How are the ASUS P43/P45 boards?

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krille
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How are the ASUS P43/P45 boards?

Post by krille » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:25 am

Looking around for alternatives to the IP4x Pro.

I know the ASUS P35 boards were real power hogs (they drew like 20w more on average than the Gigabyte ones), but how are their P43/P45 siblings? I know quite a few users around here have been interested in (and I think bought?) them. So have they improved?

It appears ASUS' and Gigabyte's P4x boards have been the most popular so far (I haven't really seen much interest in the MSI boards at all around here, so I think I'll take the hint and avoid them).

[side rant]And what's up with the two of them these days anyway? ASUS and Gigabyte are already listing eighteen(!) different P45 boards among themselves (and that's just with a quick count and disregarding their P43 fleets entirely)? That's just crazy!

It's like they had to brain storm every possible combo possible of dual GbLAN, Cross-Fire, Crazy Fins, WiFi and whatnot.[/side rant]

tehfire
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Post by tehfire » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:46 am

I recently built a friend of mine a computer with the ASUS P5Q-E board. Very solid in design and layout, and easy to overclock. Plenty of features. I'm not sure about the power consumption, however. He went all out and the whole machine took 390W (!) peak when playing Crysis, so I'm sure the motherboard consumption was negligible next to the 9800GX2.

Where did you get the power consumption numbers of ASUS vs. Gigabyte? I knew there was a whole fiasco between the two companies, which lead to ASUS's sueing Gigabyte and Gigabyte's apologizing for misleading advertising, but I don't know much more than that. I did see a test of two close motherboards and while the Gigabyte board did draw less, it was only by a few watts...

krille
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Post by krille » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:49 pm

Here's one example: The Tech Report - Five flavors of Intel's P35 Express compared

Actually, these graphs have it worse still. ASUS is 30-40W worse than the competition.

Image

Image

That's why I'm wondering. ASUS put everything into developing an Overclocker's and Enthusiast's board last gen, providing the most stable power to OC'ed quads and allowing the highest overclocks. In doing this they completely neglected the noise-aware crowd.

Those 30W to 40W could be invested much better, such as in either lower noise and bills or better hardware (such as a high-end graphics card).

vick1000
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Post by vick1000 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:06 pm

Strangely enough, MSI is the brand you should be paying attention to. Their DRMOS actually works, unlike Asus and Gigabytes "hardware" based EPU....

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/0 ... platinum/4

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Post by Lawrence Lee » Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:07 pm

I'm playing with a P5Q Pro right now... uses 1-2W less than my Gigabyte P965-DS3.

Nick Geraedts
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Post by Nick Geraedts » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:11 pm

Oy... I've had nothing but nightmares with the P5Q Pro.

I had one for about three days, after which point it started continuously giving me the "BIOS Checksum Error" message on startup. No matter what BIOS image file I tried to use to restore it, it wouldn't work. After about 5 or 6 tries, the system completely bricked on me.

Same thing happens to the RMA'ed board 2 days later. All the rest of the hardware works perfectly in the previous board (ASUS P5B Deluxe) and in the new replacement board (P5K Premium).

From what I can tell, the P5Q-E and up (Deluxe, Premium, etc) are a completely different breed than the Pro and down (including all the "L" variants). From what I've heard, the "low-end" ASUS P45 based boards are to be avoided. A friend was having troubles with the onboard audio on his P5Q... until he disabled EIST. How those two are related (or rather should/should not be related), I don't know.

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Post by snake plissken » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:45 am

Nick Geraedts wrote:Oy... I've had nothing but nightmares with the P5Q Pro.

I had one for about three days, after which point it started continuously giving me the "BIOS Checksum Error" message on startup. No matter what BIOS image file I tried to use to restore it, it wouldn't work. After about 5 or 6 tries, the system completely bricked on me.

Same thing happens to the RMA'ed board 2 days later. All the rest of the hardware works perfectly in the previous board (ASUS P5B Deluxe) and in the new replacement board (P5K Premium).

From what I can tell, the P5Q-E and up (Deluxe, Premium, etc) are a completely different breed than the Pro and down (including all the "L" variants). From what I've heard, the "low-end" ASUS P45 based boards are to be avoided. A friend was having troubles with the onboard audio on his P5Q... until he disabled EIST. How those two are related (or rather should/should not be related), I don't know.
You would think that less complex boards (P5Q Pro and down) would have less problems because there are less components and options to cause them. I was planning to buy the P5Q Pro (because the P5QL-E has a bad connector placement) , but now, because of your post I'm beginning to doubt. I was also considering the Gigabyte P43 board (GA-EP43-DS3L), but I noticed in the specs that it is only ACPI 1.0b compliant (I mailed Gigabyte and they confirmed this), not ACPI 3.0a like the Asus boards. Wouldn't this give problems in Vista?

vick1000
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Post by vick1000 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:46 pm

I had a P5Q-Pro that was unstable as all hell, now all the parts run flawlessly on a EVGA 750i FTW. Perhaps the new NB chips are just not bieng binned as they should, meaning the trash bin is empty while the ship bin is full.

