ECS Elitegroup P55H-AK Review

RJR - 2010-08-16 12:13:10 in Motherboards
Category: Motherboards
Reviewed by: RJR   
Reviewed on: November 7, 2010
Price: $299.99

Introduction:

ECS, also known as Elitegroup Computer Systems, is a Taiwanese based company and has been in business since 1987. ECS has been a big player in the OEM market and expanded to retail motherboards only a few years ago. They are also expanding their product line to include desktop and notebook computers, graphics cards and other mobile products. ECS has a very real commitment to the greener side of material and manufacturing. Back in 2006, ECS started a program called "ECS Green Competitive Advantage and Quality Plan" that incorporated Green Products through a four step process of non-toxic management that includes non-toxic suppliers, non-toxic materials, non-toxic manufacturing and processing and non-toxic quality controls. They have two main manufacturing facilities, both located in China and also have branches all over America, Europe and Asia.

ECS is mainly known for their budget boards, but times are a changing and they are jumping into enthusiast class boards with both feet. Today, we are looking at one of their recent offerings in the form of a P55 based board, the P55H-AK, a black series motherboard. It has just about everything you could ever possibly want in a P55 board including SATA 3, USB 3.0, eSATA 6 Gb/s, Tri-fired SLI/CF, NVIDIA NF200 chip, PLX chip, Dual Gigabit Lan, DDR3 2600+ and more. We have a lot to look at and test so we'd better get to it.

Closer Look:

The motherboard was secured very effectively by an outer box, then an inner cardboard box and then finally completely surrounded in a plastic container. It made the trip here from Taiwan in perfect condition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The motherboard kit includes: two SATA 2 cables; two SATA 3 cables; I/O Shield; SLI Bridges and a USB 3.0 adapter that can be used in either a front 3 1/2" bay or rear expansion slot. Also included is a Utility/Driver DVD and manual.

 

 

 

 

Now for a little closer look at the motherboard on the next page.

Closer Look:Motherboard

The P55H-AK looks a little different than the previous offerings from ECS. The bright yellow, orange, blue and red colors are gone now and a darker more appealing look has been brought to the table. This motherboard has just about everything you could possibly want in a P55 motherboard with the addition of a NVIDIA NF200 chip so 16x8x8 tri-SLI/CF is available, a PLX chip to help support the Serial ATA 3 (6 Gb/s) and the USB 3.0, DDR3-2600+ (OC) capability, 14 phase (12+2) PWM, 7.1 HD audio, Dual Gigabit Lan, on-board power and reset buttons, POST diagnostic LED, dual heat-pipe passive cooling and 15µ gold contacts on the CPU socket and memory slots for additional corrosion and anti-wear protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We'll start at the lower right corner where we have on-board power and reset switches, CMOS battery, POST diagnostic LED, beeper, clear CMOS jumper, two USB 2.0 connections, front panel header, six Serial ATA 2 (3 Gb/s, that support RAID 0,1,5,10) ports and two Serial ATA 3 (6 Gb/s, that support RAID 0,1) ports.

 

Here we have three PCI-E x16 slots (Gen2), capable of running at x16 single or x16x16 CF/SLI or x16x8x8 in tri-SLI/CF configuration, thanks to the addition of the NVIDIA NF200 chip that supports 32 PCI-E lanes. There is also a legacy PCI slot and two PCI x1 slots. Below these are the front audio header, case fan header and USB 3.0 header. To the left you have a RealTek RTL889 for the 8-channel (7.1) audio and a pair of RealTek RTL8111E chips for the Dual Gigabit Lan. We also have the eight pin power header and you get an idea of what the dual heat-pipe passive heat sinks look like.

 

 

The I/O header is packed with just about everything. Starting left to right we have a CMOS reset button, PS2 keyboard/mouse combo header, eight USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA 3 (6Gb/s capable of 0,1 RAID), Dual Gigabit Lan, two USB 3.0 (6 Gb/s) and the audio interface for both digital and analog outputs. We have four DDR3-2600+ (OC) memory slots that have the 15µ gold coating (three times the norm) to help with corrosion and wear protection along with a 24-pin main power connection, system fan header, power fan header, CPU fan header and an auxiliary four pin molex connection.

 

 

Now for the heart of the motherboard. The CPU socket and hold-down bracket are both manufactured by Lotes with the inclusion of the 15µ gold coating on the contacts. The PWM uses 14 Phase (12+2) and 18 capacitors for a stable power supply. The dual-pipe heat sinks are very generous in size but not overly tall as to limit your cooling solutions.

