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  • whb456 - Monday, April 20, 2009 - link

    They should be paying you for all the hard work you're doing for them. ;-) Reply
  • rreuscher - Thursday, February 19, 2009 - link


    I don't know if this the right place to post this comment, but I try it.
    I read that you always perform DPC latency tests in all your reviews, I'm missing this results for this Gigabyte X58-UD5 board.
    I build last week a system with an i7/920 CPU (Bios F4) but the DPC latency is a nightmare (my dual core 4 year old laptop outperforms this system). I'm using/intended this machine for dedicated Real Time Audio production, which means I need a steady DPC latency.
    The system shows very low DPC latency values with WIN XP and hyperthreading off (about 4 us), but with constantly spikes reaching up to 8000 us, and this is a killer.

    Did you did some testing on this also ?

    Kind regards, Rene Reuscher
  • sahina - Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - link

    I am looking for 4GB memory sticks for this board but the only one in QVL is S10C1 4GB Samsung M378B5273BH1-CF8 DS Samsung K4B2G0846B HCF8. This is DDR3 1066. I can not find it for sale in the market.

    Has anyone tested this board with 24GB RAM?
  • Twoboxer - Monday, January 26, 2009 - link

    Anand, your comments represent a start, but . . .

    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Unfortunately, there is very little grey area between "reviewer" and "shill".

    1) Ask mfgs to submit samples by Date X.
    2) Test until the board will go no further.*
    3) Publish report.
    4) Rinse and repeat to recognize and publicize improvements, if any.

    * If you want to make ONE phone call to each manufacturer, fine.

    Allowing mfgs to cherry-pick parts is concession/advantage enough. ONE phone call is honorable. More than that is a disservice to your readers, and denies you your supposed purpose as a reviewer. The time saved during your first review will more than cover rinse/repeat.

    In practice I can often get a better idea of what parts to buy after reading a couple of dozen consumer in-use reviews on, for example, Newegg.

    You may find it painful or difficult to change course, but you are now at least on the right path. IMO, you can either continue on the return path to "reviewer", or watch Newegg become the de facto replacement for much of your work.
  • aussie greg - Saturday, January 24, 2009 - link

    I want to join the chorus of 'cFoo' and probably many others.
    What you [Anand] have to say about all the 'SNAFU'S' relating to these boards, have been going on with many other boards for years, My Asus P5 would not work until the 3rd bios update and then failed shotly the time it was replaced updates had reached 10 months! I was without a fully working mobo for 7 months!
    It's not good enough, it's actually pathetic dishonest performance by the manufacturers and probably worth investigating by a relevant govt. authority. Anandtech...and others, should bite the bullet and name names, in detail.
    Maybe if some of these companies got the kick up the arse [with apologies] they deserve, we consumers would be better off.
    Ausssie Greg
  • Eru The One - Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - link

    I have been pouring over reviews for the last three days comparing any x58 motherboard review I can find. I feel i've narrowed my choice down to the Gigabyte Extreme but I have yet to see anyone comparing DFI's new x58 against anything.

    I think I should wait before I see someone doing this before I make my final choice. Can you guys at AnandTech help me out here?
  • tyaiyama - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    I am planning to build a system using P6T Deluxe:
    Pro: ATX form factor not E-ATX(previously?)
    PATA is implemented by Marvel 88SE6111
    Dual GbE
    Triple channel DDR3
    True16+2 Phase Power Design
    100% High-quality Japan-made Conductive Polymer Capacitors
    Con: Max memory 12 GB
    3rd PCIe 2.0 x16 (not usable)
    SAS Onboard
    Some people may say FDD connector is not necessary, but I need it. I use SATA for all drives; thus I actually do not need PATA, but just in case. Triple channel DDR3 4GB module will be available next month. Since i7 is the memory controller at the same time, what maximum size does it support? I know it is at least 128GB. Through BIOS upgrade, can we use 24GB or more memory in P6T?
  • cFoo - Sunday, December 14, 2008 - link

    Anand, I hope one day you will decide to let the cat out of the bag. Post all the problems and the manufacturer's name beside them. I understand that would risk them from giving you exclusive early access to the boards. But we desperate need accountability. You cannot let them stomp all over fair and accurate journalism.

    Accountability now! I'm sick of spending $300+ dollar and waiting 1-2 months for fixes. If I wanted to do that, I'll rather wait 1-2 months to buy the board for $100 cheaper!
  • mwm - Friday, December 12, 2008 - link

    Thanks, Anand; I really appreciate the valuable info regarding your experience with partially-DOA motherboards. Where else would be get this information? How many hours would it take a builder to run down the problem? We don't have the bench or knowledge resources to do that. So we are just screwed.

    Keep up the good work. (I'd even like to see a cheat-sheet on exactly what did not work on a board: a little embarrassment and no sale from guys like myself might prompt them to pay more attention.)
  • steveyballme - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link long as they run Vista!">
  • woodworker72 - Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - link

    What happened to the Rampage II review? I see the detailed review of the P6 from ASUS. There was a review a few weeks ago that lacked details due to legal restrictions, but what about now? Thanks! Reply
  • mvrx - Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - link

    I know these motherboards are months away, but please include dual socket i7 reviews as soon as they become available for testing. My next system will be a dual i7 quad for sure and I'm anxiously awaiting these MB's to come out and mature.

    I didn't go with current dual socket architectures because of FB-DIMMs limiting the performance and costing so much more. Really hoping to see a resurgance of the dual+ socket enthusiast systems.

    And if anyone replies "What can you be using that even takes up a single socket quad core" - well.. then you probably don't know enough about enthusiast computing to reply here. ;-)
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - link

    I'd think that last line shows why we are unlikely to see a resurgence of multi-socket enthusiast systems. There are very few that have applications which would take advantage of more than 4 physical cores/8 logical cores. Reply
  • mvrx - Thursday, December 11, 2008 - link

    Well, I approach it with this logic...

    .. and I get this alot from people.. "few applications that take advantage of more than 4 cores". I'm not running one or two applications....

    MS OneCare (or your chosen security suite), seems to zap 15%-20% of overall system performance depending on what it's doing.

    Even my old LOTR BFME2 ROTWK game spans 4 cores.. Not very well, but it does.

    I run a skype conference server for gamers (an upcoming competitor to Ventrilo) with 20 or so callers on the line at once. Skype (especially skype 4.0) spans many cores reasonably well. ( - website's not up yet)

    I like to leave my email, web browsers, etc - open when I play my games.. and unfortunately I probably have another 10 active programs sitting in the background in some way. According to resource manager I have about 1100 active threads running, I think the average enthusiast only would have 500-700.

