Wednesday, January 11th 2006

ASUS A8R-MVP motherboards not working as expected?

Our reader R.H. has bought the ASUS A8R-MVP CrossFire motherboard which is advertised with "Designed for serious overclockers". Unfortunately the production motherboards seem to have a lot of issues with voltage selection and ASUS is not doing anything to fix it.

This is the full E-Mail from our reader:
Hello W1zzard,

Just an FYI on the A8R-MVP Mobo as the production Mobos are not living up to the pre-production Mobos performance.

Specifically, there are some serious issues with the production Mobos that AMDZone, Anandtech and THG did not experience with their review boards. The production A8R-MVP Mobo does NOT provide CPU Vcore voltages above 1.40V and many if not most people who have purchased this Mobo have been unable to run memory at 1T above 250 MHz even though the same memory runs fine on other Mobos above 250 MHz at 1T with no problem. The voltage issue is serious because Asus clearly advertises the A8R-MVP for use with all socket 939 Athlon / FX / X2 CPUs, which of course is impossible as the (CG) Clawhammer core chips require a MINIMUM 1.50V, which isn't even an option on the A8R-MVP Mobo.
I have a suspicion that the A8R-MVP has limited Vcore current capacity and that is why Asus has refused to provide the proper voltage options in the BIOS. I suspect after they produced the Mobo they discovered this shortcoming and so limited the voltage options because the current draw increases as you O/C the CPU, which is only possible if you can raise the voltage, in most cases. This is just my theory but if Asus could provide the proper CPU voltages for the CG core CPUs then you'd have thought after two BIOS updates they would have done this and they have not... The prototype BIOS used on the pre-production Mobos at least went to 1.45V and Anandtech "claimed" the Vcore over-voltage option allowed you to bump the voltage to 1.65V but this is NOT correct on the production Mobos as I have tested ALL three available BIOS V201, V309 & V402 and none of them allow Vcore above 1.46 volts WITH Vcore over voltage enabled.

From my perspective this is simply unacceptable as any Clawhammer based CPU requires a minimum 1.50V per AMD. Asus has advertised the A8R-MVP as being fully Athlon / FX / X2 compatible and even states in their online Tech Section that the FX-55 and 4000+ are fully supported on this Mobo - which of course they ARE NOT as they require a MINIMUM 1.50V, which is not even an option on the A8R-MVP.

My suggestion is that people STOP BUYING THIS MOBO if you need a minimum 1.50V Vcore. Anyone who can return their A8R-MVP under warranty would be advised to do so. If you have an FX-55 or 4000+ that requires 1.50V per AMD, then you can't run it on this Mobo despite Asus' claims of fitment. That's my view of things based on what I see and I'd suggest potential purchasers of this Mobo be advised of the unusually low CPU voltage choices PRIOR to purchase as they may otherwise need to return the Mobo if their CPU requires 1.50 or more volts to function properly.

Asus seems to have a serious problem with the A8R-MVP Mobo. I don't know of any "enthusiasts Retail Mobo" that does NOT allow you to increase the Vcore above the default required voltage. In fact in Asus' advertising for the A8R-MVP (below) they sight how you can raise the voltage to see how much your CPU desires for maximum performance. Well if the BIOS CPU voltage options don't even meet the default requirement of 1.50V that AMD specifies for the CG series CPUs, then how could you possibly raise the voltage to see what your CPU requires for optimum performance? The answer is you can't.

If you read the marketing hype for this and most Asus Mobos, it's quite clear their products are being marketed to Overclockers FOR Overclocking. If you're looking for a Non-overclocking Mobo you might look at Asus' economy Mobos sold under the Asrock label. IMNHO there is a serious issue with the A8R-MVP that Asus needs to rectify immediately with a BIOS upgrade or take these Mobos back as they are not what they are advertised to be.

Here is what Asus states in their A8R-MVP advertising:
"Precision Tweaker
Designed for serious overclockers
It offers ways to raise system performance inch-by-inch and step-by-step to achieve maximum performance! This is about getting the most out of your machine and taking pride in your customized computer.
* vDIMM - Take control of how much power is going into the memory modules. ASUS gives you 8-step voltage control to the DIMM
* vCore - Find out "exactly" how much power your CPU needs. Fine-tune it with 0.025 volts at a time!
* SFS - SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection) allows FSB tuning from 200MHz up to 400MHz at 1MHz increments.

And their Specs on the A8R-MVP under CPUs supported says this:
" Socket 939 for AMD Athlon 64 FX/ Athlon 64 X2/ Athlon 64/ SempronAMD64 architecture enables simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing AMD Cool 'n' Quiet! TechnologyAMD HyperTransport Technology "

You can read a host of complaints on the A8R-MVP Mobo at the Asus website and there has been ZERO response from Asus on this for WEEKS !

vip.asus.com/forum/bbs.aspx?board_id=1&SLanguage=en-us
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3 Comments on ASUS A8R-MVP motherboards not working as expected?

#1
Mussels
Moderprator
heh, assus got pwned lying again.
Posted on Reply
#2
CYBERX1800XT
My A8r-mvp

WELL NOW I SEE WHY MY A8R-MVP AINT LIVING UP TO ALL THE OVERCLOCKING HYPE AND BENCHMARKS ALOT OF MAJOR WEB SITES HAVE POSTED ABOUT MY NEW MOTHERBOARD. AND I'VE GOT AN X1800XT TO POWER IT WITH,SO I KNOW IM NOW UNDER-POWERED IN THE VIDEO CARD DEPT. IVE BEEN AN ASUS MAN FOR OVER 6 YEARS NOW. IVE HAD SUCH GOOD LUCK TO THIS DAY WITH MY OLD P4T533/2.26 GIG P4 SYSTEM. WELL ASUS BETTER ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM QUICK OR IVE GOT A 2200.00 PAPER WEIGHT. LET ALONE A GRAND FOR A AMD 4000 FX-55 X2 PROCESSOR. IF ASUS DOESN'T ADDRESS THE 1.5VOLTS NEEDED TO POWER MY PORCESSOR,,ILL JUST RMA THE BOARD BACK TO NEWEGG,,AND GO BUY THE SAPPHIRE CROSSFIRE MOBO. I'M MAJORLY DISAPPOINTED IN ASUS. IF I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS 2 WEEKS AGO,, I WOULD HAVE HELD OFF ORDERING THIS A8R-MVP. I'M SUCH A FOOL. WELL IT GOES TO SHOW HOW WANTING TO HAVE THE BIGGEST,BADDEST PC IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO GLOAT AND RUB IN ALL OF MY FELLOW FRIEND'S FACE CAN BACKFIRE IN YOURS VERY QUICKLY. SO TO WHOEVER READS THIS POST,,BELIEVE WHAT HAS BEEN SAID IN THIS THREAD ABOUT THE NEW ASUS A8R-MVP. TRUST ME,,I JUST BOUGHT ONE 2 WEEKS AGO. NOW IM STUCK WITH A 2200.00 PAPER WEIGHT. ALL THOUGH MY X1800XT IS STILL A MEAN,NASTY VIDEO CARD STANDING ALONE. :banghead:
CYBERX1800XT 1/17/06
Posted on Reply
#3
freeboy
Asus really is not supportingthe lower A* series, I called customer support and they basically told me to screw..
"we do not support the bios features you are refering to"
ITS IS THIER FREAKIN FEATURE!
It does not bother me that the board is limited to 1.4, but they would not even tell me that! what bothers me is their attitude. I have a A8S-x... .. I will never own another asus product!
Planning on getting anew board soon!
Posted on Reply