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ECS A890GXM-A2 Motherboard Review

ajmatson    -   February 24, 2011
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Testing:

Now we get to what we have all been waiting for and that is the testing. The ECS A890GXM-A2 has certainly peaked my interest and I am really eager to see how she performs. I have lined up a battery of tests to throw at the board designed to gauge on how well it performs and if it can handle the pressure. These tests include scientific benchmarks that will test the logic of the platform, as well as video tests to show how it runs as a whole. I will be comparing it to another well known board based on the same AMD 890GX/SB850 chipset to see how it stands up against competition. To keep the testing fair, all hardware will be run at the same speeds, voltages and latencies unless specified, such as in the overclocking.

 

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Motherboard:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked Settings:

  • CPU Overclock: 232 x 17.5 = 4060MHz

Since this is a Black Edition processor with an unlocked multiplier, I figured I would start there for my overclocking. That didn't happen though because everytime I tried to raise the CPU multiplier even by 1x, the system would not boot. I then tried to boost it by 0.5x and I was finally able to boot. I was baffled and could not understand why it would not boot even when throwing a lot of voltage at it. I then went on to Plan B — the reference clock. Surprisingly I was able to get the system to boot with a reference clock of 229MHz, but no more. I booted into the OS and figured I would give the ECS eOC program a shot to fine tune even further. I was able to use the utility to squeeze a few more MHz out of the system and still pass the benchmarks and stability tests. The final stable OC I was able to achieve was 4060MHz, which is a big improvement over past ECS boards I have tested. I was quite happy with this number for the overclocked tests.

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Each CPU has been tested for its maximum stable clock speeds using Prime95. To gauge the maximum stability level, each processor had to be able to perform at least a one hour torture test without any errors.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Geekbench
  4. Office 2007
  5. POV Ray 3.7
  6. PCMark Vantage Professional
  7. Sandra XII
  8. ScienceMark 2.02
  9. Cinebench 10
  10. Cinebench 11.5
  11. HD Tune 3.50
  • Video:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  3. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  4. 3DMark 06 Professional
  5. 3DMark Vantage



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: The Motherboard
  3. Closer Look: Drivers & Programs
  4. Closer Look: Bios
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. Testing: Apophysis, WinRar, Geekbench 2.1
  8. Testing: Office 2007, POV Ray, PCMark Vantage
  9. Testing: SiSoft Sandra 2010
  10. Testing: Sciencemark, Cinebench, HD Tune
  11. Testing: Far Cry 2
  12. Testing: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  13. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  14. Testing: 3DMark 06
  15. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  16. Conclusion
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