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An original, first generation GA-P35-DS3 shipped to vendors in June, 2007.  (Source: toukatu.blogzine.jp)

In the chart above, the red line represents the field strength limit against frequency. On a six frequency sample, this particular motherboard demonstrated a field almost 7dBuV above the EU directive.  (Source: Taiwan Eletronics Testing Center)
Motherboard manufacturers will do anything to save a buck, and they'll do it at the expense of your electronics

Ever wonder what that big FCC logo on your computer means? Most people would tell you the U.S. Federal Communications Commission operates like an all-seeing, all-knowing electronic shield; protecting America from harmful radiation and interference.

The reality, of course, is quite different.  To better illustrate this, we've traveled the history of one motherboard.  This motherboard, while rather unimportant in the scope of all things silicon, became rather important when a few engineers started asking the right question.

EMI, or electromagnetic interference, is a broad term that encompasses any type of interference that can disrupt, obstruct or simply degrade electronic transmissions.  Some forms of propagated radiation are intentional, such as radios; in other cases propagated radiation is completely unintentional. When unwanted electromagnetic radiation is received by an electronic device that doesn't have sufficient shielding, electromagnetic fields can disrupt the intended fields. 

The Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 started just like almost any other motherboard.  A reference design was sent from Intel to Gigabyte's design center in Taiwan.  The test boards were wave-soldered outside of Taipei and production boards were shipped to channels as soon as physically possible to snag some of those "first-to-market" sales.

Even though the motherboard boldly wears CE and FCC markings, this device became one more component that slipped through the cracks.  It was later discovered that not only did this motherboard fail European and U.S. electromagnetic interference regulations, but that tens of thousands of the motherboards shipped months ago.

A Taiwanese motherboard engineer, who wished to remain anonymous, claims the world of EMI certification runs more lax than consumers would believe.  "If we claim to pass FCC and in actuality we do not, it's just a conscience problem." 

The engineer continues, "Some manufacturers put the FCC logo on their product even though they don't send in to any lab.  If they are lucky, they go by. If they are unlucky, they get fined by the government or in some serious case, issue a product recall." 

Conversations with other representatives reveal even in the instances of serious violation, vendors receive little official recourse. 

The most expensive Taipei-based testing facility costs approximately 2,000 USD for full electromagnetic compliance testing. 

The European Union dictates the acceptable EMI levels for products distributed in Europe.  Manufacturers that pass the European Union's EMI directive may brand the CE marking on their products. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has a separate set of EMI standards that devices must pass in order to brand the FCC logo.

In the U.S., the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) mandates the FCC EMI limits. Title 47, Part 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations details the acceptable EMI limits for electronic devices in the United States as follows:

30~88MHz     30dBuV
88~216MHz    33.5dBuV
216~960MHz   36dBuV
>960MHz      44dBuV  
The European counterpart directive follows slightly different limit ranges:
125~175MHz  30dBuV
250~625MHz  37dBuV
For example, all electronic devices sold in the U.S. cannot produce an electrical field with strength of more than 33.5 dB microvolts per meter at 90 MHz.  Since fields are measured in decibel units, an increase of 3 dB means the field strength has approximately doubled.

Even after sitting on store shelves the better part of three months, someone eventually noticed the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 acted a tad noisy -- electronically.  The FCC reserves the right to test devices at the expense of the vendor, though it rarely independently tests devices unless a complaint has been filed.

Unfortunately for the GA-P35-DS3, several complaints were filed.  The Electronics Testing Center, Taiwan, began an electromagnetic compliance test; three Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 motherboards were hand-submitted to the lab.  Three out of three test results failed to stay "in bounds" for Taiwanese and EU regulation (PDF); two out of three failed to stay within U.S. FCC regulation.

That apparently has not enticed the Taiwanese government to order a recall or reparations.  One engineer close to the product's development states, "At least the board was tested."

