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  • Lashek - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Reviewer Product Review

    Manufacturer Response:Those are unusual issues, especially the CPU multiplier adjusting. We do have a new BIOS that has just been released (www.xfxforce.com) also feel free to contact myself at Neweggsupport@xfxforce.com or the XFX Support staff at www.xfxforce.com / 800-880-3225 so we can help out
    SUPPORTWindows Vista32/64 Realtek Audio (R1.90) support files for product MB-N790-IUL9 have recently been updated. (Friday, April 18, 2008)SUPPORTWindows XP32/64 Realtek Audio (R1.90) support files for product MB-N790-IUL9 have recently been updated. (Friday, April 18, 2008)SUPPORT790i SLI Bios Update Nvidia (P04) support files for product MB-N790-IUL9 have recently been updated. (Monday, April 21, 2008)SUPPORT790i SLI Bios Update XFX (P04) support files for product MB-N790-IUL9 have recently been updated. (Monday, April 21, 2008)HELP DESKXFX reply to ALL messages via the ticket system. We send automated emails to advise if we have new information available, due to the nature of email we cannot guarantee delivery of and so recommend that you log in regularly.HELP DESKXFX reply to ALL messages via the ticket system, but Due to unprecedented demand of our support, we are currently experiencing longer waiting times than normal. Please allow upto 48 Hours for an initial response. Alternatively please use our LIVE HELP system, this is available from the drop down box next to your registered product. Thank you for patience, regards XFX SUPPORT TEAM



    Reply
  • Lashek - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Reviewer Product Review
    Lashek Tech Level: somewhat high Ownership: 1 month to 1 year This user purchased this item from Newegg.com 4/15/2008 5:41:49 AM memory problems

    Pros: superior porformace ,and bios menus 4 u overclockers .and easy setup

    Cons: a) CPU multiplier likes to changes at will, causing an inability to POST after changing BIOS options. (Problem is likely linked to bad NVIDIA base code). b) Poor memory read performance above 475FSB unless you enable “P1” and “P2” which NVIDIA refuses to document operation of or provide information about. c) EVGA/XFX (NVIDIA reference design) lacks support for tRFC tuning - high density DDR3 configurations often refuse to work unless the module SPDs are tuned from the manufacturer. (This makes them needlessly slow in low-density configurations.) d) The chipset does not do a very good job of balancing read vs. write priorities with respect to memory access - copy scores lower than X38/X48. e) Regardless of what NVIDIA says, we think PCI-E 2.0 (and 1.x) implementation is still better on Intel’s Express chipsets - give us SLI on Intel to prove it!!! f) Possible problem with NVIDIA reference design: sustained overclocked operation at >~1.9V for VDIMM may cause critical failu

    Other Thoughts: buy asus striker Extreme board instead! Manufacturer Response:Those are unusual issues, especially the CPU multiplier adjusting. We do have a new BIOS that has just been released (www.xfxforce.com) also feel free to contact myself at Neweggsupport@xfxforce.com or the XFX Support staff at www.xfxforce.com / 800-880-3225 so we can help out
    Reply
  • recneps77 - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    So was the Gigabyte stable @ stock?
    Because I learned of all this AFTER my cpu had shipped..
    its a 9750, 125W.
    The board is back ordered, so I can cancel it if need be, but its gonna cost me a 'restocking' fee to exchange the cpu (such a rip).

    Can anyone confirm this for me?
    Gigabyte's site lists all of the B3's under supported, except the 9850 says 'unofficially supported'
    Reply
  • bobaboo - Sunday, April 13, 2008 - link

    it will run it just fine
    Reply
  • Visual - Thursday, April 10, 2008 - link

    [quote](4/9/08 Update - We will post an update to this article on 4/10/08 that addresses problems/concerns raised in this story, working with Gigabyte / ASRock on 9850BE certification tonight)[/quote]
    I have been waiting anxiously for the update since yesterday... If I'm not hallucinating this text used to say the update will come on 4/9 and it now says 4/10, and the day is almost over...

    I'm starting to wonder, maybe the update is up somewhere, linked between the 3.14-th and sqrt(-1) page of the article and I just didn't notice it...

