the best TRAS for RD480 was 7 ) and it worked." it has been up all night on prime95" after a 3dmark05 and 06 benchs.

    Hope i could help

    ------------------------------------------
    Asus A8R-MVP
    Asus 1900XTX
    AMD A64 3500+ Venice 2.2GHz / 2.6GHz
    ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED
    Mushkin 2x512MB DDR400 2-2-2 Special / 2.5-3-3-7 1T
    WD SATA 80GB
    WD SATA 160GB
    NEC DVD_RW ND-4570A
    TechniSat DVB-PC Skystar2 Rev.2.3
    Zoom ADSL PCI
    Samsung 19 TFT SyncMaster 913N
    Lian Li PC 65B
    Cooler Master Real Power 450W
     
  8. Lezziter

    Lezziter New Member

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    Well, I saw your post at another forum.. Can't remember wich one at the moment, but whatever.
    Anyway, I followed your "guide", and I now have a flawless system. Great!
    Anyway (again), I did it with some modifications, wich might be good, becuase now we have a chance to isolate the "real" problem:

    * I have update ALL updates from WU. So, updated Windows apperently doesn't affect.
    * I installed SATA-drivers directly with XP-isnatll, and never changed a thing regarding drives since then.

    The last one eleminiated the following problem:
    1. Go to the Device Manager.
    2. Under "SATA/RAID Controller" (don't know exactly what it's named on English XP), go into Options for the ULi SATA/RAID Controller.
    There you have a tab called "ULi Settings".
    Before my format when I clicked that tab, it caused a hangup for 5-10 seconds, every time.

    Now that is totaly gone, wich leads me to belive that my previus problems were HDD-related.
    Since then I have both changed drivers, overclocked, breached 11k in 3DMark05 and played Oblivion for 6h strait without one singel crash or hangup (except once when I managed to turn off the watercooling-fan by mistake :))

    Hope you can understand my somewhat crappy english :)
     
  9. Ro0t3d

    Ro0t3d New Member

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    Nice to see that my " Guide " as helped as i have a few nights and formats invested there :) ... anyway just to say that im very happy with this board but i know that it gives a hell of a fight to start working right..but when it did...its a very fast and stable board..i dont know if all boards out there have the same version as i read ppl unable to correct those problems what its wierd.

    ! next step its to update windows !.....as i read from my friend csimon that on WinXP SP2 he found out that update was installing the wrong version of HD Sound ( the XP SP2 was installing XP SP1 HD Sound update )..what lead to blue screens..after he corret that ( installed the right XP SP2 HD Sound update ) the sistem was back to stable again.

    I belive this was happening to SATA/Raid Drivers too but im not sure..well the point is that Windows sometimes installs wrong updates in your sistem...so check well if you r updating the right ones!!!

    And i found another " funny " thing....after installed Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta ( the one that looks like a target )...my sistem that was stable...start giving me blue screens...i uninstalled it and it was back to stable. :/

    Anyway...just a few more guidelines!

    well......

    "" thanks to Zardon and Veridian3 for all the work ""

    Cya

    !!!!!! Im gonna start a channel in IRC for ppl to talk in real time about this Board ( EFnet #A8R-MVP )...since im using a BNC im gonna be always there...even when im not :)
    Drop by !!!!!!!!



    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Asus A8R-MVP
    Asus 1900XTX
    AMD A64 3500+ Venice 2.2GHz / 2.6GHz
    ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED
    Mushkin 2x512MB DDR400 2-2-2 Special / 2.5-3-3-7 1T
    WD SATA 80GB
    WD SATA 160GB
    NEC DVD_RW ND-4570A
    TechniSat DVB-PC Skystar2 Rev.2.3
    Zoom ADSL PCI
    Samsung 19 TFT SyncMaster 913N
    Lian Li PC 65B
    Cooler Master Real Power 450W
     
  10. csimon

    csimon New Member

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    Has anyone tried the Uli 1575 2.20 driver yet? I would but it's in rar format.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2006
  11. Lezziter

    Lezziter New Member

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    Downloading now.
    ftp://www.uli.com.tw/driver/Integrated220.rar

    Link for the lazy ones.

