ECS A890GXM-A2 Motherboard Reviewajmatson - February 24, 2011
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Elitegroup Computer Systems, better known as ECS, has been in the motherboard arena for a long time. We have seen a number of boards that date back to the Pentium era and beyond. ECS has always been known as the budget board designer, but things have been changing. The company has been putting more time, effort and research into its mainboards and it is beginning to really show. ECS brought its Black Series to us some time ago, which we have seen mature into a formidable opponent in the motherboard industry. With each change and improvement, the company is no longer taken lightly. I for one have been impressed with its mainboard offerings lately and was very excited when I had this particular board come across my desk. The Black Series boards are taking on a whole new shape with each release and I was eager to do this review. Today we are bringing a new competitor to the AMD arena with the ECS A890GXM-A2 mainboard.
The A890GXM-A2 is built around the strong, tried and true AMD 890GX chipset, which includes the AMD SB850 Southbridge. Not only does this pairing provide stability, but they also have the speed and features we need to stay ahead of the game. With features such as 140 watt CPU support, HyperTransport 3.0, and the ability to run DDR3 memory in dual channel up to 1800MHz when overclocked, you will not be held back when you are running this board in your computer. Take those base features and add in USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports for up to 5Gb/s and SATA III for hard drive speeds up to 6.0Gb/s, and you might need some extra plugs for your thinning hair (editors note, lol!). If you are as excited as I am, then let's stop the yapping and take a dive into the review so we can get a firsthand look at the latest in the AMD ECS Black Series.
ECS boards have been evolving to suit the gamer/enthusiast market and with those changes came the Black Series. The Black Series showed what ECS was capable of in its designs and in its stability. To show off this new series, ECS changed the color scheme not just with the board, but with the packaging as well. While keeping the same greenish design, the front of the A890GXM-A2 box contains all the product logos that went into this motherboard including AMD CPU support, ATI CrossfireX capabilities and the unique abilities of the system, such as eJiffy instant boot. On the back of the box, the support logos continue along with an image of the board itself and several of the top end features that are offered by the ECS A890GXM-A2. If you flip open the front cover, you may be surprised to find a glimpse of the actual board through a window, accompanied with a few of the power features, such as CPU O.C. and USB SuperSpeed support.
Removing the inner packaging from the box shows you the care that went into protecting your investment. On the top layer of the box is the motherboard itself, surrounded in a hard plastic shell. Underneath is a compartment that houses the accessories and documentation. Included with the motherboard is the I/O shield, video connection protectors for the back of the board, four SATA cables, an eSATA bracket, the driver CD, and the user guides.
Now that we have everything out of the box, we can take a better look at the layout of the motherboard.