EliteGroup's Nonstop branding comes with guaranteed electrostatic immunity and the ability to operate at 50°C ambient - but does it really make the boards more reliable?
Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has announced a new brand name for its top-end motherboards: Nonstop.
Based around a new and more rigorous testing procedure ECS calls the 'Super Marathon 3X Stability Stress Test,' boards marketed with the Nonstop branding will guarantee improved reliability and elongated lifespans over the company's standard hardware.
As well as 'Super Marathon 3x Stability,' the Nonstop testing procedure includes the 'Sahara Severe Test' where the board is operated in a 50°C environment to make sure high ambient temperatures don't cause stability issues. Mind you, if your ambient temperature is 50°C you've likely got bigger issues to worry about than whether your PC has crashed.
To ensure its premium boards can pass the testing procedure, ECS has opted to use long-life solid capacitors dubbed 'Apache,' along with an electrostatic discharge (ESD) prevention circuit called 'Thor.' This circuit, ECS claims, provides full protection against electrostatic discharge damage and follows ESD guidelines laid down by no lesser an authority on the matter than heaven-botherer NASA.
The Nonstop branding will be found on all ECS Black series motherboards, with ECS retrospectively certifying its existing Black series boards including the X79R-AX, X79R-AX Deluxe, A990FXM-A, A990FXM-A Deluxe, A75F-A, H61H2-A2 Deluxe, Z77H2-AX, Z77H2-A2X, and Z77H2-A2X deluxe models.
What ECS has yet to provide, however, is evidence that its Nonstop testing procedure results in hardware which offers a real-world improvement over non-Nonstop boards. While the ability to run in a 50°C environment is undoubtedly impressive, it's a small target market that will be looking to do such a thing.
Should the Nonstop testing procedure deliver a board which is truly more reliable than the competition, however, ECS could have a serious advantage over its less rigorously tested rivals.