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ECS Black Series P45T-A

Intel P45: The New Chipset Lacks Progress
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With its latest Black Series product, ECS focused on providing great bang for the buck. The board is based on DDR2 memory and the ICH10R southbridge, so it supports RAID 5 on all six of its SATA 3 Gb/s ports as well. An additional JMicron JMB361 controller provides one eSATA port and an UltraATA/133 channel for legacy devices such as optical drives. The board comes with a plethora of overclocking features and a four phase voltage regulator. This is a fairly conservative move, especially in light of Gigabyte’s "virtual" 12-phase implementation on its EP45-DQ6 motherboard, but four phases is sufficient to run even a Core 2 Extreme Edition quad-core processor. However, ECS does not yet offer any power saving solutions like Asus, Gigabyte or MSI do.

The board does not come with a huge heat pipe solution, multiple network ports or sophisticated voltage circuits for the main memory. But it is still a fully featured P45 motherboard with quality components that delivers all of Intel’s features and provides great value for a mainstream user who isn’t going to overclock his or her system. It does offer two PCI Express 2.0 slots, which will run a pair of ATI CrossFireX-compatible graphics cards with eight PCIe 2.0 lanes each.

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