    Now, I may be the upper-end of the catagory of heavy resource users, but thats mostly because people don't have the horsepower to do more so they don't. Chicken and Egg issue. If I can get a i7 for $300, and maybe the dual socket MB costs me a $150 premium, I'm sure as heck going to go dual socket.

    I know one of my biggest issues is HD performance, but I hope to fix that with one of Micron Tech's new PCIe SSD cards... At that point, I'll probably be easily slamming two i7's. And I do like to run x264 mp4 compression jobs overnight. Even if it only liked using 4 cores, I can run several instances at once.

    According to the roadmaps, the X58 is dual socket ready.. So I doubt it will be long until we see at least a few boards.
  • anindrew - Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - link

    I had already ordered and received most of my parts for my new X58/i7 920 based system before this article went up. I was anxiously waiting for it to see what Anand and crew thought. Like so many commented here, I had no idea Anandtech's crew helped sort out issues with motherboards and BIOSes. I think it would be interesting to hear more about that and specifically why you did that (by choice or to help everyone).

    I built my system yesterday using the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5, i7 920, and 6GB of G.Skill DDR3-1600 8-8-8-21 memory (those are the actual specs of it). I have had no problems at all setting the system up. Everything works as it should. I have not tried to overclock yet, but I will since I have the Noctua SE1366.

    The Asus P6T does look great, and I am happy to hear that it worked as it should right away. I had to debate between the Asus and Gigabyte boards. In the end, I chose the Gigabyte because I got a $30 discount in a combo with the Geforce GTX260 core 216. Time will tell if I made the right choice. :-)
  • chuckbam - Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - link

    I member of pointed out to me that the ASUS P6T Deluxe has a memory range conflict on the device I/O APIC controller. Does anyone have more information on this?">
  • chrhon - Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - link

    Thank you for bringing up those comments at the begging of the article. Pretty much everyone I talk to is fed up with motherboard problems and even considering something such as buying from Dell. These mobo manufacturers are shooting themselves in the foot. Sadly the reviews seem to help them.

    My last build I started with a Gigabyte board and it was good to me but there were complaints on all the reviews on the memory overclocking. Then that board stopped working for me and I bought a DFI board that was universally praised by the reviews and it was the biggest pain in the ass - almost every time I would add or remove a card or flash the BIOS I would go through non-POST hell. I don't see myself EVER buying a DFI board again based on that experience.

    If a motherboard company comes out bragging about its quality components and stability THAT is where I am going to put my money. Believe it or not its things like chipset fans being cheap and going out that make more difference in long term satisfaction of a board than one more (when there are already 50) way to tweak some voltages.
  • Kroneborge - Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - link

    Reliability is definitely key. Fast doesn’t matter if your computer won’t run. I do music production, along with my games, and I want a system that is going to run all the time with no problems. If that means I can’t overclock, then I would rather do that. I definitely suggest adding a reliability chart so those of us who need computers for production purposes can factor that in.

    Also for music production having 12gb or even 24 is perfectly reasonable for large sample libraries. Manufacturers that think supporting those sizes (as advertised) isn’t a priority are wrong.

    Thanks for the great review, and please continue to put an emphasis on things working. And keep updating stuff so we know where they stand. I for one won’t be purchasing my new computer till I’m sure I can get it working with little fuss right out of the box.
  • SiliconDoc - Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - link

    That was very kind of you Anand - to point out how the monster that was created is out of control...
    rofl - I couldn't help thinking - imagining - it's just like the bankers/loan officers/fannie n freddie freaks that fried the economy with wild eyed speculation and housing bubbling... just crazed wackos doing "what must be done" in the name of ... well profits or chest thumping or bonuses or bragging rights or all the above in all cases...
    Now the crash and burn of simple motherboard features not even working is splaying out in the public - I've seen the posted reports by the end users...
    "We don't have to do it right - or even ethically *advertised features actually work* - seems to be the call of the day everywhere.
    Hopefully the pendulum will swing back toward center without anyone getting fragged... (although I'm sure purchasers in some cases wish otherwise).
  • SiliconDoc - Tuesday, December 09, 2008 - link

    PS - Yes, so that I'm not missing something either - it DOES sound like they owe Anand and the staff about a million bucks (each).
    I can see how a good review here and there has now ballooned into "lab support" ....
    A million bucks each ought to do - the manufacturers can take up an R&D collective - if they threaten to cut off boards just do a maniacal laugh - they will crumble and pay up.
  • araczynski - Monday, December 08, 2008 - link

    mildly interesting, but personally i'd like to see this in comparison to something from the 'normal' lineup, you know, like what most people currently have.

    throw a C2D/3ghz/4gb in there and then we have something interesting.

    compare apples to apples, not just apples to themselves.
  • TantrumusMaximus - Monday, December 08, 2008 - link


    I haven't had a chance to read the entire article but did read all of Anand's comments and am floored. Good Job keep it up and we readers appreciate it. It's gone out of control, prices through the roof for mobos and QA is through the floor. The comments of "why would you want 12GB?" coming from the Manuf mouth is just unsettling at best... if I choose to populate 6 DIMM slots that better work, they're there, and I expect em to work not to be asked WHY I want 12GB!!!!
  • CarlosMC - Monday, December 08, 2008 - link

    You just saved me over 1000€ on a new system - guess I'll stick to my 939 for the time being and if things won't change, maybe I'll find better things to do with my money and, specially, my time. Reply
  • DaveLessnau - Monday, December 08, 2008 - link

    And, while talking about the basic quality of the board and the company behind it, don't forget to talk about the manufacturer's web site. Specifically, does it have a forum where people can talk about the individual boards? How slow is the site, itself? Can you actually download things at reasonable speeds? Also, how's the English on the site and also in the documentation (to internationalize that a bit, for any localized site that the company maintains, is the local language real or does it read like something run through Google Translate?)? Reply
  • Emperor88 - Monday, December 08, 2008 - link

    "Hey guys, Anand here. I'm writing this sub-section, not at Gary's request, but because I felt it was necessary."

    I was really pleased to read that section. Not because of the problems experienced, which is terrible and motherboard makers really need to pull their heads in, but because of the honesty shown. More of that kind of commentary would be great, thanks :)
    I think you should add the problems you experience in getting things working correctly in every article. Even briefly would be better than nothing as it paints a deceptive picture of the product's abilities if left off as all the amazing performance figures are presented without acknowledging the hours of fiddling required (by professionals no less!) to get the products up to scratch.
  • Zak - Monday, December 08, 2008 - link

    I would be happy to get a mobo that has the basics and no on-board sound, NIC and RAID controllers. These devices often fail and can't be replaced. I'd rather opt for a plain but fast and stable $100 mobo with twice the number of PCI-e slots so I can pick my own devices. Oh, and no legacy stuff: serial, parallel, floppy controller. But I wonder how many reviewers would give it low ratings because it's not overloaded with features?

