As the third largest motherboard maker in the world, ECS has always had the resources to pursue whatever direction they choose. In the past, that choice has been solid value motherboards, which provide quality and good value for the buyer. This has made ECS a major player in the Asian, South American, and European markets where tariffs and high prices relative to income make motherboards more relatively expensive than they are in the US. However, in the US market, ECS is often viewed as a low-cost, low-feature brand, and much of US sales come from the OEM market - ECS making motherboards and systems for others.

ECS has talked for some time about breaking new ground in the US market, and recently, they have also been hawking their Extreme series motherboards - boards designed with more of an eye to computer enthusiasts that still give great bang for the buck. We have said many times that it takes more than calling a board "Extreme" to make it so, but ECS has been improving the Extreme series and even won an Editors Choice for the ECS PF4 915P Extreme in last December's Intel 915 roundup. ECS keeps assuring the market that the change in direction for ECS is real, and to prove it, they invited AnandTech and about 20 other Editors to the very first ECS Editors Day in San Jose, California. The theme was the "New ECS".

ECS was prepared with their own demonstrations of future products from the "new ECS", but they also showcased partner presentations from Intel, AMD, ATI, and NVIDIA. So, is the "new" ECS really any different from what we've seen in the past? What technologies from Intel, AMD, ATI and NVIDIA will be finding their way to future ECS products?

SLI, Crossfire, and S.D.G.E.
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  • Sengir - Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - link

    I'm surprised Anandtech would state that ECS motherboards were stable.
    I worked at Fry's Electronics for over a year in their Service Dept., and the Fry's PC is built by ECS. 90% of all Fry's PCs brought back had a defective motherboard.
    Great Quality is another ECS name.. They are just as bad, if not worse. Most salesman cringe at having to sell them, but they are required to. Seems their return rate is that high.

    Even before I worked there a friend of mine had one that didn't work properly when he bought it.

    Oh, and I remember reading that ECS makes motherboards for MSI & Asus. <<Reason I don't buy from MSI or Asus.
    Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - link

    My only ECS board was K7S5A and it worked OK, but definately not 100% stable, but hey the same goes for many of my ABIT, Iwill, Epox and MSI boards. MOBOs just generaly suck. It seems to me, that you need to get lucky to get a good one. My current DFI NF3 250 GB LANPARTY is a wonder. It works 110% stable. MUUWA! But again some had horrible problems with it. And one last piece of advice: never buy a rev. 1.00 MOBO!!! Reply
  • Pirks - Sunday, September 04, 2005 - link

    Just a general observation about ECS, ASRock and other slotted "combo" or "upgrade" mobos out there: they all lack the ability to utilize previously installed onboard RAM as soon as you pop a slot upgrade card in there. You either have a couple of DIMMs on the mobo OR a couple of DIMMs on the slot card, but NOT the both. Sooo... if I ever need some serious RAM in my PC, I'll never buy any of these. They are OK for ppl on a budget who never have more than 512M or 1GB of memory, but no power user will buy them I think, unless this is a kind of user who knows that "2 DIMM slots is enough forever". And since you can get 2GB RAM quite cheaper if you buy it in four 512M sticks, then you'll pay more for the memory if you buy that "cheap" mobo with two DIMM slots only. Save here, lose there. Reply
  • dali71 - Sunday, September 04, 2005 - link

    Let us never forget the checkered past of PC Chips.
    http://redhill.net.au/b/b-bad.html">Scumbags
    Reply
  • beorntheold - Friday, September 02, 2005 - link

    my first ECS experience - new K7S5A... once a week the BIOS would reset itself to default (weak battery? not that it matters)... the core voltage was 0.02 off... underclocked per default... virtually no control over voltages or even fsb. a ton of options in the BIOS settings that don't seem to be documented anywhere on the Internet.

    my second ECS experience - a brand new N2U400A - with an absolutely stable PSU the core voltage would drop below 1.635 V under load (the PC becomes unstable - crashes, errors, the full program)... all other voltages are also unstable... the mobo does not provide enough voltage for 2 x 512 mb (2.5V) RAM - one of the banks, that is (test with MemTest - first bank works ok, the module in the second bank fails, swap modules - same story). there is no control over core or ram voltage - I had to perform a pin mod to force the mobo to raise the voltage to the CPU and will have to buy another board to use my new RAM. no way to measure chipset temperature, no way to measure vram voltage. attempts to overclock a 2600+ T-bred with DDR400 RAM fail at 136 Mhz FSB... that's 2 Mhz gain...). and let's not forget the BIOS chip soldered to the PCB. if I wasn't forced by the circumstances to continue using it I would have thrown the board out at least twice by now. although using a hammer will express my feelings more appropriately... and rest assured - I'm not the only one feeling this way.

    I knew I was buying a value board, but there is a certain minimum of quality that just needs to be there for stable operation. what I got for my money in these cases was an insult.

    in other words - I would rather shoot myself than buy anything with the brand ECS on it ever again.

    no editors day, no money invested in propaganda will ever change that.
    Reply
  • swatX - Friday, September 02, 2005 - link

    my first ECS motherboard RS480-M. Crashes every 5 minutes. Couldnt figure anything until i pulled the Audigy 2 sound card. Seems like ECS board doesnt like a sound card. Also their bios doesnt work with XP-64. The temps are extremely high even though i had a good case cooling.

    never getting anything from ecs again .
    Reply
  • Kalessian - Friday, September 02, 2005 - link

    "ECS used Editor's Day to highlight all of their new "dual-graphics" motherboards - both AMD and Intel - for NVIDIA SLI and AMD Crossfire."

    Shouldn't it be ATi Crossfire?

    -Kale
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, September 02, 2005 - link

    Corrected. Reply
  • Bona Fide - Friday, September 02, 2005 - link

    That SDGE concept is looking great. Can't wait to see what comes of it. :) Reply
  • smn198 - Friday, September 02, 2005 - link

    I think it would be much more interesting (to the enthusiast) is mobo makers would start doing things similar to what was done with the BX chipset. High FSB overclocking, dual slots, etc

    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=763&...">Dual slot 1 Intel BX 1 mobo linkage
    Reply

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