    LOL yeah, I know I'm not helping any, and I apologize for being so impatient. Of course, take your time and do things the proper way instead of rushing them.
    Reply
  • amdmobo - Thursday, April 10, 2008 - link

    Hi, you are not alone. I have been waiting the update since 2 days ago. Yeah, they delayed the date I guess. Reply
  • kzi - Thursday, April 10, 2008 - link

    I'd like to run such a 780g board with two monitors attached to it.
    So I hope you don't forget to look how good the display quality is in such a configuration.
    Reply
  • insider - Thursday, April 10, 2008 - link

    "check gigabytes website the 9850 is now supported on their cpu list for 780g platform.Bios f3"


    can somebody tell me please whether it's safe to run a Phenom 9850 on this MoBo or not ???
    Reply
  • Sb1 - Thursday, April 10, 2008 - link

    I appreciate Gary and AnandTech for publishing this article.
    When there are problems I think it's good that they get disclosed. It helps the consumers make more informed decisions and in turn shows manufacturers that they need to address the issue or issues. If they do not then people can take their business elsewhere. Because most people don't have time to read up on multiple forums, even if they are into technology. If they handle it correctly and fess up, it may still p**s you off but you can give them the benifit of the doubt because you know that there are problems in most everything. It's how it is handled that make up peoples real opionions over time of a company.

    I was thinking of purchasing that Gigabyte 780G based motherboard and build it for a friend and possibly for myself once I sell two other PC's. Don't know if he wanted the newest 125w quad cores, but if he did and there were problems I probably would of not bought anything from Gigabyte once I found out on forums that they did not properly update their website for CPU support on this and the 680i based ones I luckily came across in the last few days. Now I am going to look elsewhere. I just bought an Abit IP35 Pro and was seriously considering a Gigabyte board, told my friend to get one for his Q6600 last summer and he did.
    Reply
  • duron266 - Thursday, April 10, 2008 - link

    click to view
    Reply
  • duron266 - Thursday, April 10, 2008 - link

    http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=kX3zQRILICo">http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=kX3zQRILICo

    take a few minutes time to watch and to learn about the truth of the advertised "fully support".
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 10, 2008 - link

    what is that video trying to show? Everything is so blurry I have no idea. Can't tell what units of temperature measurement that is - either the room temp is very low if Fahrenheit, or that board gets quite toasty if Celsius. Is everything just shutting down when screen goes blank, not a BSOD? Reply
  • Visual - Thursday, April 10, 2008 - link

    I too have no clue... I watched it without sound because I'm at work though, and so didn't want to comment in case the important details were there.

    It feels like it was filmed underwater for the most part, it is so wave-y. The poster's comments/description is not giving any details for the actual problem, and the last of his "(my thoughts)" blocks made absolutely no sense to me. The guy is also fiddling with the electronics out of the case, so who knows what he didn't plug correctly or shorted out with his meter or some other absurd user error...

    And even if it's not a user error, what's his point? He might have gotten a faulty board or something, but that's not indicative of all the boards out there in general. So just return it and get a new one, and stop bitching about it...

    But I'll watch it again, with audio, when I get home. Maybe I'm missing something important there.
    Reply
  • Bikerskummm - Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - link

    Lots more 790i corruption of data events being reported over at XS

    The poll itself is a bit broken at the moment but a lot of the posts speak for themselves.....

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php...">http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php...
    Reply
  • Bikerskummm - Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - link

    Lots more 790i corruption of data events being reported here @XS

    The poll itself is a bit broken at the moment but a lot of the posts speak for themselves.....
    Reply
  • deruberhanyok - Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - link

    Gary,

    Thank you so much for posting this. It's great to see the information out there in the open.

    I'd love to see an article about a motherboard that states "but we couldn't finish the review because the board exploded" or "and the hard drives are still showing corruption / totally unusable even after all these years" especially when explanations, like those presented in this article, are given.

    You wrote: "We are hoping the short-term fixes occur quickly over the next thirty days" which is great, but the companies didn't want to wait thirty extra days to release the products and so they should be reviewed as-is, data corruption and all.
    Reply
  • bobaboo - Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - link

    check gigabytes website the 9850 is now supported on their cpu list for 780g platform.Bios f3 Reply
  • insider - Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - link

    what does this mean? is it just a software update that's needed in order to let this gigabyte mobo operate and sustain the 125w or is it done by changing also the hardware ??? Reply
  • bobaboo - Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - link

    aparently they built the board with a 4 phase power setup but had to set up in the bios for the power distribution. Most people built this board with a 3 phase power distribution. Only Asrock built it with a 5 phase power setup and AsRock board is also saying their board supports the 9850. Reply
  • techflavor - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    Thanks very much for the information about the mobos not really supporting the Phenom or 6400+ (125w).

    However, I need some help locating a nice motherboard that will support these. There is one problem though... the motherboard I am looking for needs to be MicroATX and our company also requires an integrated Serial (COM) port.

    I've found ~15 MicroATX boards with 4-5 of them with Serial ports; however, I'm not sure if they fully support Phenom (9600 for example) or the Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor (125w).
    Reply
  • LH2312x - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    Immediately after reading your news about 780G mainboard problems with 125W TDP CPUs I contacted Asrock about my new A780FullDisplayPort and also asked in Ocworkbench forum about experiences in running a phenom 9850 on an A780FDP.