  • strikeback03 - Monday, December 08, 2008 - link

    Would need a new motherboard/case standard, obviously ATX couldn't accommodate twice the PCI-E slots. And this will probably never happen, as they seem to not be able to decide when to phase out support for legacy standards such as PCI and floppy. I can't wait to see IDE go, and Intel was onboard with that plan several chipsets ago, put pretty much everyone still includes IDE connectors. Reply
  • Rindis - Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - link

    How do you figure? Most motherboards just have ~3 PCI-E slots + PCI. Remove PCI and you have plenty of room for the expanded PCI-E handling.

    I'll admit I've still got a lot of legacy devices with life in them, so I'm not so keen on abandoning it all. But, as long as it's not a case of abandoning legacy on every motherboard immediately, I think it's past time we see some pure PCI-E + SATA + USB boards.

    I'll also agree with two posts above. My preferred motherboard configuration is no video, no sound, no network. Okay, network controllers are at the point where I use the on-board ones now; but I know of good, reliable, well-priced cards that beat whatever will be on the board, and I don't want to pay for the features I won't be using, and I don't want to have to worry about smashing them into submission. (Which is also better today, but I remember all too well the headaches of turning early on-board audio off.)
  • michal1980 - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    This whole motherboard hell is one reason, I didn't even consider upgrading my pc in the past 2 years (that and a quad intel @3ghz is plenty for just about anything right now)

    Ever time I upgraded I went through 2-3 motherboards because ethier they were broken out of the box, or had issues with some other piece of hardware. And its everyone, i've had issues, with evga, gigabyte, asus, abit, etc etc.

    What I really couldnt understand, is most times, I spent the extra money to get the mobo that got good reviews from sites like Anand.

    So while I'm glad your finally going after Mobo manufactures, I feel that you guys bare some of the responsiblity because you allowed it to happen.

    To all readers, just how bad must it be that Anand is finally. FINALLY speaking out? If his speaking out, the boards must be total CRAP. Just plain junk, not only that, 300 dollar junk.

    Part of the problem IMHO, is all this built in stuff, its nice, but it causes corners to be cut, built in network cards, heck, lets make it 2, built in sound cards, etc etc. I'm not even sorry, after a new mobo comes out, i'm waiting 6+ months before i'm even going to consider buying one. I'm sick of being the QA for these manufacture
  • SixOfSeven - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    In the discussion of the ASUS P6T, you state "The board officially supports 12GB of DDR3 memory, although we expect full support for 24GB in a future BIOS release." Can you share the basis for this claim? In particular, does ASUS guarantee that P6Ts purchased now will eventually be able to support 24GB with some later BIOS upgrade? Reply
  • CEO Ballmer - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    Intell is on the ball!">
  • Elvis2 - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    i'm tired of being a free beta tester for these "top" tier manufacturers (remembering my E7205 days). If I'm going to spend $300.+ on a motherboard, I expect it to work AS ADVERTISED. I used to upgrade every year but for the past couple, I've been hesitant to do so. I don't want to fork over my hard earned cash (particularly in this economy)for a new rig only to spend hours on the phone with some tech support guy that dosen't know half of what I do ( let's start on page ten ok?)and wait weeks for a bios that corrects the problem. My Opty rig has been incredibly stable while producing a 50% o/c (thanks eVGA)but is getting long in the tooth. I run SLI and have been waiting on an Intel chipset that supports it. I'm going back to intel and the i7 920...maybe. I'm going to wait a couple of months tho. Bleeding edge, spending that kind of coin, and the hassle of working out the bugs, after fifteen years it's not worth it to me.
    Sorry for the rant. Jmh $.02.
    btw, great article.
  • fausto412 - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    There isn't one board manufacturer thatdoesn't have a bunch of people complaining in the forums all over the internet. Anand's opening explains why.

    I hate upgrading bios expecting better stability or performance and getting more problems or no fixes.

    Gary, i think it is time to have some kinda of database that covers all boards and their known issues going back 2 years or to the 3 series boards. if the flag ship board has a problem then by extension lower end boards have that problem. if they didn't care to make their product the best then that is their problem. GIVE THEM BAD REVIEWS so that they get on the ball.
    I never knew Anandtech went back and forward with the board makers as if you're beta testers.

    We need to do something to make things better
  • strikeback03 - Monday, December 08, 2008 - link

    I'd argue that it is entirely possible for the flagship product to have problems that lower-end products do not. Expensive X58 is the only option for now for i7 processors, but look back at LGA775. I wouldn't be at all surprised if some stability compromises were made on X38/X48 boards in pursuit of higher SuperPI numbers, while those same compromises are probably not present in the mainstream P35/P45 boards of the same age. Motherboards are one area where I can see going with a mid-level (~$90-130 for LGA775) product might give a better result for the majority of users than jumping to the high end would. Reply
  • borneoo - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    Beside the GHz, and MB/s would be good to have a chart/list, which shows the problems of the parts, and aggregated charts to show problems belongs to the same company, ... or SEARCHABLE DATABASE about errors related to products / companies and solutions Reply
  • JonnyDough - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    "Our plan is to cycle through each manufacturer so we are not singling out any one supplier but we are going to be brutally honest in our assessments in these particular focus reviews." (the quote button never works for me in Firefox. Plz fix)

    Awesome. At least someone is. I think a "two strikes before we post" policy is fair.
  • DandAG - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    After reading the first page of this article “Intel X58 Motherboard Roundup - What does $300 Get You?”, I started reading all the blogs. At first I agreed 100% with Anand’s comments, and wanted to jump on the band wagon like everyone else, but then I read some of the response. Realistically, review sites can’t use the boards under test with ALL the different software/hardware configurations consumers will, and they cannot postpone a review until all the BIOS and operating bugs are fixed…they would be releasing a review a year (or more) after the next generation hardware has already hit the market. People don’t visit these review sites to see how good a DDR2 system is compared to a DDR system, they come to these sites to read about the future, to get the “inside scoop” as to what the manufacturers are thinking up next, and to see the new features of hardware out there today because they are thinking of upgrading right now. To read about overclocking and performance comparisons is really just a bonus for the overwhelming majority. Most people just jump to the conclusion page to see if the reviewer recommends the product or not. We’ve all done it.

    Review sites need the merchandise to review and the funds to stay afloat, so upsetting certain manufacturers is not in their best interest. They can get away with critiques, questions, “less than expected” reviews, and some (very little) criticisms, but if they were to only give bad reviews every time, manufacturers would stop sending them products to review. And if you think that is a good thing, “they’ll just purchase the final release like the rest of us and provide a balanced review”, think again. If a review site did that, 1) it would have to advertise like crazy to maintain its purchasing ability, 2) not be able to provide future analysis, 3) and not provide the consumer anything more than what “free” chat rooms/manufacturer message boards give you.

