Sunday, June 07, 2009

Asus: to be or not to be..... ?

This post will not include any helpful or technical info - just thoughts...

After a long time testing different motherboards since 1998 year, finally, in 2004 I came to Asus. It was strong, solid brand with lots of positive reviews, awards and some nice innovations that makes their boards outstanding for most of serious users.
But time passes and I see that company grows capturing new directions on market such as notebooks, mobile phones, PDA , netbooks and so on. But as for me - I prefer Asus only because of its motherboards and accessories. To be honest - I checked Asus notebooks - nothing interesting or special even in their Lamborghini series. Same "not so good" quality and lifetime. Very primitive technology. When I first test Asus smartphones - also was disappointed because of bad quality materials, sound, ergonomic (more like Russian cars) - same shit as Glofish, Rover. Not even Samsung or LG. So I thought to myself - company have its base in computer components but trying to get new markets.
I'm changing my motherboards about every year - different sockets, new memory standards. But I noticed that every new motherboard from Asus is worse then previous!

Yes, there are tons of features like power saving, energy efficient, EPU, Q-Fan, smart connectors blah blah blah... But board itself have many disadvantages - noisy fans (I wrote about this in my first post), not always smart design - PCI-E card covers other slots, often too close to each other, usually, not all USB that southbridge provides used (usually 8-10 instead of 12) and so on. At first I thought maybe there is no other way to compose this things, but I saw boards from other manufactures with better design, more features provided my chipset available, better way to compose components on the board.
And quality...last 2 motherboards I change because they become faulty - first one got faulty Winbond chip after 7 months of using, second - real time clock goes crazy after 11 months of using. What for they solder Japanese polymer capacitors if boards is hard to work more then a year ? I keep best thermal conditions, never overheat the boards. Yes, my comps have a heavy duty working 24 hours 7 days a week - thats why I try to select best components available.

But the worst thing is Asus software devision. Most of motherboards needs to update BIOS very often - every release have its own bugs that takes time to be fixed in next release, then new BIOS released and we see new bugs... Thats very annoying to find most stable and working release for your configuration. Same to drivers - better way to forget about Asus website as a source of latest drivers. There is no anything fresh - even more - some updates are "repacked" by Asus for some strange reasons like "to look in Asus style installer". Most of utilities bloats your system with unnecessary garbage like AiSuite, PC-Probe, SmartDoctor and others. Same for Asus videocards. If you do not want to get BSODs - use video drivers form nVidia/ATI site and don't try those that come on CD. Same to accessories - how hard was to make a good stable drivers for Bluetooth USB dongle on well known Broadcom chip ? This appears to be impossible for Asus - they make one release, got many responses from users about bugs and problems with this drivers release but after 2 years still no new release and no even clue how to solve those problems.

As a conclusion.... my next motherboard will not be Asus anyway... I will try to avoid their products since I understand now that its just one of many Taiwanise companies - nothing special. So sad Asus!