So what's special about the GA-P35-DS3?  Nothing, it would seem, other than the fact that it carries markings from both the FCC and European Union claiming it does pass regulation.  Some would argue even this particular trait does not lend itself to individuality.

Gigabyte spokesperson Colin Brix denies all claims that the GA-P35-DS3 fails to meet EMC standards.  "The tests conducted at ETC are not complete," he states.  As proof, Brix shared the results of similar EMC testing conducted by QuieTek (PDF), another Taiwan-based laboratory.  All motherboard tests in this round of testing were done with the motherboard in a chasis.

Ransom Cheng, a former employee at a large motherboard vendor, explains, "The testing in Taiwan is very poor.  Only a few sample ranges are taken and the benefit of [the] doubt is always given to the vendor."  Cheng concludes, "It's not good for anyone to waste boards."

At one time, the GA-P35-DS3 was available at U.S. and European merchants, but today is no longer available in North America.  Gigabyte public relations manager Angela Lan claims the GA-P35-DS3 was removed from American markets due to its lack of RAID functionality.


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Meh.
By CryptoQuick on 9/26/2007 5:19:34 AM , Rating: 2
I've heard worse things about DHMO.




RE: Meh.
By Samus on 9/26/2007 5:58:35 AM , Rating: 2
A great example of how a product you have with excessive EMI (or RFI) would be if you have a wireless keyboard, mouse, or network card. You will notice shorter range between these devices, and in some cases, less reliability (particularely with wireless networks.)

Unfortunately, as consumers, these is little we can do about this, because in a utopian free market, we could purchase boards made in Germany, Canada, the United States, Japan, Mexico, Korea, etc.

However, as far as I know, very, very few computer components are manufactured outside of China, Taiwan, the Philly's, etc, and when you consider the cost's for these companies to submit products for testing/compliance, then consider that they can get away with them not being tested, do you honestly think its a smart 'business' decision to have them test their products?

As I said, sucks for consumers. But we can't really do shit.


RE: Meh.
By The0ne on 9/26/2007 6:25:07 AM , Rating: 2
I won't argue about the fact that we really can't do "shit" once we find out. On the other hand, if you're like me and have a product that requires FCC/EMI than it becomes a moral issue. Everyone one of use at the office (small company) agrees that we HAVE to pass FCC. Sure we can do what Gigabyte has done. We can become buddies with some of the testers even and/or bride them to pass the product to get the certification. But I have to believe that as a person you either make the sound choice or release a product that may harm things or other people.

It's not easy and it is costly but if a small company with limited budget like us can make the right decision to invest in the certification why can't a bigger company like Gigabyte do so? It's business but behind that are people making those decisions. I wouldn't trust those type of people, like the engineer in the article, with my penny. I'm not sure how others can live with themselves and with families by making these types of decisions. Money drives people, sad but true.

At one of my last workplace, we build actuators (motors) that control the canopy of jets and flaps on planes. Well, we ran into issues with the motor stalling but what did the Manager(s) decide? You guess it, ship it and forget about it. We're talking about planes here people. If this doesn't work the guy ejecting from the jet is going to get his head crush because the canopy won't open!!! Then there's the sister company that had produced faulty secure brackets for helicopters. These are the bracket and assemblies that helicopter rescuer's use to lower themselves down and save people. Well hell, if the bracket can't hold what the hell is going to happen to the guy?!

I didn't last long at both of those companies and made the decision to leave due to those and many other decisions they've made. There's no way in hell I can live with myself knowing that these parts can fail and people could die. And sadly there's no amount of argue-ing or protest that can change the decisions once higher up managers give the go-ahead. I'm also an engineer, I worked on these. I know the consequences. What I don't understand is why can't managers see them? O.o


RE: Meh.
By SandmanWN on 9/26/2007 9:41:11 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
I didn't last long at both of those companies and made the decision to leave due to those and many other decisions they've made. There's no way in hell I can live with myself knowing that these parts can fail and people could die.

