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Asus C90S Review and Specifications


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Along time ago Asus announced that they were going to release a new breed of barebone notebook powered by the current champion of desktop CPUs and offering a whole new class of upgradeable notebooks, that was the C90S. Originally slated to be released in early May, it wasn't released and delivered until late July, but the wait was worth it. This is a barebone notebook it comes with nothing else but the basics. The notebook with no CPU/RAM/HDD/WiFi, you have to buy those your self! Most places who offer this notebook also offer parts and installation, so no need to fear if your not use to putting computers/notebooks together, but never mind only the l337 come here so what am I warning you about. It can be cheaper if you go to Newegg and buy the parts yourself (they had a Hatchi 250GB 5400RPM HDD for $189), but if your dealers good and uses OEM parts it can be the same as shipping and tax on OEM parts, I didn't have to pay tax and shipping from btotech.com and I got a discount for preordering it. Also supports full SATA2 3GB/s HDDs @ 7200RPM. As for OS, it uses the Intel GM945 chipset (+ ICH7M whatever that is, all I know is it requires a .inf patch to install drivers) so its perfectly happy with both XP and Vista unlike the newer Intel PM965 which isn't XP friendly. Alas the older chipset however does not make it compatible with 4GB RAM (only up to 3GB, otehr wise no post), also with shipped bios it displays DDR2 667 as 533, but that can be correct with a bios update. The notebook takes desktop CPUs (LGA 775) from the Conroe series, but thus for only the Core 2 Duo e4300, e63(20), e64(20), e6600, e6700 and x6800 at full 1066Mhz FSB and claims to support higher FSB in future bios updates(fixed in later bios update hopefully for newer Core 2 Duo, sorry no Quad core support).

Now the notebook its self has a beautiful 15.4" LCD display (1680x1050) which is powered by a 8600GT 512MB which is plenty to run BF2, BF2142 and LOTR Online at max settings. On a note, when I first got my notebook it had a bad video module so video acceleration was crap, the graphics would die every now and again and eventually it blue screened on me and wouldn't turn back on until they switched out the card, after that it ran like butter on a sunny day. I'm very happy, even though its no 8800 (or my former notebooks 7900GS), the 8600M GT is plenty powerful enough and I've even seen a friend play BF2142 on his Mac PowerBook (in Windows XP) on max settings with a 8600M GS 128MB. The CPU is plenty to carry most anything and is able to process installations, compressions and extractions faster then my desktop (Athlon 64 X2 4600+). The 3DMark score isn't to impressive at 3124. Most OC tools don't work to well yet with the current video card and the tool that came with the notebook for OCing the CPU doesn't work yet in XP and when I tried it out in Vista I still had the crappy video module. I plan on trying Vista out again on the week end where I have time for a full reinstall of XP if its crap. I also plan on trying the new XTreme-G drivers I just d/l in 3DMark 06.

Thats all for now folks, ask me some specific questions of you wanna know something else.

Asus C90S

Core 2 Duo e6700 @ 2.66Ghz

3GB DDR2 667

160GB HDD SATA2 3.0GB/s 7200RPM

8600M GT 512MB VRAM


Windows XP Pro SP2

Forceware 101.16 (default driver with CD)


XTreme-G 163.44


Windows Vista Business Edition

Forceware 101.17 (standered CD Drivers)


OCed GPU @550/450 (RivaTuner 2.02)


OCed CPU @ 2.99Ghz (ASUS TurboGear) and GPU @550/450 (RivaTuner 2.02)


XTreme-G 163.44 (ForceWare.com)


OCed CPU @ 2.99Ghz (ASUS TurboGear)


I can't OC the GPU with RivaTuner and 163.44, but alas I can't play BF1942 with 101.17!

I'll add some pictures in a bit.

Edited by RangerXML
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My request is a NERD logfile. I'm thinking of getting one too :)

Also can you post some pics?

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OK, I tried Vista again. I got most of the bugs worked out, except the thing with Lord of the Rings Online and the Vista copy/move bug, but was an all n' all a good experience. I reinstalled XP and I have some good news, first off most of the drivers for the notebook have been updated both for Vista and XP. Most importantly TurboGear works now in Windows XP, what does that mean, well if you spend a cool 1k for an x6800, you've been screwed out of that money and if you got a e6700 or a e6600, your getting a good return on your investment.

The x6800 comes clocked at 2.99Ghz and thus the OC tool will not work on it since this notebooks OC limit is 2.99, but if you have a e6600 or a e6700 it will let you OC to 2.99Ghz. Thats just the icing on the cake, the x6800 is already @ 2.99Ghz with a FSB of 1066Mhz, the e6700 goes to 2.99Ghz with a FSB of 1171.6Mhz (wonder how high the FSB of the e6600 is?).

The hotkeys still don't fully work in XP yet, the OC switching button for example, but I think thats the only one.

I'll get some pictures ups soon.

Edited by RangerXML
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  • 3 weeks later...



i just bought this laptop 2 days ago.I updated the graphics drivers to 163.44.

The only trouble im having is when using the turbo clocking options after 30seconds of play the screen just goes black and the computer locks up.Happens every time when clocking it 20%.

At 10% you can play for a short period before it does the same and black screens.

Im using vista 32 ultimate.Does anyone have any thoughts on this issue.

Asus C90S

Core 2 Duo e6600 @ 2.4Ghz

3GB DDR2 667

160GB HDD 7200RPM

8600M GT 512MB VRAM

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Two things to try. First, download new bios 601 for the C90 and new versions of Turbo Gear and ATK Hotkeys (http://support.asus.com and you can find a simple ISO with instructions on how to flash the bios @ http://www.notebookreview.com, just search C90 bios and only download 601). Second, if that didn't fix it then try removing the 2GB stick form your Notebook and try running it. From what I've read this notebook is incredibly picky when it comes to 2GB sticks of RAM.

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  • 5 months later...

Yup, I tried Vista Ultimate 64bit for short time, ended up switching back to 32bit because I couldn't get the IR port to work. Ran smooth. I use to dual boot, but I got my hands one a leaked version of SP1 and it ran so good that I switched to full Vista and have never looked back since. I just used XP less and less.

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