Page 8: ECS
aka: EliteGroup and PC Chips. Both of these brands are made by ECS. ECS is one of the top selling motherboards around. They have been making boards for quite some time and produce the boards for a few other companies, like Shuttle. They do not design their boards though, which is the major difference.
ECS boards are not the top performer, they are actually around the bottom on average. These boards are geared to sell to anyone, and most people don't check performance. Since the company seems to churn out a new board for each chipset, I'd guess they have little time for optimizations.
Even though ECS boards are somewhat stable now, compared to the competition, they are far below average. People wanting to save a buck on their home systems often use these because they are good enough.
ECS boards by default have no good overclocking options, there are overclocking bioses which bring the board up to "poor" overclocking levels. The boards themselves overclock better than the bios implementation, but that still isn't great.
These boards are among the cheapest around. Some lower than I've seen anything before. This can lead to extremely cheap PCs in the home made by anyone, and put together in small stores as a barebones PC.
ECS boards have few features, occasionally you'll find a NIC, or a very cheap version of onboard sound. You also won't the option of adding components. They are very plain.
ECS has a bad history. Their boards are not stable, and often have many problems with compatibility. The worst part about the boards, and still continues to be a problem is just low quality. Boards arrive DOA often, and more often just die after being used for a bit. The price might make up for it, but to me, its not worth the hassle.
The ECS webpage is well laid out for support. Everything you need is there, but stories of their e-mail support is not so great. Most people don't even bother after the first try anymore. Their webpage also does not work with Opera, so they lose 1 point, as that is extremely unprofessional.
Products Worth Mentioning:
The ECS K7S5A is one of the cheapest boards I've seen anywhere, and while there were a lot of RMAs, and a lot of issues with it, its a nice attempt to open up the market.
Overall Rating: 3.3/10 If you are cheap, and can't spare a buck, then ECS might be for you. Its a gamble, as you can receive a dead board and end up paying more for shipping, or the board just might crash like crazy with you config, but you could be a lucky one (when's the last time you won the lottery)
<center><A HREF="http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click?siteid=39482919&bfpage=ase_labs_gs&bfmid=19187551&Operator=2&linkin_id=2041882&keyword=ecs" TARGET="_top">Find the Best Prices on ECS Motherboards</a></center>