ECS PF5 Extreme
ECS Elitegroup has been in the business of manufacturing motherboards since 1987, and was the first PC motherboard manufacturer to be listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Elaborating upon their motherboard heritage, ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) now offers graphics card, notebook, desktop, and peripheral products. At this time the folks at ECS Elitegroup have a vast array of motherboard solutions ranging from their popular KN1 SLI Extreme to older Socket 478 and A (462) products. The motherboard, however, we have our eyes on today is the PF5 Extreme. This Intel LGA-775 i945P + ICH7R motherboard boasts ECSonic II overclocking, dual channel DDR2-667, 1066MHz FSB, EM64T, and dual-core processors. In addition, the PF5 Extreme is home to a wealth of ECS exclusive features from the cooling accelerator to Doctor LED and Top-Hat Flash. With the motherboard in hand, we proceeded to perform our usual arsenal of Linux tests as well as studying its performance against that of two popular competitors -- Abit AW8 and ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2. Although the Intel 975X and 955X both supersede the 945P, the Lakeport part remains a viable candidate for many budget motherboards and a few enthusiast-oriented products.
The packaging checklist for the ECS PF5 Extreme include the actual ATX motherboard, user's guide, two driver/installation CDs, SATA power adapter, Top-Hat Flash, I/O shield, IDE and FDD ribbon cables, four SATA cables, one RJ-45 network cable, USB + IEEE-1394 expansion bracket, parallel port bracket, USB and IEEE-1394 front panel faceplate, and one eSATA cable. The motherboard packaging comes tricked out from Elitegroup Computer Systems with an over-sized container that is decorated with metallic paint and on the packaging, a majority of its features are listed. Opening the packaging, the motherboard is housed in an anti-static bag and separating it from the accessories is a cardboard container. The eSATA abilities with the PF5 Extreme are similar to ASRock's recent eSATA2 motherboard series; however, the ECS bracket simply extends the motherboard's SATA 2.0 ports to an available expansion slot.
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