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ECS Boards, Quality?

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February 27, 2008 4:46:12 PM

I've built several systems with ECS boards in the past and the failure rate seems to be the same as Gigabyte, MSI, etc. I'm just curious, what are your perceptions of the quality of ECS motherboards? Fry's ALWAYS includes them in their CPU/MOBO combo deals, is it just because ECS skimps on the features of the boards to cut costs or is the quality substandard?

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a b V Motherboard
February 27, 2008 5:06:57 PM

I had one (frys combo)... failed after 4 months.
I wont buy one of those again
February 27, 2008 5:08:19 PM

I have had great results from ECS boards. They work great for budget systems. Everyone I have had overclocks decently (no vcore control though) and have all lasted. I have one that is going on 7 months and one that is going on 2 years, both overclocked.

I have had to RMA one of them through newegg due to a power surge, but that went smoothly and wasn't really the board's fault. I have not actually had to deal with ECS directly, but their website is easy to navigate.
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February 27, 2008 5:19:18 PM

I have noticed the lack of vcore control on the ECS boards I have used as well. I was thinking about a $299.00 Q6600/ECS combo at Fry's but I might just spend the extra cash for an ASUS or GA-P35-DS3L.
February 27, 2008 6:25:32 PM

If you want serious overclocking, obviously, they are not the way to go. They weren't built for that. ECS boards are great in the right applications which is why it is important to research and pick the right board.
February 27, 2008 6:56:31 PM

I built my mother a system about 5 years ago with a ECS board to save some money it died after about 3 months, got a replacement from ecs second one lasted about 10 months and died again(and it was a pain in the butt to get ECS to replace it) Paid like $30 to ship it back to ecs for a replacement and the board was only worth $60. My brother also used one about 5 years back to save some money and his died after about 4 months. I had one in a system i built for myself about 5 years ago and it too died after about 4 months, which i replaced with a asus which im still currently using. My asus board that i got after the ecs has been problem free for close to 5 years.


I my self will never own/buy/or recommend another ECS board to anyone ever. there are nothing but junk. And dealing with ECS to get boards replaced under warranty is a pain in the butt.
a c 1163 V Motherboard
March 1, 2008 12:44:51 PM

K7S5A had it for 3 years no problems at all sold to make place for an upgrade. NF4-754A coming up on 3 years no problems at all and over clocks.
a b V Motherboard
March 1, 2008 1:25:25 PM

I have owned a few, no problems with them. They are for the budget minded. If you plan on overclocking, building to game, etc. you are probably better off not starting your build with an ECS board.
When you go to Frys to buy an ECS combo, just tell them that the combo is a great deal, but you want a better board with more features.
I have done this a few times and every single time they have let me pick out whatever board I wanted, and gave me a pretty good discount on it.
March 1, 2008 1:42:34 PM

They are okay unless you start doing something fancy. A friend of mine fried his during normal operation though. The 20 pin atx connector caught fire, the CPU fried and the RAM, well, it didn't look pretty.
March 11, 2008 1:59:43 AM

Curently own a KA3 MVP 1.0a, no problems yet and no areas of concern except one of my own demise, I have had several socket A mobos and all seem fine even one that is really old can't remember the model. I have had several K7S5A mobo's and only one had a bios issue.
March 11, 2008 2:41:39 AM

My origional build (9 months ago) had one. I had three seperate problems with it, ended up begging tigerdirect to exchange it for a 680i. Even if it worked, it looked and felt cheap. If you have any other option, take it.
March 12, 2008 2:11:14 PM

ECS's tech support is not the best in the market, and their bios updates are questionable, but the mobos from ESC look like just about every other PCB that past through my hands.

My main complaint on the KA3 is the fact the bios is soldered in place and not socketed what is up with that. If I ever have to replace the chip I will have to bring it to work and use my SMT tools.

