The ECS booth at Computex was fairly extravagant this year, in terms of piling in most of the current and new product range but also the eye candy used to pose next to them.  Most people know that ECS make motherboards and graphics cards – also on display were All-in-One solutions, net/notebooks, HTPCs and eBook readers.

In the tour, it was explained that ECS actually make a lot of products that do not retail with the ECS name but are branded through other companies.  The eBook readers are a typical example of this – I picket one up but found it very sluggish with large delays between turning pages.  One model on display was using Android 2.2 with a Wondermedia 8650 CPU, 8” color TFT at 800x600, 256/512MB memory, internal storage up to 32GB, external storage expandable through microSD card and weighing in at 450g.  However ECS were keen to stress that these were mostly engineering samples – on display to entice OEMs for future sales rather than consumers directly. 

The All-in-one solutions are also an example of products that will not bear the ECS name when coming to market.  They were all happily showcasing Angry Birds (as was almost every AIO at Computex I should add), but based on the thin mini-ITX platform.  The G11-21ERS can use a 65W Sandy Bridge processor (maximum), support for up to 8 GB DDR3, 1.3MP camera with microphone, multi-card reader, USB 2.0, HDMI in, and all using a 150W power adaptor.  Personally I think USB 3.0 support wouldn’t be too much to ask, but the system does come with 10-finger input recognition.

In terms of VGAs, there was not much new, and if any where, it would all be reference design – motherboards were more interesting.  Anand showed you the X79R-A and A75 preview boards, which by the look of things at ECS HQ represents a more-or-less finalised layout and design.  The CDC-I is ECS’ product in the world of Cedar View, whereas the HDC-I and HDC-I2 are from the E350/Hudson M1 Fusion range – I should be getting the HDC-I in for review to compare to some other E350 products shortly.

The A990FXM-A motherboard was also on show, which is debuting ECS’ CoolTech II technology.  Apart from a redesigned power and chipset cooling design, the PCH also has a heat-sensitive logo on it, changing from black to orange (40ºC) to red (60ºC) as the temperature increases.  It’s quite a gimmicky addition to a motherboard, in my opinion.

For HTPC, three models were there: to start, the DS110 using an E350, space for a full 3.5” HDD, USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet and two mini-PCIe for a TV Tuner and WLAN, all in a 65W power envelope.  Though unfortunately while it was running the latest Harry Potter film, it was incredibly choppy, around 10-15 frames per second.  Also present were the MS150 and MS300, using 65W under Cedar View and 120W under H61 respectively with similar connectivity.

Question and Answer session with David Chien, VP To Conclude
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  • jigglywiggly - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - link

    Here is our troll center where we ship defective products to consumers.
  • StormyParis - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - link

    I don't have quality issues with ECS boards. They're nice, basic ones. I actually quite like them: the lack of overclocking options prevents us from goofing with them. I had several issues with Asus boards.
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, June 12, 2011 - link

    Yeah I dont have problem with ECS either. Asrock on the other hand . . .

    Most of the people I repair systems for just want to cheap out, and in a lot of cases ECS has the least expensive boards around. Never had a problem with ESC like stability issues, or DoA boards. Like what can happened fro mthe two "A" company brands often enough for me to never put one of those boards in a personal system.

    MSI also often has very reliable boards.

    One more thing I have to mention. Is that "top performing" motherboards means very little, if that performance gap is tiny. Which is usually the case. 5-10% performance gap is only noticeable if you're bench marking. And, if that 5-10% performance gap means using an unreliable motherboard. That performance gaps means *nothing*.

    My definition of reliable means that a system, with all it's components will run indefinitely without any issues pertaining to the hardware. That means, if the system soft resets, blue screens, etc EVER. That is what I consider unreliable. Many Asrock boards used to classify in this category. I could care less what features they have, how cheap the cost, and how well they perform.

    ECS, if you're paying attention to the comments here. Keep up the good work, and please continue to give us a decently reliable product for a fair price.
  • Kim Leo - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - link

    Omg I laughed so hard.. I have to agree, I've never had a good experience with ECS products. Supposedly they have improved, but it will be long while before I buy another ECS motherboard.
  • Samus - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    K7S5A was the best motherboard I've ever owned, and it has a SIS 735 chipset.

    The fact that ECS was able to extract that level of performance and stability from the 735 is remarkable. That was 10 years ago, too. It was even compatible with my fiberchannel Adaptec SCSI controller...which had boot problems in the Intel Intel 815e board I later put it in.
  • AssBall - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    I have had good success with ECS motherboard builds too. They are reliable and don't have an excess of bullshit extras when you are building something simple and inexpensive, and easy to troubleshoot for friends and family who aren't enthusiasts.

    I think Ian criticized ECS fairly harshly considering how succesful they have been in an incredibly competitive market. It was a good article though and what a treat it would be to have a free tour of their Taipei offices.

    I don't think a logo that changes color is a gimmick. I think it is kinda cool, and I thought I was the curmudgeon...
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, June 12, 2011 - link

    I've had two ECS motherboards. One of them, a really old RS-482M-754 is still in use. I didn't have problems with either of them. I don't know about the second board because I gave the system to someone I don't speak to anymore. But, the last time we did speak, which was several years after he had had the system, he said it worked fine.

    Just don't try to overclock them!
  • ChadnSteff - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - link

    I'm with SHUD BE on this one. I'm not giving ECS another dime until people I know have received good products from them. The last few mobos I had from them were absolutely rubbish and their support was the pits. My friend who runs IT at the local university newspaper had similar experiences, and most of the hardware sites seem to need to be invited to these tours in order for any decent pr to be had. I'll stick with ASUS thanks.
  • havoti97 - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - link

    I bought an ECS video card, which promptly crapped out within the 3 year warranty period. Their customer support is a joke. I was directed to a broken RMA website. They never fixed nor replaced it. I would never spend another dime on the ECS brand.
  • TemjinGold - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - link

    Honestly, if ECS or any other motherboard/graphics card company wants more sales, what they need to do is to offer reliable products and stellar customer service. Bad service and poor word of mouth is what's killing these companies. If I hear about some revolutionary technology coming out from them, I would just read it and say, "Oh that's interesting." But if they want my money, I need to hear about awesome service.

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