Asus M4A78-E - onboard graphics
Hey there, anyone whether the onboard 1080p graphics support on the Asus M4A78-E is well supported?
All I know is that it should be a Radeon HD 3300 or 3200 (difference is 200 Mhz freq. afair) with (afair) 64MB sideport mem built in by Asus. The fglrx should hopefully support that chip already, for the free drivers one had to find out on which chip design it is based upon and then go for the x-wiki and look what already works in xf86-video-ati (radeon) and the radeonHD.
I'm also looking at these boards a.t.m. cause I'm to get an AM2+ one for me. And I still compare several ASUS und Gigabyte models.
Gigabyte ga-ma790fxt-ud5p am3
I just got a GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AM3 mobo paired with a phenom II x3 720 cpu, and they rock. Work out of the box with linux (Arch linux, kernel 2.6.28) with no problems what so ever.
I ordered a M4A78-E.
So I'll see hopefully in a few weeks what it is like (still needs to be delivered, box assembled and gentoo Kernel configured & compiled and maybe some more compilation stuff to do then).
But I don't have any HD-content so I could only check a 1680x1050 res. with my monitor. And I'm not sure about that HDCP sh*t working in Linux.
Adarion did you tested the M4A78-E, because I am deciding if I gone order the M4A78-E
Oh well. I'm still right into testing. You know, a new Gentoo install takes it time (especially when one is trying to go for KDE4). Basically it runs. I had some problems with the network chip (Atheros L1E) but it seems in Kernel 2.29.1 it works. Sound is ok, but didn't test anything but better headset on it. Power Consumption is ok. The GPU ... well, the driver so not support 3d and some 2d accelerations yet so I can't judge that fully. (KDE4 with wobbly windows was like VESA driver, but since the onboard chip is based on R600 chip series that will hopefully change in the next months, developers just received all the 3d specs from AMD/ATI.
fglrx won't compile/install. (Probably due to the recent kernel. It also wants a lot of stupid stuff activated in-kernel, y'know obsolete symbols, deprecated pci_find_something and such that no other prog seems to use.) FB-Console works flawless. With a temporary Tuz.
BIOS is a point where still improvements could be made. I'm used to the Award ones, this is an AMI (had an AMI in my 1st 486) but this version is blinking with lights and I think that sucks in a BIOS.
Had a few severe crashes when I set the onboard VGA to side-port mem only (of course that's what you want) while having this special "card" (a mere plate with a few copper lines on it) in the first PCIe 16x slot. One should probably only use it with a 2nd, real card installed in the 2nd PCIe 16x slot.
On the W32 side it wasn't easy with the Atheros setup, too. Also problems with a VGA capture card, but there can be reasons aplenty. More a software issue/driver nor supporting certain things.
Beware of the additional software. It's crap what Asus delivers on CD. It's a "very very questionable stuff they package with the mainboards" to quote heise c't (Germany's top serious (!) IT paper) - but that was also for different vendors, too. They tested some AM3 mainboards and complained about the software on CD for Windows installation that was doing barely nothing with a big tata!. Or that should be some ACPI / powersaving daemon but sucked up more energy instead. You know all these fancy control centers with their colorful animated graphic shit that make your eyes hurt when you just search the info you want. Besides that software is instable as hell.
But if you're on the Linux side only no problem.
A real pro is the usual AZ-Flash or what it was called, so you can flash the bios without any OS dependency. Make a VFAT floppy/USB storage/even HDD partition and let it read the BIOS image from that location.
I still do not like the menu system and keys assigned to action on the AMI Bios but at all there are quite some options so it is okay.
Memory, CPU runs all fine, I have 2 x 1024 M (dual channel, DDR2-800) and a 4850e (has only internal mem.controller up to DDR2-800) but the board shoul support also faster RAM when your CPU does.
Power consumption is still something to tweak, it was slightly higher in default than my M2A-VM but of course the onboard GPU is quite stronger and I have no powerplay option in the X drivers yet.
It's full sized b.t.w. and board layout is ok. Just the serial port and floppy connector could have found a better place but it is bearable. There is no LPT interface. Installation was easy. Also enough space for my passive cooler (Zerotherm BTF-95).
Ah, sensors... dunno. Still will have to take care of lm_sensors, but there is a standard ITE chip there so it should be okay. k8 temp sensors seem to work though I have 2 of the 4 showing unrealistic temperatures in the KDE applet. It has plenty of USB. Oh and I recently compiled the Phoronix test suite, it's in portage now. So I should so some tests with it.
That's not all you might have wanted to know but I hope it is okay. So the board is quite okay but there are a few corners I'm not yet satisfied with. But these should be things that can be fixed in software so it's hopefully just a matter or time.
edit: got the board for about 110E that's about 145 US$. But in Europe microelectronices are usually about 20% more expensive than in the rest of the world :/