ECS A790GXM-A Reviewajmatson - November 16, 2008
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Although the scores were close when compared to the other 790GX boards the ECS was still for the most part in the tail end. Most users will not notice the difference however if you are a bench marker or a true enthusiast this minor difference will make all of the world in your decisions. Overclocking this board was fairly simple by raising the VCore and the multiplier however no matter what adjustments I made I could not get the CPU speed over 200MHz not even by 1MHz. This board also got the hottest of all of the 790GX boards that I tested with the same settings to the point I had to place a fan over the Northbridge heatsink to cool it down. Overclocked ,the board ran marginal but still not as high as other 790GX boards tested. I was left scratching my head why ECS did not put the Firewire headers on the board since there were places reserved for them and the chipset supports it. With more and more digital devices like video recorders using Firewire this causes an inconvenience to install an external card. There were also no eSATA ports on the back panel which have been on the majority of other ECS Black Series boards.
The presence of a memory chip for the integrated video makes this an excellent board for a media server which is becoming more and more popular these days or even a workstation where a dedicated graphics card is not needed. The ECS A790GXM-A also supports CrossFireX with its two PCI Express X16 slots and Hybrid CrossFireX with the IGP and certain discrete cards such as an HD 3450 video card. If you are looking for an inexpensive board for a budget build then I would take a look at the ECS A790GXM-A but if you are building a hardcore rig another option might be better suited for you.
- Sideport memory for increased performance
- CrossFireX and Hybrid CrossFireX options with dual PCI Express x16 slots
- Runs hot
- No headroom for CPU BUS overclocking
- Firewire headers omitted on the board
- No eSATA (personal preference)