I sure hope you did more than just "walk out". If you believe this is a real issue then you should be telling someone outside of the organization. Otherwise if someone dies from this faulty equipment you are still just as guilty for doing nothing about something you know is wrong and allowing it to happen than those that are continuing to produce faulty equipment. You should be telling someone at a news organization, writing the FCC, and warning the companies these parts were shipped to.


RE: Meh.
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/26/2007 1:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
Mr. Nader is relatively approachable and he made a career out of exposing stuff like this. You should seriously consider contacting him.


RE: Meh.
By The0ne on 9/26/2007 11:30:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I did walk out. What do you want me to do, take them to court on my underpay salary? Trust that my Director will report the problem after telling him? Do it myself and risk everything? I did my part, I argue against design and production. The call, as I recorded on email purposely, was up to management. This was my traceability and my stand.

Having said that there are numerous, numerous issues that people let go. I don't want to have to hear from someone else preaching to me what I should have done without knowing what has been done. Worse, you might not be even following your own words (assumption for argument sake of course). I'm not perfect but I sure as hell won't stand to have crappy products made and ship. Hell, I just stop production on our PoS (point of sale) terminal today for crappy plastic gearboxes. Screws popping out, shorting with the PCBs and soon enough you have the whole Macy store burned down :)

I agree with you that people need to make better judgement calls. But I also understand why I can stand for certain things and why others can't. First and foremost is family. I'm single, I don't have as much to lose...rather support. Most of my friends and co-wokers are married and they'll soon enough die than risk loosing their job and not being able to support the family. Understandable but that doesn't make it right. Who am I to argue with them on the "right" thing for them to do when I don't even have a family to fully understand their situation. Some things are much easier said than done.


RE: Meh.
By frobizzle on 9/26/2007 8:43:42 AM , Rating: 2
I work for a company that makes printers. We do a lot of EMI testing and generally there is a lot of redesign after early testing because the devices fail the testing. This could be a cost saving idea...the hell with the EMI testing just mark it as certified! Wow! I could be shooting up that corporate ladder very quickly soon!
[/sarcasm]


RE: Meh.
By johnsonx on 9/26/2007 12:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
what is it with you and Dihydro-monoxide?


RE: Meh.
By stonemetal on 9/27/2007 7:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
You do what every good little american does, you sue. After a couple mil per incident of poorly designed illegal boards, they will see it is cheaper to test than to fake it.


Rediculous
By Rustafur on 9/26/2007 10:14:46 AM , Rating: 4
According to the graph, the board only omits "dangerous" amounts of EMI at 125MHz FSB. Who in the world is operating this motherboard's FSB at 125MHz when the processors used in this board will be operating at 266MHz and 333MHz at stock settings? In normal and "extreme" (overclocking) situations, the board's EMI emissions are well below the allowed levels. Honestly, is someone trying to get a promotion by writing an article with a lot of buzz? No doubt that letting EMI slip through the cracks is a dangerous situation. But if your going to write an article that has "Wake Up America" in the headline you better find a very noteworthy example of your subject, and it would very much help if there was more than one example of the situation.




RE: Rediculous
By omnicronx on 9/26/2007 10:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
Thats weird, how does it emit larger amounts of EMI at at a lower frequency, how does that make sense? That sounds like a serious problem if so.. but that doesn't sound right to me.. do you have a link of your source?


RE: Rediculous
By theapparition on 9/26/2007 10:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
Many reasons products can emit higher levels at low frequencies than high. Perhaps the high frequency clocks are shielded and filtered better where the low frequency ones are neglected. For the eclosure design, geometry can turn into waveguides that actually amplify a single freqency, turing it into an effective antenna.

I could go on, but it is not only possible, but rather common.


RE: Rediculous
By theapparition on 9/26/2007 10:44:48 AM , Rating: 3
Not excatly.
At 125MHz (not the FSB speed), it exceeded the level required by FCC Class "B" equipment under normal operating conditions. There are other frequncies on a motherboard during use besides the FSB. Apparently, this one had not been properly filtered. 125MHz was either a fundamental or harmonic of some chip on the board.


