We use MSI motherboards for our products and lately have noticed some subsystem failures when we changed to the MSI 875P Neo P FIS2 motherboards.
On some systems the sound dies when we try to use 4 channel surround mode - our solution is to add a PCI soundcard. Just recently we heve been getting parallel port failures and we have had to swap motherboards. We are trying to tie it down to a serial number range (currently we have experienced failures with S/N 0402433422, and S/N 0402433423, with one more in the field). It appears that the problem manifests itself within 1-2 weeks of system being used. Reloading OS and application does not fix the problem, and once the problem has been found it can be duplicated in isolation with the PC taken out of the system.
I have had an earlier experience (and some corroborating 3rd party evidence) for the MSI 865 motherboard having USB root hub failures along the same lines.
Another comment that I have heard is that MSI technical support is almost non-existent for questions of this nature.
1. Has anyone got a solution to the parallel port issue (apart from installing a separate PCI parallel port card - I have only just thought about trying this)?
2. Comments and otherwise on the problems above - have others had similar issues with MSI motherboards
3. Same old questions - who makes high reliability, mass produced motherboards - and are there any figures out there to demonstrate this reliability?
I'll leave 1 and 2 to more knowledgeable posters, especially Crashman. As far as 3, I think Abit makes one of the most stable and reliable mobos in the industry. I don't have corroborating figures to provide - just what i've read and seen over time.
"He who will not risk, cannot win"
- John Paul Jones
I had the original MSI NEO-FIS2R board, Version 1. It damn near drove me nuts. I finally got a good BIOS from MSI for it but the only RAM it liked was OCZ Performance. I had it running fine after a couple months of fiddling around but it would not hold a FSB above 236mhz without problems. I sold it and bought the current IS7. I'm not sure there is anyone who has a perfect 875 motherboard. They are much finnickier than the PE-865 boards. I have heard complaints about Gigabytes, IC7's, ASUS, and MSI. The last beta BIOS MSI sent me actually downgraded me to 865 specs from 875. It turned off PAT. I actually ran the best with the 1.8 BIOS. If you are using the Version 2 boards you will have different BIOS numbers. I think MSI support has actually gotten better since then and I have started buying from them again. What can you do? I would get away from 875 chipset boards and go to 915P for the Prescott if you are going to continue building on socket 478 designs. Even the IS7 would give you far fewer headaches the an 875 board. If you've got to have an 875 board I would probably go Intel.
Abit IS7 - 3.0C @ 3.6ghz - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
Samsung 120gb ATA-100 - Maxtor 40gb ATA - 100
Sony DRU-510A - Yellowtail Merlot
Thanks for the replies ... we now have further information about the parallel port failure.
In this instance it looks like the HP Laserprinter (hp1010) driver installs as a pseudo IEEE 1284 port, as we can trigger this failure mode by unplugging the USB cable to the printer (it only has USB), sending a job to print, then running our software.
Since we talk to our hardware via the parallel port, it appears that the printer driver and our software collide.
We installed an EPSON USB printer (after uninstalling the hp printer, but not the ports it created (DOT4_001 and DOT4_002) and did the same thing at that all worked.
My guess is that the hp driver polls the port(s) which includes the parallel port, while it has a job waiting for printing, and this interacts with our software causing it to break.
Note that re-installing Win XP without formatting the hard drive does not get rid of the problem, nor does re-installing our software. We had to reformat the drive, re-install XP and our software to recover.
I note that BIOS ver 3.6 has USB updates, so will try this but do not expect it to change this functionality ...