Motherboard maker Elitegroup Computer Systems, better known by its initialism of ECS, has announced a new standard for high-durability hardware: Durathon.
A somewhat clunky portmanteau of 'durable' and 'marathon,' Durathon is the company's latest attempt at making ultra-stable motherboards based on tweaked hardware designs. Combining two revised design elements with a more thorough testing regime, ECS claims Durathon-based boards will be among the most reliable available on the open market.
The first aspect of a Durathon board is the circuit board material itself. Using bi-directional weaved glass fabric instead of standard unidirectional glass fabric boards, which serves to reduce the gaps between each strand of the fabric in order to reduce permeability, means a resistance to high levels of humidity - which can cause delamination, corrosion or even short circuiting - some three times greater than previously possible. Secondly, ECS claims to have revised the design of its solid-state capacitors, rating them to 200,000 hours compared to 32,000 hours for electrolytic-based caps and offering a peak operating temperature of 100˚C - although not, obviously, for 200,000 hours.
All Durathon boards will also undergo the company's latest revision of the Marathon Test, originally unveiled in May last year for the Nonstop guarantee attached to Black series hardware
. A modified version of the awkwardly named 'Super Marathon 3x Stability' test, the latest 1.5K Marathon Test will see the boards go through 1,507 independent test points - the strictest reliability testing ECS has ever undertaken, the company claims. As with the original Marathon testing, the new boards will also be given extreme temperature resistance testing that sees the motherboards undergo active testing at temperatures 10˚C higher and lower than those used in industry standard test procedures.
While this isn't the first time ECS has tried to use stringent testing and claims of increased durability as a sales technique, Durathon is going significantly further than the company's previous efforts: where the Nonstop guarantee applied only to Black series hardware, ECS has promised to roll out Durathon across its entire motherboard product line-up. How much difference Durathon makes compared to competing products in real-world usage scenarios, however, is questionable - despite the company's exhortations that the technology can improve day-to-day reliability and, it is claimed, '[solve] common PC hardware problems before they can even occur.
Additional details, including a list of Durathon boards, is available on the company's official microsite