    Asrock has responded very quickly and their tech support stated that the A780FullDisplayPort mainboard is absolutely capable of running all kinds of 125W TDP AMD chips, including the Phenom 9850! They have implemented a 5-phase PWM on this mobo... phew, thank god I bought this one and not the Gigabyte just laying aside of it :-)

    So, your assumption the Asrock A780FullDisplayPort would have failed also (in case you would have tested it) ist wrong!
    Reply
  • TrueSport - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    what a JOKE!
    when the Gigabyte, with high quality components, has to die.
    The crappy Asrock can survive?! LOL LOL LOL
    Reply
  • TrueSport - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    just checked out the asrock global site,
    the 9850BE is not listed in the procesor support list, where 9750 and 9650 are there and OK.Also, asking the official Asrock media (ocworkbench), what do you expect to get, NO? no.
    http://www.asrock.com.tw/mb/cpu.cn.asp?Model=A780F...">http://www.asrock.com.tw/mb/cpu.cn.asp?Model=A780F...
    Reply
  • LH2312x - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    It's easy. Check the news front page on www.ocworkbench.com. It's there.

    Reply
  • TrueSport - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    stop selling your site, it's damn disguisting! Reply
  • LH2312x - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    First of all, I don't need to "sell a site", since I'm far from being a fan boy like you abviously are? I prefer technical facts, no matter where they are published - as long as I can verify them. Besides that I own mainboards from MSI, Gigabyte, Asrock and Asus. Now THAT is what a call a biased opinion.

    Second, I doubt Asrock would make a public statement like the one being published on OCW if they can't keep up with it. From a product liability stand point this is close to commiting suicide if it is not true - imagine all the people trying to run a phenom 9850 (or any other 125W CPU!) on their A780FDP and frying them...
    Reply
  • TrueSport - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    the technical fact is, the asrock board only has 10 mosfets,
    which is less than the Gigabyte's design.
    it can boot into Windows doesn't mean it can run 24hrs a day, 7 days a week in a reliable and stable manner,
    I'm sorry for saying that you are advertising that site, I apologize for that. It's my fault.
    Reply
  • LH2312x - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    Simply counting the number of MOSFETs actually doesn't help in determining what current this mainboard can handle (and at which level of stability).
    Just for a quick overview about some basic facts I recommend this from pcper forum:
    http://forums.pcper.com/showpost.php?s=783a95b9912...">http://forums.pcper.com/showpost.php?s=...eeefc5f3...
    OK, enough for theory. Next week I will buy a 9850 and I'll see how it goes!

    Reply
  • TrueSport - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    totally agree with you, Prime95/Orthos/OCCT will tell us the answers.
    Looking forward to your tests!
    Regards,
    TS
    Reply
  • TrueSport - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    all of us will be glad to see you run a 24hrs OCCT v2 and get a pass with it.
    seriously I will consider to buy one it is capable of doing so.
    Reply
  • braddy752 - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    Seeing this Gigabyte case has being flaming with gasoline.. Though the board maker should take certain responsibilites of having mistake information..

    However, we all knew that from the starting point it's the chipset makers issue, delivering too aggressive assumptions on supporting processors which the chip maker had not validated. Not mentioning those buggy issues created by Nvidia.

    Nvidia has been keeping quiet for those issues found by journalist or end-users, and making their so called partners (board makers) to deal with it.

    So, who should be blamed for the faulty products? Board maker or the Chip maker? For me... I'll still trust the board makers who deliever good quality products, and blame the root cause to the chip maker.
    Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    I approached Anandtech a looong time ago way back when Yorkfields first came out about 680iSLI not being compatible as I soon found out. They ignored my posts.

    I had an EVGA 680i SLi and they provided their customers with a 780iSLI step up, which I am now running trouble free. Maybe you guys should have gone EVGA.
    Reply
  • Tanclearas - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    Gary,

    I'm not sure if you recall, but I was the one you helped get in contact with Nvidia regarding the nforce4 corruption issues related to the hardware firewall. I still have all of the email messages associated with that. You definitely tried harder than Nvidia in working with me on identifying the issue. I responded to the suggestions by the Nvidia rep quickly, and provided as detailed information as I could to them. I offered to completely reformat my system, and follow any specific directions they wanted, but their only suggestion for me was to install a driver that I had already tested with.

    You followed up with me, and contacted Nvidia again, but they still never contacted me again. You eventually let me know that Nvidia's solution was to discontinue support of the hardware firewall, even though that was a major "bullet point" on the feature list of nforce4.

