Scumbag ASUS: Overvolting CPUs & Screwing the Customer

Meeho

Supreme [H]ardness
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Aug 16, 2010
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ASUS' actions relating to the Exploding Ryzen CPU debacle are disgraceful and abrasive to the trust that the brand has earned. ASUS has demonstrated clearly it wishes to not only avoid supporting users, but actively engineers ways to abandon them. ASUS' updates haven't even fixed the problems, yet they posture as if they have while simultaneously suggesting that users 'just run defaults' on their $700 motherboards, as if that makes any sense whatsoever. So, to accommodate ASUS' request, we ran defaults and re-benchmarked the Ryzen 7000 series. It sucks. Big surprise. They also don't support their own BIOSes for the ASUS ROG boards.



I would also hold AMD partially responsible for this debacle. They have enough power, and certainly obligation, to influence their partners' behavior and practices when it directly compromises AMD's reputation and business. Intel is, for better or worse, much better in that regard. Asus and its customer relation is standard MO for them.
 
I had the same issue with Gigabyte when I first got my Threadripper 3960x in late 2019.

My launch rev Gigabyte Aorus* TRX40 Master burned up TWO $1,200 Threadrippers before I resolved the issue (by switching to an Asus motherboard).

AMD was a trooper in all that, replacing the CPU's without question under RMA. Gigabyte - however - was awful. I sent the offending motherboard back under RMA, but they shipped it back to me with "no problem found".

Eventually I applied enough pressure (and linked evidence from forums that their early rev motherboards were overvolting the CPU's at default settings) and they replaced the board with a latest Rev one, which has since just sat in a box like a $600 brick because I no longer have any use for it. (I tried selling it, but there were no takers)

So, because of Gigabyte I lost a full year of use of my new high end Threadripper in 2019 and 2020 (a good time to have an effing home computer as I and everyone else we're stuck at home) due to various stages of troubleshooting and fighting over RMA, as well as the $600 I spent on the motherboard I couldn't use, for i g me to buy the only other motherboard I could find at the time, (an open box Asus ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha from MicroCenter.)

I thought the solution here was just to avoid Gigabyte like the plague going forward, but if Asus is also pulling this shit, then who the hell do we all by from? MSI? It seems we are rapidly running out of good options...

*Amusingly enough as I am typing this, my phone keeps wanting to autocorrect Aorus to Virus, which seems strangely appropriate
 
I stopped buying Asus motherboards long time ago because the quality of their motherboards they were releasing. I have found MSI board to be much better built and priced.

Now I will say, when I did buy Asus products years ago I never once had any issues with RMA. That being said I do think Asus products are VERY overpriced.
 
That being said I do think Asus products are VERY overpriced.

Yeah, I never would have bought my $900 Asus ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha if not for the fact that I needed another TRX40 motherboard to troubleshoot with, and this one (which was open box) was the only one I could find locally.

My ideal motherboard is a basic one, with basic aesthetics, few things on board, and as many PCIe lane/slots as possible. I do appreciate good power delivery though.
 
Never had an issue with Asus motherboards, so I won’t join on the fuck em bandwagon, yet. But to assume people will only run default settings on a $700 motherboard, is ridiculous.
Is it though? I'm pretty sure the majority of people run defaults on K series CPUs.
 
this isnt the first time asus has boosted things in bios to try and have the best scores BUT... are we not talking about this in at least 2 other threads already?
 
this isnt the first time asus has boosted things in bios to try and have the best scores BUT... are we not talking about this in at least 2 other threads already?

I think they are all guilty of that. I remember when Gigabyte used to run the bus at 101 just to try and get an edge on the others.
 
I think they are all guilty of that. I remember when Gigabyte used to run the bus at 101 just to try and get an edge on the others.
possibly. i thought that was just a glitchy bios/board, one of mine bounced between 99/101....
 
I would also hold AMD partially responsible for this debacle. They have enough power, and certainly obligation, to influence their partners' behavior and practices when it directly compromises AMD's reputation and business. Intel is, for better or worse, much better in that regard. Asus and its customer relation is standard MO for them.
Partially? The CPUs have also blown up on Gigabyte as well. This is just Steve having a bone with ASUS because ASUS boards are just making the issue worse, but the issue is 100% on AMD. Let's not shift the blame here and hold AMD just as accountable as when users bring out the pitchforks against AMDs competitors.
 