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Post by Nick Geraedts » Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:58 pm

snake plissken wrote:You would think that less complex boards (P5Q Pro and down) would have less problems because there are less components and options to cause them.
The P5Q and Pro versions are less complex, but they're also made with lower quality components. The P5Q-E and up versions use Marvell gigabit network cards, while the P5Q and P5Q Pro use Atheros cards. From my limited testing on the P5Q Pro, Atheros cards can barely push 800Mbps, while Marvells (on my P5B Deluxe, Maximus Formula, P5K Premium) can run all the way up to 1Gbps.

snake plissken
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Post by snake plissken » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:36 am

Nick Geraedts wrote:
snake plissken wrote:You would think that less complex boards (P5Q Pro and down) would have less problems because there are less components and options to cause them.
The P5Q and Pro versions are less complex, but they're also made with lower quality components. The P5Q-E and up versions use Marvell gigabit network cards, while the P5Q and P5Q Pro use Atheros cards. From my limited testing on the P5Q Pro, Atheros cards can barely push 800Mbps, while Marvells (on my P5B Deluxe, Maximus Formula, P5K Premium) can run all the way up to 1Gbps.
I don't find this verry logical. I would believe that the extra money you pay for the hi-end boards is for the extra features (2nd NIC, full 16x Crossfire, larger heatpipes, more connections, more BIOS options, etc) and not the quality of the components. If you buy a small car like a Ford Fiesta or a small Honda you also expect a good car because the brand garanties good quality compaired to a Lada e.g.. So from Asus I expect a good board even for the lower end ones. I understand that the first BIOS'es have same issues, but after the 2nd or 3rd BIOS update I expect the board to work in a stable manner.

krille
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Post by krille » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:22 am

Well, for me saving a few bucks isn't worth taking any chances in regards to quality, so thanks to you Nick, I won't consider anything from ASUS below P45 P5Q-E. Would you happen to know if any Gigabyte boards should be avoided for the same reasons?


As for MSI, the article you [vick1000] link to describes the MSI board with these words: "unfortunately it hits many epic fails ... we can only recommend you look elsewhere because there are currently better boards on the market". So MSI is definitely out (again, I don't like taking any chances).
edit: By the way that article [link] isn't entirely fair. The Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 has all sorts of weird extras that draw power, like four (!) Gbit NICs. It would be much more interesting if we saw the power consumption of the EP45-DS3R or something.


As for ACPI, are all Gigabyte P45 boards limited to ACPI 1.0, or is it just the P43 ones? Do all ASUS boards support ACPI 3.0?


edit: What use has ACPI 3.0 over ACPI 1.0 anyway?


So, uhm, happen to know if Asus P5QL-E uses P5Q-E quality components (ie means less trouble than P5Q-Pro)? It's P43 (so only 1 PCI-E x16) and cheaper than P5Q-E, but I don't need the extra features of P5Q-E.

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Post by canthearyou » Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:42 pm

The placement of the EATX12V connector on the P5Q is terrible. With a xigmatek HSF in a Solo you are faced with either a tight squeeze between the ASUS heatsink, the xigmatek and the case rail or must go over the rail back down, which puts the cable in the airflow between the HSF and the rear and PSU fan, which probably creates turbulence.

The main power is okay, it is a stretch around the HSF, but it would be better somewhere else.

The basic components like solid caps are used on this board. I don't know how good the lan is, I will get my own card, since some linux is not compatible with either one, but marvell a bit more than others.

Monkeh16
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Post by Monkeh16 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:08 pm

canthearyou wrote:I don't know how good the lan is, I will get my own card, since some linux is not compatible with either one, but marvell a bit more than others.
Linux should handle most Marvell NICs, and I'm fairly certain the Atheros is supported. Not in older kernels, of course, which may be a problem on, *ahem*, certain distros.

vick1000
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Post by vick1000 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:02 pm

krille wrote:

As for MSI, the article you [vick1000] link to describes the MSI board with these words: "unfortunately it hits many epic fails ... we can only recommend you look elsewhere because there are currently better boards on the market". So MSI is definitely out (again, I don't like taking any chances).
edit: By the way that article [link] isn't entirely fair. The Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 has all sorts of weird extras that draw power, like four (!) Gbit NICs. It would be much more interesting if we saw the power consumption of the EP45-DS3R or something.
Well, I was just basically trying to iterate that DrMOS actually works as opposed to the Gigabyte and Asus offerings.

