ASUS P9A-I/C2550/SAS/4L

Discussion in 'Processors and Motherboards' started by Patrick, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Kristian

    Kristian Active Member

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    @crockers @reardonia
    I heard back from Asus just 5 min ago. But it was a 1st level support guy that asked me the same questions I already answered with the inital support ticket.
    1) was the board purchased in the USA? [Just wondering how the answer to this question can be of any assistance]
    2) What was the error message [I sent multiple screenshots with the request]
    3) How do you put the board into hibernate mode? Do you have all necessary drivers installed [Well I don't send the board to hibernate because it IS NOT WORKING!]

    Sigh...
     
    #41
  2. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    @Kristian, might you be able to give me a quick summary of issues? I am travelling this week, but can pass a note along. Might get a faster response?
     
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  3. Kristian

    Kristian Active Member

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    @Patrick, that would be awesome.

    1st issue is: With all current drivers and chipset drivers the mainboard can't enter hibernate mode. Powercfg will return for every sleep state there is:
    "The system firmware does not support this standby state"
    So I played around with the BIOS settings.
    Under ACPI Settings -> Enable ACPI Auto Configuration -> Enabled there is no hibernate mode available in Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Server 2012R2.

    So I changed the ACPI Auto configuration to Disabled and tried to set the Enable Hibernation to Enabled.
    But the Bios won't let me enter the line with this possibility, because its greyed out.
    It directly jumps two lines down to Lock Legacy Resources.
    Changing that option doesn't make a difference.
    (See attached screenshot)

    So I thought: Perhaps updating the BIOS from version 0206 to 0208 will fix that issue.
    What brings me to the

    2nd issue: The BIOS won't update.
    Neither with the EzFlash Utility that is integrated into the BIOS, nor the Bupdater utility works.
    The issue is best described looking at the 2nd screenshot.
    Renaming the file doesn't help. That was experienced by crockers too
    The BIOS setting in IntelRCSetup -> Relax Security Configuration are set to enabled but that doesn't make a difference.

    3rd issue:
    After a power outage the system will try to boot up again but will then hang with a blinking cursor (IPMI power reset or power off and then power on doesn't work) so you have to do a hard reset with the hardware power button.

    Sorry for my bad english. I hope I described everything in a way it can be understood.
     

    Attached Files:

    #43
  4. reardonia

    reardonia New Member

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    Adding a detail about BIOS: seems they mucked up the MB descriptor (offset 0x6BEB56) , likely because they ship slightly different mbs to different regions. Their updated BIOS uses a generic "P9A-I" which doesnt match the original BIOS. They just need to update their posted BIOS with the correct string. Can't do it ourselves because these are signed files and fail CRC.
     
    #44
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  5. reardonia

    reardonia New Member

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    Patrick: any chance we'll get benchmarks for this board? I am seeing a 50% drop in memory bandwidth vs other Avoton boards.
     
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  6. Kristian

    Kristian Active Member

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    Let me entertain you:
    I just heard back from ASUS for the second time: Translated into english that is:

    "As there is no BIOS version 0208, we can't reproduce the issues you are having."

    *facepalm* But at least the removal of 0208 could mean that they noticed there is a problem
     
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  7. reardonia

    reardonia New Member

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    Hah, thats funny. The tech I am corresponding with said he would escalate, I guess we'll see.
     
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  8. reardonia

    reardonia New Member

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    I was able to flash it with my own burner, it boots fine. Had no impact on suspend/hibernate problems, far as I could tell. Worse, the Marvell problems are still there. If you read the
    Linux scsi dev list, you'll note a lot of grumpiness about Marvell orphaning drivers, not regularly patching etc. There are patches from 2012 still waiting review. My recommendation is to stay away from any Marvell-based SAS solutions (ie anything requiring the mvsas kernel driver).

    If you run Windows, maybe the support is better. But as this is targeted at storage servers, you'd think Linux support would be a top priority.

    Just to throw another problem onto the fire: the Marvell ports only support SATA-2 speeds (3 gbps) despite negotiating 6gbps. Peak bandwidth is ~295MB/s. Not a problem w hard drives, but a serious limitation for ssd.
     
    #48
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  9. Kristian

    Kristian Active Member

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    Thanks for this information. So I think I will pull that board out of the case it was planned for. This board is the biggest disappointment during the last 10years or so.
    I was really impressed when I saw the announcement. And I have always been utmost satisfied with the Asus Mainboards that I bought previously.
     
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  10. MiniKnight

    MiniKnight Well-Known Member

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    I installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on this. Installed ZFS on Linux. It works great.

    I have always thought of this as a ZoL or mdadm motherboard. For that it is fine.

    You can also turn on virtualization and run a few VMs that way too.

    I am really happy with mine.
     
    #50
  11. Kristian

    Kristian Active Member

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    @reardonia: News from Asus after sending another mail complaining that I have been waiting to hear back form them for 2 weeks now.