    EDIT:
    There is actually a update for the SATA-controller in there. Will reboot now, if I donät come back.. Well, don't download them =)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2006
  12. Ro0t3d

    Ro0t3d New Member

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    new ULI drivers

    Well mates

    Gonna download them and see what happens :)
     
  13. Lezziter

    Lezziter New Member

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    I survived. Got some crappy RAID-tool in autostart, though.
     
  14. dehx

    dehx New Member

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    I created an online petition that all of us misguided A8R-MVP owners can sign and hoepfully will persuade Asus to be smart and do something about this, in hopes of retaining many customers who have loved Asus and been faithful to them in the past.



    http://www.webpetitions.com/cgi-bin/print_petition.cgi?99500466

    The information you put on this petition is not displayed publicy but will be sent to Asus when the petition is considered complete.

    Who is with me on this one... for the community.
     
  15. csimon

    csimon New Member

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    Thanks I signed it and sent it off.

    Basically I said that I find it hard to believe that the A8R32 problems were resolved so quickly and that A8R consumers are still left holding the bag.

    Thanks
    csimon
     
  16. 360_Rog

    360_Rog New Member

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    IMPORTANT - Read this before you reinstall Windows

    Speaking of ULi drivers...

    When your system is new, and your hard drive is blank, can install Windows as normal and add partitions as normal...you won't notice anything wrong at all. However, when you go to reinstall windows, you may have problems without the ULi SATA driver.

    I found the ULi SATA/RAID driver on the Asus CD. IMHO, it would be better just provide this driver on a RED floppy in the box next to the CD or at least include a big bright "READ ME FIRST"-type note in the box with instructions on how to get to install the proper driver from the Asus CD during the Windows Install. Instead, instructions for creating this driver disk are buried very close to the end of the manual (pg 5-33). I didn't use these instructions because I wasn't planning on using RAID...just plain SATA.

    Note: this issue will only seriously affect you if the following conditions are met:
    1. You using a large (say 300 GB) SATA drive as your primary boot device;
    2. You created a primary partition (say a D:) drive from within a previous installation of Windows;
    3. You plan to reformat only your C: partition and reinstall Windows to C:, leaving D: intact;
    4. You don't already have a ULi SATA/RAID driver disk made from your previous installation of Windows.
    5. You don't have another PC available with an A8R-MVP motherboard; and
    6. You don't know how to manually make the driver disk outside of the Asus Install program.

    Note: having a regular ATA/133 IDE HDD installed on the Primary IDE channel in conjunction to the SATA drives will further complicate your Windows setup if you don't have the ULi SATA driver installed and you didn't label your volumes beforehand.

    Here's the thing: when you go to reinstall Windows to your C: drive, if you don't press F6 when Windows asks you if you want to install a RAID driver - even if you don't plan to use RAID - Windows setup will -if you look closely - incorrectly report the size of your C: drive. If you think, "oh well, maybe I'll just install anyway on what the system reports to be C:", you'll be in for a nasty surprise. All other partitions on that drive will be lost!

    Page 5-33 of the manual needs to be corrected to read, "Creating an SATA and RAID Driver Disk". Currently, it just says, "Creating a RAID Driver Disk". This should be placed in some sort of "Important - Before Installing Windows" type section. Such an important driver should be given a much higher profile.

    If you forget to make your SATA/RAID driver disk and you put the Asus CD in another system to do so, unless that system uses the same ULi chipset as the A8R-MVP, the ULi driver does NOT even show up as an option under Make Disk! The Asus install program checks the chipset you're using. Smart - it prevents users from installing the wrong driver on their computer. Not-so-smart - if you don't know how to make driver disks manually, you can't get at the drivers on the CD until you have Windows installed on the PC that needed it!

    So please, everyone, save yourself a future headache and make a disk of this driver from the CD once your system is up and running, or follow the instructions on pg 5-33 of the manual before attempting to reinstall windows on a large drive with existing partitions (I haven't tried that option yet). About a month ago, I figured this one out the hard way - almost...fortunately I had a feeling that this might happen so I had a backup!
     