    I agree there needs to be an industry-wide change; a change in R&D, change in QC, and a change in review process and reporting, BUT the real change has to come from the consumer. We the purchasers of their merchandise have to take a stand, bite the antiquated hardware bullet, and wait to buy until all the bugs are fixed (at least to a reasonable state). As long as we continue to want to be “the first” or “the fastest”, manufacturers will continue to scramble to be first on the market with crap that can or cannot be fixed later on.

    Don’t jump down the throats of review sites like AnandTech; instead tell them what YOU want to read about. Give these sites constructive criticism, and suggestions to better themselves like Christoph, Gary, Anand, and all the other reviewers here give the manufacturers. The old “if you don’t have anything better to say, then don’t say anything at all” thing.

    Personally, I would love to have AnandTech continue to review the next best thing before it hits the market just to see what the manufacturers are planning and whether or not the reviewer thinks upgrading will be worth it, BUT I also want them to then purchase that same item over-the-counter for a “final look” review, and then tell it like it is. Of course that can’t be done with all items initially reviewed (too time consuming), but the items that bloggers have shown the most interest in.
  • Steve Z - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    First, kudos for reqiring reliability. I've now bought the ASUS board. I won't overclock because I know what gate stress does to CMOS electronics (I slowly destroyed a chip I was testing at an elevated voltage. 18 hours is not enough time to run a $300 CPU). I use my computer to get work done and view overclockability as an indication of robustness in the board's engineering. If it's not - I need to know this. Thank you Gary and Anand - beleive me, $100 extra is a small price to pay for a motherboard that will not waste days of my time trying to get it to work.

    Second, a notice to those of you who are going to buy the ASUS board. They put the "Crash Free BIOS utility" and the driver installation utility on the same CD. Since installing all the drivers takes 3 restarts, imagine my surprise when installing the ethernet drivers did several surprise BIOS flashes (I didn't even know what was happening at first and I reset the system a few times during the process. To ASUS's credit, the board recovered).

    If I pay $300+ dollars for a board, I expect them to pay the extra 5 cents and include a second CD. When you go through your three restarts, make sure you remove the disk every time then put it back in once the OS starts up. Shame on you ASUS for the oversight.

    That said, everything is working well now. I hope I didn't buy a product from the company who thought it was only OK for 3 GB to run reliably as I'm running 6 GB now and will go up at some time in the future since I run math sims.

    --Steve Z.
  • RagingDragon - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    Reading the sections on each board, I think the ASUS was the only board which fully worked, out of the box, with 12GB of RAM. This strongly implies they were *not* the 3GB company.

    It's hinted the Gigabyte had some undescribed issues with 12GB and older BIOS's, and it's stated that the EVGA also had undescribed issues with 12GB (no indication whether those issues were at stock speeds or when overclocking). The MSI still has issues overclocking 12GB or RAM - nothing said about whether it worked at stock speed out of the box.
  • LeeKay - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    I bought the GA-EX58-Extreme as I posted in the forums the quality of the board is the best I have seen but support wise and bios wise this board sucks worse than any board I have had. For a motherboard to have issues when I use 12GB is beyond me. I want to use this pc for everything from online banking thru gaming for the wife my son and me and to do video editing. Right now I can just run Need for speed undercover at any resonable clock speed without it crashing. Thats as of F4j. And I still can not let my board go to sleep with S3 enabled nor can I expect my Data drives running on the hardware raid controller to recover in S3 mode nore can I run my pc with any of the energy saving options in the bios. Oh and I cannot run my memory at 12gb and at 1600Mhz just noway in hell it will be stable. I have to run it at 1333mhz. I cant run SLI and have my X-FI PCI sound card in either PCI slot and have the pc boot into windows. It just blue screens with the latest Bios. (I am running 2 280GTX with single slot active cooling).

    The good note is to run at 4.13ghz I am running 1.425v without loadline correction. its stable and with the above taken into account far better tha the past issues.
  • Sunsmasher - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    Your comments are extremely well thought out and relevant.
    The idea that $300(!) motherboards don't work reliably upon release
    is beyond ridiculous.
    I think your plan to write an as-is review initially in a great idea.
    This will give early buyers a true heads-up on what they're getting.
    And then later, you can perform your invaluable beta feedback service to the manufacturers and your readers.
    Hopefully, this policy will cause improvements on the QC end.
    Thanks again for being so on top of it!
  • Zak - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    I still had working PII and PIII mobos that I trashed this year, not because they were bad but because these platforms were outdated. These mobos still worked 100% after what 7-8 years??? Each mobo I bough within the last 3-4 years never lasted more than 2 years without some major malfunction (some controller dying, memory slots failing, etc). The boards are getting more expensive and less reliable. There is an obsession with overclocking without any effort to offer perfect stability. Most users want a good balance of speed and stability, and as we all know one isn't any good without the other. Besides, overclocking yields minimal real life gains, unless you do something really extreme, and how many people do extreme overclocking??? Mobo makers should focus on stability and features first. Eh...We live in beta culture:(

  • Griswold - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    What does AT get for being a quasi outsourced QA branch of these mobo manufacturers? To me it looks like you're being taken advantage of - its great that you work with them to get stuff fixed, but is there any compensation for the time invested other than the good feeling? Reply
  • Syntience - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    Some of us have non-parallelizable applications (in our case, a certain kind of AI research) that require vast amounts of memory but don't require that much in the way of processing power. We buy the motherboards with the highest number of memory slots and fill those up with the largest memory modules we can reasonably afford. At the moment (late 2008) that means 4GB DDR2 modules. Boards like SuperMicro H8QMi-2+ have 32 DIMM sockets on the motherboard which means our current sweet spot is 128GB.

    We expect motherboards to operate in these fully loaded configurations, and so far we've been quite lucky. But we'd appreciate manufacturers and reviewers consistently testing boards in whatever max memory capacity the manufacturer is advertising.

    Incidentally, we'd like to see motherboard manufacturers produce systems with DIMM sockets on daughter boards that could be stacked to some depth for even more memory, or even return to backplane/bus based designs with multiple separate memory boards. I don't know whether this is economically feasible to do with current memory interface chip sets. It clearly is possible, since these kinds of systems are available in the turnkey server market.

    - Monica
  • LTG - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    What you guys are doing is outstanding and exactly the right thing.

    What's the saying, sunshine is the best disinfectant?

    That's what manufacturers need - as much light as possible shown on their quality and stability issues.

    Let the best companies reap the rewards just as the top automakers do with their reliability measures.

