Motherboard Grrrr: the ASUS M2N-MX SE PLUS -- BAD news...

Colin McGregor colin.mc151-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at
Sat Jul 26 03:17:40 UTC 2008

Just to continue the grumbles I have been having with ASUS re: the
M2N-MX SE PLUS motherboard, below is an e-mail I sent to the staff I
have had contact with at ASUS. Anyone have the e-mail addresses of
senior staff as ASUS that I could forward this on to?


Dear Kara Renner, Elijah Alexander and Blanca Ortiz;

This e-mail is to note and explain my current unhappiness with the
experiences I have had with  purchase of one of your M2N-MX SE PLUS
motherboards. I have normally been happy with ASUS products, something
I have been very willing to note in publications I have written for,
such as .

Before purchasing the M2N-MX SE PLUS motherboard I did take the
precaution of reading the motherboard manual to make sure it supported
net booting, and according to your documentation it does.

After purchase it took me some time and effort to determine why this
new machine would not net boot. The diagnose process did include
downloading and installing the latest available BIOS. In the end the
issue turned out to be a multicast MAC address burned into the
motherboard. This multicast MAC address makes successful net booting
out of the question. Having determined why the motherboard would not
work, I called your firm, obtained an RMA number (EL864256) and I
shipped the defective motherboard to your facility in Indiana (this in
spite of the fact that your Canadian office is less than a 1 hour
drive from my home). The motherboard was then returned to me,
apparently untouched, as the MAC address on the motherboard had been
not been changed. Further a secondary issue of concern, noted in the
cover letter included with the motherboard, a BIOS bug, "MCFG area at
e0000000 is not E-820-reserved" was not touched.

Further telephone complaints triggered the shipping of a replacement
BIOS ROM, which by the time it arrived at my location had be knocked
around in transit. After some effort, bending pins I was able to
install the ROM, but found that the motherboard would not even get to
the POST messages after this change. Returning to the original BIOS
ROM would at least allow the motherboard to display the POST messages.

Additional calls resulted in my obtaining a second RMA number
(2EL874667) and the shipping the motherboard yet again to your office
in Indiana. This time I trust the motherboard will be repaired or
replaced with a AMD AM2+ supporting microATX motherboard that does
actually work.

Going forward, regardless as to the result of this latest repair
effort, this motherboard is a complete and total failure.

My goal with this motherboard was to build a prototype basic "dumb"
remote multimedia terminal that could be inexpensively, quickly built
in significant numbers.  For inexpensive, we are talking over $95, $55
for the motherboard, then over $40 for shipping multiple times to your
office, plus a number dollars for incidental costs like long distance
phone calls. The M2N-MX SE PLUS motherboard compares very badly
against your competitors in the $95 price range. In terms of time,
this is not a system that can be assembled quickly. Not only have I
had to spend significant amounts of time assembling / disassembling a
PC around this motherboard. I have also had to spend time
troubleshooting, packing / unpacking and waiting for the repair. I am
now looking a minimum of about two months between purchase and being
able to actually use this motherboard, a figure I do not have the time
to repeat. In other words, this is a prototype I can not repeat. I
will have to look to another motherboard, most likely from another
manufacture, to achieve my original goals.

You can assume this is the last M2N-MX SE PLUS motherboard I will
purchase, and may be the last ASUS product I will ever purchase. You
can also assume that I will passing word of my poor experiences on via
a number of routes, my writing, my presentations before local user
groups and the mailing lists / web forms to which I belong. This way
the people I know or come in contact with will not make the same
purchasing error I made.


Colin McGregor
The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
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