ECS NF650iSLIT-A 650i SLI Motherboard Review

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ECS and the 650i

ECS brought forth their flagship motherboard not to long ago in the form of the PN2 SLI2+ motherboard.  As you can read in our review, this board sported the 680i chipset, and for the most part was a stellar board that was packed with features that the 680i has.  Overclocking was good, as it seems to be with that chipset.  The main drawback seems to be the price of this board.  As it is the top dawg, it comes with the top prices that the 680i commands, which is typically $240 and up.  Just the other day, we saw that Nvidia has launched a revision to the 680i, that is cheaper, and leaves out just a few features.  Where this will fit into the market remains to be seen.  I say that because Nvidia also has the 650i chipset that has also proven to be a great performer and overclocker.  With the 650i, I am not sure the 680i revision makes a lot of sense. 

We have already had the opportunity to look at a 650i board in the form of the Asus P5N-E SLI, and came to the conclusion that as far as performance goes, the 650i is the 680i killer.  It matches performance, and only lacks some of the high end features of the 680i, like support for 437 sata drives and 250 USB devices (a little sarcasm there!), and it comes in at over $100 cheaper than its 680i brothers.  With that being the case, we were anxious to see ECS get a 650i chipset based board out of the door to see how it compared to the PN2 SLI2+ board that we just reviewed.  So today, we have the ECS NF650SLIT-A motherboard on the bench.  Is it a falling or rising star for ECS and the 650i chipset legend?  Let’s find out! First off, a look at the SPECS:

  CPU
  LGA775 socket for Intel® Core™2 Extreme/Core™2 Quad/Core™2 Duo /Pentium 4 / Pentium D Processors
  FSB 1333(OC)/800/667/533 MHz
  Support Hyper-Threading Technology
  CHIPSET
  NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI
   North Bridge: NVIDIA C55
  South Bridge: NVIDIA MCP51
  MEMORY
  Dual-channel DDR2 memory architecture
  4 x 240-pin DDR2 DIMM socket support up to 8 GB
  Support DDR2 800/667/533 MHz DDR2 Memory
  EXPANSION SLOT
  2 x PCI Express x16 slot (SLI mode: x8+x8, single PCI-E is x8 mode)
  2 x PCI Express x1 slots
  3 x PCI slots
  STORAGE
  Supported by NVIDIA MCP51
   4 x Ultra DMA133/100/66 devices
   4 x Serial ATA2 devices
   NVIDIA MediaShield™ RAID supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD
  AUDIO
  Realtek ALC883 support Intel 8-ch HD Audio
  Compliant with HD specification
  LAN
  Marvell 88E1116 Gigabit LAN PHY
  REAR PANEL I/O
  1 x PS/2 keyboard & PS/2 mouse connectors
  4 x USB ports
  1 x RJ45 LAN connector
  1 x Serial port (COM1)
  1 x Audio port (Line-in, Line-out, Mic-in,Center/Bass,Surround,Side surround)
  2 x Digital SPDIF (Optical & Coaxial) out
  INTERNAL I/O CONNECTORS & HEADERS
  1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
  1 x 4-pin ATX 12V connector
  1 x Auxiliary 4-pin +12V connector
  1 x Speaker header
  2 x IDE connectors
  1 x FDD connector
  4 x Serial ATA connectors
  2 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 4 USB Ports
  1 x Front panel switch/LED header
  1 x Front panel audio header
  CD in header
  CPUFAN/NBFAN/SYSFAN/CASFAN connectors
  SYSTEM BIOS
  Award BIOS with 4Mb Flash ROM
  Supports Plug and Play 1.0A, APM 1.2, Multi Boot, DMI
  Supports ACPI revision 1.0 specification
  FORM FACTOR
  ATX Size 305mm*244mm
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