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As the second slim microATX board in today’s roundup, ECS’ A75F-M2 isn’t really slim on features. Two of the chipset’s four USB 3.0 ports are relocated internally for front-panel output, leaving a two-DIMM limit and the absence of DVI as its only connectivity shortcomings.
The A75 FCH has USB 2.0 aplenty, so ECS fills the back panel with eight of those ports.
Analog audio is limited to three jacks, but that’s enough to connect a 5.1-channel speaker system to the rear panel with headphone and microphone access on the case.
The combination of VGA and DVI display outputs seem to be optimized for home theater systems, but like ASRock’s effort, the ECS A75F-M2 also adds commercial-duty serial and parallel port headers. Front-panel USB 3.0 separates these two products, as does the top position of PCIe x16 that allows it to more easily fit the riser cards of some low-profile cases.
Two of the A75F-M2’s SATA 6Gb/s ports face forward, allowing the cables to slip under any long graphics card. The other four point outward to avoid conflicts with nearby drive bays.
Though its $73 online price qualifies this as a budget-oriented product, the A75F-M2 has the same number of SATA cables as the upper-range Asus F1A75-M Pro. That’s more of an indictment of the pricier product than it is praise for the cheaper product, though.
ECS’ overclocking options fit onto a single UEFI menu and focus primarily on memory. There simply isn’t enough here to justify an extra firmware-oriented page in this comparison, though memory data rates up to DDR3-1866 certainly boosts the graphics performance of the Llano APU.