ECS A85F2-A Golden Reviewformerstaff -
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ECS A85F2-A Golden Introduction:
In September AMD released the Trinity platform consisting of the A-Series APU and the Hudson D4 FCH or Fusion Control Hub. In doing so it reset the bar for price/performance and platform versatility. The Trinity platform is seemingly making inroads with the enthusiast crowd. What impressed me so much about the Trinity platform was that it combines some evolutionary components such as the second generation Vishera quad-core computing power with the revolutionary on-die graphics capabilities that have no peer in the industry. AMD has taken this base of capability and capacity to afford options that have all areas of computing covered, and let the user decide how and when to exploit them. Today I have one company's flavor of the A85X (D4 Hudson) chipset. I have taken an in-depth look at two spins of the chipset so far and they have been fantastic. Let's see if ECS Elite Group can keep the streak going as we bring the heat down on the ECS A85F2-A Golden - emphasis on the Golden.
ECS EliteGroup is located in Taipei Neihu Technology Park and was established in 1987. It's a manufacturer of not only motherboards but notebooks, graphic cards, and a host of mobile devices. ECS over the years has been first to market with many products including the first dual processor Pentium motherboard in 1996 and the first 64-bit motherboard in 1992. In 2002, ECS surpassed the two million unit-per-month milestone in motherboard sales. So grab your sunglasses and curb feelers and have a look with me at the ECS A85F2-A Golden.
ECS A85F2-A Golden Closer Look:
If you like a big box you're in luck. The A85F2-A Golden is a $130 motherboard, however it is packaged like a $350 motherboard.The name of the game is gold and it is everywhere. The retail box is completely covered in reflective gold foil. Both the front and back are covered with Velcro flaps that reveal a window on the front and extensive product information on the back. Much of the information spells out the virtues of gold around the board. The packaging tells us that internally there is gold on the CPU socket pins, memory sockets, and PCIe slots. Externally, to create the bling factor, there are 'gold' plated capacitors, chokes, and heat sinks.
Inside the front flap is a pictorial of the ECS 'Gold 4 Ever' philosophy. Fifteen micron gold plating for connectivity and conductivity on the inside, and gold color plating on the exterior for showing off in the side window.
Under the front flap we get the first look at the motherboard and get an idea of how all this gold is laid down. Underneath the board the items in the bundle reveal themselves. While the accessory bundle is rather basic like I have seen so far with other X85 motherboards, the ECS Golden does come with seven SATA cables, which is great to see. Other items include a rear I/O panel (gold plated, of course), a full manual, a driver and programs disc, and an illustrated startup chart.
Time to take a trip around the board and ferret out the features of the Golden and see if it's worth its weight.