Motherboard Group Buy/Crowdfunded Modded BIOS for the Asrock A300m (Deskmini A300)

REVOCCASES

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REVOCCASES
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Apr 2, 2020
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Form factor doesn't matter to me, its the only x300 board that I've seen so far that supports non-APUs.

If form factor doesn't matter I'm curious: which advantage does a X300 motherboard have compared to e.g. A520?

For example:

 

GuilleAcoustic

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Jun 29, 2015
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If form factor doesn't matter I'm curious: which advantage does a X300 motherboard have compared to e.g. A520?

For example:


Doesn't X300 allow for CPU/iGPU overclocking ?
 

Danlopez1222

Trash Compacter
Apr 5, 2019
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If form factor doesn't matter I'm curious: which advantage does a X300 motherboard have compared to e.g. A520?

For example:

Others in this thread care more about the form factor, as well as the single 19V input rail. For me to get non-APU CPU support on the A300W/X300W Deskmini, need an X300/A300 board that supports those CPUs- it doesn't matter to me if the board was EATX. Hopefully I'll be able to transplant that CPU support into the A300W/X300W UEFI Firmware.
Doesn't X300 allow for CPU/iGPU overclocking ?
Yes, however there are hardware differences between the X300 and A300- I'm running an A300W with the X300W bios and I still can't overclock.
 

GuilleAcoustic

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Yes, however there are hardware differences between the X300 and A300- I'm running an A300W with the X300W bios and I still can't overclock.

 

Ascorth

Minimal Tinkerer
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Jun 23, 2021
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That would be nice to know. There's a guy on youtube with a 5700g and an A300 and X300, but he didn't test the CPU with those motherboards. Try asking:
Thank you, ill try to ask ETA PRIME, im not asking for OC capability, but if we can put 5000G to A300, it will give far better performance upgrade.
 

gustav

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 18, 2020
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@Danlopez1222 Hello, nice to see you being active again! If you're still on track with the EEPROM-Subject.
I've found a reason, why your traces did not provide a satisfying result:


I've managed to extract possible (supported) EEPROM chips, which are used in the UEFI-FW in the version 3.60S.
(Using both, the UEFITool and Ghidra - C++ Reverse of the UEFI-Modules, which are written in C/C++)
There should be a conflict, since you're decrypting/settings the stream for another IC, which is not used by the UEFI-FW.
It may be useful for us - the supported ICs and afterwards the analysis of that particular IC's data as context.

Greetings
 
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gustav

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 18, 2020
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@Danlopez1222 about the idea of CPU-microcode/-support transplantation:

I think we are a step further to be able to achieve that. There is a product announced: "DeskMini Max" which is 5000-Series based
mainboard with PCIe 16x slot. Therefore, we could probably grab it's BIOS/UEFI and do some surgery on it combined with A300 UEFI :)

DeskMini Max is using *no* dedicated chipset. Still running on knoll-based-config.
It seems from the video (they're opening up the case, so you can see the mainboard) they've updated the power-stages on the mainboard being
4+1+1 (I guess '4' to be able to satisfy 105Watt against 65W using '3' VRMs)


  • Supports AMD AM4 Socket Ryzen™ 5000/4000/3000/2000 Series Desktop APU & CPU (up to 105W)
  • 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x D-Sub (Integrated)
  • 500W power supply with custom length cables
  • Supports PCIe Cards (Max. Length ≦ 20cm)

This platform seems to be indeed the A300 v2.0 because of the PSU, but also TDP being up to 105 Watt it seems they've updated the VRMs and
power-rails for the CPU/SoC/APU - there is residing my hope of "true" o/c being actually feasible. There is only one M.2 slot for NVMe's though and 2x S-ATA.
And being 10L in volume, it remains a question weather a standard mITX/ITX-platform would be actually the "way-to-go"-platform, since 10L is not small factor
anymore - when comparing against 1.92L from the A300. I think the price will be the point, on which a customer can decide.

PSU + Case + Mainboard (B550-based) => ~300€
Deskmini Max therefore should be <300€

And again, you can re-buy the RAM -.-, since Max is using U-DIMMs. Not pleased by this fact.
 
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gustav

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 18, 2020
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What's the issue with the U-DIMM ? It's just regular desktop DIMMs. Unless it's from an upgrade from "old" Deskmini to Deskmini MAX perspective (and the need for new RAM).
Yea, you totally got the point. It's about the upgrade-perspective.
I do prefer regular desktop DIMMs, but having an A300 pushed me towards SO-DIMMs.

:) One question, how come you have more "Reactions" to your posts than the actual number of posts?! :D nice nice hehe
 

The_Bavarian

Efficiency Noob
Mar 27, 2021
5
5
Hello all,

I have a 5700G running in my X300 with bios 1.70. My summary about the 5700G against the 4750G: It is not worth the change. The X300 limits both apu's due to its limited cooling capability. The additional performance in synthetic benchmarks is little to nothing. In my opinion the 5600G is the best choice as it is not limited and the integrated graphics is as fast as the one from the 5700G. It is the perfect match regarding price and performance.

Best regards

The_Bavarian
 

gustav

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 18, 2020
192
90
I can manually enter frequencies for the CPU and GPU, but they don't actually do anything. It looks like the chip ignores anything out of spec.

Also, my logic analyzer came in and works great. I was able to tap into my hardware SPI flasher's interaction while reading the bios:


I'm waiting for some more stuff from amazon this afternoon, then I can decode the interaction between the activator chip and the CPU.
I was back to this topic the other day...

MOSI transfer 0x03 seems to be the command Read Data, followed by the address. The FF seems to be the answer. (Empty blocks)
After reversing UEFI and reading up the datasheet for the Fudai flash model , see page 16 of the datasheet - see for yourself, 2 clicks away.

On the X300 the particular address could be a "feature" with it's options in the BIOS, which would then unlock (as an example)
Or by now already used addresses could return other data (values) which would adjust the BIOS - but there must be an interaction happening.

If we somehow can desolder the chip or perform a hardwired read-out by uninstalling the CPU and RAM and using SPI Flasher/Reader, we may be able to grab it's flash content. Seems to be no rocket science. (Could we use Dan's transfer MITM to reverse a flash able .hex with the intercepted data at addresses in game?)

Edit: for AT26DF041 its also 0x03 (see page 10) for low freq. read-command. But do not get distracted by the flash type. If desoldered, by sending 0x9F to the flash it will say who it is. (JEDEC specs, which I did not know was applying for the SPI Flash)

So we would be able to mimic A300 with 3.xx BIOS or (when flash reprogrammed) the X300 with 1.xx BIOS... At least that is the idea...

Edit 2: since more and more people are owners of the X300 model, may I ask for the possibility to take a picture of their knoll chip and the area surrounding this? It would clarify whether on this important stage the boards have any differences. It would be a "nice to have" - info, so we could grasp a better picture.
 
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W4RR10R

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Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
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202
Does anyone have the a link for the beta bioses, the one have have doesnt seem to have them anymore, and did we ever figure out if 5x00g worked on the a300, I really would like to not buy an new motherboard.
 

yuusou

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Mar 16, 2019
93
55
5x00G is not supported on A300, only X300. Don't think it works with the X300 BIOS but I don't think anyone tried. Very little reward in it.