I have a wide share of problems with other MoBo manufactures as well.
March 12, 2008 2:55:55 PM

ECS boards dont like it when you drop screws on them when they are running...

Just a reminder...
March 12, 2008 2:58:20 PM

I have a K7S5A that has been great for the past 5 years, and I built a AMD 1000 with an ECS board sometime around 2000 it it is still running. Everything has some lemons, but I have had good luck with ECS.
March 13, 2008 12:40:56 AM

I have to throw my hat in to the mix Ecs is a matter of luck I have had a ecs board free from frys that lasted 2 years and then one that didnt even boot up. Its a shot in the dark but they are cheap budget boards some work some dont you take the chance, sometimes it will pay off sometimes it wont.
March 13, 2008 1:13:25 AM

jitpublisher said:
I have owned a few, no problems with them. They are for the budget minded. If you plan on overclocking, building to game, etc. you are probably better off not starting your build with an ECS board.
When you go to Frys to buy an ECS combo, just tell them that the combo is a great deal, but you want a better board with more features.
I have done this a few times and every single time they have let me pick out whatever board I wanted, and gave me a pretty good discount on it.



Sorry I had to quote this and almost not laugh at you but at the quote itself, the people at the frys in california are freakin evil and dont want to help you. Their customer service sucks but they have good prices what can you do, you need your computer stuff. They would never let you choose another board like that in the frys in cali, in fact I tried to return a ecs board and they said I had to also return the cpu because it was a combo, but I paid for both so why do I have to return one to get the other ones money back. Frys is shady they also sell alot of returned motherboards as new without the discount sticker on it. They either claim that one of the employees opened it and its still good or that the box is just a little smashed beware.
March 13, 2008 1:46:29 AM

Back in 2001 or 2002 (cant remember well) I had an ECS k7s5a and the socket clip that holded the cooler just broke while the system was running, nearly destroying my highend (at the time) geforce 3 that was underneath. The cpu, an athlon xp 2000 died one week later even with new cooler (triple clip support) on it, so i dont know if the board damaged it somehow. Btw the cpu thermal sensor on the board died right after the clip broke.
Then i put on it a thunderbird 1.2 ghz and did crash all the time, but worked like wonders if it had overclock to 1.3ghz.
Weird board from ECS that was.
Oh, 512 Sdram did crash if used with athlon xp 2000, in contrary to what was told to me at the time.

Today im using a sk478 ECS mobo in my living room for my media center.
Works like wonders.

Confused now ? :D 
March 13, 2008 1:59:32 AM

mrgoodbar said:
...the people at the frys in california are freakin evil and dont want to help you. Their customer service sucks but they have good prices what can you do, you need your computer stuff. They would never let you choose another board like that in the frys in cali, in fact I tried to return a ecs board and they said I had to also return the cpu because it was a combo...


I haven't had the same experience, but then again, there are many different Fry's stores and many different employees at each store. I had a problem with the motherboard that came with the combo, and they took it back no questions asked (well, they did ask if I wanted to tell them why I was returning it, but that no answer was necessary) for store credit. I'd assume if you talk to a manager (or just some higher-level employee), you can get a CPU at the combo price (cheaper than buying the CPU alone) and a motherboard of your choice. If not, you can always return the motherboard back for store credit. Fry's has always been good to me when it came to returns.

I will admit that the lone Fry's store in Washington (state) had employees who were more helpful...
March 13, 2008 2:22:30 AM

I've own one ECS board and I will never buy another one again. Within a few months of owning it, it gave me tons of different issues (problems with the integrated LAN/sound, power issues, PCI issues). When I called their tech support to report the problems and hopefully get it RMAed. They offered little assistance and refused to RMA it. It ended up dying about a month or so later. I will absolutely NEVER buy another ECS product.
March 13, 2008 5:26:46 AM

ahmshaegar said:
I haven't had the same experience, but then again, there are many different Fry's stores and many different employees at each store. I had a problem with the motherboard that came with the combo, and they took it back no questions asked (well, they did ask if I wanted to tell them why I was returning it, but that no answer was necessary) for store credit. I'd assume if you talk to a manager (or just some higher-level employee), you can get a CPU at the combo price (cheaper than buying the CPU alone) and a motherboard of your choice. If not, you can always return the motherboard back for store credit. Fry's has always been good to me when it came to returns.