 

 

The NEC D720200F1 chip supports the use of USB 3.0 and this motherboard has two of these chips on-board. The PLX PEX 8608 is a PCI-E Gen 2 (5 GT/s) switch providing 8 lanes of throughput and is hidden under a passive heat sink.

 

 

 

On the next page we take a look at the utilities included with the motherboard.

Closer Look:

The included DVD has both the drivers needed for the motherboard to run properly and the utility programs to enhance the motherboard's capabilities. We will take a quick look at the included utilities that will help update drivers, the BIOS and do a little overclocking if you're so inclined. The utilities start with a program that checks for and updates your BIOS called eBLU (BIOS Live Update). There isn't a BIOS update yet so I couldn't find out how well it works but it should come in handy in the future. The second program does the same thing, but for your drivers and it's called eDLU (Driver Live Update), no updates at the moment there either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is an overclocking utility program called eOC. You can use this in the "easy mode" or "advanced mode". The easy mode only allows you to change the CPU Frequency (Bclk), while the advanced mode allows changes to CPU frequency, PCIE Frequency, CPU Voltage, CPU VTT Voltage, DIMM Voltage and PCH Voltage. It makes it rather easy to play around and do some overclocking while you're in Windows. eOC also includes a monitor screen that includes the CPU temperature, System temperature and a voltage display. Next is the options screen with things like auto execute eOC when booting. The last screen shows you the eOC version and lets you check for any new updates to the program.

 

 

 

Next we take a look at the BIOS.

Closer Look: BIOS

The BIOS for the ECS P55H-AK motherboard is an American Megatrends Inc. BIOS that gives you almost all the options you could ever want. The BIOS is a little different from normal, but all the rules and settings still apply. We will walk you through it item by item. For those who might not be familiar with entering the BIOS, or might be a little apprehensive in exploring the BIOS, it's rather easy and fun to explore. Just a simple delete key-stroke when the motherboard screen first appears will bring you into the BIOS and no matter what you do, just can just exit without saving and you won't change a thing (if there are any questions in your mind). The first screen that appears is just a menu screen. Clicking on Standard CMOS Setup gives you the option to adjust the date and time and shows you what is installed in the various SATA ports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next option, Advanced Setup, gives you many more options to manipulate. The Intel functions, like EIST (speedstep) can be enabled/disabled, HT Technology (Hyper Threading) can be enabled/disabled if your chip supports it, boot device priority can be set and enabling ECS's eJiffy utility loads a small Linux based program for quick internet surfing without having to wait for Windows to load. The Advanced Chipset Setup has only one option, to enable/disable the Memory Remapping feature.

 

 

The integrated Peripherals option lets you configure your SATA, LAN and USB ports. The Power Management Setup deals with the Suspend Mode and Intel's c-states modes.

 

 

The PCI/PnP Setup just gives you the option of selecting the graphics at boot-up if you had both a PCI-E graphics card and on-board graphics support. The PC Health Status gives you the option of manipulating your fans, setting a shut-down temperature, giving you temperatures, fan speeds and voltages.

 

 

Next we will look at the right half of the BIOS menu on the next page, including the overclocking access.

Closer Look: BIOS (Continued)

We continue now with the M.I.B.X (MB Intelligent BIOS X) that containes all the CPU and memory information and adjustments. The top of the first screen shows you what your processor and memory is set to. Below this is the ECS O.C. Profile option that allows for quick CPU and memory overclocks (we will cover this more in the overclocking section). B.O.M.P. Technology just gives you the option of enabling/disabling this feature that checks your BIOS entries to make sure you didn't do anything really crazy. The Performance Level on most other motherboards is associated with the RAM timings but not here. It is stricktly for access to the CPU Ratio (CPU Multiplier) as we will see in a couple pictures down. The rest are all options for manipulating the memory and CPU frequencies and voltages. We will go over some of the options in more detail below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

This first shot is the bottom half of the preceding screen with the voltage adjustments. It contains the CPU vcore, the VTT voltage, the DRAM voltage and the PCH voltage. The only voltage adjustment that is missing, compared to other boards, is the PLL voltage adjustment. After overclocking with this board, I can say I never really missed it and was able to take this board on air and water to (or above) other P55 based motherboards. The second screen just shows the options for the ECS O.C. Profile. As said above, this will be discussed further in the overclocking section.

 

 

These are just pictures of the Performance Level option. You can see on the left picture that before the Enhanced option was set you do not see the CPU Ratio, unlike the right picture.

 

 

The DRAM Frequency option gives you the available memory multipliers available to you. This in conjunction with your Bclk setting will give you your DRAM frequency. Next is the DRAM Timing option that allows for fine adjustments of your memory timings when set to manual. The QPI Ratio option is below this and allows for changes to the QPI speed.