RE: Rediculous
By gigazilla on 9/26/2007 12:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
Gigabit Ethernet clock rate: 125 MHz x 2 bits per signal pair x 4 signals per s = 125Mx2x4 = 1Gbps


RE: Rediculous
By theapparition on 9/27/2007 1:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks,
Didn't know that.


RE: Rediculous
By johnsonx on 9/26/2007 12:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if you understood what the graph was showing you, you wouldn't make stupid comments.


RE: Rediculous
By cashkennedy on 9/26/2007 6:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
Are me and johnson x the only people to realize these idiots are totaly interpreting this wrong, the graph and fcc/ce requirements have to do with the frequency of the electromagnetic radiation released, not the frequency of the processor bus, or any bus in the computer. If you took physics you would know all electromagnetic radiation including light and radio waves has a frequency in hz, (1/s) and megaherz are around where radio waves are on the em spectrum. The fcc and ce would never realease varying db ratings for what speed your processor bus is. Also if you check a em spectrum out you can see that microwaves are over 10^9 hz so would be not affected by fcc and ce limits that were stated.


Tell this to the ordinary user.....
By crystal clear on 9/26/2007 4:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
EMI, or electromagnetic interference


I doubt if majority of the users were ever bothered to know what this means & what it does.

I doubt even if they care at all.

Consumer awareness on this is almost non existant-rather they will tell you EMI is a music label.




RE: Tell this to the ordinary user.....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/26/2007 7:04:55 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Consumer awareness on this is almost non existant-rather they will tell you EMI is a music label.

Sad but true.

The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter. -Winston Churchill


By crystal clear on 9/27/2007 12:51:28 AM , Rating: 2
Well said-great response.


RE: Tell this to the ordinary user.....
By The0ne on 9/26/2007 7:35:37 AM , Rating: 2
It's not only consumers, it's also employees within the company. Unless you're involve or have experience in the field you're not going to be expose to it. It's how people are. If it doesn't affect you why bother knowing or even caring.

Poeple who know and have an interested in knowing more about it will find more disturbing facts. This of course applies to almost everything so it's not really a consolation. Always multiple sides to a story as seen with the article and my experiences.


By Adonlude on 9/26/2007 7:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
Correct, and it wont effect people becuase a select few are making these rules and ensuring that radiation is kept to specific limits at specific frequencies.

For all you who don't know much about this stuff just understand that if there were no spectrum limits then open space could turn into a radiation free for all and all your little wireless gadgets would stop working. Either that or power levels would be continually raised to compete with an ever growing noise floor which would in turn call for larger electronics, bigger batteries, and earlier deaths due to weird diseases and cancers that we will never manage to link to the constant EMI shooting through our bodies everywhere we go.


Great Article
By lukasbradley on 9/26/2007 7:20:10 AM , Rating: 3
In my opinion, this is one of the best articles on DailyTech. Great job. Extremely informative.




RE: Great Article
By hlper on 9/26/2007 10:42:57 AM , Rating: 3
I agree that there is competent news reporting in this article. It does a good job of examining the failures in the inspection process, and we can see that it is probably widespread. However, what's missing for me (and possibly for some of the other posters above) is the significance.

The article states the problem, but what are the potential consequences if the situation continues? The article and the blog posts all seem a bit uncertain of the level of concern we should have over this issue.


RE: Great Article
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/26/2007 1:58:20 PM , Rating: 4
I'll be the first to state the average user will almost certainly not notice a problem with those board, or many other boards that fail to meet FCC and CE guidelines. The motherboard goes in a case, which sits under your desk -- and the likelihood that you have to much else "mission-critical" running at 125 MHz (or 175 if you look at the other test) is not likely.

The bigger problem here is why would a company continue to post EMC markings on a board that clearly does not fall in the proper limits for these ranges.

