ECS 755-A2: Performance and Value for the Athlon 64by Wesley Fink on January 30, 2004 8:51 AM EST
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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.