Their biggest gripe was that they had to use a "off BIOS" flash utility to flash the BIOS, and they could not overclock the board. Not big concerns on an energy efficient platform (if that is your goal) if you ask me.

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Post by Nick Geraedts » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:16 pm

snake plissken wrote:I don't find this verry logical. I would believe that the extra money you pay for the hi-end boards is for the extra features (2nd NIC, full 16x Crossfire, larger heatpipes, more connections, more BIOS options, etc) and not the quality of the components. If you buy a small car like a Ford Fiesta or a small Honda you also expect a good car because the brand garanties good quality compaired to a Lada e.g.. So from Asus I expect a good board even for the lower end ones. I understand that the first BIOS'es have same issues, but after the 2nd or 3rd BIOS update I expect the board to work in a stable manner.
Sure, the board may run stable after a few of the BIOS kinks have been worked out, but that's still no excuse for selling lower quality hardware (i.e. Atheros vs Marvell).

That being said, for the most part, that "second NIC" is connected to the PCI bus, so in terms of full gigabit support, it's still not up to par with a proper PCIe GigE network card. There aren't any more connectors on the P5Q-E compared to the P5Q Pro - they're just in better locations. As for full x16 crossfire support, most video cards rarely make use of the bandwidth PCIe v1.1 x8 (PCIe v2.0 x4), so that "extra support" is somewhat moot point today.

And you can't honestly compare the quality of a Ford Fiesta with a higher end car, just because the warranty is "ok". There's a reason why older, well maintained Volvos and Mercedes cars have rolled over 1,000,000KM, while you never hear of any Ford achieving that feat.

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Post by TheAtomicKid » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:38 pm

Currently running an MSI board with a Marvell based NIC on it, on Ubuntu 8.04.. no problems here.. (it's an older board, so your mileage may very)...

Marvell and Broadcom are both good choices though.

Atomic

Monkeh16
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Post by Monkeh16 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:32 am

TheAtomicKid wrote:Currently running an MSI board with a Marvell based NIC on it, on Ubuntu 8.04.. no problems here.. (it's an older board, so your mileage may very)...

Marvell and Broadcom are both good choices though.

Atomic
I wouldn't say Marvell is a good choice, personally. I'd highly recommend finding one of those rare boards with Intel NICs (or buying an Intel NIC).

mcb
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Post by mcb » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:55 pm

x-bit labs reviews the ASUS P5Q3 http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainbo ... eluxe.html and has this to say about overclocking and power saving technologies:

"Moreover, power-saving is not the best feature of ASUS mainboards lately. Contemporary ASUS boards disable EIST technology during overclocking, so that we ca no longer optimize the processor power consumption in idle mode. Moreover, it suddenly turned out that the overclocking potential of ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe mainboard worsens significantly once you enable C1E. Therefore, overclockers may want to disable this power-saving technology, too, otherwise the mainboard is unstable even at 450MHz FSB."

I would like to overclock and I would like to use EIST and C1E. Has anyone else noticed these being incompatible?

Thanks.

snake plissken
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Post by snake plissken » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:44 am

Nick Geraedts wrote:And you can't honestly compare the quality of a Ford Fiesta with a higher end car, just because the warranty is "ok". There's a reason why older, well maintained Volvos and Mercedes cars have rolled over 1,000,000KM, while you never hear of any Ford achieving that feat.
Sure. You can indeed do more kilometers with a mercedes or BMW compaired to a Ford Fiesta, but what I mean is that a Ford Fiesta does what you expect it to do: I moves you from point A to B with a low fuel consumption and the little options you have work like you expect them to. So when we compair this to motherboards I can accept that the lifetime of the board is somewhat shorter and that you have less features, but this doesn't have to mean that the board doesn't work reliably with a low power consumption. And also performance wise you can't expect to get the same as the expensive boards.

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Post by krille » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:40 am

snake plissken wrote:The Gigabyte P43 board (GA-EP43-DS3L) is only ACPI 1.0b compliant (I mailed Gigabyte and they confirmed this), not ACPI 3.0a like the Asus boards. Wouldn't this give problems in Vista?
Does ACPI version matter? What difference does this mean in practice? Because not being able to run Vista would be very bad.