I suppose we'll see more expensive boards for users that assure these EMC rules are upkept. However, given that there are relatively few laws governing this stuff, isn't that something we *should* be paying for?


By kilkennycat on 9/26/2007 1:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
.. it is compared to the disruptive effects of stray radiation from a domestic appliance found in most homes -- the microwave oven !!! I have a 1100 watt microwave oven made by a very well-known Japanese manufacturer M...... with the household brand-name P...... When that microwave oven goes on, the data-rate on my wireless-G link --- between a hub and receiver only 20-feet apart and both at least 60 feet from the microwave --- drops instantly to less than 1 Mbit/sec and the monitored "signal strength" drops from 100% to less than 65%. Also, the audio reception on my 2.4GHz cordless phone severly breaks up when the microwave is turned on. The cordless-phone base-unit is about 25 feet away from the microwave. The microwave oven was manufactured in 2004 and P....... sold probably hundreds of thousands of units in the US (bought mine in Best Buy) in different models with the same guts and different selections of user-controls. The microwave has a FCC number. It does seem to be shielded in the customary microwave fashion, including the usual fine-mesh grille in the door-window. Microwave ovens are huge sources of wide-band RF noise. A Google search by me has turned up nothing with regard to a spectral profile for the maximum emissions from microwave ovens. All I have found in a brief search are FDA references to the total leakage of microwave energy in the context of human safety.

If the maximum spectral energy requirements placed by the FCC on microwave ovens do not exist, or if they do exist and are more liberal than those placed on electronic equipment, then the FCC have left the RF noise-pollution stable-door wide open in a typical home-environment. And in that context the current Class-B FCC EMC regulations on electronic gear in home-environments becomes reduced to just meaningless nonsense. The microwave is the true elephant in this particular china-shop: it is the ONLY device in my household ever to have caused clearly-observable malfunctions in nearby electronic gear.




By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/26/2007 2:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. A motherboard inside an all metal chasis is really insignificant compared to a faulty microwave. I'd be interested in doing more research on that particular problem you have if you can send me some more info.


By kilkennycat on 9/26/2007 2:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
I have no reason to believe that the microwave is faulty. I believe that it is typical of the higher-energy microwave ovens. And the fact that I have not been able to easily find RF-spectral limits on microwave ovens in a Google search makes me very suspicious. Anyway, the microwave apparently works perfectly; never needed servicing. The radiation issue has existed from the beginning, noticeable on the cordless-phone, but has become potentially far more objectionable with the more continuous and higher-bandwidth usage of my RF network connection... I have recently upgraded to 3MBit DSL. BTW, I only use the microwave for short bursts of heating, maximum 5-10 minutes. Some research by you as to whether domestic microwave ovens are supposedly regulated by the FCC with regard to a maximum spectral energy profiles might end up with some interesting and revealing information. I will send you the full model details on this specific microwave via email.


By mars777 on 9/27/2007 4:53:33 AM , Rating: 2
It has to do with the fact that allowed EMI radiation on 2.4Mhz is so high that it interferes with the 2.4Mhz of 802.11g wifi.

Yes. The microwave ovens have the exact same Hz range of wifi. And your problem is not unique. It happens to everbody on earth who has the oven close to the router or receiver, or worse, between them.


By dare2savefreedom on 10/3/2007 12:54:57 PM , Rating: 2
I hope you now wear a tin foil hat at home.


This is much ado about nothing.
By geppetto on 9/26/2007 1:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but I find this to be fanning flames where no fire exists. The device under test is a component, not a complete system. Under normal operation it would be housed in a shielded case with proper grounding, eliminating any spurious emissions. If you buy a cheap case or better yet, put this motherboard in a Plexiglas case you are on your own. Don't complain if your radios start singing along to your cpu speed.

