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Computex 2010: Motherboards

by Ian Cutress on 6/16/2010 12:36 PM EST
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33 Comments

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  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    "ECS are desperately trying to break into consumer markets,"

    If they hadn't made nearly a decade of budget, sometimes complete garbage mainboards, I might consider them. Their past (some of it not that long ago) kills that.

    Even good boards on paper, like the vaunted K7S5A some years back, were plagued by quality control issues during manufacturing, furthering this perception. I saw way too many ECS RMAs. The fact that they haven't stopped making cheapo mainboards either also dilutes the brand.

    If ECS wants to succeed with the consumer or enthusiast market, they should create a new division dedicated to the quality gear, with a new brand name. Otherwise, their brand will continued to be marred by their low-end stuff, discouraging people from buying at the high-end.
    Reply
  • jaydee - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    I bought a K7S5A new and it was quite a board for the money at the time (I sold the system to a friend, as far as I know it's still running). I know they don't have the best rep, but based on that one experience I've had with them, I'd have no problems going with them again. That being said, I've never been in the market, nor ever see myself going for top-end enthusiast boards (by any maker). But for a low-end, middle of the road, I'd trust ECS. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Most of the problems ECS boards I ran into had were directly related to the use of VIA chipsets. The K7S5A was an exception to their poor quality because it was an SIS chipset which was undeniably more stable than VIA's competing chipsets and had far less IDE bugs. There was a great DMA patch SIS released to solve performance problems as well that worked like a charm.

    ECS boards based on nVidia and Intel chipsets have been equally as good as the SIS-based K7S5A. It's VIA that really tarnished their rep. When you look at the other brands from the VIA-era, in the end, they were all garbage. Few of them lasted more than a couple years before burning out or blowing caps. They were arguably never really stable. To pour salt on the wound, ECS traditionally used VIA's reference designs, too.

    I've had good experience with ECS' Intel-based boards. Except for the crappy BIOS support.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Can't really blame the chipset for blowing caps, can you? Reply
  • Operandi - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    I've built tons of systems around VIA chipsets and never had problem with stability or reliability. In fact a couple of them have been running 24/7 since I built them in 01 - 02.

    The chipsets were solid and reliable if not performance leaders, stability and longevity is up to the motherboard manufacture building a good board. In fact I've seen more dead motherboards based on Intel chipsets than I have VIA based boards.
    Reply
  • Redcharlie - Thursday, June 24, 2010 - link

    I bought a K7S5A new on Sept 11, 2001, and it ran well for years, although I did have to update the BIOS to use a 160GB drive. It was a great board at a great price. I finally replaced it in 2008.

    Since buying the K7S5A I've bought boards from DFI, Gigabyte, and Asus, but have never seen a particular ECS board that stood out enough to tempt me. Glad to see them back in the ring.
    Reply
  • chrnochime - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Well my crappy ECS board that has Nvidia 6150 chipset that I got from Fry's with the E2200 has seen the CPU oc'd to 2.9GHz, been on for at least 5 hours each day, for the last 2 years without any hardware problem or BSOD in windows vista. That cobbled together rig is actually much more stable than the one I put together as a temp HT/game PC with the Asus P5q pro and E8400, which thus far has encountered a bunch of random BSOD. Might have something to do with me using the Ati Tray Tool in Vista for the 4870, but then the same setup worked with the ECS board with no problem at all. Reply
  • bji - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    What a blast from the past. And present, I suppose - I bought an ECS K7S5A in 2002 and it performed very well for me. In fact, it is still going strong in that computer, which I gave to my mom in 2005, and which she still uses daily (with an Athlon XP 1800+). I really need to put together a new computer for my mom ... Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Hehe, just wanted to say that I owned a K7S5A with a 1800+ XP iirc. I had a great time with the board, never any problems, had my CPU overclocked with some silver paste and it ran as a 2200+. :D But I knew then that I was one of the few lucky ones and today I wouldn't go for them anymore, I'm a strong Gigabyte fan for overclocking and MSI for some budget boards. Asus let me down with my Q6600.... Reply
  • cactusdog - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    ECS need to improve their after sales if they want to sell performance boards. If a new CPU or component comes out ECS wont update the bios so users are stuck with no upgrade path. Reply
  • KaarlisK - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    P67 boards were rumored not to have PCI.
    Is that rumor wrong, or is this Gigabyte not going the Intel way?
    Reply
  • bumble12 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Judging by both the ECS and GB boards here, as well as MSI and ASUS P67 boards seen elsewhere, it looks like PCI is here to stay. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    "we wonder if they missed a trick, by not putting it all the way to 11."
    I see what you did there.
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Yay, login finally working for me after the site's visual overhaul. Reply
  • chris1317 - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    It took me a while but I got it in the end :) Reply
  • AmdInside - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    I used to work as tech support for a hardware company and the number one motherboard that caused us problems were ECS motherboards. Reply
  • Adelaidean - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    I'm thinking the molex connector near the memory slots might be for a RAM cooling fan option?? Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Umm.... What? Read your quote again pls.... Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    Whoa... That thing is sick. Those big heatsinks on the VRMs look like they mean business. And if they can do an AMD 6core, they probably do. WTF can't anyone else get cooling on their m-ITX VRMs? AMD is suddenly relevant in this form factor, especially since Intel boards haven't got SATA6.