    I won't go so far as to say "I'll never buy nvidia again!", but I definitely won't buy until the products have been on the market an extended period and there is reasonable confirmation about which "features" of their products actually work as advertised.
    Reply
  • chucky2 - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    Gary,

    Personally, I think instead of working behind the scenes with the mobo manufacturers, you ought to publish the review and slam them all for dying. The fact seems to be that these manufacturers will just not fix their ways until it blows up in their faces.

    Maybe being embarrassed on the front page of AnandTech in a full out review will serve as sufficient embarrassment for them to put enough engineering into their products so those of us who buy a 125W Phenom and OC it (through the BIOS options the manufacturers themselves provide) the boards won't fry.

    In college teaching the saying goes Publish or Perish...maybe for the manufacturers it should be Engineer it or be Embarrassed....

    Chuck

    P.S. Now your 780G review will be further delayed because of their shodding underengineering....should give AnandTech time to review a couple of the past 690G boards to see how they compare and if they have the same problems. I just looked, and the Gigabyte 690G boards have the 6000+ and 6400+ listed as supported, and the 95W Phenom's as well. Should make for a good comparison....
    Reply
  • whatthehey - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    I completely support your suggestion: reviewers should put the reviews out there as soon as a product is available on the retail shelves. By all means, go ahead and delay a preview or a first look while you wait for a BIOS respin, but when boards are available to the average Joe shopping at Newegg, it's time for manufacturers to put up or shut up.

    I respect all the hard work you do, Gary, but I'd much rather read reviews of imperfect products than to wait (and wait... and waaaaait.......) for a review of an ephemeral "perfect" motherboard and BIOS.

    As for the motherboards, I'd say you should stick to reviewing whatever CPUs they list as working and put in information about what CPUs *don't* make that list. Then let us know how the board works in practice. If it's flaky and your article ends up killing sales for a board, that's just too bad.

    Finally, less time spent on extreme overclocking and more time spent getting articles out the door would be appreciated. I don't use water, let alone phase change or LN2, and I'm not going to push my system to the ragged edge. I'll take a reasonable overclock if it's easy to achieve. Spending hours/days/months tweaking and adjusting various BIOS settings to get the last .05% performance boost means nothing to 99.999% of people. Let the XS braggarts worry about the ORB charts!
    Reply
  • nubie - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    I don't know if anything I have ever seen on Anandtech qualifies as extreme overclocking (if you want that go to vr-zone.com and see Shamino or Kingpin), unless we are talking about 3.8+ Ghz air-cooled CPU's, and I guess that is a little extreme, but only as far as the retention mechanism goes. I don't recall any voltage modifications or phase-cooling on this site. (If you can buy it for $100 or less, and put it on the CPU in one piece, without soldering, vacuum pumps, or bleeding of coolant, and it fits in the case, I don't really consider it extreme.)

    I think what they point to here is that general mild overclocking will completely destroy a motherboard with certain CPU's, CPU's that are supposed to be supported and should by rights have plenty of headroom for worst-case scenario running, and should thus be exploitable by their "best case" test methodology with a mild overclock.
    Reply
  • Dsjonz - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    I agree with whatthehey. "Warts and all" reviews TODAY are what many of us want. But despite the overclocked CPU limitations of the initial crop of these three 780G motherboards, I won't "waaaaait' for this issue to be resolved with more expensive board respins six months from now. I will be buying a 780G next week for my HTPC hardware refresh. Why?

    I'm buying a 780G board today because they offer precisely what I have been waiting a long time for. All three deliver full-featured low-power MATX boards, all hitting the feature set sweet-spot for HTPC/Windows Home Server/general productivity use -- and all offered at the crucial under-$100 "single-spouse-decision" pricepoint.

    Also consider what these 780G boards are NOT. They are clearly not oriented toward the "addled overclocker/uber-gamer/power-workstation" crowd. Yet, that's how they are being reviewed and judged. Am I the only one who is objecting to a prevailing pattern among many PC reviewers today to evaluate non-gaming/overclocking MATX motherboards only for their overclocking and gaming prowess?

    Let's separate the issues. The beef is with the three motherboard makers who should have prominently listed support limitations for overclocked CPUs. It's hard to believe that all three deliberately under-engineered their products, but it's at all not hard to believe that rushed and inexperienced product marketing staffers at all three companies either ignored engineering caveats or were "out of the loop" about these issues and did a "cut-and-paste" of standard product requirements on the specifications section of the datasheet.

    Unlikely, you say? I'm in the business, and it happens all the time.
    Reply
  • garydale - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    Not quite what the originator of that phrase had in mind, but it makes me very happy I stayed with the lower power (95W) version of the Phenom. I have an inexpensive all-in-one mainboard that doesn't seem to be having any problems with the 9500 (B2). However, until reading this article, I thought I was just being energy efficient.