  • DaveLessnau - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    The reason manufacturers have thrown reliability, stability, and maintainability (i.e., Quality) out the window is because of the way the review sites review their products. Back in the day, places like PC Magazine would do yearly articles that talked about which manufacturer produced, essentially, the highest quality products. Try to find something like that today. If a board doesn't have glowing fins, can't overclock to a bajillion GHz, use a terabyte of RAM, run 27 video cards in tandem, have every doodad imaginable stuck onto it, roar like a jet-engine because of the cooling requirements, and require a KW-level power supply, the review sites don't even cover it (I'm using an Intel DP45SG right now -- I double-dog dare you to find a review of it anywhere (I mean, it's only a fairly new board from the pre-eminent computer company on the planet)). Plus, every review automatically focuses on the over-clocking aspects of the boards. Overclocking is a fine thing to mention ONCE THE BASIC QUALITY OF THE BOARD AND THE COMPANY BEHIND IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED.

    For instance, this DP45SG. I bought it for two reasons: 1) it (supposedly) does exactly what I need it to do, and 2) Intel (supposedly) provides good support and reliable boards. There are no reviews out there because it's not an "enthusiast" board from an "enthusiast" company. So, I had to buy it blind. After setting it up, I found that (this is from my Newegg review):

    "Under Vista Ultimate (x64), drives connected to the eSATA port on the back do not get recognized as external or removable after the machine has entered and exited sleep mode. Without having slept, there's no problem. I confirmed this with 3 separate drives in 2 external enclosures.
    - The Dolby Control Center software doesn't exist in a 64-bit version. I searched Intel's site and the web in general and found nothing. Intel doesn't even know when there will be a 64-bit version.
    - The Intel Desktop Control Center software isn't available for the current BIOS. According to the web site: "The current BIOS release for Intel Desktop Board DP45SG does not support the Intel Desktop Control Center. A new version of the Intel Desktop Control Center will be posted here when a compatible BIOS becomes available."
    - The Intel Integrator Assistant software isn't available for 64-bit versions of either Vista or XP."

    The first three of those bullets are some of the core things I needed. They're advertised for the board, but there are no reviews. So, no one knows about it.

    Then, take a look at support. Intel just released a new BIOS for the board (0102). You can take a look at ABXZone in the Intel DP45SG (Skyburg) thread starting on page 38 for comments on this. In a nutshell, Intel released a BIOS that sets processor speeds and voltages wrong and killed SpeedStep if you just LOOKED at the processor settings. Granted, talking to their technical support was somewhat refreshing compared to other companies. But, finally, I (and others) reverted back to the previous BIOS.

    The horrifying thing is that this has nowhere to go but down. None of the sites cover this kind of information. So, basic quality just continues to ebb while the companies put more and more focus on the trivial bells and whistles that the "enthusiast" sites focus on.

  • strikeback03 - Monday, December 08, 2008 - link

    I'd guess the most basic answer is that they don't have enough man-hours available to do complete testing on every motherboard available. As far as I can tell, motherboard testing is done by Gary, with some help from Anand and possibly Raja. Guessing by the name of your board, it is a P45-based design. Looking at just ASUS site, they list 12 P45 boards, and based on previous ASUS experience there are probably more which just do not show up properly in the list. How long would it take one or two people to only check basic operation of the 12 listed boards? There are at least two relevant OSes to test under, Vista 32 and 64 bit. Do they test XP as well? Both 32 and 64 bit? How about any forms of Linux, again with both 32 and 64 bit? A previous commenter complained about a certain Logitech keyboard not working, just how many different peripherals should they keep around? And multiply this by however many boards all the other manufacturers have out, and get thm done in time to be relevant before the next chipset revision comes out? For free?

    As a result I imagine they pick only boards which stand out or they guess will bring the most traffic to the site. This ends up being the overclocking-friendly boards, some uATX boards, and some HTPC friendly boards it seems.
  • ATWindsor - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    Very nice that you focus on stability and things actually working, to many sites give our "recommended"-stmaps in an uncritical fashion even when boards work poorly. This makes the site even more excellent, Goog work! Reply
  • poohbear - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    why are u guys accomodating the mobo manufacturers?!?!?! i understand you're one of the bigger review sites, but seriously if the product doesnt work just say that in your review, dont even bother contacting their engineers for help cause they should've taken care of that before it was even released. I dont read your reviews to see who i have to call or where i have to look to get a certain feature on the mobo to work. I know i sure as hell won't be able to call Evga's engineer and ask for help when my $300 mobo doesnt work. Gimme a break. I just want to know if it works out of the box.

    I'm glad to hear u guys are now going buy a mobo off the shelf to review the same product we all get, but didnt u do that all along?!!? its pretty disturbing to think u have always been reviewing cherry picked products. i'll have to read your reviews with a grain of salt UNLESS you specifically state where you got the product from. Didnt it ever occur to you that the products the manufacturer sends to u might have been unfairly optimized??

  • thorgal73 - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    ... motherboard makers that don't care about finishing their products before they come to the market, that is.

    A simple example is DFI, but lately even the tier 1 manufacturers are guilty of it. I personally pulled al lot of my hair out while reviewing the DFI X48-T3RS over at I've spent 2 months on that one, before I had anything decent to write about, and even now the review feels incomplete.

    Did any of you notice that there never was a DFI X48-T3RS review here at Anand ? There was a preview with the Corsair 2133 memory, but the promised review never made it. Now you understand why...

    I can only side with Anand here that something needs to be done urgently. I myself am as sick and tired than any other reviewer to spend ages on a review, while having my boss at my back asking "what's taking so long" ;-) I agree with the opinion that unfinished boards do not deserve publication, problem is, no boards that we (reviewers) get in our hands are finished, as they're mostly rev. 1.0 (or worse) with very early biosses.

    Only solution is waiting with the risk that other sites will beat you to the review, and your own review will barely surface on the web any more....
  • danger22 - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    you should refuse to publish articles with boards that don't work out of the box. why give them any publicity? Reply
  • belladog - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    Im glad Anandtech is taking a firmer stance with the motherboard makers. I too have seen a degradation in quality over the years.

    I take what review sites say with a grain of salt. People concerned about stabilty should go to the motherboards makers forums(or other user forums) to really see what to expect with a product.

    You dont need to be einstein to realise that manufacturers send hand picked and tweaked products to review sites. Their sales figures depend on a good review, but then the masses who buy the boards/products from the shop see very different results.

    Also its hard to poorly rate a product when reviewers have friendships at the companies or depend on advertising revenue from these same companies.

    Whats the use of high overclocks if you cant get 4 Gigs of ram to work? Or your new PCI-E 2.0 Video card is having "compatibilty" problems with a board advertised to run it? Then they say its your PSU or memory. The PSU maker blames the motherboard, everyone blames each other and us suckers have to go out and buy 2 PSU's, 2 different ram kits and mix and match to get a working system.

