15 Jun 2008, 18:35

Asus Maximus Formula on Linux

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Recently I bought the Asus Maximus Formula Mainboard in replacement for my old and unstable Abit AX8. I did this to get rid of the endless trouble a VIA Chipset can bring you. I did have lots of trouble with the VIA Chipset on the AX8. The board itself actually wasn’t so bad, but the chipset definetly is. The most remarkable problem was that my SATA2 hard drives weren’t recognized when connected to the board. I had to limit them to SATA1 for the board to recognize them. This shouldn’t be a problem in theory since SATA1 can transfer about 150MB/s, but after replacing the board I realized that I did waste a lot of performance on the old board. The hard drives perform much better on the new board. The Maximus Formula seems to be targeted at Gamers, but the board has proven to be rock-solid until now. You get lots of overclocking options but for the time being I won’t touch them. System stability is more important to me than raw speed and I don’t play games that often. Running Linux on the board is super easy. Actually it is more easy than running Windows Vista! Before you ask: I use Vista only for playing games that won’t run on Linux.

Asus Maximus Formula

Before buying this board I did some search on the web and found a greate page on Hentges.net which did resolve most of my issues before they became a problem. The page gives you all the information you need to get the board running with linux. Basically you only need to make sure to use the right Kernel version. Anything above 2.6.23 will run for sure. I did use a Debian GNU/Linux testing netinstall image to install the operating system. The stock kernel supports all of the important features of the board out of the box.

If you plan to build your own kernel, you’ll need this modules:

  • “AHCI SATA support” (CONFIG_SATA_AHCI) for SATA
  • “JMicron JMB36x support” (CONFIG_BLK_DEV_JMICRON) for the IDE Controller
  • “Intel Core (2) Duo/Solo temperature sensor” (CONFIG_SENSORS_CORETEMP) for monitoring the CPU, given you have a Core CPU
  • “Winbond W83791D” for some of the sensors
  • “Winbond W83627DHG” for some other sensors
  • “ACPI Processor P-States driver” (CONFIG_X86_ACPI_CPUFREQ) for frequency scaling
  • “SysKonnect Yukon2 support” (CONFIG_SKY2) is you happen to use the on-board NICs
  • “Intel HD Audio” (CONFIG_SND_HDA_INTEL) for the soundcard
If you plan to install Windows Vista from a drive on the IDE Controller you need to dig for the appropriate driver somewhere on the Asus CD. It’s somewhere below “Driver -> … -> Application” or so.

The graphics card, a Geforce 9600 from Gainward, ist running perfectly well with the closed-source driver from nVidia.