    I'm also happy that we have sources like this to turn to. I've never paid much attention to CPU compatibility charts before, naively believing that if it was the right socket, at worst a BIOS upgrade would allow the processor to work. Now it seems I have another problem to worry about.
    Reply
  • Johnniewalker - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    Saved me lots of time and headaches! Reply
  • anindrew - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    I've been an avid reader of anandtech.com since 2000 or so. I am very impressed by how candid and gutsy your article is. Besides benchmark and real world tests, every user wants to know about issues with products. When issues this big present themselves, you are doing a great service by bringing them to the forefront.

    I've been wanting to build a new system for about a year (since my motherboard had a bit of a heart attack 6 months ago). I've held off for a few reasons (mostly financial). If I built right now (which I'm not), I'd probably go for an X38 board and a Q9450. I haven't heard about any issues with that combination as of yet.
    Reply
  • haplo602 - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    Geee thanks for the 780G board info. I was just heading into the same disaster with my next platform upgrade ... thanks for the warning .... I will watch the amd board compatibility list and not the manufacturers specs ... Reply
  • perzy - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    Seems like power problems is THE mobo problem today.
    I recently bought a AMD 5000+ Black edition for my MSI K9N Neo.
    It was supported said the MSI webpage.
    But, the bios have no multplier! I'm guessing the mobo cant take the power increase.
    This must have happened to a lot of ppl that bought some black edition CPU's.
    Reply
  • Mr Fox - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    NVIDIA controls the content of the "COLATTERAL" that is put on these boxes this is another example of NVIDIA tieing their partners hands and insulating themself from the "Voice of the customer".

    Every NVIDIA Chipset that has been introduced has had Data Corruption Issues.

    It amazes me that a Company can Engineer such fine video cards can put out such Fecal Matter when it comes to Core Logic Chipsets.

    Now I'm beginning to belive that the Marketing Department has run Amok when they Re-PCB (G92)-400-A2 crank the price $150.00 and call it 9800 GTX.

    Just another example how lost their leadership is when this kind of activity is perpetrated upon your customer base.


    nRollo made the bold statement to me about a month ago that nVIDIA was making record profits, and I reminded him that so was AMD Three Years ago.


    Never a Dull Moment !!!

    Reply
  • nubie - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    Ouch, I just want to run a tri-core Phenom in my DFI Infinity II M2, I don't really know if that is going to happen now.

    I also was planning on running a heavy overclock on my P5N-E SLi with a 45nm Dual Core, I guess it should be fine for that. (currently it is hosting a Celeron430 @3.17Ghz 33°C stable Prime95 loaded, haven't got enough fans on the HR-05 chipset cooler yet to try going higher, and I honestly can't see how to with this Sycthe Infinity hogging all the space, but it was booting fine at around 3.6Ghz before the NB was too hot, it doesn't help that there is no mention of the stock NB voltage, just 4 settings :?, and no granularity :( )
    Reply
  • KillaKittie - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    This is the first time ive heard of these problem's before and it sounds like your just mad and ranting which you are but let's keep it at that.

    Im running the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G motherboard with a 125w X2 6000+ just fine and have been for the last 2 month's with zero problem's. Not only that but im also running 2 hardrives and an 8800GT with 6 80mm fan's sometimes running at 100%.

    Ive had no problem's with system instability and have had no crashes and i play games like Crysis for very long period's of time.
    Reply
  • Zap - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    KillaKittie writes:
    "Im running the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G motherboard with a 125w X2 6000+ just fine and have been for the last 2 month's with zero problem's."

    In the article:
    "Interestingly enough, Gigabyte has qualified the 125W TDP 6400/6000+ X2 processors on this board."

    The review board died with a Phenom, not a 6000+ which according to Gigabyte is explicitly supported. Also, are you overclocking? That seemed to be what broke the Gigabyte board.
    Reply
  • Glenn - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Perhaps Killa Kittie needs to let us know how much he has maxed out that configuration. After all it is an "Enthusiast" board! And BTW, I thought this was 2008, not 1998! Who has 6 80mm fans in one system nowadays? Reply
  • KillaKittie - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    I have no plan's to max any configuration i have here it's just fine how it sit's.I got the impression throwing any 120w processor will fry this board in minutes so im here to tell you mine has worked very well for what it is.

