ECS D6VAA DualCPU VIA Powered Motherboard - HotHardware

ECS D6VAA DualCPU VIA Powered Motherboard

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The ECS D6VAA Dual-CPU VIA Powered Motherboard
Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun...

By, Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta
July 26, 2001

THE BIOS:

The D6VAA is equipped with an Award BIOS, we're sure you've all seen something that looks like this before...

               

               

              

The BIOS is fairly complete, but we feel it's missing two important settings.  User's who have experience with boards powered by the Apollo Pro 133A chipset know the importance of 4-Way interleaving.  4-Way interleaving is a memory tweak that usually provides significant performance gains.  The D6VAA's BIOS does not allow users to toggle this feature on an off.  There was also no voltage tweaks available.  Earlier revisions of the D6VAA had the ability to adjust core voltage for each CPU individually, but for some reason this feature was not present on our revision 1.1 D6VAA's default BIOS.  A quick check of ECS's site though revealed a service BIOS was available that does in fact allow voltage adjustments for each CPU independantly.

Layout and Quality
Not Too Shabby.

THE LAYOUT:

As usual, we gave the ECS D6VAA a thorough physical inspection before mounting it in our test system...

               

The D6VAA ships with a decent heatsink mounted to the Northbridge.  During heavy load, the Northbridge can generate a good amount of heat, so we would have liked to have seen active cooling on the Northbridge, but in a properly ventilated case a heatsink alone adequate.  The board is outfitted with 1 AGP slot, 5 PCI slots and 1 CNR slot.  We prefer a 6 PCI slot configuration, but considering the D6VAA already has on-board sound and RAID, 5 PCI slots is plenty.

               

All pertinent connectors are well placed and clearly labeled.  The Audio connectors are not in the way of any slots and the headers for the case connectors are at the edge of the board where we like them to be.  The only thing we didn't like was the inverted IDE RAID connectors.  Having these connectors oriented this way could hinder airflow from the intake fan in many tower cases if the cables are not neatly bundled and tied down.

         

The connectors for the on-board IDE channels and floppy controller are placed in a much better location at the front edge of the board.  There is ample room around the CPU sockets to mount most popular coolers (we had two GlobalWin WBK38s installed on our system), and the ATX power connector is in the perfect location at the top edge of the D6VAA.

Time For Some Numbers...

 

 

 

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