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ECS PF5 Extreme

Michael Larabel

Published on 24 February 2006
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 11 - Comment On This Article

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.

Features:

Processor
· LGA775 socket for Intel Pentium 4 / Pentium D processor
· FSB 1066/800/533 MHz
· Support Hyper-Threading Technology

Chipset
· Intel 945P & ICH7R
· North Bridge: Intel 945P
· South Bridge: Intel ICH7R

Memory
· Dual-channel DDR2 memory architecture
· 4 x 240-pin DDR2 DIMM socket support up to 4 GB
· Support DDR2 667/533/400 DDR2 SDRAM

Expansion Slots
· 2 x PCI Express x16 slots
· 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
· 3 x PCI slots

Storage
· Supported by Intel ICH7R
-- 2 x Ultra DMA100/66 devices
-- 4 x Serial ATA2 devices
-- RAID0, RAID1, RAID0+1, RAID5 configuration
· Supported by SiI3132
-- 2 x Serial ATA2 devices
-- RAID0, RAID1& e-SATA configuration

Audio
· Realtek ALC880 8-channel audio CODEC

Firewire
· IEEE 1394a
· VIA VT6307, support 2x IEEE1394a ports

Dual LAN
· Marvell 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit LAN controller
· Realtek 8100C 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet controller

Contents:

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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