ASUS M2R32-MVP vs ECS KA3 MVP Extreme: CrossFire Xpress 3200 Shootout

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ECS KA3-MVP Extreme Specifications And Bundle

ECS KA3-MVP Extreme Specifications
Specifications
CPU
Socket AM2 with AMD Athlon 64 FX/ Athlon 64/ Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core/ Sempron processor
Support for 64-bit extended operating systems
Support transfer rate of 2000/1600/1200/800/400 mega-transfers per second.
Highly overclockable and robust Hypertransport interface

CHIPSET
ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200
North Bridge: ATI RD580
South Bridge: ATI SB600

MEMORY
Dual-channel DDR2 memory architecture
4 x 240-pin DDR2 DIMM socket support up to 32GB
Support DDR2 800/667/533/400 DDR2 SDRAM

EXPANSION SLOT
2 x PCI Express x16 slots
1 x PCI Express x1 slot
2 x PCI slots

STORAGE
Supported by SB600
-- 2 x Ultra DMA133/100/66/33 device
-- 4 x Serial ATA2 devices
-- RAID0, RAID1, RAID10 configuration
Supported by JMB363
-- 2 x Ultra DMA133/100/66 devices
-- 2 x Serial ATA2 devices
-- RAID0, RAID1& RAID 0+1 configuration
-- Support NCQ&eSATA & Hot plug&Port Multiplier

AUDIO
Realtek ALC883 8-channel audio CODEC
IEEE 1394a
VIA VT6308P support 2 x IEEE1394a ports
DUAL LAN
Agere E1310I Gigabit LAN controller
Realtek 8100C 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet controller


REAR PANEL I/O
1 x PS/2 keyboard & PS/2 mouse connectors
4 x USB ports
2 x RJ45 LAN connectors
1 x Serial port (COM1)
1 x Audio port (Line-in,4x Line-out, Mic_in)
2 x Digital SPDIF (Optical & Coaxial) out

INTERNAL I/O CONNECTORS & HEADERS
1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V connector
1 x Auxiliary 4-pin +12V connector
2 x IDE connectors
1 x FDD connector
6 x Serial ATA connectors
1 x Speaker header
1 x IrDA for SIR header
2 x 1394a headers
3 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 6 USB ports
1 x Front panel switch/LED header
1 x Front panel audio header
CD in header
1 x 26-pin LPT header
CPU / Chassis FAN headers
1x CPUFAN/1x SYSFAN/3x CASFAN connectors

SYSTEM BIOS
Award BIOS with 4Mb Flash ROM
Supports Plug and Play 1.0A, APM 1.2, Multi Boot, DMI
Supports ACPI revision 1.0 specification

FORM FACTOR
ATX Size 305mm*244mm

The retail bundle of the ECS KA3 MVP Extreme was a bit more complete than the ASUS M2R32-MVP.  For starters, the User's Guide was very thorough, covering all features of the board, installation of hardware as well as BIOS options and CD contents.  There were some rather prominent typos, like the section that explains "how to setup CrossFile graphics cards".  Typos aside, however, ECS made a solid effort to eliminate any guess work when setting up and using the KA3 MVP Extreme.  The Software CD included the necessary drivers for all of the main boards hardware components, along with bonus software, with the main highlight being InterVideo's WinCinema, which consists of WinDVD Creator Plus, WinDVD and WinRIP

   

The hardware complement in this package was very good, offering much more in the data cabling department.  ECS includes data cables for both a CD-ROM and IDE Hard Drive as well as a legacy FDD cable.  Additionally, four SATA cables are provided along with a Molex to dual SATA power adapter.  ECS also threw in a network cable, which was a nice touch as was the IEEE1394/USB bracket that could be rear mounted or adapted to a 3.5" drive bay.  Since the board doesn't come with a parallel port on the rear console, ECS includes an expansion bracket which mounts to an onboard header if needed.  Rounding out the kit was a Top-Hat BIOS chip which can piggy back the onboard BIOS chip if it ever fails, restoring it if a bad flash occurs.  While it may not be quite as elegant as having a second chip integrated, it works when needed, as long as you don't misplace it.


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