There are no references in the article to types and brands of cases utilized in the tests, or a comparison to emissions from other motherboards either with or without cases. Now that they have benchmarked the motherboard, a better test would be to house this motherboard in various cases and see how well they eliminate the noise.

This would be comparable to removing the magnetron from your microwave, testing 'the component' for EMI, and then complaining that the family dog exploded during the test.

Sorry, nothing to see here, move along please.




By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/26/2007 1:44:36 PM , Rating: 2
I suggest you read the test results:

http://images.dailytech.com/files/07-08-RBF-157-02...

It's in Chinese, but I think you can make out what's going on here pretty well. Failing two out of three (3 out of 3 if you live in the EU) mandatory emissions tests doesn't seem like a "nothing" to me, but I'll agree the average user isn't going to notice a darn thing.

But then again, why have EMC testing if we, the consumers, don't care about the results anyway?


RE: This is much ado about nothing.
By The0ne on 9/26/2007 11:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
You obviously haven't actually done any emissions testing. You think all PC cases or enclosures pass the tests? Don't kid yourself. If you dig deep into PC cases you'll most likely find that they to deal with the same issues. I can remember the incident with a MB manufacturer that shipped a backplate that didn't do anything for emissions. The plate is important, it's suppose to do it's job under test. The case is suppose to do it too.

And if remember correctly about qualifying PC cases, if you installed something that's out of the spec of what the case was certified for you have to retest the whole thing again...with your component. It took me several months to work with Intel and FCC to get this straight. Intel specs does list what they have certified the PC and case too. If you deviate, the sticker means nothing. If you connect the PC to your devices you have to retest with it. The PC might be ok but your devices might be inducing emissions to it.

Anyhow, I wouldn't trust that PC case or any other product passes 100%. Hardly the case as it's normal to patch your devices during test to make it work, bring it back and redesign or patch it properly. We have products coming back with aluminum foil all over :D funny but true :o


RE: This is much ado about nothing.
By The0ne on 9/26/2007 11:49:39 PM , Rating: 2
You obviously haven't actually done any emissions testing. You think all PC cases or enclosures pass the tests? Don't kid yourself. If you dig deep into PC cases you'll most likely find that they to deal with the same issues. I can remember the incident with a MB manufacturer that shipped a backplate that didn't do anything for emissions. The plate is important, it's suppose to do it's job under test. The case is suppose to do it too.

And if remember correctly about qualifying PC cases, if you installed something that's out of the spec of what the case was certified for you have to retest the whole thing again...with your component. It took me several months to work with Intel and FCC to get this straight. Intel specs does list what they have certified the PC and case too. If you deviate, the sticker means nothing. If you connect the PC to your devices you have to retest with it. The PC might be ok but your devices might be inducing emissions to it.

Anyhow, I wouldn't trust that PC case or any other product passes 100%. Hardly the case as it's normal to patch your devices during test to make it work, bring it back and redesign or patch it properly. We have products coming back with aluminum foil all over :D funny but true :o


Component vs system
By nanu on 9/26/2007 8:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm no expert in these matters, but I understood the CE regulations to primarily apply to finished systems, not so much components. I'm not sure how it applies to components. The CE mark indicates compliance to euro directives, of which EMI is only a part. Assuming the motherboard is placed in a reasonable case, the emissions would be reduced. And there's always the bios option we all turn off, "spread spectrum" to help buy a few dBs here and there. It would typically be the responsibility of the system integrator to do the final testing.




RE: Component vs system
By xsilver on 9/26/2007 9:55:12 AM , Rating: 2
computer systems still have quite a bit of EMI.
granted I dont have the DS3 (got the p5k-e)
the FM radio on my phone though gets really bad reception within 1 foot of the computer case.


By Demon-Xanth on 9/26/2007 9:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
Having recently been to a number of test labs recently because of a failing product, I can say that this is actually a problem. (I can get to four different test labs in the San Jose area without the use of a map nor address)

The reason our product failed was because a major component that we used failed. If we wanted it to pass we needed to get the manufacturer to actually pass or we had to make it pass. This isn't cheap and is very time consuming. We also have to deal with signals produced by equipment that does NOT actually pass that causes noise on our own.