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Post by snake plissken » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:48 pm

krille wrote:
snake plissken wrote:The Gigabyte P43 board (GA-EP43-DS3L) is only ACPI 1.0b compliant (I mailed Gigabyte and they confirmed this), not ACPI 3.0a like the Asus boards. Wouldn't this give problems in Vista?
Does ACPI version matter? What difference does this mean in practice? Because not being able to run Vista would be very bad.
Well, I'm not sure if somebody already had problems with ACPI 1.0b, but I find it very strange that they use a ACPI standard released in 1999 when all other board makers use the most recent (but also already several years old) ACPI 3.0 (Oct. 2006) standard. Where's the logic in that? ACPI is intended for the OS, so that it can manage the power distribution to the peripherals, so an older ACPI standard must mean that the OS has less control of this power management, so this can't be good for a power efficient PC, right? Also I don't know how well older standards are supported by recent OS'es.

krille
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Post by krille » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:57 pm

snake plissken wrote:Well, I'm not sure if somebody already had problems with ACPI 1.0b, but I find it very strange that they use a ACPI standard released in 1999 when all other board makers use the most recent (but also already several years old) ACPI 3.0 (Oct. 2006) standard. Where's the logic in that? ACPI is intended for the OS, so that it can manage the power distribution to the peripherals, so an older ACPI standard must mean that the OS has less control of this power management, so this can't be good for a power efficient PC, right? Also I don't know how well older standards are supported by recent OS'es.
Well I don't know. I mean, SATA 1.5 Gbps has been around since 2003, but still works great for most drives. IDE was designed in 1986 and still works fine, I haven't bought a single SATA optical drive yet and my old IDE hard disks are doing just fine in their computers. Just because it's the latest, it doesn't necessarily mean we need it or even want it (for example, most people don't want DDR3 as it's not cost-effective or even particularly useful yet, same went for DDR2 in its cradle). That's why I'm interested in what's really new/better.

I read somewhere that Vista requires ACPI 2.0, is this true? Because it would be very weird of Gigabyte to release a P45 board that wouldn't work under Vista.

So, what's beneficial about ACPI 3.0 (compared to 2.0 and 1.0) and does Vista really require a higher version than 1.0?

Thanks!

snake plissken
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Post by snake plissken » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:26 pm

I found this in a word document from the Micro$oft site:

PPM technologies are defined in the ACPI specification and are divided into three categories:
• Processor performance states (ACPI “P statesâ€

snake plissken
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Post by snake plissken » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:36 pm

I also found this in the 'Features removed from Windows Vista' Wikipedia page:

Motherboard support for Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) is required for Windows Vista; as a result, older motherboards supporting only Advanced Power Management do not work as support for the following HALs has been dropped: "Standard PC", "MPS Uniprocessor PC" and "MPS Multiprocessor PC"
ACPI 2.0 or later is preferred, as Windows Vista's support of technologies like AMD's Cool'n'Quiet power-saving technology is disabled on ACPI 1.0 enabled motherboards.
Other "legacy" hardware technologies no longer supported include: EISA buses, game ports, MPU-401, AMD K6/2+ Mobile Processors, Mobile Pentium II and Mobile Pentium III SpeedStep; ISAPnP[77] is disabled by default.

So this indeed means that ACPI 1.0 should work, but ACPI 2.0 or higher is STRONGLY suggested. Only APM only system won't work.

snake plissken
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Post by snake plissken » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:30 am

With al the quality issues mentioned here concerning Asus boards I have been looking at some Intel boards. I found this Intel DP43TF (P43) board, with the ATX power connector in the right place and no unnecessary crap features. You have no software features like EPU6 or the gigabyte thing, and yes you cannot overclock, but thats OK. You do have an intel gigabit NIC and the quality of intel boards should be quite good (we use them in al our computers at work and never had a board failure). I also think the power consumption should be OK, because this is a simple board - The power saving soft from Asus or gigabyte doesn't make a large difference I think. Has anyone here already used this board or got any experience with intel boards?

http://www.intel.com/products/desktop/m ... erview.htm

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Post by Poodle » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:02 pm

just stay away from Gigabyte p45-ds3r, stay the f**k away from it.

crappiest board I've ever own. compatabillity issues? guess you could say so yeah...
Last edited by Poodle on Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Wibla » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:23 pm

Haven't had any problems with Asus cards, obviously there are bad batches, and the power managment isnt the best out there, but in my experience they are rock stable.

I've had bad experience with Marvell on linux, havent tried Atheros.
Just get an intel pci-e gig-e nic, theyre not expensive at all anymore, and well worth it.

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Post by prism_emf » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:45 am

Has anyone been able to confirm that the Gigabyte boards only support ACPI1.0b? It's such an old specification that it seems weird Gigabyte wouldn't have updated their ACPI support, especially as they use the same basic BIOS versions as the other manufacturers...

Or, maybe they just choose to pass on newer ACPI versions and do power management with their DES chip?

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Post by nomoon » Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:37 am

Poodle wrote:just stay away from Gigabyte p45-ds3r, stay the f**k away from it.

crappiest board I've ever own. compatabillity issues? guess you could say so yeah...
What compatibility issues are you having? I haven't noticed any on mine.

Jason

ReelMonza
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Post by ReelMonza » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:07 pm

ACPI support depends on core logic , afaik , p45/ich9 has ACPI 3.0b

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