As you look at the board, you can see that this board has a simple and clean layout. In fact, there are only a couple minor annoyances that we find as we look at the board, which we will see as we look at it. It is hard to tell, but the board has a slight purple tint to it.
The top right of the board is where we find our dimm slots. This board supports up to 8 GB of DDR2 800/667/533 MHz memory, in dual channel configuration. We also see the 24-pin power connector and a floppy connector here on this part of the board. These are located at the edge of the board, which is an excellent position for them. You also get a shot of the northbridge here, well, of that fan that is used to cool the chipset anyways. This active cooler seemed to do a fine job of keeping things cool as we ran our board.
The bottom right of the board sports out SATA connectors. These are SATA2 compliant, and support RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD. To the left of the SATA ports, we see out bios chip and to the left of that we have our passively cooled southbridge. Underneath the bios chip, at the bottom edge of the board, we have two IDE connectors. Our battery is to the left of those. Really no issues at all so far with the layout.
The bottom left of the board is where we find all of our pci and pci-e slots. The NF650SLIT-A comes with legacy three pci slots, two x1 pci-e slots and two x16 pci-e slots. According to ECS’s web site, when running SLI, the board will run the x16 slots at x8+x8, running single PCI-E is also done in x8 mode. Just above the top x1 pci-e slot, we have an extra 4-pin molex power connector. This is used when running in SLI to give added stability.
Our audio chips is located here on the bottom left of the board. Audio is powered by the Realtek ALC883 which supports Intel 8-ch HD Audio.
On the top left of the board, we have our 4-pin 12v power connector. This positioning is not terrible, but is also not the best place it could be. It is preferred at the very top edge of the board, which helps keep wires out of the middle of the board. As you can see, there is plenty of room around the CPU socket. We had absolutely no issues at all using our water cooling setup, and it does not seem that there would be any issues using any air-cooling solution out there.
Our rear I/O ports contain the usual suspects. We have our ps/2 mouse and keyboard connectors as well as two Digital SPDIF (Optical & Coaxial) out, a serial port, four USB ports, your lan port and your typical 6-port audio jacks. Nothing unusual here…
The only issue that I have with the setup of this board is that of the tabs. I know we have talked about this before, but these tabs are absolutely horrible to work with. I really wish ECS would consider using something a little more user friendly.