When we think about ECS and their product lines, we typically expect a budget-minded approach. Solid products at reasonable prices that don't exactly wow the consumer, but don't hit them hard in the wallet either. The ECS X48T-A motherboard that we looked at a few weeks ago was one of the first steps by ECS to change that image, although a few missteps with the construction as well as some overclocking issues didn't overly sway us to their new way of thinking.
Thus, we were a bit surprised when we first heard about the ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra - a twin pack of high-end graphics cards consisting of two GeForce 9800 GTX+ cards combined with liquid-cooling. The 9800 GTX+ is the upper level of the 9xxx series, with the plus denoting an extra bump in the clock speeds to get better peformance in the most demanding applications. Two of these used in an SLI configuration would be a gamer's dream, although the noise and heat output could be an issue. ECS has solved these problems by providing the customized liquid cooling unit from ThermalTake using the BigWater 760is. ECS hopes to make a big splash here with the Hydra pack, possibly the first of its kind to include all three components in one box. First, we'll take a look at the specs of the GeForce 9800 GTX+ and then move onto a closer look at ECS' take on it and finally the BigWater 760is.
ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra Kit