It's been almost two months since we took a close look at the SiS 755 chipset for the Athlon 64. After comparing it to other chipsets on the market, we awarded the SiS 755 our Editor's Choice award for the best Athlon 64 chipset. As impressed as we were with the SiS 755 Reference Board, it has taken quite a while for production motherboards to actually make it to market. The first to appear was the ECS 755-A, a value board that is selling in the US for about $80. We were not impressed with our early sample of the 755-A, since it ran our standard DDR400 at DDR333 speed, so we asked ECS if this would be the final board. ECS told us that they would be updating the 755-A very quickly to the 755-A2, a revision tweaked for best performance of the 755 chipset. We, therefore, decided to wait for a review until the 755-A2 was available.

The 755-A2 is a better performer than the earlier 755-A, with performance more on par with the SiS 755 Reference Board, and that is not faint praise. We also found no problems with Revision A2 running DDR400 memory at rated speed. It is still a value board in the Socket 754 Athlon 64 market, and it will likely find itself paired with many of the lower-priced 3000+ and 3200+ A64 processors. However, the SiS 755 Reference Board in our earlier review distinguished itself by being the fastest Socket 754 chipset that we had yet tested. It was also the only chipset with full support for the 800 (1600MT/s) Hypertransport bus combined with a working AGP/PCI lock. With that in mind, we will find out how the ECS 755-A2 compares to the best Athlon 64 boards that we have tested.

ECS 755-A2: Board Layout
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  • Glenngalata - Saturday, June 05, 2004 - link

    While the review on this board is well written, the overall statements made on the quality of the motherboard and the RMA process is extremely generous to say the least.

    ECS motherboards (and the company) are by far the most difficult to work with due to the total lack of reasonable support the company gives to its customers.

    All top tier manufacturers are moving to 3 year warranties unlike ECS whose 1 year offering is a clear indictation of "buy at your own risk" marketing.

    Asus allows the end user to deal directly with the company for RMA purposes and this feature alone is worth any price premium over a throw away prodcut line.

    The author is being very kind in many areas of the ECS/Customer relationship and at this point in time i have spent more time, frustration and money on long distance phone calls trying to deal with a manufacturer who simply does not acknowlege its own shortcomings product and service wise.

    You get what you pay for and if the manufacturer does not give a direct end user oriented,3 year warranty deal, stay clear and spend the extra for some peace of mind.
    Reply
  • Memn0ch - Monday, April 26, 2004 - link

    Do you want ECS 755-A2 as a freebie?
    http://www.ocworkbench.com/ocwb/ultimatebb.php?ubb...
    Reply
  • gglawits - Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - link

    I saw the 755-A2 at Newegg yesterday. For $90, if memory serves.

    Cheers,

    Greg
    Reply
  • justly - Sunday, February 01, 2004 - link

    I do understand your aggravation with the 755-A, the thing is this article is not about the 755-A is it.

    If you want to call the 755-A2 a POS then lets not stop there, lets also claim ATi drivers are just as bad now as they ever where, or that AMD will always be subpar to Intel in performance.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not condoning ECS for putting out a product that obviously did not have enough testing, or for changing their website.

    As for the claim that the 755-A does not support DDR 400, that may be true, but as long as the possibility exists that it can work with at least one brand of DDR 400 at DDR 400 speeds that conclusion can only be considered theory not fact. Does that mean that the 755-A is a good product, absolutely not.

    Since you brought up a car analogy I will try to use it even though I normally try to avoid them since they often use bogus/exaggerated information. With that in mind you need to consider that Chevy may do their testing to get the best HP rating possible. This means Chevy could test using a new air filter, premium gasoline, new oil and filter and even at a specific ambient temp and relative humidity ect.ect... so unless everything is configured exactly the same a lower HP will result, it may not be much, but if Chevy does this they can make the HP rating accurate, but never obtainable in real life.