    2x 80mm on the PS
    3x 80mm in the back with an adjust screw
    1x 80mm in the front wired to adjust screw in back.
    Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    And, all those fans are powered through the motherboard headers? Reply
  • TrueSport - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Re: KillaKittie,

    post it on the AT forum,
    before anybody is going to trust you!
    Reply
  • whatthehey - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Hard drives and GPUs and fans have nothing to do with the failures; it's all about overloading the CPU socket power distribution system. Considering Anandtech explicitly mentions the X2 6400+ and the Phenom X4 9900/9850BE, you might be safe. In fact, Mr. Key says something about the Gigabyte board working fine at stock settings with the 9900/9850BE, and it was only "after a short overclocking session" that the board failed.

    That's pretty critical information for enthusiasts to have. Okay, the board works at stock. +1 to Gigabyte. Even moderate attempts at overclocking on quad-core CPUs could fry the board. -1. That's still better than the other offerings, and I think it's safe to say an X2 6000+ won't stress things as much as the 9850BE. You're probably safe, but don't push things too much unless you don't mind the risk of a dead board.

    Or you could try to verify the problem by, say, overclocking and over-volting your CPU a bit. Heh.
    Reply
  • building - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Here I am again, a day late and a dollar short.
    I ordered the EVGA 790i Ultra board 3 days ago. Along with it a raptor 150 and an XFX 9800GX2, and I WAS planning to run vista 64 on it. Thanks for the good honest info in the article. Now I'm wondering if I should just RMA the EVGA board, and stick with th ASUS 680 I'm currently using. My main reasons for upgrading to the 790 were DDR3, and PCI-E 2.0, but if I can run that video card on a PCI-E 1 slot then maybe I'll just stick with the ASUS. DAMN IT!
    Good article though, thanks.
    Reply
  • n7 - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    This article is exactly the sort of honesty i like to see.

    Over the years, i've become less & less reliant on official reviews, because all too often they skip mentioning the issues (if they even keep eyes open for them at all) & just focus on the postives.

    Going into forums to read user experiences tends to be a more reliable way of gathering information these days i find.

    But with you Gary, you make an effort to always paint the whole picture, regardless of how ugly that can be.

    Again, want to say a big thanx for this.
    I've always loved your reviews; & this is such a shining example of why!
    Reply
  • just4U - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Looking at this article I keep thinking to myself ... DAMN. I'd go out and pick up a Matx motherboard (if I was so inclined) and pair it up with a powerful cpu in a heartbeat. Never realizing that perhaps I shouldn't do that. It never would occur to me and I'd be surprised as hell when it popped.
    Reply
  • Killrose - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    So what is going to happen to my 690G chipset based AM2 Gigabyte board when I drop a Phenom into it? Reply
  • TrueSport - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    at least 4 problems I've experienced with the GA-MA78GM-S2H so far!! :

    1.) Badly attached Northbridge heatsink, overheated and either system reboot automatically or blue screen. DIY a heatsink solved the problem;

    2.) Blue screen OR immediate system reboot when I played movies with PowerDVD v7.3;

    3.) Incompatible with the Lite-on drive, LOL!!?, system reboot and reboot when accessing data from it, changed back to the old DVD drive and the problem gone;

    4.) not working with the ADATA DDR2 800 memory, maybe it's ADATA's problem.

    only problem (4) was solved by BIOS update.
    Reply
  • Ages - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Trust & Integrity are two cornerstones that will be found supporting any successful business. At least any successful business that lasts the test of time. If you take away either of the two the business fails.

    Annandtech has taken a courageous step forward by revealing what is going on behind the scenes. Again they have shown that the "End User" matters most. I sincerely thank you for standing up and telling the truth.

    It will be interesting to see if these companies have the integrity to do what is right.
    Reply
  • TrueSport - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Well done anandtech!

    So glad to see you guys speaking up for the truths!

    Forever supporting anandtech, especially for Gary Key!
    Reply
  • TrueSport - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Well done anantech!

    So glad to see you guys speaking up for the truths!

    Forever supporting anandtech, especially for Gary Key!
    Reply
  • R3MF - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    who is going to provide the mATX crowd with a decent high-end Phenom motherboard?

    the whole situation is a disgrace, and i would not recommend AMD to any mATX'er until they sort it out.
    Reply
  • BikeDude - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Gary, I just sent you an e-mail detailing some of my woes with PowerDVD. I look forward to your coverage of this abysmal piece of software, and I hope you will do some digging into questions like 'why do they spawn all those processes?'. Does it really take 110MB worth of software just to play a DVD or blu-ray movie? (I guess they have to justify their $100 price tag somehow) Reply
  • Dobs - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Personally I find the AMD 9900/9850BE @ 125W killing mb's to be the biggest news in this story.... This is like a "Don't risk AMD" commercial for me!

    Also this is the first I've heard about the X-48 8Gb issue???
    "c) Haven’t found an Intel X48 board yet that will handle 8GB of DDR3 properly..."

