ECS GF8200A Reviewajmatson - August 19, 2008
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What can I say? This board is a beast! The ECS GF8200A took everything I threw at it and asked for more. It even accepted a processor with a maximum 125w TDP, when the board states that it officially only supports processors with a maximum 95w TDP. The board also natively supports 1066MHz DDR2 memory when paired with an AM2+ CPU, and that's just the start. The onboard video chip - the GeForce 8200 - provides quality HD video without the need for a discrete card. While you will not be gaming at high resolutions with the mGPU, it does support Hybrid SLI, so you can add a dGPU to save power, or boost performance in an SLI setup. The GF8200A also supports 8-channel HD audio, so this would be a killer platform for an HTPC. This has been one of the strongest GeForce 8200 based motherboards I have had the pleasure to review thus far.
On the flip side, if you use a monitor that has a DVI connection, you might want to buy an adapter, because no DVI port or adapter is included. Also, I was surprised not to see any digital audio outputs on this board, since it is obviously geared towards media applications. Lastly, the overclocking features, while decent, do not hold up well - which is what I expected from the design of the board. You might get further with a CPU that has a lower TDP, but come on - I had a CPU with a TDP over the specification for the board, and still got it overclocked to 2.94GHz! That, in itself, is amazing. If you want a great board with a proven chipset, then I would definitely recommend the ECS GF8200A motherboard. For the price, the performance it offers makes this board a strong candidate for consideration.
- Strong integrated graphics
- Native DDR2 1066MHz support
- 8-channel HD audio
- Very inexpensive
- Supports Hybrid SLI
- Ran a CPU with 125w TDP with no problems
- Onboard Power and Reset buttons
- Supports HD formats 720p, 1080p and 1080i with onboard video
- Onboard eSATA port
- No digital audio ports.
- No DVI connection or adapter
- Poor overclocking headroom with 125w TDP CPU