ECS KN1 Extreme

Review

posted 7/26/2005 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
When the subject of good motherboard manufactures are brought up, the names that are usually thrown around are ABIT, ASUS, MSI, and DFI. They’re known for putting out solid, stable, and feature rich motherboards for gamers. ECS, or Elitegroup Computer Systems, wants to start being mentioned with the biggies and they hope their Extreme line will help improve their reputation. Today we’re going to take a look at the KN1 Extreme and we’ll see if ECS has the goods to start being a major choice for gamers.



I’ve had a few experiences with ECS motherboards before, especially the K7S5A. When looking for an inexpensive motherboard for my PVR project, this one came to the forefront and after three years, it’s still my main PVR machine to date. In fact, I’ve built three more computers with the motherboard and none of them have had any problems. But I wouldn’t use their motherboards as my main gaming machine. That might change with their latest product line.

The ECS KN1 Extreme is an AMD64 nForce4 motherboard supporting the 939 chip. A quick look at the features that this board exhibits and you can see ECS has really worked at putting out a feature rich product. It sports the nForce4 Ultra chipset and supports PCI Express. CPU’s supported include the Athlon 64 FX, Athlond 64, Sempron, and with the latest BIOS update it supports the dual core AMD chip.

Area around the CPU socket is pretty free of obstruction. If you plan on using an oversized cooler such as one from Zalman, the only problem you might run into is the clearance between the cooler and the fan duct that’s situated at the back panel. Location of the HSF fan connector was relatively close.

Four memory slots allow for a maximum of 4 gigabytes of memory to be on board. Memory speeds support up toe DDR400 and they are color coded so that you’ll know which pairs to insert for dual-channel memory access. I’ve had problems with a few motherboard where all four slots were filled so we’ll test to see if the motherboard is stable at that configuration.
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