In the home you might not notice a problem. Then again, that noise spike might just bang on the Wifi channel you're trying to use making your signal take a header.




Buzz
By crimson117 on 9/26/2007 11:33:08 AM , Rating: 2
My friend has an early model DS3, and it has a noticable buzz or squeal, seemingly from the motherboard. This is even without speakers or monitors turned on.

I wonder if he could get a replacement under warranty? (though replacing a motherboard is a big PITA)




Somewhat Related...
By clovell on 9/26/2007 2:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't very surprising to me. Kudos to DT for bringing this kind of practice to light. I've had similar dealings with motherboard companies that just don't seem to care.

About 14 months ago I built a box with an Asus M2N-E. The board was advertised on vendor's websites, and on Asus's website to have a vDIMM range of 1.8v ~ 2.5v in 0.05v increments. Imagine how ticked I was when I found the board max was only 1.95v. I called Asus and e-mailed them multiple times only to be stonewalled - they seemingly knew nothing about it. I had 1.9v DDR, but I had absolutely no headroom on my memory to OC. Myself and many others continually tried to get a response from Asus, and all we got were the canned responses of how to get an MRA.

Two months later, the product description on Asus's website changed to reflect reality, and I lost interest in pursuing the issue. The point I'm getting at is that motherboard companies can be, and often are, a little shady, imo.




My conspiracy theory
By dasc on 9/26/2007 5:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
Two facts:
- the news came right before the official launch of X38.
- X38-DQ6 was the only motherboard reviewed prior to the official launch of X38.

Questions: How many people will reconsider buying any Gigabyte mobo in the near future? Is it possible that Gigabyte broke an agreement between the motherboard manufacturers?




uh...
By sprockkets on 9/26/2007 11:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
An increase 9n 3db is not almost double the signal. db is logarithmic, an increase in 10db is twice the signal.




So what does this mean for the consumer?
By copiedright on 9/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By James Holden on 9/26/2007 4:29:41 AM , Rating: 2
I think at worst, you're probably going to get a little more fuzz if you put your FM radio up to your computer. I've seen out-of-bounds EMI before in WAY worse conditions.

With the difference as small as they are in that PDF, I don't think we're going to see the FCC or anyone cracking down on that board.

Of course, if a satellite falls out of the sky (it won't) and someone traces it back to one of these motherboards, Gigabyte would be in a whole world of trouble.


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/26/2007 1:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
"Missing" the FCC or CE requirements is more like a speeding ticket than, say, lead paint in the motherboard. It's still offensive, but you're not going to see SWAT teams breaking down the doors over this one.


By marsbound2024 on 9/27/2007 12:11:51 AM , Rating: 2
So you would see SWAT teams breaking down the doors over a motherboard with lead paint? Oh yeah, because loads of kids are hospitalized from trying to eat or lick lead-painted motherboards every year. Don't worry about the SWAT busting down the door because of that 9mm you have in your drawer, it's the motherboards they want!


By gigazilla on 9/26/2007 6:12:32 AM , Rating: 2
yes, intended false advertising.
looking at the test data, you can clearly see that ETC only pointed at the emissions from the LAN cable.
And in this kind of situation, it's never clear who is at fault since a network link is involving the TWO computers (the system under test and the test bed).
Very sad to see people accepting to post such data without seeking clarification first.

btw, "testing in Taiwan is not poor" - sorry Ransom Cheng, you know nothing.


RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By mdogs444 on 9/26/2007 6:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, obviously just false advertising. Since we actually live in Taiwan, know what goes on there, have visited the manufacturing facilities, and are involved in the testing and approval process - its gives all you guys the ability to claim its false.