    I like to buy high end parts but my experience is its usually not worth it. Most "high end" boards, PSU's , memory are overpriced and provide little or no better experience than a mainstream parts at half the price, except maybe graphics cards where a high priced one will provide a better gaming experience on high settings.

    Even in crossfire/SLI an X38/X48 board running at 16X/16X will perform no better than a mainstream P45 board running at 16X/8X. Even worse in some situations.

    X58 is a little different because its a whole new architecture that looks interesting but really doesnt offer a huge performance gain. We will probably see the socket 1156 boards performing about the same if the past is anything to go by.

    Anyway something needs to change in regards to reviews. Maybe review sites should only test parts obtained from retail channels. Maybe review sites should run a standardised lot of tests before even considering overclocking results. I expect all the advertised features to work correctly as advertised.

    Like i said, the best thing consumers can do is, dont take too much notice of reviews and go to the manufacturers forum or other user forums to see what you're really in for.

  • stungun - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    I love the fact you are trying to implement changes in how you review hardware. Personally I do not overclock, dont want to but i do want the newer Intel processor/motherboard combo for 3d rendering and just because it is time to upgrade I should go with the future. Not all your readers want to burn up cpu components some of us just want a good honest working system. Reply
  • shocku - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    That's it?!
    After promising snippets for weeks, the final article is a compilation of what's been said before. That, and more promises future articles will be more in-depth about: RAM… non ES CPUs… the two or three X58 motherboards not covered here…, etc., etc., etc.

    I appreciate all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make reviews. But at some point you gotta tell it like it is. If a BIOS or driver wasn't ready-- tough luck. There's plenty of room for other companies to shine by getting things right the first time. Or, are sites like Anandtech the new beta testers?

    "We still have several boards to review, ranging from the $220 MSI Platinum up to the $400 Foxconn Bloodrage with several in-between. Our next review will focus on the "lower" end X58 boards from Intel, Gigabyte, Biostar, and MSI. Our final review will feature the upper end boards from ASUS, Gigabyte, DFI, and Foxconn. In between, we will provide a comprehensive OC guide along with a detailed look at memory performance with several DDR3 tri-channel kits from Corsair, OCZ, Patriot, GSkill, Kingston, Crucial, and Mushkin."

    Say it isn’t so. Why did I read this article for?

    I'll try going from the bottom up...
    >I thought the Nehalem memory article was out already. There's that much memory performance left to be covered?
    >How can readers make use of "a comprehensive OC guide" that's coming out before "upper end boards"? There's no point if a few bucks more can get you a board that goes as high as your attempts to OC the cheaper one. Might as well pay more and OC more, or pay less if both have the same ceiling.
    >The next review will be about lower end boards like Intel's?! Huh?! The Smackover retails for over $250 USD. Unless they have a cheaper board nobody knows about, and they're ready to sell it now; there's NO SUCH THING as a low end X58 board this year.

    This article's conclusion, as of 12/05/08, seems impartial and has constructive criticism for the board makers. Perhaps this whole series of articles and blogs will look good to someone reading them for the first time 6 months from now. But, right now, the article is just fodder.

    Are readers better off with an expensive board they know thanks to this article, or should they get an even more expensive board that’s been skipped from this review? Heck, maybe the best is a cheaper one whose price puts it in the so-called ‘low end.’
    These boards are not $1-$5 dollar items. So, say it like you mean it.
    Or... charge manufacturers for all the beta testing you've done and the many 'second' chances they got before you went public. While you're at it, spare us from dealing with ads in your Web site.

    PS: I wrote this before I read any comments. Boy am I not alone!
  • sidewinderx2 - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    Err... i'm pretty sure i'm just feeding a troll here... but here goes:

    Do you not understand what quotation marks mean? You know... somewhat sarcastic? they specifically put the word "lower" in quotation marks, so unless you truly have no grasp of the english language, you must be retarded to think that they actually meant those boards are "low end" boards.

    "This article's conclusion, as of 12/05/08, seems impartial and has constructive criticism for the board makers. Perhaps this whole series of articles and blogs will look good to someone reading them for the first time 6 months from now. But, right now, the article is just fodder. "


  • LtPage1 - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    Which companies have better quality control out of the gate is information of EXTREME relevance to the consumer. These boards are close enough together in pricing, features, and performance as makes no difference to me. Which company's board had the least problems when it was shipped to you would absolutely sway my purchase. Also, how quickly they dealt with problems you brought up, and how obsessed they were with overclocking performance results to the exclusion of basic functionality would be a huge factor for me.

    Inform the consumer! Report on hardware? Tell us which companies deserve our money.
  • chekk - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    Perhaps you should send the mobo manufacturers a bill for your testing. It sounds like Anandtech provided a very valuable service since clearly the manufacturer's quality assurance processes are not up to the task.
    Yes, overclocking is fun, but if I buy a production board, it had better be production ready. Also, whether the board is $300 or $65, that sucker better work.
    I'd actually like to know which manufacturers we're discussing as I'd like to stop supporting them with my dollars until they get a clue.
  • Ben - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    It's hard not to rant here, but I know that rants often get passed over.

    You guys don't know what a relief it was to read this article. I've been building systems for many years and I have noticed the steady decline in quality.

    My latest build was not only the most money I've ever spent on a computer, but also the worst experience I've ever had with a build. I've since sold it off as pieces, while I contemplate buying a preassembled workstation for the first time in my life.

    The final straw for me was when I complained about a broken feature to a well-known manufacturer and they told me that I "should have known" what to expect from their product by reading their message boards. In other words, we know it says it does A, B, and C on the box, but if you read our message boards before you bought our product, then you would have known that it doesn't do A, B, and C.

    I hope you guys can turn this situation around.
  • DBissett - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    Anand's essay on this topic is some of the most important writing I've seen here. Unfortunately, the editorial slant of AT reviews, along with many other sites, has set the stage over the years for exactly what the complaint is about. Anand describes it well...the overriding interest, if not outright obsession, with what often amounts to miniscule performance advantages has literally buried the benefits of simple day to day dependability. Now that this situation has reached such extremes that Anand feels compelled to sound off about it, the task is to turn the editorial focus enough to raise dependability to the higher level of concern that it deserves. Some users in the forums point out at times that different settings or product differences make absolutely no difference in real world use. AT reviews should be equally candid and state, perhaps in bold type, when differences in observed speed are insignificant, and then NOT go on to rank order products on these insignificant speed differences. AT reviews should also go on to provide a rating or at least clear observations about the true ease of use, dependability and satisfaction to be expected by users in general or at different levels of experience, including BIOS issues that the manufacturer has not fixed. It sounds like this might be coming. Great! JDPowers ranks cars on something like initial problems/defects found by new buyers and there's no reason why similar polling/experiences shouldn't be provided for users of what are increasingly expensive computer parts. I hope Anand follows up on this issue and really institutes changes to address it. Reply
  • marsrunner - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the roundup. Great reading.
    I bought the i7-920, 12GB of G.Skill PC3-1333 RAM and Asus P6T a couple of weeks ago, and have only had one real problem. My new Logitech Illuminated Keyboard causes the mobo to take about 3 minutes to initialize USB devices at POST, and then when it does POST the keyboard won't work at all until Vista takes over. Very irritating. Haven't contacted ASUS, because I'm sure they'd point the finger at Logitech, who would point the finger back at ASUS. Besides, the keyboard does not cause any problems on my other PC.
    I should say that I don't and won't be doing any overclocking, unlike most people around here I imagine, but even so I've noticed a lack of attention to detail in these mobos.
  • Ecmaster76 - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    Good article.