    X-48 (P5E3 Prem.) and 8 Gb is exactly what I want for my next build (like now).. and this is the first thing I heard about this 8 Gb problem. Is it just a problem for particular boards or all X-48 ICH9R chipsets??? Can someone please point me in the right direction to research this problem more?? (links please)

    Thanks in advance.

    Oh and congrats to Anandtech for a seriously gutsy story - well done!
    Reply
  • Dobs - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Personally I find the AMD 9900/9850BE @ 125W killing mb's to be the biggest news in this story.... This is like a "Don't risk AMD" commercial for me!

    Also this is the first I've heard about the X-48 8Gb issue???
    "c) Haven’t found an Intel X48 board yet that will handle 8GB of DDR3 properly..."

    X-48 (P5E3 Prem.) and 8 Gb is exactly what I want for my next build (like now).. and this is the first thing I heard about this 8 Gb problem. Is it just a problem for particular boards or all X-48 ICH9R chipsets??? Can someone please point me in the right direction to research this problem more?? (links please)

    Thanks in advance.

    Oh and congrats to Anandtech for a seriously gutsy story - well done!
    Reply
  • lamikr - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    At least I got from the previous 780G articles a feeling that these boards are designed for the people wanting to build HTPC systems with decent processing power of handling the encoding of full HD movies. And for this purposes the 780G boards are simply the best ones that have so far been released.

    When one wants instead of using the CPU's with 125 W of power consumption, it changes the requirements very much.
    (One starts talking from the CPUs which have 2-3 times bigger power consumption TPD compared to 4850e)
    Therefore it is understandable that those systems will also need some other type of motherboard than mATX.

    I however agree that the 780G board manufacturers should now start mentioning the maximum TPD that their boards support.

    Mika
    Reply
  • BikeDude - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Ditto.

    I have an old 4GB system now, and given the low price of memory, I'd certainly go for at least 8GB in my next configuration. Even my laptop has 4GB now. (I'd like more there as well, but it is hard to find laptops that offer more room for expansion, heck some are still maxed out at 2GB!)
    Reply
  • Tuvoc - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Well on the Intel side, the ASUS P5N-E SLI is a budget board, with 3=phase power. Yet it has been running my 130w QX6700 for over one year now 24/7. So 3-phase power can cope with power hungry CPUs Reply
  • cjb110 - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    I was just wondering how much of the problem with the Gigabyte board is their fault? It sounds like the handling of the problem wasn't ideal, but from a technical point? Did gigabyte make the board badly? bad bios coding?

    Surely nvidia have something to answer for? after all they made the chipset and provided the info (or not) as to how it works and what it can do?
    Reply
  • Blazer7 - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    All 3 680 based ASUS boards do support the QX6850 and Wolfdale. In fact ASUS released a beta that offers support for Yorkfield too but that works only when running @ stock. Any attempt to oc results in stability issues. Yet they did good on their claims for their boards and they also proved beyond any doubt that the problem lies with the design and not with the chipset.

    On the other hand Gigabyte did advertise their board as one that featured “several next generation technologies including FSB1333 support for the record-setting Intel® Core 2 Extreme Quad Core processors”. Guess what, they didn't deliver. The board does not support a single 1333 Quad Core, Extreme or other. Not even Wolfdale is supported.

    Kudos to AT for their stance on this one. It sure took a lot of guts to publish this article especially considering that Gigabyte must be spending quite a bit here @ AT for all these banners and ads.
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    On Thursday afternoon I left a new system build running at my office. It uses an X2-6400 on an ECS AMD770 board. Just like the 780 board you have, I see on ECS' website that they don't officially support the 6400 or any other 125W TDP processor. I didn't think to check, I just ASSumed that any new board that claims to be Phenom ready would support any current AMD CPU. I wonder what I'm going to find when I go back to the office? Stay tuned...
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - link

    Well, if anyone at all was curious, the system survived a few hours of Prime95, so I delivered it to the customer. At this point I'm ASSuming that the board can handle the X2-6400 just fine.
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, April 07, 2008 - link

    After running for 4 days (not doing anything, just idling but at 3.2ghz - no CnQ yet), nothing appears to be wrong with that system. I guess the proof will come when I put it under a full load later. Reply
  • WW2Planes1 - Saturday, April 05, 2008 - link

    Power moFSets?

    other than that, good to know about the power requirements of the new Phenoms, probably wouldn't have crossed my mind when I go to build my new system. Although, after reading this, I'll probably wait a while at the moment.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    I noticed that too, it should surely be MOSFET.. metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor. Reply
  • Glenn - Saturday, April 05, 2008 - link

    Great article and kudos for the honesty in the face of some hardware giants! In the end, hopefully they will appreciate it too!

