[coreboot] coreboot support/port for Asus M3A78-EM matherboard?

xdrudis xdrudis at tinet.cat
Fri Aug 26 22:29:23 CEST 2011

On Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 03:37:58PM -0700, SAL-e wrote:
> Hi,
> I have old Asus M3A78-EM [1] board inside my HTPC. I'm looking to
> speed up the boot process of my HTPC. I have heard that coreboot can
> boot directly into Linux or GRUB. I checked the supported list and
> found out that my board is not on the list, but at the same time I see
> that very similar board Asus M4A78-EM [2] is on and supported well. So
> I am wondering how difficult and how much work wold be required to
> port coreboot to my board.

I'm not the best one to answer, I've been trying to get my M4A77TD-PRO 
to boot for one year or more and it only loads FILO, SeaBIOS + GRUB and
then linux but linux can't find the disks (the same disk that the three
payload read without problem). 

There's a FAQ which tells you the information you can send to the list
to enable people to advise you better: 
>From what I see in the Asus web you link to, the two boards are not 
that similar. They have the same southbridge but they're different
sockets. M3A78-EM is AM2 / AM2+ . I haven't checked the coreboot 
support for that, but maybe there's some other supported board 
more similar than M4A78-EM (AM3)? maybe mahogany_fam10 ? It might depend
on the CPU model too, or the SuperIO. 

There's not enough info to tell, but for the existing info it does
not seem a very difficult case. The socket and southbridge are used
in other supported boards. But it's not going to be compile and install.
You'll need spare flash chips, a serial port cable, and define a new
board, mostly by copying from elsewhere, testing, etc. As far as I can
tell the chips are documented and similar code to copy from should be

> Secondary question would be if I have to upgrade my HTPC witch board
> would be better for using with coreboot: Intel i3-2100T based system
> or AMD E-350 based?

In general AMD works much better for coreboot, because AMD contributes
much code to coreboot and has detailed documentation published in 
developer.amd.com . Intel does not help coreboot, usually requires
NDAs (from what I hear) for disclosing documentation and it looks more
like a guessing game. In particular I hear people are using E-350 
with coreboot, although I don't remember the details. 

> Thank you,
> SAL-e
> [1] http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M3A78EM/
> [2] http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M4A78EM/
> PS. Please replay directly or CC in your reply to me, because I am not
> member of the list yet. 10x
> -- 
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> http://www.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot

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