    However the feature tables are a rather large download. If you absolutely must post them as an image please use PNG or GIF. I resaved one in both formats and the size dropped in half without a loss in quality. JPEG is excellent where color content is more important than detail. However the indexed color of PNG and GIF is superior for a 2 color text table where the sharpness of the letters and not the exact shades of those two green is most important.

    Also you have a next page link at the bottom of the last page that, of course, goes nowhere.
  • TeXWiller - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    Are you sure the 6 DIMM configuration is even supported with the current Nehalem at DDR3-1333 speed? Supermicro X8SAX, for example, does not support 6 DIMM configuration over DDR3-1066 speed, which is also the maximum Intel supported speed. This might explain some of those POST related problems. Reply
  • javamann - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    I usually go for the high end board but I don't overclock. I expect if a board is built to run at a higher speed running at a normal speed would sit in the middle of the bell curve of it operating parameters. I would also expect it to just work. My bad. Reply
  • mjz - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    not having support for 24GB ram of the bat is ridiculous.. With DDR3 ram going to be at a decent price next year, why not??? having 15GB as a ram disk would be amazing for many people.. this is MB companies being lasy Reply
  • AeroWB - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    "Hey guys, Anand here. I'm writing this sub-section, not at Gary's request, but because I felt it was necessary."
    I totaly agree with you here, thanks for letting us know the size of the problem and Gary thanks for all those fixes.

    "The point being is that we feel the lack of quality assurance before a product hits the market has now reached an all time high."
    I do believe this is true, and I also have to say that I'm having problems with these kind of things for quite some years now, and I'm getting sick and tired of this.
    For me the crap kickstarted in 2001 with an MSI mainboard, one brand I will never buy again...

    (2001) MSI K7N420 Pro, it took MSI half a year to fix the issue of not being able to run the ram in dual channel mode on default speed without data corruption (the year I learned about memtest86) Also this board could not boot from an LSI 21320-R SCSI card and that problem has never been fixed (the Asus board with the same chipset could do it but my attempt to put that bioscode in the MSI bios failed)

    (2003) Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe. onboard Marvell Gigabit card corrupted data, about one bit each 2GB so all my DVD downloads were corrupt! at 100Mbit it worked ok, an add-on Gb card also worked ok, lots of bios updates, no solution. Here's probably too much controllers cramped in not enough space. After 3 years upgrading the ram to 2GB didn't work, tried a lot of different brands. Bought an Intel D975XBX. (but the asus did support my LSI SCSI card!)

    (2005) SuperMicro PDSGE, I finally bought a board with PCI-X for my Netware Server with SmartArray controller (which before was running in an Intel D945GTP desktopboard on PCI). The SmartArray card would boot, I got 2 special biosses for the board from Supermicro (great supportteam) but could't get it to work so added extra disk to boot the system, problem never solved. but it seems strange the controller working on a desktopboard and not on a server board. Updating the SmartArray also didn't help, My server still runs this board but now has a never HP SmartArray 641 that does work.

    (2008) Asus M3A78-T, Razer Lachesis mouse is not working when powering up, I have to reinsert the usb connector of it everytime I start the computer to get it working (standby doesn't help) In 4 months I have flashed 3 newer bios versions in the mainboard and 2 in the mouse. Problem still exists. The Lachesis works fine in my IntelD975XBX system. My Razer Copperhead works fine in both (so I swapped the mice)

    All listed boards are only from my private systems, I work at a computershop for over 10 years so needless to say I saw much more bios/board misery.
    So far I have had the least problems with Intel boards but they also have their share of problems. Some years ago the company switched from Asus to Intel partially because alot of customers sometimes accidently overclocked their system (the boards got into the bios if they thought the post failed) and it got unstable. I really do not get why there are so many overclocker options while 90% of the people doesn't use it and just want a stable system. If for example I now look at Asus' website I almost get a heart attack, there are just too many mainboard models, most are not interesting at all, too many useless onboard crap, too expensive, absurd features (Aopen tube board for example), crap quality chipsets, etc. And in all that mess there's no board without overclocking and quality components except maybe some Intel models. Try to find a board that will get your vidcard and soundcard a real free non-shared interrupt, you can't. So there is too many stuff and not enough simple quality models. How can they test and support all those models, well they can't as we know now. They don't update drivers for their chipsets and onboard junk, so you have to search yourself. It looks like they haven't got enough time to do it good so why not make less models and get it working right. All of this holds true for many brands not only Asus. Maybe the economic crysis will have a positive side-effect of getting less different models but better supported and tested components.

    Only pointing the finger at the manufacturers however is too easy.
    Lots of review-sites focus on speed and overclocking, exagerating speed differences, over-hyping all kind of not-so-usefull onboard junk. Its all speed and quantity for the least money, so boards come factory overclocked, memory timings set to tight, onboard controllers that almost no-one needs etc. Just so it looks they provide more bang for the buck then the competition and get a better review score.
    Lots of customers want the most speed and features for the least money, and forget about quality, support etc. Manufacturers look at the market and provide the crap that people scream for to get bashed by those customers for the crap, that will still buy the cheapest stuff next time. so the demand for shit doesn't decrease so the shit is provided again....
  • chizow - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    I've felt the motherboard industry has been the weakest link in the PC industry for a very long time. I'm really glad someone finally called them out on it.

    I used to get REALLY upset at AT reviews because they'd publish a review making it seem these boards are rock solid stable with insane overclocking ability only to learn the ugly truth once I got the board home. It wouldn't take long to confirm it with other reports of underwhelming performance totally out of line with various reviews.

