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ECS tips hat to X58B-A Black Series

ECS tips hat to X58B-A Black Series

ECS' X58B-A could tempt the value market

There’s one thing I have to give ECS credit for – its PR and marketing tries hard. While its products are sometimes less than fantastic at least its new X58 motherboard has come a long way from what they once were and the design below actually looks pretty neat: sort of, flamey.

Although, on second thoughts, maybe the association with fire is not a good one.

Anyway, ECS was keen to tell bit-tech that its Black Edition products are of higher quality than before, while not targeting the very high-end, ECS will try to appeal to the more value concious "middle-high level". At just US$260 the ECS X58B-A Black Edition should certainly appeal to more cost concious upgraders.

The board has a simple design – six phase power regulation and just one phase for north bridge and another for all six memory slots. ECS claims support for an impressive DDR3-1600 XMP, although we’ll have to see for ourselves if this works. ECS does include solid aluminium capacitors and environmentally sealed chokes, but the MOSFETs are old school and there’s no attempt for fancy power regulation like other companies are now using.

There are two Realtek Gigabit Ethernet chipsets that include the usual teaming function, as well as Realtek ALC888S High-Definition sound. The JMicron JMB362 chipset offers a couple of eSATA ports, but there is only the base level six SATA included.

There’s simple onboard power and reset buttons and clear CMOS button on the rear I/O, in addition to a two digit POST LED readout, a pair of PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots, one x4 slot, two x1 slots and one PCI. The board is also both SLI and CrossFire multi-GPU certified as well.

It’s a decent mix but feels a little “check box.” In some ways, having simple features that work will certainly suit those looking for an uncomplicated purchase – after all, simple momentary buttons can be depressed just as well as fancy backlit ones, and its QoolTech II (Qool? yea, I died a little inside also) should work to cool the chipsets sufficiently, while remaining silent. What about six phase power regulation versus 12-16? Well, ECS still conforms to Intel’s latest VRD 11.1 spec so it should work just fine, but there might not be much overhead though.

Not everyone wants an expensive, super-OC motherboard with tons of features that they'll probably never use, and ECS is not one rated to build the best BIOSes in the world so we agree: why waste money adding extra hardware if the software isn't up to taking advantage? In a market where X58 board prices could likely be spiralling out of control, the X58A-B might possibly be worth a second look, and we always retain a cautious optimism about new products - after all, recently companies like Biostar have proven an extreme overclocker favourite. When it comes to pushing the boundaries though, the “Black” series has a long way to go before it’s anywhere near enthusiast.

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ECS tips hat to X58B-A Black Series

ECS tips hat to X58B-A Black Series
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14 Comments

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ChaosDefinesOrder 29th October 2008, 13:17 Quote
I like the colour scheme...

The single molex over by the PCI-E connecter is instant fail though. There must be a better way than draping a cable all the way across the mobo like that...
Mentai 29th October 2008, 13:42 Quote
It looks like a good board, I know a lot of people who would buy something like this. The types that think they might want SLI/crossfire or more ram in the future, but are probably never going to overclock or use extra mobo features. As long as it hits the right price point...
proxess 29th October 2008, 13:46 Quote
When will we see a full review of this?
salesman 29th October 2008, 14:06 Quote
No floppy or ide?
Cobalt 29th October 2008, 14:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by salesman
No floppy or ide?

Looks like it, which is a welcome development.
Bindibadgi 29th October 2008, 14:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by salesman
No floppy or ide?

Good spot ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
When will we see a full review of this?

Probably, if they sell it in the UK.
Redbeaver 29th October 2008, 14:41 Quote
ill hold my judgement till the reviews r out.
phuzz 29th October 2008, 17:47 Quote
Does anyone actually use dual-NICs outside of a server environment?
[USRF]Obiwan 29th October 2008, 21:13 Quote
At least they got the guts to ditch the FDD and IDE connectors. This saves controler hardware and connectors. To bad they didn't extend the sata range to 8 or 10.

It probably will be cheap(er) then the rest of the bunch although we must see the AsRock x58 boards first. I guess for normal operations it will be good enough.
Xtrafresh 29th October 2008, 22:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by salesman
No floppy or ide?

just out of curiosity: is this the first mainstream board to do this? In that case, WIN!

Too bad about the failplug by the PCI, and that Qooltech sticker just gets the kill.
Then again, i like the color scheme, and the simple approach is also nice.

I'd have to see how it performs :p
Jasio 29th October 2008, 23:50 Quote
Not a lot of black on that motherboard... yeah know... being a "Black Edition" and all, I figured it'd look mean and angry like the Foxxconn Black Ops. Instead I was greeted with a colorful rainbow. Doesn't look all that interesting, and *only* $260? I think I'd just pickup a P45 or a P55 board for around $200 and get all the fancy pants power regulations, flux capacitors, 1.21 gigawatt power regulators, hyper-space drive, dilithium core, and light saber holster all in one, from the likes of Asus or Gigabyte.
ChaosDefinesOrder 30th October 2008, 11:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by phuzz
Does anyone actually use dual-NICs outside of a server environment?

one ethernet cable to a broadband connection, the other to a laptop (either yours or a friends).

This is especially handy at university where you don't have a router/hub, only a single network port on the wall - if you want to quickly transfer stuff between your PC and a friend's or your own laptop, an ad-hoc gigE is about the fastest way of doing it.
tuaamin13 30th October 2008, 15:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder
I like the colour scheme...

The single molex over by the PCI-E connecter is instant fail though. There must be a better way than draping a cable all the way across the mobo like that...

It might not be that bad though. What you could do is run the molex down the side of your case on the case window side (since everyone has case windows), but tuck it more towards the edge (since most case windows aren't pure plexi, so they have a bit of a frame). You'd have to have some extra slack though to open/close the case enough for you to secure/unsecure the wires, but if you don't open your case too often it won't be horrible.

It might also be possible to get the cable under the motherboard, and come up near the PCIe slot, but that's really dependent on your motherboard tray and the stuff you've got plugged into the board.

I agree though, I dislike these extra power connector requirements. At least put them near an accessible edge of the board.
Bindibadgi 30th October 2008, 17:26 Quote
It's not a requirement - the molex is entirely optional. Just don't use it.
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