*shakes head*


RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By gigazilla on 9/26/2007 8:03:31 AM , Rating: 2
the fact that the data only include multiple of 25MHz clocks shows that this test has been done in haste, not in the way people do it. Why can't we see the EMI data from the audio ,USB frequencies (multiple of 24) and other ports?


RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By mdogs444 on 9/26/2007 8:36:21 AM , Rating: 2
Those are good questions, and I'd like to see them as well.

But the fact is that we really do need to see the test, or at least whoever is observing these tests need to provide conclusive results.

Either way, its a shame that everyone thinks there is always some sort of conspiracy theory....whether it be the US Govt, the police, some major company, or in this case, someone just "out to get" another motherboard manufacturer.

This whole ordeal may just be a "rumor", but lets not forget that rumors usually gets started from some sort of "truth". In this case, it may be that the EMI was not much higher than the limits, but they still could be higher none the less.


RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By TomZ on 9/26/2007 9:31:17 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see any conspiracy theory being stated. This is just a case of shoddy quality with poor government oversight, that's all. In most cases EMI problems are going to be pretty harmless, so that's how they can get away with it.


RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By mdogs444 on 9/26/2007 9:36:52 AM , Rating: 2
Im referring to two of the posts above mine referring to the entire article as "false advertising".


By porkpie on 9/26/2007 11:00:13 AM , Rating: 2
False advertising is not any sort of "conspiracy theory". Stop being overly dramatic.


By GreenyMP on 9/26/2007 12:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
I think that he was stating that Gigabyte is guilty of false advertising. Not the the article was falsely slandering Gigabyte.

I doubt that the inappropriate FCC label on the board affected his purchasing decision. (But the stray microwaves will likely grow a third arm out the side of his head) :Þ


RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By gigazilla on 9/26/2007 12:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
the local regulator in Taiwan, BSMI, actually has a budget to buy samples from shops. In the case of our motherboards, they call us to get THEIR sample installed in our chassis and set up as in the original test report. And they test it in their own chamber.

The conspiracy theory is coming the fact Government regulators do not send test data to the Media first but contact the manufacturer for explanation / product recall order.

The question is: HOW COME did the data appeared at Dailytech's desks?

any clarification from Dailytech?


RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By gigazilla on 9/26/2007 12:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
Gigabyte customers can check in their User's Manual who has signed the FCC Declaration of Conformity (there is a FCC logo on that page). That company is responsible and is the entity FCC should have contacted in case of any wronf doing.

Believe me, that company is not Dailytech.
So the PDF file Dailytech has mysteriously received on their desk is certainly NOT from the FCC.


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/26/2007 1:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
Users can solicit government regulatory committees to see if devices that carry the FCC or CE logos actually passed those requirements for markings. Not being able to do so would sort of defeat the purpose of such a regulatory body in the first place.


RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By omnicronx on 9/26/2007 10:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
It does not mean your hardware will fail, it means your computer is giving off more interference. If you have a TV card your signal may not turn out that great. If you use onboard soundcard or in some cases any soundcard could give out a lot of extra noise. Every electronic device gives off emi radiation, i wouldn't be worried to much ;)


By PrinceGaz on 9/26/2007 11:45:53 AM , Rating: 4
Other devices which may be affected are wireless keyboards and mice, wireless networks etc, for obvious reasons (which is why they say you should always position the receiver at least a certain distance away from other equipment.

It's worth mentioning that computer cases without windows, in other words the "boring but functional" all metal ones do a good job of minimising interference leaking out from the computer, and also in preventing outside interference getting in. They're not perfect faraday-cages by any means, but they're a lot better than those with a great big plastic window in the side :)


RE: So what does this mean for the consumer?
By Rickl3r on 9/26/2007 3:28:18 PM , Rating: 1
GA-P35-DSR3 =! GA-P35-DS3


By copiedright on 9/26/2007 8:18:14 PM , Rating: 3
GA-P35-DS3R is identical to the GA-P35_DS3 except for a better south bridge (ICH9R) and a couple more SATA connectors.


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