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Pros: Most boards *probably* work well without issue.
Cons: I originally purchased this board through New Egg on 4/10. The OS I installed on the hard drive was a Windows Server operating system, so when all I received was a static/white noise through the on-board audio-out port, I simple thought it was a sound driver issue. A couple weeks go by with normal operation and I buy an additional hard drive and install Windows XP, thinking this build would be perfect to double as a gaming system when I wasn’t using it for work. The exact same sound issue with XP existed. This happened for both the chassis port and the on-board port. This happens for every speaker I plug in, using a variety of cables.
Okay so I call ASUS technical support, and I provide all details of my system. The engineer's conclusion was that perhaps either my power supply (brand-new CX430M) was insufficient for the installed components, or that the board's sound component was defective. I didn't believe it was the power supply so I tried everything else I could think of first. I uninstalled all drivers and re-installed only the sound driver from the provided driver disk. Issue persisted. I re-formatted the hard drive, re-installed the OS (XP), ensured I didn't install any graphic card drivers in case they conflicted, updated the BIOS to the latest version, installed a different graphics card in case there was a hardware conflict, and downloaded the latest sound driver from the ASUS website. This did not fix the issue. Installed a third operating system (Windows 8.1). Issue is present for this OS as well. I immediately went out and bought a brand new RM750 power supply, furthering my cost for this issue. Of course this didn't work either. Several calls later, the ASUS support team agreed this was a motherboard issue and suggested if possible, that I RMA the board through New Egg. All of the packaging material was no longer available so this was not an option for me. I requested an RMA through ASUS.
Other Thoughts: This is where the real fun begins. I needed this system for work, and the on-board sound card issue did not cripple the system, so I needed an advance replacement from them (they ship me a refurbished board first, then I ship back the defective board) to minimize downtime. Several forms are emailed back and forth and a few days pass before they approve the RMA. The next day I go to turn on the computer aaaaaand nothing happens. It will not even POST. I of course I try several troubleshooting steps, including swapping the power supply and going out and buying a stand-alone power switch to bench test out of the case and nothing works.
A week or so later the refurbished board arrives. I install the new board in the chassis thinking everything would work fine. I was foolish. My video card, which worked perfectly fine in the previous motherboard, only displays video for 15-45 seconds before cutting to no signal. I tried all other PCIe slots, and it doesn’t display anything at all. So I have one working slot, which works for a few seconds. Awesome. Keep in mind that it cuts out even when I’m in the BIOS menu. I swap video cards to another video card that worked perfectly fine in my previous motherboard. Exactly the same issue. I take the board out of the chassis and bench test it. Same issue. I try a different monitor. Same issue.
Yes, ASUS sent me a non-operational refurbished board. I call again and explain the issue.. several times. So I request yet another RMA. This was about a week ago. Still no word of the broken motherboard THEY sent me QUALIFIES for advance replacement.
I broke down this afternoon on the way home from work and bought a new motherboard of the exact same model at a local brick and mortar store (nearly another 200 dollars). I say new, but it was open-box, as it was the only one of that model left in the store. BUT.. I plugged everything in and GUESS WHAT it actually works. It turns on. Video works. Sound works. I have a working computer again. This tells me several things. 1: I’m not crazy. First two boards I tried were actually defective. 2: ASUS can in fact make a functional board, but don’t expect them to ever send you one. 3: And most importantly, don’t throw away the box folks. It’s not that big. Just put it under the bed or something. I could have RMA’d this board a month ago and would have had no issues with New Egg support.