ECS KN1 Extreme NF4 SLI Motherboard Review

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ECS KN1 Extreme NF4 SLI Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:59 am

Today we take the ECS KN1 Extreme SLI motherboard out for a spin. Looking at the specifications the board is based on NVIDIA's NF4 chipset and features SLI technology, so should we expect to see a solid motherboard if done right. ECS told us to expect more from this SLI board than the original KN1 Extreme. Read on to see the results.

With the release of the KN1 Extreme SLI, ECS has made a believer out of me. Featuring very good performance, a great bundle, and most importantly a great price, ECS has jumped headfirst into the mainstream motherboard market.


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Article Link: ECS KN1 Extreme NF4 SLI Motherboard Review
Pricing Link: Current Pricing
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Postby infinitevalence » Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:27 am

Man i really like the way this board looks, not litterely but in the performance to price world. SLI and decent OC for $115 is a total steal. Paired up with a 3200+ venice and some decent TCCD memory i can see one killer little gaming rig.
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Postby LVCapo » Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:19 pm

It's a decent board. The layout is the cleanest I've ever seen, the bundle is on par with every board outside of the DFI LANParty Series....the only issue I had with it is the lack of a chipset voltage adjustment. I was told by ECS' tech support people that the KN1 Extreme Series was their first attempt at a mainstream board and they are taking it slow to do it right.....so expect their next attempt to be even better.
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Postby -mogwai » Mon Oct 10, 2005 2:09 pm

great article, rich.

can't wait to see the next revision of this board. i've been contemplating getting rid of my pentium m and go venice.
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Postby gvblake22 » Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:51 pm

Yeah, it was a very good article indeed.
But, of course, I have to post a few of my questions/comments.

1) Do the LED's on the PCI slots really blink all the time if there is no card installed?! That seems a little unnecessary and it would probably get annoying if you had a case with a window and a clear view of the PCI slots... What were your observations of this board in action capper?

2) I don't think you mentioned it, but I really like how the CMOS battery is installed vertically. It seems it would make for a very easy removal and return of the battery when you need to clear the CMOS and reset the BIOS.

3) I also really like the fact that ECS has made an SLI board available that is nice and cheap. It really helps to shave a little more off the price premium of an SLI setup!

4) That chipset cooler does look pretty wimpy. I wish ECS would have gone the extra mile for a better chipset cooler, but I guess when you are trying to make a budget board with as many features as possible, you have to cut some corners here and there.

5) I also like what they did with the "Top Hat Flash" feature!

And my final comment is pretty minor/petty, but just my personal preference, could you guys maybe not use the "3D" style bar charts? It is more difficult to see minor differences in the 3D style charts vs the traditional "boring" 2D charts. I know it's very minor, and when you need to look at differences that are that close, it probably doesn't even matter anyway, but it's just a personal preference that since you are not trying to display 3 dimensional data, you shouldn't try to use a 3 dimensional chart.
But still good info and a great review! :mrgreen:
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Postby LVCapo » Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:30 pm

Geez you are picky.....lol.
1. The slots do blink all the time, but it isn't that bad. I thought it would be annoying as well, but you hardly notice it.

2. I didn't mention the CMOS battery, because at least to me it isn't a feature, and nothing to focus on. It does take up lwess area on the board, but doesn't change the performance at all.

3. It is a really nice board, and if you are not into overclocking, it is a wise choice.

4. The chipset cooler is flimsy, I'd say on par with the DFI Infinity board, but then again, if you don't plan on overclocking (and the lack of a chipset voltage adjustment definitely will limit that) then they could have even giotten away with passive cooling.

5. I was reading the other day that they have stopped making the "BIOS Savior", which should make things like the TOP Hat feature even more popular until the new BIOS replacement starts coming out in force.

I actually like the default chart that open office uses, almost a 3-D effect, but in the end it really doesn't matter much. I already spend too much time trying to set up and alter charts and graphs.... all for very minimal differences sometimes.....as plain as I am I would be happy with a spread sheet that simply puts the numbers out there.
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Postby gvblake22 » Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:51 pm

hehe, I wasn't trying to be picky, I was just making some comments and pointing a few things out :)
Thanks for the reply though :)
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Postby SAMSAMHA » Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:34 pm

the board looks awfully simple and clean, which is quite amazing in my opinion.

it's strange that there's a 4 pin molex power connector on the board (just next to the pcie slot).
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Postby LVCapo » Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:41 pm

SAMSAMHA wrote:the board looks awfully simple and clean, which is quite amazing in my opinion.

it's strange that there's a 4 pin molex power connector on the board (just next to the pcie slot).



actually it isn't uncommon....the DFI NF4 SLI has the same thing, just in a different spot, the ASUS P5WD2 Premium does also, the DFI NF4 Infinity and a few others have the 4 pin floppy type connector on them......
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Postby SAMSAMHA » Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:50 am

AHA. I found it odd because i have old mobo I guess and never seen it. Wha'ts the use for this connector on the mobo? what does it power? pcie?
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Postby bubba » Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:43 am

was wandering that my self.
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Postby Apoptosis » Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:47 am

They have them on Intel boards also. On Intel reference boards I was told to use it if I didn't have the extra 4-pin 12V power header (the square one) on my power supply. Rich talked with DFI and they told him to use all the power headers on their boards. This means the 24-pin power header is fully used and so is the 4-pin molex connector by the PCIe slots. I'm not sure on the ECS boards though.
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Postby LVCapo » Tue Oct 11, 2005 6:46 pm

The extra power connectors (some boards have a 4 pin molex, some a floppy like 4 pin power connection) are there to add stability to the boards voltage.
I always thought they only needed to be used when using a pair of cardas in SLI, but after checking with several sources at different board makers I was told that they are not there for looks.... all power connectors need to be attached.
Last edited by LVCapo on Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SAMSAMHA » Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:56 am

interesting. So it increases the stability of the system then. I guess it supplies more power than the 24pin supplies.
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Postby LVCapo » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:08 am

SAMSAMHA wrote:interesting. So it increases the stability of the system then. I guess it supplies more power than the 24pin supplies.


I wouldn't say that, I would simply say that it adds stability to the system. I have seen various articles saying that its only needed on SLI systems (I have only seen it on SLI boards and 955 boards, which I hear will soon support SLI and crossfire) But I have also seen where it is recommended to always use it, regardless of the configuration, as it makes sure the board has all the juice it needs.
The best thing i can say is read the manual, if the manual tells you to hook something up, it probably does that for a reason.
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