    I build and service alot of systems and have learned some hard lessons along the way. My philosophy may not work for others but it has certainly made my life easier. I quit using anything but Intel chipsets, which also required a shift away from using amd processors.

    No matter how much good I read about Nvidia, SIS, ATI or other chipsets, in real world day to day use, there has always seemed to be hair growing out of something! My experience has shown that for every purported preformance or functionality promise, there has been a reliability tradeoff somewhere which I am ultimately responsible for. No Thanks! I may still venture away from that philosophy on my own system occasionally, but if it's built to sell, then its Intel!
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Saturday, April 05, 2008 - link

    WHen you say you lost the HDD, did they just go corrupt or did they fail to work or be detected anymore?

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    We have two 74GB Raptors that are basically dead, they will power up but cannot be low-level formatted. The WD 250GB drive basically had the same problem. The two 500GB Samsungs will power up and repeat a click-clack pattern. The Samsungs have been returned for analysis as will the 74GB Raptors.

    I am getting ready to do the same for a pair of 150GB Raptors that I wrote off in December. However, those drives failed (no longer accessible) during RAID testing on the 780i board (usually I yell at myself when that happens as I have had far too many RAID 0 arrays drop a drive over the years). I did not think much of it until we started having these data corruption problems over the past six weeks.

    Between Kris, Raja, and I there have probably been around 14~16 image reloads the past six weeks after overclocking. We fully except to trash the OS when exploring the boundaries of memory/fsb rates, but it might happen once or twice a month at best and is not limited to NVIDIA chipsets. However, all of these failures have been on the 780i/790i boards and we were not really pushing the systems except for two times when the drives failed or the images were corrupted.

    The frustrating/perplexing problem is that the 790i testing with Kris resulted in some of the best overclocks we have ever experienced and they were 100% stable. We changed the settings to a normal overclock at 400FSB/1600 DDR3 and the images are corrupted or the drives went south. It is not repeatable. We have seen results like ours in various forums so there is something amiss here, just trying to find it right now.

    In all cases, we have had the memory settings set at something other than stock/default. I am still working with Derek as he has experienced several data corruption problems during SLI testing the past couple of weeks. I did not mention that until we figure out if his problems are related to ours.
    Reply
  • TheBeagle - Saturday, April 05, 2008 - link

    I was wondering (and hoping) if this article would ever appear. It took guts for Gary and AT to publish this article. We all know by the banners, etc on Anandtech that Gigabyte is a major advertiser on this web site. So for Gary to "tell it like it is" is truly a breath of fresh air. Gary was quite understated in his description of that FIRESTORM that is brewing against Gigabyte on account of its rather insane handling of this fiasco involving the failed N680i boards. In fact, this matter ought to be a case study on how to NOT handle a public relations crisis!

    What is even worse, is the equally asinine reported present requirement of Gigabyte that an owner of a failed N680i board has to actually own a QX6850 processor (and show a receipt and pictures of it) in order to get a replacement/upgraded motherboard. That is just NUTS! The N680i board NEVER supported that processor, although it was clearly and openly advertised on the web, the literature and on the board packaging to specifically support an "Intel Dual Core 2 1333FSB Extreme" processor. That condition concerning ownership of an QX6850 CPU is just a flat out slimy maneuver by Gigabyte to avoid having to replace these failed N680i boards!

    I, for one, want to openly thank Gary and AT for their courage to disclose this matter in a published article - WELL DONE!!

    Best regards to everyone. TheBeagle
    Reply
  • gfredsen - Saturday, April 05, 2008 - link

    "it is discerning to us that this problem seems to be rearing its ugly head again." Did you mean perhaps to say disconcerting? I know how it is, believe me I know. Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Sorry, I set the article to a post time that occurred before I finished my final edits and Jarred had the opportunity to complete his edits. It was disconcerting to me that I was still writing while the article was live. ;-) Thanks for the comments. Reply
  • corporategoon - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    I'll pick nits!

    There are sentence fragments, incorrect words, wrong phrases (low and behold should be Lo and behold), and sentences that just don't make sense. Even without the missing word, "In addition, we will look at what we despise about the new releases of PowerDVD 8 and WinDVD 9, maybe it’s not their fault but whose it." still isn't a proper sentence.

    Great work on the research side - I'm guessing this was just a quickly written article to address these issues before the full reviews go up. Still...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, April 06, 2008 - link

    Gary bypassed the copy editor, because I was busy being elsewhere. Consider him flogged. I'm now reading through it once and doing my best to vanquish any fragments, run-on sentences, or other miscellaneous typos. Any further comments on this matter should be directed to /dev/null. Thank you! ;-) Reply

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