1 - A dark introduction
Today another ECS review, and yes .. again a mainboard from their popular Black series products, which are well received here at Guru3D.com.
ECS a while ago started this new series in their product line-up of mainboard, The "Black Series" is targeted slightly more at you guys, the Guru3D readers; feature packed mainboards, nice design, black PCB and decent overclocking options. All that with an affordable price tag in mind. And yes, even though today's mainboard is based on the high-end and really expensive X48 chipset, we'll show you that it's again affordable. See typically an X48 chipset based mainboard will start at roughly 250 USD. The two chips the mainboard manufacturer has to purchase from Intel total up towards 90 USD alone. I'll spill the beans already for today, you can pickup this product for 199 USD. And it even looks superb.
Pretty high-end gear for sure as Intel's X48 chipset brings support for the all new 1600 MHz FSB processors, two 16x PCI-E 2.0 slots, which you can use for ATI CrossFire, two ATI graphics cards and heaps of nice features. What's so new about X48 opposed to the previous X38 you might ask .. well the only difference between the X48 and the X38 chipsets is the official support for 400MHz FSB (1,600MHz effective) CPUs. And let me restate 'official' there as the X38 mainboards can do that FSB perfectly well if you get the latest BIOS.
But hey ... this is where we land at the premise of ECS, they make lovely affordable mainboards, the question is .. can an OEM manufacturer live up to that reputation with a high-end product ?
Today we test their ECS X48T-A (revision 1.0) mainboard, based on that Intel X48 chipset which is at the root of making stuff happen, with a nice feature set.
But before we startup the actual review, let's first have a peek at it, as it certainly is a feast for the eyes with the black colored theme and the nice passively cooled hot-spots. You ready? ... open your eyes then.