Looking over the results, we were absolutely impressed by this latest ECS Elitegroup creation. Not only did the C19-A SLI remain competitive throughout nearly all of the benchmarks, but the motherboard it was challenged against costs over twice its price and was powered by the Intel 955X + ICH7R combination. With this being our first examination of the NVIDIA C19XE + MCP51, we were certainly pleased with its Linux compatibility and performance -- especially after the tarnished experience with the nForce 410. Props do go out to ECS for having a motherboard that is largely compatible with present day Linux, and especially with the implementation of the IT8712F ASIC and its compatibility with LM_Sensors.
One of the key factors for this budget motherboard is that it does boast official NVIDIA SLI support; however, as could be seen from the performance numbers, the benefits under Linux in the gaming benchmarks are quite rudimentary. Windows ForceWare users should not experience any performance limitations with the ECS C19-A SLI when running Scalable Link Interface. The SLI downfalls we experienced are not isolated to this specific motherboard, and since NVIDIA's Linux and Solaris SLI launch just six months ago, the quality of this support has been relatively poor compared against the continual gains by the ForceWare display drivers. ECS Elitegroup though should not be to blame for NVIDIA's misfortunes with their Linux display drivers. Even so, for Linux users the C19-A SLI could prove to be a great budget choice to use now for a single graphics card, and then upon revamped SLI drivers, they could easily throw in another card to enable this support.
Selling at this time for approximately $85 USD, the performance-to-cost ratio for the ECS C19-A SLI v1.0A is among the best in the industry for Intel LGA-775 SLI motherboards. The motherboard is value-packed, and while it does not come with all of the bells and whistles that diehard enthusiasts would be after, such as IEEE-1394 Firewire, it does come with the necessary components to get the motherboard up and running. The destiny of the C19XE Chipset is to bring SLI to Intel users without spending excessive amounts on the motherboard, and the ECS C19-A SLI does just that. All in all, the C19-A SLI is a first-rate value motherboard from ECS with manageable overclocking abilities, and it definitely should be worth considering for your next Intel upgrade.
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Phoronix Product Rating: 8 / 10