    So the answer was:

    1. BIOS
    A new BIOS will be provided within the next days.

    2. Hibernate
    Avoton does not support G1 (S1, S2, S3, S4)

    Regards

    Technical Support Division ASUS Germany [S03R]


    So I replied asking why the Motherboard manual states on page 4-12:

    Enable Hibemation [Disabled]
    Enables ordisables system abllity to Hibernate (0S/S4 sieep State). This option may be not effective with some OS. Configuration options: [Enabled] [Disabled]

    ACPI SIeep State [Suspend Disabled]
    Allows you to set the ACPI SIeep State. Configuration options: [Suspend Disabled] [S3 only {Suspend to RAM)]
     
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  12. bezerk

    bezerk New Member

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    > 2. Hibernate
    > Avoton does not support G1 (S1, S2, S3, S4)

    The PDF manual for Supermicro's A1SAi-2750F states on page 1-8 that ACPI 5.0 is supported but then subsets power savings to only S0 [= monitor(s) may be off but otherwise fully working] and S5 [soft off for Wake-On-Lan etc].
    However on page 2-29 we read that Power LED will be flashing when in S1 state. Hmmm?!

    And the PDF manual for the Asrock C2750D4I/C2550D4I only mentions WOL (ACPI 1.1).

    So maybe it's a litte known fact that there's no G1 (aka S1 to S4) power saving states for the - although by themselves power frugal - Avoton family ?!
     
    #52
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  13. Kristian

    Kristian Active Member

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    So just to get that right: It is actually verified that Avoton does not support G1 (S1-S4) in general?

    So Supermicro, Asrock and Asus probably gave the task of writing and reviewing the manuals of those boards to the dumbest trainees they could find?!

    And Asus even did "better" planting a easteregg gimmick into their BIOS supporting the impression the board you purchased is able to support G1 even so it doesn't?

    I wish I had never even seen the advertisement of the ****** board.
     
    #53
  14. bezerk

    bezerk New Member

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    Officially I don't know about the G1 case but the evidence seems pretty severe in my book.

    Well , Avotons have all (?) the modern CPU power states even though this require a *modern high quality* PSU to function hundred percent. And also maybe one can set up inactivity spin-down of any hdd using some software...
    But the Marvell driver mess "reardonia" mentioned above is the real deal-breaker - for me at least!

    But merciless competition is what leads to us customers being used as cavia porcellus...
     
    #54
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
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  15. Kristian

    Kristian Active Member

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    You are right and I start feeling like a Guinea pig :)

    Could you elaborate a bit more on those *modern high quality* PSUs you mentioned? I would be willing to buy one of those if that does the trick.

    Or what would be equally appreciated would be a Software that is able to manage inactivity spin down.
     
    #55
  16. bezerk

    bezerk New Member

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    You need a PSU that *officially* supports CPU power states C6/C7 i.e 0.05A on the 12V as "with Haswell is the introduction of new C6 and C7 power states that offer a greatly reduced idle power consumption with a minimum of 0.05A on 12V2"
    Have a look at Power Management States: P-States, C-States, and Package C-States | IntelĀ® Developer Zone

    You could try the Silverstone ST45SF-G(old) but unfortunately some (early?) batches have pretty noisy cooling fans it seems. A few buyers have switched the original fan to Noiseblocker BlackSilent Pro but of course then no warranty. Otherwise seems a stable PSU although w/o power switch. (N.B: I have never used this PSU or any other Silverstone myself). Or maybe have a go at the newer, quieter (?) Silverstone SX600-G.

    Or lookie at Intel's own PSU Selector Tool - but it's probably not completely up to date.

    Regarding hdd spindown solutions consult appropriate forums for your OS of choice. E.g. HDD Standby and SMART problems | FreeNAS Community or HDD standby/spindown | FreeNAS Community

    Good luck!
     
    #56
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
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  17. pyro_

    pyro_ Active Member

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    Considering picking one of these up for use with Hyper-V. Anyone tried using this with it? Any issues?

    Also do you think that it would be quick enough for use with the following VMs running on it or would it be better to go with a 2750 or something else:
    PFsense
    WHS 2011
    Xpenology
    Win 8.1

    Thanks
     
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  18. fastmachine

    fastmachine New Member

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    Looks like (link) the BIOS has finally been updated to version 0301.

    P9A-I Series Formal BIOS 0301 release
    1. Add beep function for VGA and DIMM.
    2. Updated ASPEED VBIOS version to 0.97.06.
    3. Improve the compatibility of PIKE II 3008.

    *MUST use "Bupdater 1.30" to update BIOS from version 0206 to 0301.
    File Size 2.61 MB​

    Was just updated Sept 19 2014. Hope this helps with some of the issues reported. I have been pull the trigger until the first BIOS update.

    Decisions, Decisions.
     
    #58
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  19. MiniKnight

    MiniKnight Well-Known Member

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    For pfsense you'd need a beta version: http://www.servethehome.com/pfsense-22-enters-beta-top-motherboard/
     
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  20. AlexH

    AlexH New Member

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    In case this board is still of interest for some people..

    I have also bought two of those motherboards for some customers project and one for testing and playing around for myself. Unfortunately I havent read this thread here before buying so I encountered the same issues mentioned here regarding updating the BIOS and also had freezes when trying to install an OS to the board or just making some configuration changes in the BIOS.

    I contacted the ASUS support and they answered within 24 hours offering to exchange both motherboards to ones with the latest BIOS 0301 already flashed. The boards had BIOS 0208 flashed when I received them. So I should receive my exchange boards next week with BIOS 0301 hoping that there will be no more issues.

    Has anyone already used the board with installed BIOS 0301? How is it working?
     
    #60
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