ECS A785GM-AD3 Motherboard Reviewjlqrb - February 1, 2010
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AMD's 785G chipset has become the standard for budget conscious users looking to get the best price to performance ratio, while building an AM2+ or AM3 system. Luckily this is easily done, as a 785G motherboard and AMD Phenom II Quad-Core processor combo can be purchased for under $300 and an Athlon II or Sempron can be had for even cheaper, making the price to performance ratio better than almost anything on the market today. Continuing in this trend of performance and affordability, ECS is releasing the A785GM-AD3 motherboard, which comes with the 785G/SB710 chipset combination. Even though the 785G arrives at an affordable price, its support for AM3 processors, DDR3 memory and the integrated HD4200 graphics processor, it is anything but 'cheap'. In fact, the ECS A785GM-AD3 has most of the features you would find on other motherboards with the same chipset such as ATI hybrid graphics, Hypertransport 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0. But ECS has gone a step further and added their "15μ Gold Contact" technology. With this technology ECS has effectively added three times the standard amount of gold plating to the contacts of both the CPU and memory areas. This should help ensure the motherboard has a longer life span, better reliability and makes excellent physical contact. With the added life span of this motherboard comes added value, as it could potentially be in use for a long period of time. This is a feature that was on display during the 2010 CES convention and will become available across multiple Intel and AMD platforms. In the last few years ECS has really upped their game with their Black Series motherboards and I am really looking forward to seeing if they can continue this trend.
The ECS A785GM-AD3 motherboard comes packed in a black box with a fierce fiery battle going on between a dragon and knight. Next to this battle, the box lists supported hardware and some of the features that come with the motherboard. The front of the box also indicates that this motherboard is part of the Black Series of boards, which is ECS's more high-end product, geared toward gamers and enthusiasts. The back of the packing is very detailed and lists the specifications and also gives a more in-depth look at some of the features.
With the box open you can see the motherboard comes securely packaged and has an extra layer of cardboard on the top for added protection. Under the cardboard is the motherboard, which is wrapped in an anti-static bag and lying on a thin layer of foam padding. The accessories that come with the board are found under the cardboard insert and consist of four 90-degree SATA cables, one IDE cable, the I/O shield, manual, installation guide and the driver CD.
With the everything out of the packaging we can move on and take a more detailed look at the ECS A785GM-AD3 motherboard.