The ASUS A8R32-MVP has been a lightning rod of discussion on the Internet since its release over a month ago. After receiving extremely positive reviews by the vast majority of websites at launch, the board acquired a somewhat tarnished image within the enthusiast community shortly after retail availability.

Why the tarnished image? A number of issues surfaced after users had time to utilize the board and experiment with varying component combinations. Issues ranged from the boards inability to properly power-up while in an overclocked condition, ASUS applications and Creative drivers not playing nice together, a humming turning to whining noise when utilizing certain memory modules, game play lag while online, stuttering in graphic intensive games, random benchmark scores, RAID 5 issues with the ULi SATA controller, poor HTT overclocks with synchronous memory settings.... You can start to understand the type of issues early adopters faced with this board.

While the majority of these issues were quickly rectified by ASUS with the 0311 BIOS release a few weeks ago - or in some cases like the humming memory, replacement units - the board's reputation continued to be in question when it came to enthusiast level overclocking. It was not so much the board's ability or not to reach high HTT levels but rather its inability to run memory synchronously at the upper HTT levels. In fact, users have experienced issues reaching the 300HTT level, considered the minimum HTT overclock setting now for an enthusiast board, with a synchronous memory ratio and command rate setting of 1T.



ASUS, along with assistance from ATI, spent the last couple of weeks working on a BIOS update that would further improve the board's compatibility with a broad range of memory types, CPUs, and memory controller revisions, but more importantly to the enthusiast, improved overclocking capabilities. The result of this work is the recently released BIOS 0404 that can be downloaded from ASUS' website. While there are not any new BIOS options or layout changes since the 0311 revision, significant work has progressed on the underlying core that has reportedly improved HTT overclocking levels and memory compatibility.

Our article today looks at the improvements we discovered in overclocking our retail board along with some interesting results along the way. We will not be reviewing the features or general aspects of the board again but will instead focus our efforts on the results obtained with BIOS revision 0404 while operating the memory in synchronous mode. We will refer to the synchronous memory settings as 1:1 memory ratios in the balance of the article for simplicity and the fact this term is still widely used. If further information and details about the Asus A8R32-MVP capabilities are required you can refer to our initial review.

Now let's take a closer look at the testing results of the new BIOS and figure out if progress has been made or not.

System Configuration
POST A COMMENT

23 Comments

View All Comments

  • cornfedone - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    It's been known by experienced PC builders for several years that Asus has been shipping mobos with a laundry lists of defects. This has been documented by any number of hardware review sites and hundreds of thousands of consumers. In addition Asus has been completely arrogant about these defective products, failing to properly fix or replace them and completely ignoring their customers after they were duped in to purchasing these defective products via misleading advertising and bogus reviews of hand-picked mobos.

    Asus needs a good class action lawsuit costing them a few hundred million dollars to get their act together and stop defrauding consumers. As long as people buy the defective products Asus has been shipping there is no incentive for Asus to sell properly functioning products. Asus has been on a downhill spiral since they launched the defective SLI series and every model mobo since seems to have major issues including vcore, memory, BIOS, etc. this is simply unacceptable for ANY mobo, let alone mobos being sold at a premium price and being marketed as "designed for serious overclockers" - which is blatant fraud IMNHO.

    Until foolish sheep stop buying these defective mobos Asus won't provide a properly functioning Mobo.
    Reply
  • phusg - Monday, April 24, 2006 - link

    What SLI mobo manufacturer do you recommend then? I agree motherboards shouldn't be brought onto the market when they are nowhere near mature, but I doubt ASUS is alone in this... Reply
  • classy - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    When I see the results from overclocking it really makes one wonder why AMD is moving to ddr2 at this time. It is clear that there is still much life and very healthy life at that in ddr if amd went with a higher fsb. Reply
  • Gambit2K - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    They never answeared the question if the new bios fixed the problems people are having with soundblaster cards, the boot, the hickup issues most people are having. I recently flashed the 0404 bios and the hickup and the cold boot issues remains.

    Oh and I can't overclock my Samsung TCCD 10 mhz over stock, tried just about every bios setting there is. On my DFI Ultra-D my ram did 275-280 mhz without me even tweaking any of the settings.

    When I buy a board I expect my computer to be able to restart and post 100% of the times, not 50-75% of the times too. I'll give ASUS until Conroe arrives to fix all of the issues or im selling the board and going on the intel train.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    quote:

    They never answeared the question if the new bios fixed the problems people are having with soundblaster cards, the boot, the hickup issues most people are having. I recently flashed the 0404 bios and the hickup and the cold boot issues remains.


    The SB X-FI needs to uninstalled when utilizing the Asus update program for bios changes, there is still a driver issue between the two items. I have a new set of X-FI beta drivers I will try shortly.

    The only boot issue that remains in our testing is a limitation of the chipset when changing the HT multipliers. The board still requires a power down but this occurs on other ATI chipset boards. The warm reboot issue and power up issue with an overclocked setting was solved (at least for us and many others) with the 0311 bios.

    We have no longer have the pauses in games with either the dual-core or single-core CPUs since the 0311 bios.

    quote:

    Oh and I can't overclock my Samsung TCCD 10 mhz over stock, tried just about every bios setting there is. On my DFI Ultra-D my ram did 275-280 mhz without me even tweaking any of the settings.


    Actually, Samsung TCCD memory was our memory of choice on this board for overclocking. Email us and we will see if we can assist you.
    Reply
  • ElFenix - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    pauses in games?

    i get pauses in movies and games with my A8R-MVP, i wonder if the fix that they applied here works and has been applied to the first A8R?
    Reply
  • InuYasha - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    pow! right in the kisser Reply
  • FireTech - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    Can't wait for the DFI & ABIT test results.... Reply
  • goinginstyle - Friday, April 21, 2006 - link

    Hopefully the DFI/Abit reviews will show this kind of detail in overclocking and system settings. Really enjoyed the article and it is about time someone showed the effects overclocking the system has on gaming. Where are the min/max numbers? Your articles usually have those in the gaming scores. Reply
  • Marlowe - Thursday, April 20, 2006 - link

    I've got the Sapphire A9RD580 PURE Crossfire here.. looks great, but very complicated to overclock.. I might just be very noobish though.. since it's my first AMD64 system.

    Board suffers from not having any supported voltage/temp monitoring programs tho.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now