 

 

Next up is the CPU Frequency option, also known as the CPU Bclk (base clock frquency), When enabled, it gives you the option of setting the value of the Bclk that gives you control of the CPU frequency, QPI frequency and memory frequency. This is all determined by the Bclk value times the associated multipliers.

 

 

Then we have the PCIE Overclock Function option. When enabled, you can manually manipulate the frequency. Next is the Active Processor Cores option that just allows you to use all cores of your processor or turn some off if so desired.

 

 

The Load Default Settings option does just that. If you have anything go haywire you can bring the BIOS back to where you started very quickly. The next option is the Load Profile Settings. This gives you the option to save two different profiles that can be easily retreived when needed.

 

 

These next two are for setting BIOS passwords if you so desire.

 

 

The last options are to "Save and Exit" and "Exit Without Saving" so any changes in the BIOS can be saved or not.

 

 

That's about it for the BIOS.

Specifications:

 

 

CPU
LGA1156 socket for latest Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 processors
Supports Unlocked Intel® Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 Processors
Support Hyper-Threading Technology CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
Supports Intel® Smart Cache
Chipset
Intel® P55
Additional Chips
NVIDIA nForce® 200 PCI Express switch chip with extra 32 PCIe lanes
Programming support for NVIDIA® SLI™ technology
Full 64-bit addressing
Supports the PCI Express power management capability
PLX PEX 8608 PCIe Gen 2 switch • Offers 8 PCI Express Gen2 (5.0GT/s) lanes
Supports Read Pacing™ Technology
Supports packet cut-thru with the industry’s lowest latency of 140ns (x4 to x1)
Memory
Dual-channel DDR3 memory architecture
4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 16GB
Supports DDR3 2400 (OC) / 2200 (OC) / 2000 (OC) /1800 (OC) /1600 (OC) / 1333 /1066 DDR3 SDRAM
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
Expansion Slots
3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x16/x8/x8 or x16/x16 or x16 mode)
2 x PCIe x1
1 x PCI
Multi-GPU Support
Supports NVIDIA® 3-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports ATI® Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
Storage
Support by Intel® P55
6 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s devices
RAID0, RAID1, RAID5, RAID 10 configuration
Support by Marvell 9128 • 2 x eSATA 6.0Gb/s ports supporting external SATA 6.0Gb/s devices
2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s ports supporting 2 x SATA 6.0Gb/s device
Supports SATA RAID 0 and 1
LAN
Dual RealTek RTL8111E Gigabit Fast Ethernet Controllers with Teaming
Audio
Realtek RTL889 8-Ch High Definition audio CODEC
Capability for “full rate” BluRay DVD/HD DVD support.
System BIOS
AMI BIOS with 16Mb SPI Flash ROM
Supports Plug and Play, STR (S3) / STD (S4) , Hardware monitor, Multi Boot
Support over-clocking
Supports ACPI & DMI
Audio, LAN, can be disabled in BIOS
F11 hot key for boot up devices option
Support ECS M.I.B X Utility
CPU voltage adjustable
Memory voltage adjustable
NB Chipset Voltage Adjustable
SB Chipset Voltage Adjustable
HT Voltage Adjustable
External Clock Adjustable
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
2 x RJ45 LAN connectors
1 x Audio port (Line-in, Line-out, Mic-in)
1 x SPDIF port
1 x Clear_CMOS button
2 x eSATA 6.0Gb/s ports
2 x USB 3.0 ports compatible to both USB 3.0 / 2.0 devices
8 x USB 2.0 ports
Internal I/O Ports
1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power Connector
1 x 4-pin power connector for VGA card
1 x 4pin CPU_FAN connectors
1 x 3-pin PWR_FAN connector
1 x 3-pin SYS_FAN connector
1 x Power on button
1 x Reset button
1 x Speaker header
1 x Front panel switch/LED header
1 x Front panel audio header
1 x SPDIF out header
1 x Clear CMOS header
1 x Serial Header(COM)
6 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors
2 x SATAIII 6Gb/s connectors
1 x USB 3.0 header supports additional 2 USB 3.0 Ports
2 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 4 USB 2.0 Ports
Accessories
User's manual
2 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s cables
2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s cables
1 x 3-Way SLI bridge connector
2 x SLI bridge connector
Support Disc
Drivers
ECS Utilities
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

 

Features:

All information courtesy of ECS @ http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Index.aspx?MenuID=0&LanID=9

Testing:

Testing of this latest example of a P55 based motherboard from ECS will encompass both stock and overclocked test parameters to see just how well it overclocks using both traditional methods as well as any ECS proprietary overclocking tools. These results will be compared to other competitive motherboards to give you an idea of how well it performs by comparison so that you can make an informed decision on what your next purchase should be. Each board is tested with the components listed below with a fresh install of Windows 7 with all drivers using the latest revisions at the time of the testing.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Motherboards:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked Settings:

The overclocking on this board was a pleasant surprise after getting used to the different BIOS ECS uses. There are little things in this BIOS that you have to figure out (just like any BIOS). Such as the fact that the CPU multiplier is hidden by default and you have to find the way to unearth it. Another little one is that the c-states are actually in two different parts of the BIOS, so turning off the obvious one doesn't completely shut down the c-states. The overclocking was rather easy once all the little eccentricities of this BIOS were figured out. The maximum Bclk I was able to obtain (without going crazy with voltages) was 215, so, not bad at all for a P55 based board. Just to keep things fair with the comparison motherboards, I did have to lower it slightly to 212 so all the boards could compete on level ground.

The self-overclocking in the BIOS worked well, it gives you three overclocking settings, Light, Middle and Heavy. I'd be very careful when using it just for the fact that it tends to over-volt a bit. All automatic overclocking features seem to do this for the sake of stability and can really get someone in trouble with temperatures if they aren't very careful. I would definitely recommend starting slow and using the Light setting to begin with (if you were to try overclocking with this) and of course, watch your temperatures.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about with the BIOS auto overclocking feature:

I did test each of these setting with Prime95 and they were all stable, but the Heavy setting did push my i7 860 on air to 82c (beyond Intel's max recommended temperature) within minutes. Needless to say, this uses a little more voltage than is really needed versus manually overclocking your processor. This is illustrated by the overclock screen shot below running at 4.240 GHz @ 1.380v vcore. Next to it is the max bclk screen shot @ 4.30 GHz, 215 Bclk. This board really does like to overclock manually, so the time invested into learning how to do it manually will really pay off.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Off to the testing now on the next page.

Testing:

The first part of our testing will be the system specific benchmarks.

 

Let's get started with Apophysis. This program is used primarily to render and generate fractal flame images. We will run this benchmark with the following settings:

 

 

The measurement used is time to render, in minutes, to complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower is Better

 

WinRAR is a tool to archive and compress large files to a manageable size. We will use 100MB and 500MB files to test the time needed to compress these files. Time will be measured in seconds. Additionally, I will use the built-in benchmark as a comparison.

 

ZIP:

 

Lower is Better

 

 

Lower is Better

 

 

RAR:

 

Lower is Better

 

 

Lower is Better

 

Geekbench 2.1 provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results.

 

 

Higher is Better

 

All boards seem to be right in line with one another, no major surprises.

Testing:

Office 2007 Excel Big Number Crunch: This test takes a 6.2MB Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and performs about 28,000 sets of calculations that represent many of the most commonly used calculations in Excel. The measure of this test is how long it takes to refresh the sheet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower Is Better

 

POV Ray 3.7: This program features a built-in benchmark that renders an image using Ray Tracing. The latest versions offer support for SMP (Symmetric Multiprocessing) enabling the workload to be spread across the cores for a quicker completion.

 

Higher Is Better

 

PCMark Vantage x64 is used to measure complete system performance. We will be running a series of tests to gauge performance of each individual CPU to see which CPU, if any, rises above the others.

 

Higher is Better

 

For some reason, the ASUS Maximus III Formula seemed to like PCMark Vantage a little better than the other two boards, but still nothing earth shattering, let's continue.

Testing:

SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful. For this benchmark, I will be running a broad spectrum of tests to gauge the performance of key functions of the CPUs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Processor Arithmetic

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Higher is Better

 

Multi-Core Efficiency

   

Higher is Better

 

   

Lower is Better

 

Memory Bandwidth

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Higher is Better

 

Memory Latency

 

Lower is Better

 

 

Cache and Memory

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Lower is Better

 

Physical Disks

   

Higher is Better

 

   

Lower is Better

 

Power Management Efficiency

 

Higher is Better

 

Once again, all three boards are extremely close to one another in just about all the tests performed.

Testing:

ScienceMark tests real world performance instead of using synthetic benchmarks. For this test, we ran the benchmark suite and will use the overall score for comparison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

CineBench 10 is useful for testing your system, CPU and OpenGL capabilities using the software program CINEMA 4D. We will be using the default tests for this benchmark.

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Higher is Better

 

CineBench 11.5 is the latest iteration of this popular benchmark that features a new look to the interface. This test now has a simple GPU and CPU test built in.