    Oh, and yes, I've heard of them. They're one of the only people making m-ITX boards back in '08 for Core 2 Quads. $180 is cheap compared to what they had back then.
    Reply
  • warden00 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - link

    "What is most unusual about his motherboard is a 4-pin molex connector situated beside the DDR3 slots. "

    Looks like a PWM fan header to me.
    Reply
  • TGressus - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Other side... Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Dude!! That's a power input connector not an output! Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    ...to go with my XP1700+ and 512MB of RAM, but it started exhibiting instability after only a month. Wouldn't work at 133MHz RAM/133MHz FSB. Had to periodically drop it to 100MHz FSB and eventually after some time at 100/100, it wouldn't even boot. Along the way I got some more RAM, a new PSU and even applied some thermal paste to the NB (as was recommended for such boards at the time - the heatsink was extremely hot), no help... got a KT266A board and instantly saw a noticable performance increase - it was that good.

    The shop I bought the KT266A board from said they'd had nothing but trouble with the K7S5As. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? Still, it was a decent board, if only it had worked properly.
    Reply
  • xeopherith - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    I bought one ECS board that was rated really well in the 'budget performance' category years ago and it treated me well. Honestly I cant remember how long ago it was but I know it was after 2003. I never really thought of ECS as a bad company, they just weren't really ever geared for performance. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    The price is a little high but considering what you get on such a small board, it's definitely worth considering. I've never actually seen a desktop board that uses laptop memory before - quite ingenius if you're low on space. Reply
  • Acanthus - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    They built trash boards and have had crap end-user support for a very long time.

    Market all you want, the people with memories aren't going to let it slide.

    No bios updates, crap website, slow RMAs, piss poor QC, incompatibility issues with power supplies and memory... the list goes on and on.

    I wont trust them with my money, ever.
    Reply
  • Ben90 - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Not even one picture of the girls.... Reply
  • METALMORPHASIS - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Just got through cleaning and installing new software on a friends ECS board machine from 5 years ago.
    It still works fine today even w/win7 on it.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    is cheesy. Reply
  • paihuaizhe - Sunday, June 20, 2010 - link

    (nike-alliance).(com)=>is a leading worldwide wholesaler company (or u can say

    organization)
    Reply
  • Acreo Aeneas - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    I haven't used a ECS board in over 6 years. My first DIY build used the cheapest, lowest end ECS AMD board (Athlon XP 2000+). It ran fine on stock settings for over 1.5 years. It went into storage as a backup board which I later scrounged back from that pile some 2 years ago hoping to reuse it in a Linux home server box. The board refused to boot. Borrowed a friend's Barton Core Athlon just in case it was my old Athlon XP 2000+. Still didn't work. Motherboard's LED light lit up, so I know power is at least flowing to that LED, but it refused to boot after running through every possibility. I eventually gave up and if I remember, I tossed out in the trash a week later.

    No blown caps (checked every one), so I know it wasn't bad caps.

    I would think since they do have budget and mid-range boards nowadays, they have improved on QC and quality of components used?

    Besides, they can't be that bad if several brands use them to manufacturer motherboards or parts (ex: PCChips is manufactured by ECS mostly).
    Reply
  • Nischi - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Oh my God what a beautiful girl it was on the frontpage for this news! Does anyone here at all have a name for this cute girl, or perhaps higher resolution images? :)

    Thanks
    Reply
  • John J - Friday, July 16, 2010 - link

    Ive had Msi boards for years they just dont break most stable longest lating boards out there. Reply

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