The first things we need to cover are the slight downfalls with the board. The fact that we can't easily see the voltage levels in the BIOS when adjusting them is a little annoying, but this should be an easy fix. The second is the 1866MHz DDR memory divider. At the moment it seems a little fussy, but we've seen every other company sort this out and since the initial BIOS, ECS has improved the performance. You can also see that it's not so much that the board can't run the RAM at 1866MHz DDR, because when overclocked we managed to achieve higher than that. It seems more related to just the divider itself.
The only other two things that kind of stand out is that our USB 2.0 and SSD performance was a little down when compared to some other of the other boards we've looked at. On a whole, though, we've seen a bit of fluctuation with these areas; hopefully it's again something that will be able to be fixed with a BIOS update.
I find myself being a bit negative about the board, but to be honest, when I walked away from it, I actually really liked it. First, the price. At $84.99 US this is a really well priced motherboard and the cheapest we've tested so far, and by a fairly decent margin as well with all our other motherboards coming in at over $100 US.
Second, I love the fact that ECS have opted for the graphical UEFI BIOS. I like it, and it's nice to see companies have a different look compared to others. It's also just something else that helps separate the board from the others.
Next is performance; when it came down to it, we saw that performance pretty much lined up with our other boards in a lot of tests and considering the cheaper price tag on offer here, it's something that you find yourself paying attention to.
The other thing that stood out for me was just the look of the board. The A75F-A is a good looking board and that's surprising considering the price point. Let's be honest, most boards under $100 look ugly as, but the A75F-A with its black PCB is a really nice looking board.
I think the best way to sum up the A75F-A is that it's a little rough around the edges. The good news is that most of the minor issues we have with it should be fixable by a BIOS update and we're sure ECS are working on it like most other companies are for their A75 offerings.
Out of the box with an A8-3850 installed the A75F-A is going to perform well, especially if you're using something like 1333MHz DDR or 1600MHz DDR memory. You're just not going to run into any problems. If we wanted to do some serious overclocking, it's not one that we'd put at the top of the list, but when it comes to price, features and just the overall look, it manages to really stand out.
If you find yourself wanting to get in on the A75 action, don't want to spend big on a motherboard, nor expensive high speed memory, this is a really attractive option. For the price of some of the other boards we've looked at, you could get yourself this board and a 4GB kit of DDR3 1600MHz RAM. That's a good buy and it makes us realize that there's a clear user group that will find the appeal in this board.
Like everything, the ECS A75F-A isn't perfect. Priced at such a good level, though, and a striking design that stands out in the budget motherboard arena, it's a real contender for people. We'd just keep an eye out on the ECS website for BIOS updates that are sure to come in the following weeks and months.
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