ECS N2U400-A nForce2 Mainboard Review (1)
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ECS is well known for its low costs mainboards. Lately they have been evolving into a high end manufacturer with the introduction of Photon series of mainboards which has a newer packaging. Although ECS is moving towards the higher end market, they have not forgotten users who prefer a lower cost mainboard that does the job well.
Late last year, we were surprised that ECS released this mainboard - ECS N2U400-A. It was quite a surprise as ECS has not released any NF2 mainboards before. After some initial investigations, I was told that this board will only appear in certain markets.
We tried our best to get the board and at last we found it in the retail market. We got hold of one and did this test for our readers who have requested a review of it since its launch date back in late 2003. Yes I know it might be a bit late, but I do this to fulfilled my promise to our readers.
At first glance, ECS N2U400-A looks like any plain old ECS boards we have seen so far. This board is extremely clear cut with the Socket A (with 4 mounting holes around it) located at the right hand corner of the mainboard. The North Bridge is mounted with a heatsink using double sided tape. The south bridge is a MCP (without -T). 3 RAM slots for Dual Channel DDR support. The BIOS is soldered onto the board which is not really a good idea because you would end up a dead board if you flash the BIOS wrongly.
The board comes with 6 channel audio supported using Cmedia 9379 Codec. The on board LAN is supported by the on board VIA VT6103L chipset. The rear panel has connectors for 1 x PS/2 keyboard & PS/2 mouse connectors 4 x USB ports, 1 x RJ45 LAN connector, 1 x Parallel port (LPT1), 1 x Serial port (COM1), 1 x Audio ports (Line-in, Line-out, Mic-in).
It is surprising as well to find that this board comes with 1 x 20-pin ATX Power Supply Connector & 4-pin 12V Connector. This is especially important for stability for high powered CPUs.
Lets check out the gallery for more
photos and BIOS features of this board.
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