Wednesday, 13 March 2019 08:55

ASUS saves on paper – and gives PC builders a world of pain

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ASUS saves on paper – and gives PC builders a world of pain Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Motherboard manufacturer ASUS is omitting vital information from the manuals supplied with its boards, essential for building a personal computer.

As a result, the company is probably saving some money due to the smaller manual – but causing enthusiasts a great deal of pain.

This writer experienced it with a Prime B450-Plus board, recently. Information about the front panel pin allocations are missing from the manual and are provided through a QR code therein.

But when that is scanned on a smartphone, 18 pages of information, in rather small type, are downloaded to one's device. These have to be printed out in order to be read.

And the front panel pin allocation information provided is not specific.

The allocations for all ASUS boards are given in that bunch of pages and one has to go through the process of manually counting the pins on the board to find out which one to use.

True, the front panel pin allocations are printed on the side of the board – but these are cramped into such a small space on the very edge as to be illegible.

For the uninitiated, the front panel pins control such functions such as resetting the PC, the power switch, the hard drive LED and the speaker. Wires which come in the case have to be correctly connected to these pins – else one ends up with a PC which will not start.

The manual for the board in question contains information for nearly all other build details. These are mostly general things, that an experienced builder would know. Processor manufacturers provide sufficient documentation for their products.

This writer has built something in the region of 200 PCs over the past 20 years, but this problem has never manifested itself.

iTWire contacted ASUS on Monday morning and inquired why this was being done. The company has not responded.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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