Editors Day 2005: A “NEW” ECS Looks to the Futureby Wesley Fink on September 2, 2005 12:05 AM EST
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Our TakeThe first ECS Editors Day was well organized and very well attended. It was clear to everyone attending that the company wanted to kick-start the "New" ECS and the Editors Day was an effective way to deliver that message.
ECS did present quite a few innovative ideas for the motherboard market, though we have reservations on whether there is really a need for a lower-cost dual video solution like S.D.G.E. when both ATI and NVIDIA will be marketing their own SLI/Crossfire at mainstream prices. There is no doubt that the ECS solution is creative. We just wonder how many people out there will really buy it.
The PF88/SIMA card solution is also quite innovative. The idea of a future-proof base board with modules for new processors is appealing - particularly if not too many compromises in performance and flexibility are required. The future modules will answer those questions, but for now, the SIMA cards are certainly a unique approach to today's multiple sockets and varying features by platform.
We were very impressed with the creativity and innovation that went into the ECS products that were show-cased, but as we have said many times before, calling a product "extreme" does not make it so. Over time, we will see if ECS is serious about targeting the enthusiast market. They tell us that we will soon see new standard enthusiast level options on all their Extreme boards, along with overclocking performance much better than what we have measured with ECS in the past. We look forward to these changes, and time will certainly answer any questions about how genuine ECS is in the push into the enthusiast market.
Demonstrating ATI Crossfire boards now with plans for availability at launch are certainly steps that tell us ECS is serious. So are shipping NVIDIA SLI boards for both AMD 939 and Intel 775 processors, and the choice of a well-organized Editors Day to launch the "New" ECS. We had a great time at ECS Editors Day, and learned a lot about the ECS product offerings.
The questions that remain are whether or not any of these new boards provide the range of adjustment options and overclocking performance that will make them compelling choices for the enthusiast. ECS doesn't have to be the absolute top enthusiast board maker right now to get attention from the market. But they will have to provide reasonable enthusiast-level performance along with excellent value to get anyone's attention in the tough enthusiast market.
Time answers all these questions and we are looking forward to discovering in the future whether ECS delivers on the promise of a "New" ECS or whether this was all just lip-service. We sincerely hope that ECS has the internal conviction to truly turn the corner in the enthusiast market.