Written by John Chen    Tuesday, 28 June 2005 11:00
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If you're a frequent reader of the LA Times or the Orange County Register, you are probably well aware of Fry's Electronics' sales ads.  You'll have also probably purchased an ECS board once in your lifetime, whether for yourself or for a friend.  ECS is the most inexpensive solution for do-it-yourself systems.  Who can resist the great deals Fry's advertises for ECS motherboard and CPU bundles?  Sometimes the price is so good, I buy the bundle and build a computer just for the heck of it.

It was about 4 years ago when I made my first ECS purchase.  The board was the infamous K7S5A.  The rare use of a black PCB and the high performing SiS 735 chipset made an awesome combination for low-budget system builders.  It didn't offer the greatest overclocking potential, but voltage modders have found that after physically voiding some warranties, the board was capable of so much more.  Then begmotan the numerous revision changes.  I used to recommend the board to my friends who needed an inexpensive computer.  After working with newer the revisions, I stopped recommending ECS.  You would think that new revisions would fix previous problems, but the newer revisions only added more problems.  It was so bad that the floppy connector wouldn't operate correctly on 2 out of 3 boards I tried.  That whole process scarred me for life.  I have not touched another ECS board since.

I was given the opportunity to work with ECS by trying out one of their newly released motherboards.  I decided to give it a try, hoping they would improve upon their past issues.  The motherboard I received is a micro-ATX motherboard.  The board does not contain any surprises, but does feature ATI's newest Xpress 200 graphics chipset.