Basically there is not much that I can say that is negative about this board. There was the minor issue of IDE placement, but that did not really hinder me since I do not use IDE drives. I am not real fond of the tab releases that they use on the pcie slots. They are nearly useless as you must find some sort of tool to actually get to them to release the card. There is really not much more to say on the negative side.
On the positive, I like the color purple! Actaully I don’t, but I do like seeing variety of color, and if you are into purple, I am sure you will find this board to be right up your alley! The included bundle, while not extravagent, was certainly plenty to get you up and running. The CD that is included in the bundle has all the drivers that you need as well. In fact, I had no issues at all installing the drivers or the included apllications that came on the CD. The board was as stable as they come, with no issues at all during all of our benchmarking.
I also have to say that even the overclocking was simple on this board, as it either booted or it didn’t. It is not very often that I get to look at a board with no real issues during testing. Actually, I can’t say that we had no issues, as the first ECS board that we had seemed to die on us right before we got to the overclocking testing. We quickly got our replacement board though, and had just as easy a time with it as the first one until it died (may it rest in pieces!). It is also nice to see motherboards being produced with HD sound; certainly that is a nice added touch.
I was pretty impressed to run a $125 CPU at 3.65 (and only 1.328 vcore) on a $80 motherboard. That is a pretty cheap investment for dual core. I will be anxious to see how our chip does on some other boards that we get in to test (other than the Intel boards of course), that way I have something to compare the overclocking to. I would have to say that you get more than you pay for with this board, and that is not something that you can say about alot of computer hardware these days. Most enthusiasts are all about the price to performance value when buying equipment. This board certainly would be a leader in that area for me. To round out the great features of this board, we have to mention as well that is has a one-year warranty, with a US location that should get you a good turn around time.
The Legit Bottom Line
What can I say? This board performs great, has a little style with color, and provides some great high end features, such as HD audio, SATA II and SLI. Above all, this board, with all of those features is cheap! Not in quality, but in price. This is definately a bang-for-your-buck type of board that is worth looking at if you are building a low cost Intel box.