ECS NF650iSLIT-A 650i SLI Motherboard ReviewMon, Mar 12, 2007 - 12:00 AM
Bundle and BIOS
ECS continues the tradition of using the AWARD bios for their NF650SLIT-A. This is a very popular choice, which makes it very easy to work with.
The Advanced Chipset Features page is where on will find most of the sub-pages that will be used in setting up your board. You will everything from system clocks to voltage settings someone inside of this page.
The FSB and Memory Config page… let’s look closer!
Just as with the 680i board, we have the option to run the memory at Auto, Linked or Expert (unlinked). THis is a great addition, especially for the power user and constant tweaker.
FSB settings are allowed up to 2500 (/4=625). This is more than enough.
DDR can be set at speeds up to1400, this is also plenty (for now!).
Although there are just the basic timings available, this is probably fine for almost every user. As you can see, the tRCD is set at 5. We will talk about the impact this has on performance a little later, but this bios would NOT let us keep a setting of 4, it would automatically reset the tRCD to 5.
It is always interesting to see what we are going to be offered on a board in the area of system voltages. Ecs did an OK job in this area. Here, you can see that the CPU can be set to 1.6v. This is not great, but adequate.
CPU FSB can be set to 1.4v.
VDIMM only has the options up to 2.2v. This was disappointing, especially to the enthusiast. I have no idea why they would limit vDimm like this, but it will likely scare some people away from this board.
Two other boards that we have had, the Asus 650i and the ECS 680i were able to go to at least 2.5v, which is much better. Once again, especially since their 680i board had the options, it is hard to understand why ECS would purposely cripple this board compared to their 680i board.
The vcore is also undervolting slightly, but we still had a little room to go with the top voltage available.
SPP voltage goes up to 1.5v.
The health page on this board is pretty weak, giving very little information. Also, I want to point out here, that if you look at the vdimm that is reported, it says 2.08v, even though it is set at its max of 2.2v. The undervolting certainly does not help on a board that already has a low ceiling for vdimm voltage.
The vcore is also undervolting slightly (.04v), but we still had a little room to go with the top voltage available.
Integrated Peripherals is an important page for setting up your drives and other onboard items. Raid is also configured here.
That is everything interesting for now. Let’s move on!