I will admit that the lone Fry's store in Washington (state) had employees who were more helpful...



Yeah frys in California is definately different. They treat their employess kind of mean I hear them yelling all the time at them. Washington people are less crazy than here in cali.

andytg7 said:
I've own one ECS board and I will never buy another one again. Within a few months of owning it, it gave me tons of different issues (problems with the integrated LAN/sound, power issues, PCI issues). When I called their tech support to report the problems and hopefully get it RMAed. They offered little assistance and refused to RMA it. It ended up dying about a month or so later. I will absolutely NEVER buy another ECS product.


Yeah but sometimes you are tempted to build for a budget build and save some money but at the end of the day it might not be worth it like you say. But sometimes they will build a good board like the K5 and if you get a good ecs board on a cpu combo deal it will save you lots of cash. Its really a shot in the dark but sometime sit will pay off.
March 14, 2008 2:47:04 AM

Actually the reason I went for the KA3 is the reveiws it got on newegg I had a wish list just for mobos and read thru all reviews on seven different boards. This is the first build using a somewhat current setup x86. The compatibility is decent and had little issues on boot and loading drivers and such, get this my hard drive carried over was what caused conflicts since I still am running a install of XP pro sp2 that is a year over on Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600 Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)" Windows directory created 3/07/07, last time defraged 3/14/07 defrag claims the volume doesn't need to.

My old seup was a Abit Nf7 2.0 with a AMD xp3200+ 400fsb with 4GB DDR400, Geforce 5950FX. The mobo stoped detecting CD-rom drives, the processor, and would revert DMA on the HDD only when the cd-rom drive were powered.

So far with a re-fit upgrade (mobo, ram, proc, video) I have no problems with my roms.



March 20, 2008 7:16:26 PM

I built another ECS budget gaming build last month, still running strong. It was an ECS 690G model. Paired with a 4200+@2.8Ghz and an X1650XT on a 19" LCD. It was a pleasure to work with and exactly what I expected from a sub $40 board.

I'll keep you guys updated, but I really haven't had a problem with ECS boards.

I think you guys are expecting too much for the money you put in.
March 22, 2008 9:47:36 PM

I have had my ECS board for about a year now however I only really started using it alot about 2 months ago. Its running my 4200+ no oc and hd3850 without a problem so far. But only time will tell.
March 22, 2008 10:23:37 PM

I built systems for people using ecs and biostar boards without incident. In fact the only problem i ever had was with a socket a k7s5a board, I ordered it from newegg, let it sit around for most of the spring and summer(was pursueing the fairer sex), and when i got bored i purchased a xp 2000 to finally built it and nothing happend when it was to post, fortunately i got deal on a nforece 2 ultra, with the sweetest onbaord sound ever. Kinda got off the subject, but yes ecs is a good brand.
March 22, 2008 10:45:00 PM

I've been running an ECS board for 2 years now and no problems... my previous 2 boards were ASUS though and got constant freezes and crashes with them and I thought ASUS was supposed to be reliable.
March 22, 2008 10:59:28 PM

Don't bother with Mystery Boards, too much hassle. Grab something decent, doing a teardown every 6 months to RMA something is no way to go.
a b V Motherboard
March 23, 2008 1:26:54 AM

Lord Gornak said:
I've built several systems with ECS boards in the past and the failure rate seems to be the same as Gigabyte, MSI, etc. I'm just curious, what are your perceptions of the quality of ECS motherboards? Fry's ALWAYS includes them in their CPU/MOBO combo deals, is it just because ECS skimps on the features of the boards to cut costs or is the quality substandard?