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Considering the money high end gamer-targeted boards demand, I'd just build an EPYC machine at this point. It'll run cooler, support ECC memory and more channels, and is a hell of a lot less likely to cook itself due to incompetence or negligence. Enterprise customers won't tolerate it, and the warranty would be worth a damn too. If you want a toy, the low-end stuff's unlikely to burn itself out. But the DIY middle ground seems to have turned into a rickety pile of crap from a quality assurance standpoint.

Don't get me started on juicing silicon by 40% percent to squeeze out the last 10% of performance in the past five years. AMD was guilty on the CPU and GPU front, but the rest of the industry shouldn't have resorted to it...
 
Partially? The CPUs have also blown up on Gigabyte as well. This is just Steve having a bone with ASUS because ASUS boards are just making the issue worse, but the issue is 100% on AMD. Let's not shift the blame here and hold AMD just as accountable as when users bring out the pitchforks against AMDs competitors.
It's those evil OC'ers I tell you!! [H]
 
I would also hold AMD partially responsible for this debacle. They have enough power, and certainly obligation, to influence their partners' behavior and practices when it directly compromises AMD's reputation and business. Intel is, for better or worse, much better in that regard. Asus and its customer relation is standard MO for them.
Actually, this is simply untrue. I've been told by multiple manufacturers that this was not the case. Intel had far more guidelines and requirements for its motherboard partners than AMD has.
Considering the money high end gamer-targeted boards demand, I'd just build an EPYC machine at this point. It'll run cooler, support ECC memory and more channels, and is a hell of a lot less likely to cook itself due to incompetence or negligence. Enterprise customers won't tolerate it, and the warranty would be worth a damn too. If you want a toy, the low-end stuff's unlikely to burn itself out. But the DIY middle ground seems to have turned into a rickety pile of crap from a quality assurance standpoint.
If we are talking about OEMs, I'd agree. But not because OEM customers won't tolerate it. It comes down to a difference in market segmentation and profit margins. In the commercial market, the goal isn't to win benchmarks for reviews and overclocking is virtually non-existent. In that market segment, warranty claims are far more costly and the OEMs aren't going to take the same chances they do in the consumer market. There is a big difference between a 1-3 year warranty where the consumer has to send in the product and 4 hour response SLA with a guarantee of "next business day" for parts and a technician.

I've worked on that side of things for over two decades. Believe me when I tell you the commercial market has had its share of debacles on the hardware front. It's true they are typically less egregious, but they do happen. The i820 MTH issue effected commercial customers far more than it did consumers. It was the same with the Pentium 60/66 recall. Gen 8 HPE servers running P822 controllers have a known defect where the controllers will outright fail as they cook themselves to death slowly. They had capacitor problems just like the rest of the industry when that shit show occurred.
Don't get me started on juicing silicon by 40% percent to squeeze out the last 10% of performance in the past five years. AMD was guilty on the CPU and GPU front, but the rest of the industry shouldn't have resorted to it...
I think there is a misconception here that what ASUS is doing is somehow new. It isn't. ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI etc. have all been pulling this crap for the bulk of the last two decades at least. They were pulling this shit way before Intel and AMD were binning CPU's at the bleeding edge of what the silicon was physically capable of. All of these companies are trying to have their boards clock CPU's and memory higher, win benchmarks and make you think that performance is somehow motherboard related. It's only true in that more robust VRM's do allow for higher clocks over longer periods of time and theoretically allow for greater overclocking but that's about where it ends. These companies have been deviating from manufacturers datasheets and guidelines all of that time. The one thing I will grant you is that ASUS has by far been the most guilty party in that regard pushing harder than anyone else.
 
Isn't that...exactly my point?
That's not exactly how it came across to me based on what you said below.
I would also hold AMD partially responsible for this debacle. They have enough power, and certainly obligation, to influence their partners' behavior and practices when it directly compromises AMD's reputation and business. Intel is, for better or worse, much better in that regard. Asus and its customer relation is standard MO for them.
Specifically, I am talking about the part in bold. It is your position that AMD has sufficient power to influence or control the motherboard partners. I'm simply stating that AMD doesn't. Whether or not they should is another matter, but AMD doesn't have that kind of control historically. I've talked about this with companies like ASUS, MSI and GIGABYTE at various press events and other situations at length.
 
I've worked on that side of things for over two decades. Believe me when I tell you the commercial market has had its share of debacles on the hardware front. It's true they are typically less egregious, but they do happen. The i820 MTH issue effected commercial customers far more than it did consumers. It was the same with the Pentium 60/66 recall. Gen 8 HPE servers running P822 controllers have a known defect where the controllers will outright fail as they cook themselves to death slowly. They had capacitor problems just like the rest of the industry when that shit show occurred.

