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Best Asus socket 478 board (currently available)?

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December 2, 2005 7:42:25 PM

After 2-years of near-flawless operation, 3-weeks ago a cyber-female voice from my Asus P4C800-Deluxe started reporting System Failed CPU Test everytime I attempt to boot my PC. I couldn't tell if my system was even getting to the BIOS reporting stage as my monitor was not getting any video signal.

The first thing I did was to clear the BIOS and see if reverting to the default conditions would help, but it didn't. So taking the MB's posting message at face-value, I phoned Intel and subsequently RMA'd my CPU. Last week I received the replacement CPU and installed it in my MB. To my utter disgust, I still got the same message after installing the new CPU! So I figured the PSU might not be providing the right voltages, so I replaced it with a know good 460W PSU, but the problem persisted.

I just called Asus and the rep told me they are aware that some of their P4C800 and P4P800 boards were ultimately failing from the stress placed on them by the Intel heatsink-fan retention mechanism! While they gave me an RMA number, they informed me that they do not have any more P4C800 Deluxe boards in stock so they are willing to replace mine with any later model Asus socket 478 board of my choosing.

Which Asus 478 board should I request for my Northwood P4C 2.8GHz (800MHz - HT)? ....fwiw, I don't overclock and I don't need Raid. ...thanks in advance for any help!

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P4C800 Deluxe, 2.8GHz P4C, Corsair XMS3200 (2 x 512mb), C: WD36GB Raptor (SATA), D: WD160GB, E: Lite-On CD-RW 52x24x52, Lian Li PC61, Enermax Whisper 460W, Matrox G550, Sharp LL-T19D1B, WinXP Pro

More about : asus socket 478 board

December 2, 2005 10:55:04 PM

1. P4P800-E Deluxe
2. P4P800 SE
December 2, 2005 11:26:33 PM

Quote:
1. P4P800-E Deluxe. 2...

Thanks for the reply, but do you think the P4P800-E Dlx is better than the P4C800-E Dlx (and if so, why)?

Turns out Asus can replace my board with either one of the above!
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December 3, 2005 9:58:16 AM

i think P4P800-E Deluxe is better
the best 865pe board in my opinion......
December 4, 2005 2:18:46 AM

I'd say either is good. I use the P4P800 SE on my rig and its awesome- very stable (never crashed0. However the deluxe is basically a SE with lots of more goodies and it costs about 20 bucks more so get the deluxe.
December 4, 2005 5:23:00 PM

I think I'll go for the P4C800-E Deluxe as it uses the i875 with Intel's PAT. From what I understand, PAT is more of a kluge with the i865PE.

One thing is for sure - I'm totally disappointed in Asus' attitude about this well known defect (even Intel has known about it for quite some time and told me they contacted Asus a year ago about their weak heatsink-fan retention structure). Yet Asus never remedied the problem, apparently content to simply RMA bad boards that are still under warranty with another one that's destined for the same failure!

I once believed Asus was 'king of the (MB) hill", and while I'll certainly accept their free replacement board, I'll never buy another Asus again! :x

Thanks to all...
December 17, 2005 2:13:03 AM

I think I can help you, if you want to.

When 875 chipset came out I bought 2 MoBos (ABIT IC7-MAX3 and ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe).

I built my PC first with ABIT and it runs so fast, solid, quite, cool and smooth since then, that I hadn't any courage to deconstruct it and try ASUS.

So, ASUS remains brand new in a box.

If you wanna, I can sell it to you.

best wishes

PapIaco :) 
_____________________________________________________________
3.2GHz P4 EE 478 w/ Thermaltake Big Typhoon cpu cooler/ ABIT IC7-MAX3/ ASUS(N6800 AGP) V9999 ULTRA Deluxe 256MB w/ VGA Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5 (rev.3)/WD SATA Raptor 74G 2 on RAID 0/SB X-Fi Fat@l1ty/1GB (2x512MB) Corsair DDR550 RAM/Enermax Liberty ELT620W/Lian Li PC6070B.
December 17, 2005 4:19:13 AM

In response to these posts, I have some information about avoiding the pressure on the P4P and P4C caused by the heat sink.

FYI - I just lost my P4P due to the Southbridge burning itself up. My heavy duty surge protector failed and evidently passed a transient into the board. Why the power supply wasn't damaged is a surprise to me, but several days after the power event, a 3/16" hole burned through the top of the Southbridge from inside. Bye-bye P4P. Out of warranty too. Note that this failure was not caused by board warpage due to the normal heat sink installation for the CPU.

I was very alarmed by the flex in the board, around the CPU socket, when I first tried to install the CPU. So I made two small wooden blocks, 5/8"x3/8" and 3/16" thick (15mm x 10mm x 5mm). The blocks were inserted into each side of the heat sink u-clamp, near the top. I used the cams to create just enough pressure between the u-clamp and the heat sink frame, such that each block could be slipped in loosely from the side, then the cams were backed off completely. The 3/16" thickness of the blocks provides just enough holding pressure to keep the heat sink pressed firmly but not stressfully on the CPU. This method entirely avoids warpage of the board as well. It was a simple issue of just realizing that full cam travel forces too much separation between the u-clamp and the heat sink, resulting in the warpage problem, so the little blocks were the obvious solution.

Up until my power event, this P4P800-E ran very smoothly. I purchased it in November 2004. Ran with 3.0ghz Prescott.
December 18, 2005 5:52:17 PM

Quote:
I think I can help you, if you want to.

When 875 chipset came out I bought 2 MoBos (ABIT IC7-MAX3 and ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe).

I built my PC first with ABIT and it runs so fast, solid, quite, cool and smooth since then, that I hadn't any courage to deconstruct it and try ASUS.

So, ASUS remains brand new in a box.

If you wanna, I can sell it to you.

best wishes

PapIaco :) 

Thanks, but I RMA'd my board under warranty for a P4C800-E (haven't got a replacement yet though).
December 18, 2005 6:02:29 PM

Quote:
In response to these posts, I have some information about avoiding the pressure on the P4P and P4C caused by the heat sink.

FYI - I just lost my P4P due to the Southbridge burning itself up. My heavy duty surge protector failed and evidently passed a transient into the board. Why the power supply wasn't damaged is a surprise to me, but several days after the power event, a 3/16" hole burned through the top of the Southbridge from inside. Bye-bye P4P. Out of warranty too. Note that this failure was not caused by board warpage due to the normal heat sink installation for the CPU.

I was very alarmed by the flex in the board, around the CPU socket, when I first tried to install the CPU. So I made two small wooden blocks, 5/8"x3/8" and 3/16" thick (15mm x 10mm x 5mm). The blocks were inserted into each side of the heat sink u-clamp, near the top. I used the cams to create just enough pressure between the u-clamp and the heat sink frame, such that each block could be slipped in loosely from the side, then the cams were backed off completely. The 3/16" thickness of the blocks provides just enough holding pressure to keep the heat sink pressed firmly but not stressfully on the CPU. This method entirely avoids warpage of the board as well. It was a simple issue of just realizing that full cam travel forces too much separation between the u-clamp and the heat sink, resulting in the warpage problem, so the little blocks were the obvious solution.

Up until my power event, this P4P800-E ran very smoothly. I purchased it in November 2004. Ran with 3.0ghz Prescott.

Interesting! I'm not sure I can visualize your fix that keeps the board from flexing - do ya have a picture?
December 18, 2005 11:17:23 PM

Photobug... no unfortunately, I do not have a digital camera (sound of crowd booing..) to take a picture of the wood block solution. But try to visualize it like this:

First of all, when the two locking cam levers are engaged, one on each side of the heat sink, notice that the elliptical cam at the end of each lever pushes the heat sink frame downward, away from the U-bracket (the lever being attached to the U-bracket itself). Downward pressure on the CPU is facilitated by the upward "pull" of the U-bracket which is facilitated by its attachment to the board. I know that part of the mechanics is obvious, but I needed to state that as the starting point for the fix.

OK, when the cam levers are fully engaged, the separation distance between the underside of the U-bracket and top of the heat sink frame is too much, perhaps 5/16" or so (doing this in my head at the moment). And this travel forces the board to flex excessively upward around the CPU socket, causing the problems indicated by other users. So, the question I had was this: How could I reduce the amount of travel induced by the locking levers, i.e., reduce the final separation distance between the heat sink frame and the U-bracket?

I suppose one could leave the levers only partially engaged, perhaps sticking straight up... I didn't try that. But with the board out on a work pad where I could easily view the heat sink from a sideways position, I started to move the locking cam levers, and noticed the point where they began to get really snug, but had not yet forced warpage in the board, and then measured that separation distance (again, between the U-bracket and the top of the heat sink frame).

The easy solution was to craft two small wood blocks of the dimensions previously mentioned, i.e, the thickness being equivalent to the desired separation distance that was LESS than the full cam movement distance. These blocks would serve as "place holders" as an alternative to the fully engaged cams. I then applied cam lever pressure to create just enough distance between each U-bracket and the top of the heat sink such that the blocks could be slid in sideways. When I backed off the cam levers, there was still some remaining pressure between the bracket and the frame, which held the heat sink snugly to the CPU, as a result of the blocks now in place and not by a partially engaged lever. The cam levers were then returned to their fully resting, non-engaged positions. In this way, I reduced the final distance between the U-bracket (on each side) and the heat sink frame, and thus the excessive pressure on the board.

I think that since Intel manufactures the heat sink frame to a standard size, Asus must have miscalculated the height of the CPU socket base in their board design. If it sat just a little lower, such that there was increased overall distance between the top of the mounted CPU and the heat sink prior to cam level engagement, then the heat sink could move downward more before contacting the CPU, and the mechanics of the cam lever movement and heat sink pressure described above would be alleviated.

When in doubt, innovate.
December 19, 2005 5:21:59 PM

aktech~ Thanks for the additional explanaton, I think I now see what you're talking about. ...Really too bad that Asus doesn't see the need to structurally strengthen the CPU area!

Thanks again, photobug

PS. No digicam? Tsk, tsk... ya really got to get one!
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December 25, 2005 7:27:14 AM

Oh, the P4C800-E Deluxe was known to have problems since nearly day 1 after it hit the market. Too bad you didn't research back then for problems, rather than relying solely on reviews!
December 26, 2005 5:23:19 PM

I've had fantastic experiences with Abit's IC7-MAX3. As far as the Asus P4C800-E board, I think this is a 2nd best.

I'm also looking for a new socket 478 board for my 2.8 prescott. I will try to obtain the Max3 if I can. Otherwise I will be looking at some other 875p options. 875p and ICH5R are seriously a must for socket 478. A lot of people overlook this and just buy whatever gets good reviews. Sure, an 865PE board can get great reviews, but they are reviewing it as a 865PE board. In other words its held to a lower standard. Look for the latest chipsets, you won't be sorry. Stability rocks.
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December 26, 2005 8:51:08 PM

That's the thing about the P4C800-E Deluxe, it has a bad VRM, it's not stable over time for overclocking, Tom's even had to modify theirs. I got rid of mine and ended up using the Soyo P4I875P Dragon 2 version 1.0 due to my better experiences with this board.

I'd recommend the cheap Abit IS7 over either of your choices.
December 26, 2005 10:11:03 PM

Quote:
...ended up using the Soyo P4I875P Dragon 2 version 1.0 due to my better experiences with this board.


I can not recommend anything Soyo. Soyo is by far the worst company I have ever dealt with. They spend the money they are supposed to give back in rebates on their products and lie consistently over the phone and in writing. Their BBB rating is an F on a scale that has AAA, AA, A, BBB, BB, B, CCC, CC, C, D, F, and NR. So as you can see, F is pretty low. The Better Business Bureau, which is usually conservative in its ratings, says of those who get the super F: "We strongly question the company's reliability for reasons such as they have failed to respnd to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law's licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain espescially serious allegations, or the company's industry is known for its fraudulent business practices."

If you have a Soyo motherboard that has lasted and served you well then I would say you are lucky. The boards I have had have failed miserably. Also, dealings with the company are sketchy and very cumbersome when you are consistently being lied to. Rebates, especially those extravagant ones, are impossible to get mainly because the funds have been used for something else already. I don't see how any one in this forum could possibly be directed toward a company with an F from the BBB.
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December 26, 2005 11:12:30 PM

Yes, I realize Soyo is a terrible company. They aren't even producing new models of motherboard, and haven't done so for a long time. This was the last new board they introduced. And in spite of Soyo being the last company I would want to deal with, the board is better than my P4C800-E Deluxe was, hence I sold the P4C800-E Deluxe.

What exactly does that say about Asus when such a lowely company as Soyo produced a better product?
December 26, 2005 11:19:49 PM

Quote:
What exactly does that say about Asus when such a lowely company as Soyo produced a better product?


I don't think Soyo produced a better product, since that board did happen to fail on me within the first three months. I think motherboards in general are very complex and could have a number of things go wrong with them. Hence, a company can not be rated solely on one's experience with one of their products. I feel that on a broad scale Asus far outweighs Soyo with both QoS as well as company PR and customer relations. Abit also does well in these areas. I have not had sufficient dealings with DFI, Gigabyte, MSI, Foxconn, or any of the other major motherboard manufacturers to form a substantiated opinion about.

Though, this thread has gotten slightly OT with my posting and I apologize about that. I hope the original member who posted in this thread will come back to update us with the RMA process.
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