 

Higher is Better

 

HD Tune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Lower is Better

 

 

Lower is Better

 

Once again, all three boards look really good.

Testing:

Far Cry 2:

Featuring a new game engine named Dunia, this game looks to be another one to stress your video card. Built especially for Far Cry 2, this engine allows for real time effects and damage. This next generation First Person Shooter comes to us from Ubisoft surprisingly - not from Crytek. The game is set in a war-torn region of Africa where there is a non-existent central government and the chaos that surrounds this type of social environment. If you have seen the movie Blood Diamond, you know the setting. Ubisoft puts the main storyline of the game into focus with these statements: "Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are sent to take out "The Jackal," a mysterious character who has rekindled the conflict between the warlords, jeopardizing thousands of lives. In order to fulfill your mission you will have to play the factions against each other, identify and exploit their weaknesses, and neutralize their superior numbers and firepower with surprise, subversion, cunning and, of course, brute force." In this version of the game, you don't have the beautiful water, but instead the beauty and harshness of the African continent to contend with. Most games give you a set area that can be played through, while Ubisoft has given the gamer the equivalent of 50km squared of the vast African continent to explore while in pursuit of your goals. The settings used are just a few steps below the maximum in-game settings and offer a good blend of performance vs. visual quality.

 

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

All three boards seem to be more than adequate with the 5870 pumping out the game.

Testing:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the latest iteration of the venerable first-person shooter series, Call of Duty. Despite its long, successful pedigree, the game is not without substantial criticism and controversy, especially on the PC. Aside from the extremely short campaign and lack of innovation, the PC version's reception was also marred by its lack of support for user-run dedicated servers, which means no user-created maps, no mods, and no customized game modes. You're also limited to 18-player matches instead of the 64-player matches that were possible in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Despite all this, the game has been well received and the in-house IW 4.0 engine renders the maps in gorgeous detail, making it a perfect candidate for OCC benchmarking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Higher is Better

 

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Higher is Better

 

This is a virtual dead heat between all three boards tested.

Testing:

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a game that brings together two bitter foes, the Joker and Batman. The Joker has taken over Arkham Asylum, Gotham's home for the criminally insane. Your task is to rein the Joker back in and restore order. This game makes use of PhysX technology to create a rich environment for you to ply your trade.

 

Video Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

Once again, you can't get much closer scores between three different boards.

Testing:

3DMark06 is one of the benchmarks that always comes up when a bragging contest starts. 3DMark06 presents a severe test for many of today's hardware components. Let's see how this setup fares. The settings we will use are listed below.

 

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

Higher is Better

 

The ECS P55H-AK motherboard is right in line with the comparison boards here too.

Testing:

Featuring all-new game tests, this benchmark is for use with Vista based systems. "There are two all-new CPU tests that have been designed around a new 'Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation.' CPU test two offers support for physics related hardware." There are four preset levels that correspond to specific resolutions. 'Entry' is 1024 x 768 progressing to 'Extreme' at 1920 x 1200. Of course, each preset can be modified to arrange any number of user designed testing. For our testing, I will use the four presets at all default settings.

 

 Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Higher is Better

 

 

Higher is Better

 

For the final test of the OCC test suite we see about the same as all of the other tests we performed. All the motherboards tested are extremely close to one another in their performance. That is saying a lot for an ECS offering being put up against an ASUS and Gigabyte board, since they have a long standing track record for their performance and acceptance within the enthusiasts ranks.

Conclusion:

The P55H-AK motherboard has just about everything you could possible want, or need, in a P55 based board. From the tri-fire SLI/CF to the multiple USB 3.0, SATA 3 and eSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports. The addition of the NVIDIA NF200 switch along with the multiple NEC D720200F1 chips and the PLX PEX8608 chip create a motherboard with the capability of sustained performance when using the high speed interfaces and multiple PCI-E slots that are available on this board. This is one of the most feature rich P55 motherboards available today at any price.

The performance of the P55H-AK was right on par with the ASUS and Gigabyte we put it up against. That is saying a lot for a company that has just started trying to compete with the likes of ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA, etc. in the higher-end enthusiast sector of motherboard manufacturers. They have a quality product here that should really help them compete in this sector.

The only negative I could find on this board was the dual-pipe heat sinks on the MOSFETs and NF200 did tend to get really hot. I removed all the heat sinks off the motherboard and found out that the culprit generating the vast majority of the heat was in fact the NF200 chip. This did not in any way hinder the overclocking I did with this board but it would have been nice to have a better cooling solution on the NF200 alone versus all tied together with the MOSFET coolers. The addition of a fan or a case with very good air flow over this area should keep this in check though.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: