ECS X58B-A Reviewccokeman - June 26, 2009
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The Intel Core i7 has been out on the market since November of last year with just about every manufacturer having boards ready to go at launch time, with ECS being one of them. In fact, ECS was the first manufacturer to support both ATI's Crossfire and nNidia's SLI technologies. Fast forward a bit to today and we are looking at the ECS X58B-A, ECS' version of the Nehalem platform. The X58B-A comes with a host of features that look to make it stand out in the crowded X58 market with all solid capacitors, support for up to 24GB of DDR3 memory, VRD 11.1 compliance and its Qooltech II technology to offer a cooler operating environment for the operating parts and electrical components. While ECS has been known as a supplier of solid performing boards at an attractive price, shaking the OEM stereotype is something the company is looking to get away from with the X58B-A. I have no doubt that the X58B-A will offer performance that is similar to that of boards that cost much more, the key is just how well ECS is breaking the mold.
The ECS X58B-A features a lot of flash on the front and back panels of the packaging, bringing the excitement level up a notch or two from the last ECS board I looked at, which was mainly white with little information. Prominently displayed on the front panel is the fact that ECS was the first to offer support for both SLI and Crossfire when it was first introduced. Features listed include all solid capacitors, CrossfireX , SLI, VRD11.1, triple channel memory and more. The rear panel goes into detail about the most important features like the Qooltech II cooling technology and M.I.B.(Motherboard intelligent BIOS).
The packaging does not open like your traditional motherboard box where you may have a front flip out panel or just an outer sleeve. ECS has made opening the package a bit exciting. The box opens up like a book with the X58B-A on the right and the accessory bundle on the left in a box held in with Velcro. In the opening between the the two sides, the artwork mirrors the Dragon theme.
With all the work done on the imagery and packaging the board has to be a bit special!