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Thread: Any testing on AMD AM2+ AM3 Asus mobo?

  1. #1
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    Default Any testing on AMD AM2+ AM3 Asus mobo?

    I was wondering if anyone has bought or tried an AMD 785G or 770 chipset mobo from Asus. These boards (from Asus) seem to be in every store and heavily available online as well.

    However, regarding Linux, they have more obscure hardware including the VIA Sound Controller Model VT1708S. Yes, you could buy a sound card if it posed a problem but it would be interesting how it is in Linux compared to the more common Realtek ALC888 or 889 sound chip.

    Maybe Phoronix might test some time?

    Anyway, I'm looking for a 785g or 770 mobo and don't know if I should only consider Gigabyte boards or consider Asus, too, although I'm reluctant with their decision to include 'other' hardware and their rep in the past for higher power consumption/heat. I've been told by some people that they have steadily improved with that aspect of their motherboards, though.

    Well, any comments? Any interest?

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    I have an older SB750 and 790GX and the chipset itself seems to be okay. Needs a recent kernel though, well, today it's not so recent anymore.
    But I don't really trust ASUS (I got some boards from the but still or better that's why...). There are some pros and some cons. But these VIA or sometimes also RTL chips that are solely made for one series of their boards, thus being proprietary chips, ... well. On the windows side you can't get generic drivers for them at RTL's site, you have to keep up with ASUS. And their website sucks, their driver mods suck (basically just rebranded drivers with some sh*t thrown in) and when they decide to cut it then you're lost.
    Strange hiccups can happen on certain configs with their boards (I can sing a sad song of this.)
    On the linux side devs probably have to beg through all instances for the specs to these "unique" chips.
    I'd rather see that I'll get standard chips. Besides, VIA chips aren't really great stuff but then who am I to decide about sound chip quality with only some very good headphones. The VIA chips do the job but only when it comes to audio or network chips or maybe CPUs.

    For the AMD chipsets: The integrated GPU becomes rather hot with these HD3300 ones, but then the power saving stuff is not fully implemented in the free driver yet so I will have to look at that later again. I once had a X1250 and that was rather cold. The display port stuff seems to be nice but I had problems with it and on Gigabyte boards you normally get the double amount of dedicated VRAM. Can't tell about how good it is working there though. But it is supposed to not use slower main RAM, not block main RAM and possibly the mem. ctrl. on the CPU could go to sleep more often if the main RAM isn't used for graphics. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    So the AMD stuff should be fine though you'll better be off with fglrx at the start, you'll need a recent kernel and you should definitely avoid these obscure chips.
    You can check with ALSA but in case something is wrong the chances of folks fixing the driver are lower than compared to some absolute standard chip that you can find in any forest or meadow.

    edit: You should go for a socket AM3 if you buy a new one.
    Last edited by Adarion; 11-23-2009 at 05:48 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    I was wondering if anyone has bought or tried an AMD 785G or 770 chipset mobo from Asus. These boards (from Asus) seem to be in every store and heavily available online as well.

    However, regarding Linux, they have more obscure hardware including the VIA Sound Controller Model VT1708S. Yes, you could buy a sound card if it posed a problem but it would be interesting how it is in Linux compared to the more common Realtek ALC888 or 889 sound chip.

    Maybe Phoronix might test some time?

    Anyway, I'm looking for a 785g or 770 mobo and don't know if I should only consider Gigabyte boards or consider Asus, too, although I'm reluctant with their decision to include 'other' hardware and their rep in the past for higher power consumption/heat. I've been told by some people that they have steadily improved with that aspect of their motherboards, though.

    Well, any comments? Any interest?
    I'm using a Asus M4A785TD-V EVO (That is their dual PCI-E x16, 785 chipset). Everything is supported out of the box on Fedora 10/11/12. No config, just works. Tremendous value, best board i've owned.

    You can pretty much buy any board these days and everything just works. Things have really improved. I remember when i started out with suse 5.2 back in '98....wow the amount of hardware tailored to run win 9x and nothing else.