I think there is a misconception here that what ASUS is doing is somehow new. It isn't. ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI etc. have all been pulling this crap for the bulk of the last two decades at least. They were pulling this shit way before Intel and AMD were binning CPU's at the bleeding edge of what the silicon was physically capable of. All of these companies are trying to have their boards clock CPU's and memory higher, win benchmarks and make you think that performance is somehow motherboard related. It's only true in that more robust VRM's do allow for higher clocks over longer periods of time and theoretically allow for greater overclocking but that's about where it ends. These companies have been deviating from manufacturers datasheets and guidelines all of that time. The one thing I will grant you is that ASUS has by far been the most guilty party in that regard pushing harder than anyone else.
To the first point: I can absolutely believe it, and would love to hear stories (with names and serial numbers filed off, as needed). But the key difference is that while engineering is hard and costs always need to be controlled, the cost structures of those businesses incentivize a responsible floor of tolerances that the DIY market - and, specifically, AMD's part of it - push too recklessly. Between PCIe 5.0 and the new socket I thought this might be a rough launch, but this is a different level.
 
That's not exactly how it came across to me based on what you said below.

Specifically, I am talking about the part in bold. It is your position that AMD has sufficient power to influence or control the motherboard partners. I'm simply stating that AMD doesn't. Whether or not they should is another matter, but AMD doesn't have that kind of control historically. I've talked about this with companies like ASUS, MSI and GIGABYTE at various press events and other situations at length.
I may have worded it poorly, but my point was that they obviously don't have enough control and that they should. Historically they were not in a position to have it, but are now. I don't think ASUS et al. can afford to walk away from AMD in the consumer market.

I'm growing tired of AMD's shitty ecosystem QC.
 
I think brand loyalty should be a thing of the past, as i have had boards from pretty much all manufacturers over the years have problems or do stupid things that piss me off. My current board is MSI, as that had the features I wanted, and gigabyte who made my previous board did not make a board with what I wanted. Thennext time I build my computer I will probably change manufacturers again if MSI doesnt have what I want.
 
I may have worded it poorly, but my point was that they obviously don't have enough control and that they should. Historically they were not in a position to have it, but are now. I don't think ASUS et al. can afford to walk away from AMD in the consumer market.
Fair enough. Though, AMD still gets pushback from motherboard manufacturers that Intel doesn't.
I'm growing tired of AMD's shitty ecosystem QC.
It's worlds ahead of where it was in the pre-nForce chipset days.
 
I've bought Asus primarily on the high end for both "mainstream" and "HEDT" platforms more or less for the past two decades. I'm certainly open to other manufacturers parallel offerings, but most of the time when it comes time to buy the Asus ROG "named" offerings have ended up with the best hardware and equal prices to others (ie MSI XBigBang, Gigabyte Aorus etc..), or if the prices were higher there was often a hardware or feature benefit. It may be something regarding PCB, VRM or other build quality features, or it may be that they offer something like 3x3 WiFi when others offered 2x2; recently when I was looking into boards for X670E the Asus top of the line offered USB4 40gbps Thunderbol4 ports + a 10Gig ethernet when others comparable boards lacked one of the other or both. Sometimes, there was even something relatively unique (as far as I know at the time not replicated in boards from other manufacturers) in terms of features for the overclocking and enthusiast demographic that make it worthwhile. For instance the X58 Rampage III Black Edition was one of the first boards with PCI-E 3.0, USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0 , the X99 Rampage V Edition 10 had an OC-Socket feature utilizing more than the standard pin configuration for Socket 2011-3 to mean more stable overclocks over those that had dummy pins, and both the Crosshair VIII X570 Dark Hero and the entire X670E Crosshair lineup (Extreme, Hero etc) have DynamicOC which allows for swapping between maximum single/few core OC / using PBO2 and maximum multi/all core OC as needed. When I was considering building a Threadripper X399 or TRX40 system, the Zenith series had some compelling features too. Asus also seem to support (at least the boards that I buy) longer when it comes to updates to BIOS/UEFI firmware and the like, but that may be entirely subjective. I've generally had good experiences and have never needed to RMA something that wasn't within warranty period (it went fine for me, but I also read that there are many who have horrid experiences with all manners of mobo manufacturers so I grant it varies significantly).

