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Gigabyte revsions and bios updates

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March 30, 2011 2:18:33 AM

I recently purchased a 890GPA-UD3H rev 2.1 motherboard and want to know why there are so many revisions of the same board with no firmware changes (1.0-3.0), and each revision has a different bios update. I can't get any strait answers from support. So I hope someone can give me a resonable explanation. I graduated from college in 1979 with EE degree and the answers I get from Gigabyte support insult my intelligence. Remember there are no firmware (hardware) changes from rev 1.0-3.0, but they are saying you can't update the bios from lets say a revision 1.0 to a revision 3.0. Unless I'm missing something the revision process from 1.0-3.0 is all in the bios. So what's the deal, because when buying a Gigabyte board it's like the luck of the draw what revision you get. My board is not even a month old and it's already 2 revisions old. So I am not a happy camper.
March 30, 2011 2:10:39 PM

Thanks for the reply but, the sound chip would just use a different driver and they all right now support the same cpus.
Gigabyte uses small bios tweaks for revision changes as oppose to the industry standard of making firmware changes to justify a revision change.There is no value added when when they do this.When I buy boards form other companies they give bios updates from first board of that production run to the last board of the run. If other companies make firmware changes they change the name of the board. With Gigabyte you don't know what you get(revision) until you get it and then it seems you are stuck with it.
Years ago I purchase a Gigabyte Nforce3 board now this reminds me why I dumped that board. The exact same issue.

again thanks for the reply
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a b V Motherboard
March 30, 2011 11:47:46 PM

Gigabyte has a backup BIOS so you can try anything.
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April 7, 2011 7:18:01 PM

mosox said:
Gigabyte has a backup BIOS so you can try anything.

Thank you for your reply.
Between no am3+ bios updates, no exchange program, crazy revisioning system, and rude support staff I've given up on GIGABYTE and am selling the board. If I can find anyone stupid (LIKE ME!) enough to buy it.
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Best solution

April 7, 2011 11:08:10 PM

I feel your pain.. I bought a GA-890FXA-UD5 a couple weeks ago and i received a 2.1 revision.. Then i find out that Asus 890FX boards, MSI 890FX boards will be receiving BIOS updates for Bulldozer compatibility but for Gigabyte unless your board is 3.1 rev you are screwed.. They sent me an old board :( 
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a b V Motherboard
April 8, 2011 2:52:59 AM

More Gigabyte Pain:
I bought a Gigabyte P67, which was recalled and replaced, after much confusing, and duplicative emails from Gigabyte The new board works OK, with a couple minor niggles: the speaker has a constant buzz coming out of S3 wake-up, for which Gigabyte says a BIOS update is coming, so I had to pull the speaker till then. And inexplicably, it keeps waking when in EnergySaver2 mode, despite all settings to the contrary and being virus free.
There is a USB3.0 header on the board for which no connector exists - anywhere, according to both USBGear and Gigabyte! So, if you want USB3.0 for the front panel you have no choice but to snake a cable out back... if the ports are not already occupied.
What's most frustrating is that Gigabyte has only F2 BIOS listed for the B3 motherboards. Apparently, none of the more recent BIOS for the B2 motherboard work in the newer B3. Yet they should be nearly identical.

I had Asus before, and will return to Asus when this one is sold.
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April 8, 2011 8:00:08 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I thought this was very intiresting "Wanting to ensure users their motherboard is able to take advantage of all the performance enhancements that AMD's upcoming AM3+ CPUs have to offer, GIGABYTE has equipped their entire line of AM3+ CPU ready motherboards with a new black colored socket".
I take this as gigabyte saying they are doing you a favor by making you purchase another motherboard for am3+ compatability, even when you recently purchased a board from them.
Also I got a peep of there 3.1 revisions(black socket) and they seem to be a lot less capable chipsets than I and most of you already have. COME ON 700 SERIES CHIPSETS?????

BUT WE CAN'T GET A SIMPLE BIOS UPDATE!!!!
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a c 107 V Motherboard
April 9, 2011 5:27:23 AM

In my experience, board revisions indicate physical differences in traces and circuitry, not BIOS updates. Maybe Rev 2.1 is actually physically different from Rev 3.1 -- that would explain why you can't use one revision's BIOS on another revision.
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April 9, 2011 2:42:35 PM

Thanks for the reply.

That is also my experience, but the explaination I got from support was there is no change in firmware except the color of the socket (black socket). Now I can understand the 1 pin difference in the new am3+ socket (Which by the way is just a simple "keying pin" for future cpus it's not the magic bullet that killed Kennedy!), but that is not valid reason in my opinion not to
offer customers either a bios update or an exchange if your thoery is correct .
All motherboard makers base their boards (motherboards and video cards) on a AMD reference board, so it's hard for me to except that one motherboard maker can give you simple bios updates and another board maker can't or will not.
It's all about money.
And I'll go out on a limb here and predict that when BD comes out gigabyte will magicaly release an update.
Can you say dirty pool.

Thanks again
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a c 107 V Motherboard
April 10, 2011 1:30:34 AM

The support person you talked to was talking out their butt. The different board revisions have different hardware -- traces, circuitry, chips, etc. A new BIOS version doesn't magically turn a board from Revision 1.0 to Revision 2.0.

Some board makers plan more for the future, and others don't. Some board revisions may be "compatible" (meaning they work, but not at 100% speed and features) with new generation CPUs, while others are totally incompatible. And quite a few manufacturers don't use reference designs for all of their boards.

No matter what ... no AM3 board will get full speed and features from a Bulldozer CPU. They are simply not designed for it.

One more thing: Unless you bought directly from Gigabyte, they are not responsible for the board revision you get. You should have returned the board for refund as soon as you found out it was an older revision.
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April 10, 2011 2:43:39 PM

Well that goes without saying (support staff) because they are not technical people. And I'm not looking answers persay I am looking for what I am getting a spirited debate.
I can speculate and so can you, but none of us will know until BD and the 9 series chipsets are on the market. So I don't think that I want say how compatible and what features will or will not work on an am3 platform, but it's clear that the am3 platform is compatible enough for board makers to put money and their reputations on the line.
And as far as returning the board, newegg would not take it back, because all they had was the same revison and "No clear direction from gigabyte". So of course I contacted gigabyte. Do you know how much in postage I would have had pay to send it back to Taiwan (if that is possible)?
I would like to see the white papers that support the claims or disclaimers as it relates to compatibility with the am3 platform.
The chip is not out yet and until we get (pinout, voltage,speed, feature set, and ect.) techincal information only the motherboard makers and AMD really know.

thanks for the reply and keep them coming
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April 10, 2011 3:46:33 PM

Oh and I stand by my prediction.
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April 20, 2011 2:10:58 AM

I guess there is no answer until BD and the 900 series chipsets are released.


Thanks for all of the replies.
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April 20, 2011 4:24:11 PM

Best answer selected by cmartin329.
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April 27, 2011 10:42:53 PM

A piece of information that I have just been given by Gigabyte is that those of us with older rev 1 and 2 boards is:
"it can be done by BIOS by request only (we will need to remove some other functions to get some space for AM3+ support code)." so it seems as if we will be able to run the new processors, on existing boards with limited functionality (as do those with Rev 3.0 boards) but will have to ask Gigabyte, through tech support, to write a specific BIOS for us.

This is primarily due to the size of BIOS chips on earlier revisions and you may lose support for other processors etc., to allow you to run with an AM3+ CPU.

My prediction came true.
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!