  17. Ro0t3d

    Ro0t3d New Member

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    new ULI drivers installed

    ok..new ULI drivers installed...only installed the SATA drivers and so far so good...i didnt installed any USB2 or HD Sound


    ------------------------------------------
    Asus A8R-MVP
    Asus 1900XTX
    AMD A64 3500+ Venice 2.2GHz / 2.6GHz
    ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED
    Mushkin 2x512MB DDR400 2-2-2 Special / 2.5-3-3-7 1T
    WD SATA 80GB
    WD SATA 160GB
    NEC DVD_RW ND-4570A
    TechniSat DVB-PC Skystar2 Rev.2.3
    Zoom ADSL PCI
    Samsung 19 TFT SyncMaster 913N
    Lian Li PC 65B
    Cooler Master Real Power 450W
     
  18. fryspeak

    fryspeak New Member

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  19. dehx

    dehx New Member

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    ..Same for me.. except I have the DDR-600 Platinum Elite Edition ram from OCZ, supposedly, the highest quality (and most expensive ) ram that OCZ sells for non-DDR2 platforms.

    and I could not get over 230 FSB with a 1:1 memory divider.

    I appreciate everyone discussing problems on here and providing workarounds, thats all nice. But we still need to make a stand on this issue. We need to show the manufacturers of these motherboards/chipsets that we are serious tweakers, and we will pay serious money for a serious product, and not serious money for a low-end non tweakable crossfire board like this one.

    I have a bad feeling that soon everyone will forget about all of this, and we'll have a repeat with the DDR2 and DDR3 platforms.

    As already stated, I set up a web based petition: I want to show Asus how this community feels jipped on their latest Xpress200 Crossfire offering (for the dogs). Make them face up for this atrocity.

    Before I came to PCI Express my last motherboard was a Gigabyte mobo. I was able to get 1T timings @ 250 FSB, and it was a cheap-o $59 AGP 8x mobo. What gives.

    heres the petition link again for reference.
    http://www.webpetitions.com/cgi-bin/print_petition.cgi?99500466
     
  20. jpinard

    jpinard New Member

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    I apologize once again for the re-post - but it's important for people to see this was an Asus issue all along and not an ATI issue:

    I'm finally at liberty to say that the big huge long threads that I started here and on Rage3d about the Asus A8R-MVP + CAT 6.2/6.3 cpu hits had been confirmed by ATI labs several weeks ago. After all that testing... and all that time... we discovered it was an Asus motherboard defect, not a problem with the Catalyst drivers. The newer Catalyst 6.2/6.3 drivers enhanced an existing problem with the Asus motherboard on X1800/X1900 boards with 512 Meg of RAM. It is a single CPU register being incorrectly set by the ASUS bios, which results in writes across the PCIE bus going at half speed.

    So I found the problem with the board/card - but ATI did the engineering to resolve the problem. Asus has sent an updated BIOS to ATI that does correct the issue, but stability tests have not been completed and there's no information on when/if this BIOS will be posted.

    The irony? After the hundreds of hours I put into narrowing down this problem, the extra work ATI had to do to with their drivers to isolate the exact problem - is if Asus had simply responded to my initial requests for help I'd never have even posted these problems here. Lack of proper testing and (in my own opinion, not ATI's opinion) poor engineering has made the A8R-MVP and the A8R32 needlesssly problematic for everyone. If Asus bothered to monitor their own forums, respond to tech e-mails, read their own webforms... they could have run a simple test and seen this too. But instead it took a lot of effort from a lot of people to get Asus to listen. This is not satisfactory for a Tier-1 manufacturer, and to me, there appears to be massive disconnect between levels of managment, support and engineering at Asus.

    I'd like to thank ATI, DH, and Rage3d for providing an outlet for our frustrations and concerns, without the help of which many of us Asus A8R(32)-MVP users would have been (for lack of a better term) screwed.

    It's a real tribute to ATI that unlike many hardware companies, they closely monitor forums and work honestly and openly to address problems. If only all hardware venders had this kind of concern us end-users would be in a much better situation.

    I think competition can sometimes bring out the best in companies and I hope DFI, Gigabyte/MSI, A-Bit have monitored the Asus situations and are preparing to capitalize on these mis-steps. I do wish there was a more constructive way to post these frustating series of events in relation to Asus - but honestly there's just no way. Everyone makes mistakes and nothing can be perfect, but it's obvious the last 6 months of Asus mobo releases does not fall in the "accidents happen" category. I'll be re-posting this note in all the relevant threads.
     

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