I'm aware there is a potential cost to some of this, these high end OC functions can wreck your board if you use the improperly. If you have a system with LN2 mode and you activate it when you're not using liquid nitrogen, there's at least the potential for damage. Generally, I've found that the safeguards and sane defaults have been sufficient, but I grant that I came to places like this forum to discuss what are the general requirements for cooling, what OC I can expect, and what settings are important to enable or disable, voltages to set and what to monitor if left auto. Though I grant some changes may have happened in recent years, at least historically these boards and their increased costs, feature sets, ostensible quality are focused towards enthusiasts who are going to tweak, overclock or undervolt, and "want it all" feature wise with the interest and knowledge to have it within their control. I've been able to take my X99 system from a baseline 3.0ghz to a stable 4.5+ ghz all core turbo OC likely because of some of these features. These boards often win acclaim for enthusiast use because of similar capabilities, but that doesn't mean things have been perfect - there were some platforms and chipsets that had more wrinkles than others. That doesn't mean that its ever justified for Asus or anyone else to fail to provide attention to the guard rails for sane "auto" usage or otherwise support the board, especially with increasing prices and feature sets. There's a whole other discussion about other aspects of modern builders (not to mention reviewers and clickbait )and how there may be some serious differences in how much care and detail even "enthusiasts" use setting up their systems , but I'm not sure how much that may apply here (and what percentage is simply metaphorical cane-shaking from the old guys - I've been around here long enough to count myself among them!). In any case, I don't lament when mobo companies try to allow new features or go beyond certain standard for their enthusiasts to take advantage, but it is all contingent on good quality and assessment of how far things can be pushed, leaving proper guard rails in place, and also not cutting corners ; especially on pricey offerings.

Looking at different perspectives on these recent issues, I've yet to weight the approach to the severity or likelihood of the issue, how blame should be doled out, and what is necessary to fix the problems. I think AMD needs to do better at this point in the game (I admonish their handing of the 2 CCD 7000 series 3D Cache chips and think they need a firmware/software update that would easily let the hardware shine), Asus cannot afford to slip especially if they wish to command prices that enthusiasts are willing to pay provided they get something for their investment, yet let us not judge them more harshly than other mobo manufacturers (last I checked, some had not provided firmware updates at all etc) and the whole ecosystem needs to avoid stepping on easily placed land mines or dropping more of them in their own path. Still, there is also a lot of catastrophic clickbait and less than credible assertions about the various situations, with bias on different sides and other issues. Lets hope that the companies involved take this as a serious sign people are watching and attempt to repair their reputations (if even for PR reasons to be cynical) by responding properly. Guess we'll see...
 
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Don't care for ASUS hardware. Only reason I have one now is because that's what came with the MC combo. Would have likely went Gigabyte/Asrock if not for that. In general I don't have any strong dispositions towards or against specific mobo makers. I'm sure I could have faults with any of them.
 
ASUS' actions relating to the Exploding Ryzen CPU debacle are disgraceful and abrasive to the trust that the brand has earned. ASUS has demonstrated clearly it wishes to not only avoid supporting users, but actively engineers ways to abandon them. ASUS' updates haven't even fixed the problems, yet they posture as if they have while simultaneously suggesting that users 'just run defaults' on their $700 motherboards, as if that makes any sense whatsoever. So, to accommodate ASUS' request, we ran defaults and re-benchmarked the Ryzen 7000 series. It sucks. Big surprise. They also don't support their own BIOSes for the ASUS ROG boards.



I would also hold AMD partially responsible for this debacle. They have enough power, and certainly obligation, to influence their partners' behavior and practices when it directly compromises AMD's reputation and business. Intel is, for better or worse, much better in that regard. Asus and its customer relation is standard MO for them.

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AMD was a trooper in all that, replacing the CPU's without question under RMA. Gigabyte - however - was awful. I sent the offending motherboard back under RMA, but they shipped it back to me with "no problem found".

I had a similar experience back in the Core 2 era. I had a GA-EP45-DS3R that suddenly started spontaneously rebooting at random, then it would go into an infinite boot loop. I tried everything to resolve it, then RMA'd it to Gigabyte. Two weeks later they sent it back with "no problem found". It was still spontaneously rebooting at random. RMA'd it again and they quite literally packed it back up when they received it and shipped it back out the same day again with "no problem found".

As a last ditch effort, I decided to reflash the BIOS. I hadn't done this because it had the latest already. But something interesting happened. I forgot that it was one of their dual BIOS boards, and after it finished reflashing, it rebooted and came up to a screen "reflashing backup BIOS". The backup BIOS was absolutely ancient, more than a dozen versions behind the main. After it did that, the board works fine to this day. I can only speculate that the board was trying to do something at random with the backup BIOS, and since it was so ancient, it encountered a problem, and its solution was to reboot. Or the backup BIOS had somehow become corrupted and whatever it was doing was running bad code and crashed the machine.

