Why I Hate – ASUS

An exciting new series.

Hello, citizens! Welcome to 2018! For our first article of what I hope to be a more regular posting schedule, I thought I’d do what I do best – complain about things that don’t work properly. And today’s target is ASUS.

ASUS is often one of the more respected brands in the world of PC enthusiasts. Honestly I have no fucking idea why anybody likes them – every single ASUS product I’ve ever owned has been inherently awful – except maybe their video cards, but by the same token I can’t find any reason why they’re any better. Why are they so awful?

Here’s the thing – ASUS do make some pretty good high end hardware, and it’s usually at reasonable prices. Their motherboards are packed with features. Their video cards are often factory overclocked with fairly good cooling solutions. Their laptops and other mobile devices are… well, not great. And this is why I fucking hate them.

Every ASUS motherboard I’ve had was a piece of shit out of the box. Back in 2000 or 2001, I forget which now, I got my first AMD CPU. This was when the AMD Athlon was indisputably better than then Intel Pentium 4 range (which were brand new), as well as being much cheaper. I paired it with an ASUS motherboard – which was completely DOA. Straight out of the box – it was fucked. Swapped it for another board, and it was sort of okay, but it quickly developed its own unique faults and ended up being replaced too. At the time I shrugged it off as a one-off (well, two-off I guess).

I remember when I got my first x86-64 processor – it was an AMD64 CPU, can’t remember how fast it was, and I was really excited. I paired it with an awesome ASUS motherboard – I forget which one, this was back in 2006 or something. And… it didn’t fucking work. Whenever I dropped the CPU into the board, the system refused to boot. It had a helpful robotic voice that would blurt out “NO SEE PEE YEW INSTALLED” over and over again. I ended up popping the CPU into a friend’s rig, and lo and behold, it worked perfectly fine. Swapped out an older AMD CPU on the same socket, and the board worked. Turns out that the board didn’t properly support my CPU without a BIOS upgrade. As in the specific CPU I purchased. What the actual fuck. Even after I flashed the BIOS, it still didn’t work properly. Returned it, got another ASUS board, and… it lasted 12 months before it too failed in an interesting way, effectively killing its onboard audio unit and causing massive system instability (and the I/O ports would randomly die, too).

All in all, I’ve never had any luck with their motherboards. Oh, they had nice features, but I’ve always found them unreliable.

But by far the biggest piece of shit ASUS have made is my current laptop – a GL502VS. This incredibly expensive laptop has wonderful specs, including a GTX 1070, 6700HQ unit, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe drive for storage. Only one problem: I can’t fucking update it.

I’ve covered my Windows Update woes right here before – namely, every time I to install, any sort of Windows 10 major update, it will always, without fail, manage to fuck up. This always happens after a reboot – the system hangs at a black screen after the initial bootloader gets loaded, and then when you reset it, the install will fail and it’ll roll back. For the past 2 years I’ve blamed Microsoft, because I’ve had similar issues on other systems. But as it turns out, it’s a problem with the laptop itself.

For whatever reason, having SMART enabled on the NVMe unit will cause this behaviour. Sometimes it’ll still do it. Sometimes disabling Secure Boot will fix it. Sometimes disabling Fast Boot will fix it. Sometimes, like in my case, absolutely nothing will fix it and it’ll be perpetually fucked. If I ever want to do a major update, or if I want to reset Windows 10, I’m in for a full reinstall. There is no other way to get it to reliably boot. Even then, there are times where the bootloader will fail.

ASUS have been aware of this issue since the Fall Creators Update – they were made aware by a long forum thread on their on ROG Forum. Users posted troubleshooting steps and workarounds, posted logs, posted attempted fixes that failed – and ASUS did a grand total of jack fucking shit. Their community manager left the site and any dialogue with ASUS, such as it was, promptly died with it. The issue hasn’t been fixed and never will be. This unit is inherently crippled and I’m stuck with not being able to do a proper update, because ASUS were too fucking lazy to test for a solution.

There are a lot of tech companies that piss me off, but ASUS is by far one of the worst. They’re over-hyped and their support is fucking abysmal. Abandoning a device that for most is still within warranty, and wilfully ignoring a major fault is a fucking awful business practice. I get that sometimes issues slip through and don’t become apparent until the planets align – but what’s their fucking excuse for just not bothering to fix it at all?

I’m done with ASUS, but of course laptops (especially competent gaming laptops) aren’t cheap and I’m stuck with this unit until it properly dies or I suddenly become rich. I’ll never buy another ASUS product after this though. Right now though I’m looking at major reinstalls every 6 or so months – something I haven’t had to do since the Windows XP days.

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