    Besides, VIA chips aren't really great stuff but then who am I to decide about sound chip quality with only some very good headphones.
    Via Envy is used in the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and the highly respected Delta series(specifically the Delta 1010). Though I'd go with a Asus Xonar right now. They are absolutely superb and luckily well supported in linux right now.
    Last edited by Hoodlum; 11-23-2009 at 06:50 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adarion View Post
    I have an older SB750 and 790GX and the chipset itself seems to be okay. Needs a recent kernel though, well, today it's not so recent anymore.
    But I don't really trust ASUS (I got some boards from the but still or better that's why...). There are some pros and some cons. But these VIA or sometimes also RTL chips that are solely made for one series of their boards, thus being proprietary chips, ... well. On the windows side you can't get generic drivers for them at RTL's site, you have to keep up with ASUS. And their website sucks, their driver mods suck (basically just rebranded drivers with some sh*t thrown in) and when they decide to cut it then you're lost.
    Strange hiccups can happen on certain configs with their boards (I can sing a sad song of this.)
    On the linux side devs probably have to beg through all instances for the specs to these "unique" chips.
    I'd rather see that I'll get standard chips. Besides, VIA chips aren't really great stuff but then who am I to decide about sound chip quality with only some very good headphones. The VIA chips do the job but only when it comes to audio or network chips or maybe CPUs.

    For the AMD chipsets: The integrated GPU becomes rather hot with these HD3300 ones, but then the power saving stuff is not fully implemented in the free driver yet so I will have to look at that later again. I once had a X1250 and that was rather cold. The display port stuff seems to be nice but I had problems with it and on Gigabyte boards you normally get the double amount of dedicated VRAM. Can't tell about how good it is working there though. But it is supposed to not use slower main RAM, not block main RAM and possibly the mem. ctrl. on the CPU could go to sleep more often if the main RAM isn't used for graphics. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    So the AMD stuff should be fine though you'll better be off with fglrx at the start, you'll need a recent kernel and you should definitely avoid these obscure chips.
    You can check with ALSA but in case something is wrong the chances of folks fixing the driver are lower than compared to some absolute standard chip that you can find in any forest or meadow.

    edit: You should go for a socket AM3 if you buy a new one.
    AM3 so with DDR3 RAM, you are recommending?

    I just thought that the Realtek LAN and sound chips seem to be better supported than VIA sound. Is that right?

    I don't know if I should go for integrated graphics on board or not. For e.g., 785g chipset. I am not sure I should trust ATI and their drivers. I'm not pleased at all with their support and decisions on what to support and to what extent or degree they will support it. That's just a minor issue, though, as one can always get a discrete PCI-e card.

    I guess I was mainly curious about the Asus AMD motherboards and their 'different' hardware such as the VIA sound card.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoodlum View Post
    I'm using a Asus M4A785TD-V EVO (That is their dual PCI-E x16, 785 chipset). Everything is supported out of the box on Fedora 10/11/12. No config, just works. Tremendous value, best board i've owned.

    You can pretty much buy any board these days and everything just works. Things have really improved. I remember when i started out with suse 5.2 back in '98....wow the amount of hardware tailored to run win 9x and nothing else.


    Via Envy is used in the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and the highly respected Delta series(specifically the Delta 1010). Though I'd go with a Asus Xonar right now. They are absolutely superb and luckily well supported in linux right now.
    Interesting! Thanks for your input! Do you like the HT Omega Striker sound card? It's supposed to be good comparable to the Xonar. I would seriously consider that card if I had a problem with onboard sound and wanted a higher quality sound card (compared to say, Soundblaster or Audigy 2ZS).

  6. #6
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    I use Asus Crosshair III Formula with AMD 790FX and it has a SupremeFX X-Fi soundcard in one PCI-E slot (works with hd-intel alsa or oss4).
    Kernel is 2.6.31 and works all fine...

    Bad thing is the BIOS my 1600MHz DDR3 RAM isn't detected properly, I cannot use restart (hangs with detect dram) but only shutdown (Windows and Linux dualboot).
    The SATA connections go to the left from your board, that makes it hard to connect them.

    Overall it's OK

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    Interesting! Thanks for your input! Do you like the HT Omega Striker sound card? It's supposed to be good comparable to the Xonar. I would seriously consider that card if I had a problem with onboard sound and wanted a higher quality sound card (compared to say, Soundblaster or Audigy 2ZS).
    I actually don't know much about the HT Omega Striker. It has a good chipset though so that's a good sign though unfortunately I don't think it has Burr-Brown DACs like the d2x xonar. I'm pretty sure you wont need to look at them anyway. Just the input isn't up to the quality I would like. Afaik all the intel and amd boards use well supported drivers. AMD has been pretty good for drivers, they mostly just get a bad rap for ATI (who were hugely windows only before they bought them).

    Edit:
    Incase you're interested in this board...yes you can unlock any cpu cores (or all) you specify.
    Last edited by Hoodlum; 11-24-2009 at 07:31 AM.

