The ECS 650i motherboard uses a full ATX layout similar to that of the P965 boards and even what the more expensive 680i boards tend to use. ECS uses its usual purple/pink PCB that distinguishes themselves from other board makers. On layout, ECS has done a reasonably good job with its connectors, though there are a few gripes to speak of.
The 24-pin power connector is located behind the DDR-2 memory slots along with the FDD connector. The 4-pin power connector for the CPU voltage is in its usual ridiculous spot, considering how much space there is on the PCB right between the Northbridge chip and the rear I/O ports, our least favorite position. The two IDE ports are also in another ridiculous position at the bottom right of the board, meaning more cable clutter if you have HDD mounting spaces up high in your case.
Despite the board's shortcomings on its connector placements, ECS has a good CPU landscape. To give the CPU its power, ECS uses 4 phases of voltage regulation to keep the CPU well fed, this is more than enough to power even the hungriest Pentium-D series CPU, since this board is designed to run Core 2 CPU's that use half the power of a Netburst CPU, you've got plenty of power on tap. Quite surprising for a cheap motherboard, you've got support for all current and upcoming Dual and Quad core processors from Intel along with native and official support for upcoming 333MHz FSB (1333MHz Quad Pumped) processors.
The rear I/O ports on the back of the motherboard are quite sparse. The usual PS/2 ports, USB and audio ports are there along with a Serial port. There are no parallel ports, only thing of significance are the RCA and SPDIF ports for digital audio out.
Coming to the end of the board itself we take a look at what slots are present to plug your peripherals into. Being an nForce 650i SLI chipset, this board features nVidia SLI feature, but it does not support full-speed SLI. The 650i Northbridge (actively cooled with fan, which is a bonus) has a single PCI Express x16 interface for graphics; if you plug a single graphics card into the orange slot you get all 16 lanes to the graphics card. When a second graphics card is plugged into the blue x16 slot, both slots revert down to x8 speed to allow for SLI, similar to how the old nForce 4 SLI chipset used to work.
The rest of the slots consist of two PCI Express x1 slots for additional future storage and three PCI legacy slots for older expansion features. Since it's a cheaper motherboard using a cut down chipset, you miss out on extras such as lots of SATA ports. In total there are only four SATA ports, a single Gigabit network port, four USB ports on the I/O panel but you do get a total of two IDE connectors for a total of four Ultra DMA133/100/66 devices. The SATA ports do support RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD through nVidia MediaShield which is nice and you've got 8 Channel High Definition Audio.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications]
- Page 3 [Inside the Box]
- Page 4 [Motherboard]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Memory Performance]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - PCMark]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - WorldBench]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Adobe Premiere Elements]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - HDD Performance]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - PREY]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - Far Cry]
- Page 14 [Final Thoughts]