    BIOS stability and quality certainly needs to improve, especially if board makers want to charge such insane prices for something that has always seemed low-end and interchangeable. Its probably a good thing that the market for mobo makers has shrunk, now they can focus on quality and add some value by making these things last longer than 6-9 months.
  • haukionkannel - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    When I bought last time purhaced new PC. It had vorce USB support that I can imagine. Every time I put an new USB devile like USB stick, the computer freeces down after short or long period of time... Ower the years situation got better and better. But It reguired a lot of installing of new versions of Bios... And yeh, it was expensive motherboard from big maker.

    I am allmost somewhat customed to that the computer does not properly... and that is something that is not right! It should work better from the beginning.
    Maybe we need some form of ISO standard for new mother board:
    When these and these things works. You can start selling these items and review sites starts makin revies of them. Prewievs and beta programs are different story all to gether, but final product shoulf be better.
    Now we only need a forum where to make that standard. I am quite sure that testers are even more frustracted with stupid errors they encounter than I who has never been "huge" over clocker.
    - - - - - -
    1) The machine must works with all specified memory configurations
    2) Informed normal speeds should work with all integrated parts
    3) the machine should be stable enough to run 24 hours burn test with adverticed speed specifications.
    4) If you allso overclock it 10-20% That is good extra, but I expect more of these after more mature bios.

    This list is not accurate enough, but somekind od insurance is needed! I Thank you for your hard work. For normal user these test you make are the only way of getting to know who can still make desent bios and who can not!
  • karhill - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    "Catering or focusing exclusively to the extreme overclocking community has resulted in initial product launches that are focused on getting the highest possible results from a product at the expense of usability, compatibility, and stability."

    EXACTLY. Board stability and features that work are SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT to me than overclocking. When I buy a board, that's what I'm looking for: stablity and features that work. Any consideration of overclocking is simply as an indicator for the qualities that matter to me; that is, I figure if board overclocks well, then it ought to be extra stable at stock speeds.
  • TennesseeTony - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    The ASUS P6T Deluxe sounds exactly like what you've been describing. Screw 12GB of RAM, I can't get six 1GB sticks of OCZ-1333 to boot/post. 3GB great. 4GB, fine, no problem. 5GB, yep, works just fine. But put that sixth stick of memory in there, in ANY of the slots, and when that little annoying blue led by the mem slot turns on, the computer dies.

    Vista won't boot on the SAS controller (64bit). ASUS says it's Microsoft's problem, nothing wrong with them... XP64 finally loaded up, I think I'm on Windows installation number 14, still buggy.

    I've been quite pissed with Anandtech for not coming through with all the promises of overclocking guides and such, but thank you, Anand, for finally shedding some light on the problems behind the delays, and an extra big thank you for deciding to only give them two strikes, then they're out! It's far past time!
  • pwndcake - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    So, the motherboard companies are using yours and other tech sites for free QA testing? Am I reading this right? Not a bad idea really. They don't even have to pay the price of 12GB of RAM to get all the testing and feedback they need. Reply
  • tmath2 - Sunday, October 04, 2009 - link

    Hear Hear !!! Call it like you see it! The though had occured to me also that the mob mfr's could save a ton on salaries by out-sourcing the Quality and Assurance departments to AnandTech and other hardware review websites! Reply
  • MarchTheMonth - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    Let me just say this, i haven't read through the entire article yet (i'm on only the first page still), and for any motherboard maker to focus strictly on extreme overclocks is just stupid to me.

    I bought my system the day the core i7 was released, got the i7 920, asus mobo, and 6GB of memory (and honestly, I think most users buy 6GB of memory, i really dont think many people get 3GB), and i couldn't overclock because the only HSF i had was the stock one, and at 100% cpu usage, my processor was reaching 96-100C after 3 minutes. I dumbled down my usage to make sure that nothing was making the computer run above 80, and now that i have a noctua HSF, i havent seen anything above 65C (even with my overclock of only 3.33Ghz).

    My point is, if all my mobo could do out of the box was do extreme overlocks and run really high scores in synthetic program X, I would have been pissed. This is my main system, I expect it to be 24/7/365 stable, and I expect the mobo makers to make a product to provide this.
  • bob4432 - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    i don't care about superpi scores if my $300 m/b can't do prime95 for 1hr. reliability is key - number 1 importance.

    i have many friends that are always buying top of the line m/bs and when we game, they are always the first to drop out as their machines have crashed. my 1-2gen old chipsets that at may offer crossfire/sli or a raid able southbridge are always bulletproof and i just keep on gaming.

    in reality, nobody really cares if your machine is 1-3% faster in either fps or superpi if the damn thing can't stay on for any amount of time or only 60% of its onboard items work.

    good job to you guys for geting this point across, and it is nearly criminal that you have to talk to them nearly 1000 times to get stuff resolved, utterly ridiculous.
  • Prozin - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    I am very impressed that somebody has finally addressed this issue because in my opinion this has been going on for a while now. The trend in the industry seems to be clear, many of the larger companies seem to be not only advertising their products overclocking abilities but also getting on board with standout people in the overclocking community. Keeping with your article I won't mention any names here but the marketing strategy seems to have paid off, but at the expense of working products unfortunately!

    As you mentioned in your article (and I agree) these companies should focus on at least getting the standard features working correctly before insuring that the motherboard will boot at FSB speeds in access of 600Mhz! Its seems to me that once they get all their features (at least the advertised features) working properly they could focus their time and energy on the motherboard's overclocking ability without having to worry about the multitude of RMA's because of non-boot issues or drives not being identified.

    Unfortunately I'm not able to articulate my thoughts as well as you guys did but I think its great your changing your review process to help industry focus more on releasing a fully working product before releasing a product that can overclock well at the expense of everything else. Please keep up the great work because consumers like myself will be the first ones to benefit from it!
  • Degloriath - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    Something seems wrong with this article, interesting as it is, there's multiple broken image links and the next page link breaks. Just thought I should give you an early heads up! Reply
  • sciwizam - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    "(What do you think about doing this) (listing out problems encountered is a good idea, not crazy about the thank you Gary,but that is just me)"

  • Gary Key - Friday, December 05, 2008 - link

    The rough draft went up instead of the final article, it is correct now. :) Reply
  • trailertrash - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - link

    i just ordered the asus p6t mobo an 6 meg of corsair 3 chan. ram. after reading that the 3rd sticks not seen by vista 64 i felt a pain in my gut but after looking around people have fixed the issue by flashing the bios to 0804.
    P.s. i hope its that simple
  • TheBeagle - Saturday, December 06, 2008 - link

    Once again you have done a very good service of objectively reviewing and evaluating the latest batch of high-end boards - Well Done! As for any minor editorial/typo annoyances, just ignore them for the most part, and fix the ones you choose in due course. Overall, it's an excellent review, and worthy of publication on AnandTech's front page. And for those who might criticize any portion of it - just have them post THEIR comprehensive review so we can all compare those editorial products.

    Best regards and Merry Christmas! TheBeagle

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