  8. #8
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    I have an Asrock board with the VT1708S and it works fine. I just use it with a pair headphones though so can't really comment on any of the fancy features.

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    Quote Originally Posted by disi
    I use Asus Crosshair III Formula with AMD 790FX and it has a SupremeFX X-Fi soundcard in one PCI-E slot (works with hd-intel alsa or oss4).
    Kernel is 2.6.31 and works all fine...

    Bad thing is the BIOS my 1600MHz DDR3 RAM isn't detected properly, I cannot use restart (hangs with detect dram) but only shutdown (Windows and Linux dualboot).
    The SATA connections go to the left from your board, that makes it hard to connect them.

    Overall it's OK
    Did you try taking out one stick or lowering the speed or timings initially? Maybe worth a try?

    Quote Originally Posted by chefkoch
    I have an Asrock board with the VT1708S and it works fine. I just use it with a pair headphones though so can't really comment on any of the fancy features.
    Ah, finally, someone replies who has that onboard VIA sound card! Thanks for your input! I was wondering whether it works or if you have to buy a discrete sound card! Interesting!
    Also, yes, Asrock is run by Asus or by former Asus employees? The point is, many of Asrock's hardware is similar to Asus as they often use the same components or same manufacturers. I can consider both Asus and Asrock now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoodlum
    Incase you're interested in this board...yes you can unlock any cpu cores (or all) you specify.
    That's good to know. I will research that board! One thing I like about the Asus AMD boards is that they have better placement of the SATA ports than Gigabyte, imho. If you ever do get a discrete graphics card and you have one of those Gigabyte 785g boards, you need to have angled SATA cables if that even helps. Not the greatest design, imho, but what do I know. I still acknowledge that Gigabyte boards are good, though, both their Intel and AMD ones. They also do well in the benchmarks regarding heat/power consumption.

    I read that the HT Omega Striker and Asus Xonar DX have the same DACs. I don't know if that's accurate but I read that someplace.

    I also noted that the DX uses a PCI-e x1 slot and the Striker uses PCI. That could be important if you have or plan to use PCI devices. Many of these AMD boards only have 2 PCI slots.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    That's good to know. I will research that board!
    It has huge overclocking / voltage settings too I'm quite happy with it. Not that I ever see me taking anything to 7+ ghz. Great control with manual memory timings too. I got some ddr3-2000 as I intend for it to last through onto the 2011 cpugpu chips (which will also use ddr-3). 2000 isnt supported by AM3 processors, only upto 1600, however I was able to reduce to extremely low timings at 1600 instead quite easily. Not really worth buying new ram then as the performance difference between ddr1 and ddr4 is minimal at best. DDR5 is looking to be a whole different ball game though (as seen on new gfx cards) ECC with almost no penalty for performance and quad data rate rather than just a higher clock double data rate (ala ddr 1 2 3 & 4). I guess they're just calling it "DDR" for consistancy as it bares little resemblance the DIMMs we're using now.

    *** Important Note***
    The manual tells you to use A1 and A2 slots (one blue one black) for dual channel on this board. It lies. Use the two blue or two black slots. Common question with it, fooled me for a bit, turns out the manual is just BSing.

    Also of interest if you're thinking of using the integrated GPU is the fact that it is basically a 10.1 version of the 790GX GPU. So you can overclock it 200mhz with no issue from the start and get a big performance boost.

    I read that the HT Omega Striker and Asus Xonar DX have the same DACs. I don't know if that's accurate but I read that someplace.
    You might be right I meant the D2X more specifically. It has a higher SNR ratio than the original Xonar and a few other things. I've had both and they're both fantastic though.

    I also noted that the DX uses a PCI-e x1 slot and the Striker uses PCI. That could be important if you have or plan to use PCI devices. Many of these AMD boards only have 2 PCI slots.
    This may be why I don't really know about the striker. at the time I was only considering pci-e cards because at some point soon-ish they'll drop pci-e (infact i've already seen one board that does) and good, well supported soundcards are things that rarely need replacing. There are other bandwidth and latency concerns that look like they will arise with pci once we get the cpugpu chips also with the number of concurrent samples but really this is a total non-issue for now. Then again i look back and remember before multi track recording few people thought you would ever need such a thing. I see production changng a lot soon. Then again as i said this is an incredibly niche concern.
    Last edited by Hoodlum; 11-24-2009 at 10:59 AM.

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