All motherboards can cop all sorts of issues, wether it be from environment (moisture), static from sources damaging components, poor construction (into a case etc), poor handling/transport, etc and ofrource selection of components (cheap chipsets, capacitors etc, cheap selection for the regulation set/stages etc).

ECS/Elitegroup/PCChips produces motherboards that under perform, contain cheap components, and poor flexibility, underlying issues etc

SiS and VIA chipsets are rubbish - theres the main issues with the motherboards, followed by there poor performance (timings, memory sub system if applicable), weaker manafacturing/build/construction of motherboards etc, and cheap selection of capacitors/regulators.

I will only ever buy ASUS and Gigabyte motherboards, only featuring Intel chipsets for Intel, or ATi/AMD for AMD rigs, no one else - nvidia is also a poor choice for most.

I will never touch anything or ever spend a cent on the likes of MSI, ECS/Elitegroup/PCChips, and a few others. Rubbish.
March 23, 2008 2:14:06 AM

If you can get a processor/ECS mobo combo from Fry's (I've seen them all the time too), and the combo costs $10 more than the processor itself, then there's something going on there. I've talked to some people and from what I've heard, they suck. Some people have good luck with them, but for the most part you want to stay away from them. They remind me of Rosewill... Gigabyte boards are good, and so are Asus . I've never had a Gigabyte mobo die on me, and they are reasonably priced. Not very many people disagree with me when I say Gigabytes are decent midrange boards.

In this case it would seem like motherboards can be like power supplies. Cheap board = cheap wiring, cheap capacitators, cheap transistors, etc, etc. Expensive board generally = better wiring, and quality parts. Like in cheap PSUs they use cheap Chinese capacitators that cause problems, and in a more expensive unit, more expensive Japanese caps are used.
Sometimes people can get they're cheap boards to work fine, and you might be lucky too, but to me it's just not worth the risk when you can just work a few extra hours and get a good one. Then you won't be up all night thinking, "Will my computer be running tomorrow when I wake up????" :p .
March 23, 2008 2:38:23 AM

Lord Gornak said:
I have noticed the lack of vcore control on the ECS boards I have used as well. I was thinking about a $299.00 Q6600/ECS combo at Fry's but I might just spend the extra cash for an ASUS or GA-P35-DS3L.

I have bought a few of those combo deals...I put the CPU in the car and go right back in and get store credit for the MB,and I cash in at a checkout window.

I end up with $40 off the regular store price for the CPU.

March 23, 2008 3:26:23 AM

Juglenaut got it...the biggest problem with ECS IMO is that if there is an issue with the BIOS, you could be waiting a long time for them to fix it. Budget off-brand products = poor tech support and infrequent driver and BIOS updates. It's not worth what money you'll save.
May 22, 2009 6:40:46 AM

jitpublisher said:
I have owned a few, no problems with them. They are for the budget minded. If you plan on overclocking, building to game, etc. you are probably better off not starting your build with an ECS board.
When you go to Frys to buy an ECS combo, just tell them that the combo is a great deal, but you want a better board with more features.
I have done this a few times and every single time they have let me pick out whatever board I wanted, and gave me a pretty good discount on it.



Which Fry's in California do you go to? I frequent the Fremont and San Jose stores and I have never encountered a helpful or generous sales associate who wasn't busy talking to his friends or running away from customers. The whole point of the Fry's cpu/mobo comb is to get rid of the low quality boards that the computer literate customers avoid. It's good to know that when I walk in to a Fry's that I'm smarter than most of the sales associate. It doesn't take much skill to read the specs on a box. If I wanted someone to do that I could easily do it myself. Still, I highly doubt that I can ask for a good discount on a motherboard selling for over $125. The only way I see it happening is if you know the sales associate or if he was "new". Hahaha.
a b V Motherboard
May 23, 2009 2:39:57 PM

