Manufacturing fault with some ROG Maximus Z690 Hero motherboards prompts a recall from...

Humza

Posts: 1,007   +170
Staff member
A hot potato: Following an increasing number of user reports complaining of melting MOSFETs, error codes and smoke erupting from Z690 Hero motherboards, Asus launched an investigation and has identified a backward installed capacitor to be the culprit. The hardware maker is now working towards a replacement program for affected customers.

If you’ve recently spent some sweet dough on Asus’ premium ROG Maximus Z690 Hero motherboard, it’s highly recommended that you check it for a faulty capacitor before deciding to post or boot up. Multiple owners began reporting issues with their hardware last week, ranging from a burned-up section on the motherboard, to smoke and post error codes indicating memory problems.

A Reddit user said they went through two Z690 Hero mobos in just three days, one of which caught fire, while others reported similar incidents on platforms like YouTube and Asus’ forums. The culprit, as it turns out, was a capacitor installed backward next to the mobo’s DDR5 slots, which also damaged nearby MOSFETs and components, leading to code 53 errors.

An excerpt from Asus’ statement reads as follows:

“We have recently received incident reports regarding the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero motherboard. In our ongoing investigation, we have preliminarily identified a potential reversed memory capacitor issue in the production process from one of the production lines that may cause debug error code 53, no post, or motherboard components damage.”

Asus revealed that motherboards with part no. 90MB18E0-MVAAY0 and serial number starting with MA, MB, or MC were potentially affected units and is asking owners to identify theirs by referring to the product packaging.

The company also shared that a few incidents had been reported in North America as of Dec 28 and that it's working on a replacement program as it continues inspection with suppliers and customers to identify all faulty units. Affected buyers are requested to get in touch with ASUS customer service.

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Fastturtle

Posts: 67   +38
Seems that someone didn't appease Saint Murphy well enough to prevent this or the engineers didn't even thing about a polarity issue and designing the board to only allow the damn part to be mounted one way.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,693   +6,629
Seems that someone didn't appease Saint Murphy well enough to prevent this or the engineers didn't even thing about a polarity issue and designing the board to only allow the damn part to be mounted one way.
There is no way to "key" those components. Typically, electrolytic capacitors are marked with polarity bands or dots on the case and nothing else.

The better thing, IMO, would have been to actually run the boards in some sort of burn in test. At least then, the boards would have burned up in test and ASUS would have saved a ton of money in having to ship/replace all the improperly assembled boards. I bet that it was only after users started reporting this that ASUS looked at the issue. The quest to get crap out the door has once again lead to crap going out the door. :facepalm:
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,667   +1,321
Motherboard manufacturers complained Intel rushed Alder Lake into market. Now we know that was true.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,751   +7,666
There is no way to "key" those components. Typically, electrolytic capacitors are marked with polarity bands or dots on the case and nothing else.

The better thing, IMO, would have been to actually run the boards in some sort of burn in test. At least then, the boards would have burned up in test and ASUS would have saved a ton of money in having to ship/replace all the improperly assembled boards. I bet that it was only after users started reporting this that ASUS looked at the issue. The quest to get crap out the door has once again lead to crap going out the door. :facepalm:

Good points but Asus has a better track record than this would suggest and like most board makers, they have rigs that the boards are plugged into and fully tested so it's a surprise that resistor or other failing component wasen't caught .... unless of course it didn't fail until a few dozen hours of operating time .....
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,693   +6,629
Good points but Asus has a better track record than this would suggest and like most board makers, they have rigs that the boards are plugged into and fully tested so it's a surprise that resistor or other failing component wasen't caught .... unless of course it didn't fail until a few dozen hours of operating time .....
Perhaps their good luck caused an iota of complacency?
Who knows? Maybe they dropped some sort of inspection step - either manual or automated.

There was some other problem a while back that, to me, sounded like a burn-in or inspection step would have avoided, too. I don't remember who the company was. I worked for a while as an Electronics tech in a company that manufactured custom computer-based equipment, so when I hear things like this, my ears perk up. :laughing:

The company I worked for had one of those automated test rigs, but it only did shorts and opens, it never actually ran the board. That was left to running it in a burn-in chamber.

I only own one Asus board, meant for Kabini. It has been going strong for many years as my gateway/firewall/router PC.
 

Tom Sunday

Posts: 74   +10
Regarding the Z690 Hero motherboard: Indeed many of these originally shipped with a reversed memory capacitor issue. Resulting in RAM compatibility and code 53 errors and more! I noticed now that only a small handful of retailers are actually selling the Z690 Hero. I today chatted online with a Newegg representative and he calmly said: “We cannot simply check every Hero we sell. You can always RMA the Hero with us!” In return I told him that Newegg should "show & tell" if all of their Hero’s as advertised for $600 are of a new iteration or not! Then a few days ago B&H gave me a similar non-specific answer. Amazon in turn has not sold the Z690 Hero since February of 2022. Thoughts?