It’s obvious that after using the ECS P35T-A that this motherboard is aimed at the mainstream consumer that is shopping for a board with price versus performance in mind. The ECS P35T-A offers the Intel P35 Express chipset, so in a sense this is the latest and greatest motherboard on the market, but a number of things should be pointed out for those looking to purchase a board that uses the Intel P35 Express chipset.
For starters the ECS P35T-A has six Serial ATA II 3.0Gb/s devices port, but since the board uses the ICH9DH south bridge, instead of the ICH9R south bridge it doesn’t support RAID. Having RAID functionality on a motherboard in todays market is a must even for a mainstream board, so this is a feature that is missing that shouldn’t be. To follow the lack of RAID we find the board lacks a S/PDIF header, which is used to carry compressed digital audio to connect the output of the computer to say a home theater receiver that supports Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound. This isn’t a big feature that is missing, but with more and more people using a PC to deliver media content around the home it would have been nice to see on the board. The third and final area that didn’t go over well with us was the overclocking performance. The BIOS did not have the settings needed to support overclocking, which is a shame as the Intel Core 2 series love to be overclocked. Do these gripes make the ECS P35T-A a bad motherboard? Of course not, but if you are looking to overclock, run RAID arrays and use S/PDIF connections to hook up your PC to a receiver this motherboard is not for you.
If that hasn’t scared you off yet, then you are looking for a motherboard that can support the latest processors from Intel and run with stability, which the P35T-A excels at. The ECS P35T-A is clearly aimed at the general mainstream user and it seems ECS did a great job with this board as setup was easy and the performance on the motherboard was par for the course. Of course other motherboards performed better than it in a number of benchmarks, but keep in mind that this is going to be a sub $100 motherboard and some of those are over $200. This brings us to the price versus performance factor and clearly the ECS P35T-A gets a thumbs up in this category.
With the ECS P35T-A being a solid mainstream board we can only hope that ECS does something special with the Intel X38 Express Chipset on the PX2 motherboard to give the gaming enthusiast community something to look forward to!
Legit Bottom Line: When the ECS P35T-A becomes available in the market it will offer the best price versus performance ratio of any Intel P35 Express boards on the market, but make sure it has the features you want as to get the price this low ECS had to trim some of the features off.