Been using an ECS A780GM-A Black Series for 4 months now. No real complaints except for lack of controls over components in the bios. Seems like a pretty solid motherboard to me, though. You get what you pay for.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
August 19, 2009 3:05:30 PM

They're garbage. Anything made by ECS/Amptron/PC Chips burns easily. They lack the quality control that other companies like Gigabyte put into their boards. I have never had a bad Gigabyte board. I have thrown away over 20 ECS boards.
a b V Motherboard
August 19, 2009 9:22:53 PM

Quote:
They're garbage. Anything made by ECS/Amptron/PC Chips burns easily. They lack the quality control that other companies like Gigabyte put into their boards. I have never had a bad Gigabyte board. I have thrown away over 20 ECS boards.

A couple years ago I would have agreed 100% with you. I think ECS is getting their act together though with quality now. I am very happy with my current ECS mobo. Their customer service has also been pretty good whenever I had a question.
August 31, 2009 5:42:38 AM

I do not consider reliable any motherboard containing even a single substandard capacitor, but unfortunately all but the most expensive motherboards have at least a few low quality capacitors, typically for bypass filtering. Replace all the inferior capacitors with good ones, and the board can easily last a decade.

Current ECS boards should easily be better than their K7S5A and similar vintage boards, which were made with infamous G-Luxon brand capacitors.
August 31, 2009 5:47:19 AM

Quote:
They're garbage. Anything made by ECS/Amptron/PC Chips burns easily. They lack the quality control that other companies like Gigabyte put into their boards. I have never had a bad Gigabyte board. I have thrown away over 20 ECS boards.
I have repaired about 10 ECS boards, all for capacitor-related failures, including blown FETs and diodes.
October 6, 2009 1:06:30 PM

My experience with many different manufacturers is that they have good bds and bad bds. You get what you pay for!
I have had very good result with a specific ECS board ( KN3-SLI2) which was an exceptional board when introduced, one of the few at that time that supported x16 by x16 SLI, not x8 by x8 like so many others. Of course this was an expensive bd.
I have also seen both good results and bad results from Asus bds.
Just to be clear on these, so many people complain about overclocking abilities, I don't overclock. I don't advise people to overclock. As a reliability Engineer for 20 years I can tell you that no matter what the manufacturers tell you, overclocking will shorten the life of the product.
And contrary to the popular belief on this forum, PC's were not invented to play games, the fact is the the majority of pc's are for business purposes, and mostly any good motherboard will function as designed.
MB makers are in business to sell bds, they love it when you overclock cause they know you will need a replacement sooner than if you didn't overclock.
Basically, if you buy the highend bds from any manufacturer you should have good luck, buy an $75 MB and your results will suffer.
You get what you pay for!!!!
May 22, 2012 3:56:07 PM

I build two system with ECS Motherboard, one with G31 Chipset and another H61 Chipset, both are working satisfactory speed and found stable, but I think the Motherboard should make with better finishing and option for storage, connectivity etc.
a b V Motherboard
May 22, 2012 4:36:36 PM

As we know, ECS improve a lot in its quality like Nonstop Technology, Gold "4" ever, 15u Gold Contact, solid capacitor, alloy choke, etc. Right now, ECS offer its 99-hours replacement service to all the customers. Yes, ECS still has a lot of room to improve in this industry.
June 5, 2012 9:11:18 PM

ky_ecsusa said:
As we know, ECS improve a lot in its quality like Nonstop Technology, Gold "4" ever, 15u Gold Contact, solid capacitor, alloy choke, etc. Right now, ECS offer its 99-hours replacement service to all the customers. Yes, ECS still has a lot of room to improve in this industry.


Unfortunately, most ECS haters refuse to accept this fact, blindly dismissing even their newest boards. The same is also partially true with MSI.
a b V Motherboard
June 6, 2012 4:44:24 PM

Thank you for your opinion!
!