    Does Chevy do this, it wouldn't surprise me if they did. Did ECS do something similar with the 755-A, maybe. Was it done on purpose, I doubt it. Was it poor judgment on ECS part, yes. Do I think this is user error, definatly not, its obvious you have a lot of experiance. Did you get duped into buying a subpar product, yes. Do I think all this talk about the 755-A belongs here or on the regular fourms, considering this is a direct link from a article about the 755-A2 I would say most if not all the comments about the 755-A belongs on the regular forums, at least that is my opinion.


    Reply
  • NFS4 - Saturday, January 31, 2004 - link

    Justly, the point is not that board was just "buggy", it simply doesn't have what they EXPLICITY stated was a supported feature of the board.

    (1) They said that the 755-A supported DDR400 memory on their website.
    (2) Vendors and other venues stated that the board supported DDR400
    (3) The BIOS had setting for DDR400 memory speeds.
    (4) The motherboard box says RIGHT THERE IN PLAIN ENGLISH that it supports DDR400.

    Then when you try to test the board, it's only running at DDR333 speeds despite if you're using DDR400 or higher memory. And the only thing that ECS does is drop the specs down to DDR333 on their website instead of issuing a statement saying that their board doesn't work as advertised.

    It'd be all the same if Chevy announced that their C6 Corvette has 400 HP at the wheels. The dealers list that spec as well. Customers go and buy a C6 and notice that performance is down a bit. They put their car on a dyno and it's making 350HP at the wheels instead. This result is then repeated by countless others that have purchased C6's.



    And I SHOULDN'T have to use a hacked BIOS to get it to work either.
    Reply
  • justly - Saturday, January 31, 2004 - link

    I don't see the reason to bash the 755-A2 just because of the troubles that people had with the 755-A. The 755-A was the very fist production board that used the SIS chipset.

    Since when did first production run of anything not have quirks or room for improvement. Granted, the 755-A may have had more quirks than most. The thing is you can argue this from both sides. My take on the 755-A is that any enthusiast that expects top of the line, trouble free performance with the least expensive motherboard available (and the first production run of that board to boot) is betting on a long shot, and is bound to loose in most cases. Sorry if I offended anyone.

    As for the 755-A2 it looks like a decent option IMO, although it maybe never be the perfered choice for the hardcore enthusiast.

    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, January 31, 2004 - link

    AMDMB and others have flashed the A2 BIOS to Rev A boards and found that DDR400 then works fine. The mod in the ECS Forum there has his basic Samsung memory now running at DDR432 after the flash. He also reports the memory timings from the 12/25 A2 are now on his Rev A and they work fine.

    In addition a BIOS modder has uncovered hidden vCore adjustments and additional options in the 12/25 A2 BIOS. You can find tne 12/25 BIOS at the AMDMB Forums ECS Forum at http://forums.amdmb.com/showthread.php?s=&thre... I am told the modded BIOS will also post there soon.
    Reply
  • NFS4 - Saturday, January 31, 2004 - link

    KillaKilla, I got a Biostar NF3 board from ZipZoomFly Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Saturday, January 31, 2004 - link

    This board is a perfect example of why 64-bit is really meaningless for the most part. Two DIMM slots? Not that it really matters, since pretty much all of the other A64 motherboards have issues with populating all three DIMM slots anyway.

    The reason to buy Athlon 64 is that it's faster (and cheaper, relative to the 3.0 and 3.2 GHz P4 chips) in 32-bit software. (Just purchased parts for a 3000+ for a friend - I'll be building it this weekend.) 64-bit software will come during the life of the PC, sure, but you definitely won't need to switch to 64-bit anytime soon. Unless youre running into memory limitations, in which case you better be prepared to pony-up for the Opteron or Athlon FX!

    As for ECS, I've only used two of their motherboards in my PC building life, and neither one impressed me. They may work okay, but I question the long-term choice of their boards over MSI, Asus, A-bit, etc. The 755-A was a prime example of why I no longer consider ECS boards an option. On the bright side, they're usually hella cheap. (And you get what you pay for....)
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, January 30, 2004 - link

    Unfortunately since we have labs all over the country we try to standardize as much as possible. Even though Wesley used a 9800 Pro, he used the same testbed that Anand, Derek and Evan use - we eliminate as many variables as possible.

    Kristopher
    Reply

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