I've since had problems on a few Gigabyte boards with spontaneously corrupt BIOS images, so I bought an EEPROM programmer.
 
I stopped buying Asus motherboards, shit, five or 10 years ago? I had this long string of motherboards that were nothing but problems. We're talking dozens of motherboards that lead to me just never buying Asus MBs again. They can keep their overrated, half-assed engineering and their terrible software. I get that Asus tends to be the go-to brand for enthusiasts that don't build many PCs, but back when I was building a lot of PCs Asus became awful. Their service was absolutely stellar, but the best RMA service is RMA service that I don't have to use.

The major thing for me is that the most problems were with Asus' "high end" motherboards. Mid and low end were still pretty bad, but the high end had an incredibly high RMA rate.
 
$700 motherboard... What a world to live in. /s

Yep. This is why I went with a sub $300 Asrock X760E mobo. I have had plenty of good luck with other manufacturers in the past and had never given Asrock a chance. So far so good. Rock solid and has done everything I asked it to do.
 
I think brand loyalty should be a thing of the past, as i have had boards from pretty much all manufacturers over the years have problems or do stupid things that piss me off. My current board is MSI, as that had the features I wanted, and gigabyte who made my previous board did not make a board with what I wanted. Thennext time I build my computer I will probably change manufacturers again if MSI doesnt have what I want.
I agree. I will say for the past 25 years I have bounced around from manufacturer to manufacturer based on what I needed at the time. I have stuck with Gigabyte for quite some time up until recently due to some QA issues with their motherboards I have used. I went to MSI and now Asus with no issues at all. They all have their faults present and past, but we tend to forgive and forget over time just like everything else in the world. I had problems with Asus years ago and finally gave them another shot and so far so good. I don't agree with how they handled this current situation, but like pretty much every other manufacturer out there they will hopefully learn from this and get better.
I give GamersNexus credit for diving deep into the issue and calling Asus out on this. They always seem to do all the work and these other Youtubers just hop on their coat tails to get their own clicks and views.
 
Say what you will about Steve but this is solid journalism. The GN crew does seem to at least make an effort to dig into issues and present actual factual information to support their position instead of just spewing clickbait like the vast majority of “media” these days.
 
Steve telling me not to buy an Asus board is quite literally all I need to hear.

I will not purchase a board from them again.

I really feel like there is a spot for a serious disruption in motherboard manufacturers. I just want a board with solid OC features, fan headers in good spots, and literally fucking zero OS level software. Let the fans & RGB shit be handled via some open source mechanism. I don't want all this proprietary horseshit.
 
Say what you will about Steve but this is solid journalism. The GN crew does seem to at least make an effort to dig into issues and present actual factual information to support their position instead of just spewing clickbait like the vast majority of “media” these days.
They are the only one I believe on Youtube. Their videos may be long, but they are thorough. Some others always say they are the voice of the PC community, but GN is a step above them all IMO.
 
I haven’t bought an Asus motherboard for close to 20 years (during the Pentium 4 era). It wasn’t due to reliability, but mainly because other brands like Gigabyte or MSI were a better value and had the features I was looking for at the money I was willing to spend. Thankfully, all of the mobos I’ve purchased over the years, from Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA, and even ECS (from the Fry’s Electronics CPU/mobo deals) never gave me any issues. If I was in the market right now for a new desktop build, I’d definitely avoid Asus based on GN’s video + how they handled the situation thus far.

Knocking on wood that the ROG Strix gaming laptop I bought last year stays trouble free.
 
Steve telling me not to buy an Asus board is quite literally all I need to hear.

I will not purchase a board from them again.
To be honest most brands have issues, some worse than others.
From my X570 experience Gigabyte is one of the slowest to release final bioses. I would routinely see ASUS and MSI beat them by months. Remember Gigabyte's response to exploding PSUs? Also, Gigabyte had horrible warranty support, I frequently saw users complain about warranty denials. All brands have warranty complaints, but Gigabyte topped the charts after their ransomware debacle.
I believe Asrock still blacklists GamersNexus and Hardware Unboxed.
ASUS had the best rep, but after this... MSI might have the best rep.
Going forward I will try to buy MSI and Asrock is still on my shit list.
 
We've been burned before, with the debacle of the Z7S WS boards. Enthusiast's and workstation users had countless board failures and BIOS issues. But I can't remember how ASUS remedied the situation.
 
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