DFI's CS60EC i815EP Motherboard

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DFI's CS60EC i815EP Motherboard - Page 2

DFI's CS60-EC i815EP Motherboard
A little less is more...

By Jeff Bouton
March 22, 2001

Quality
Image is everything...

 

 The Layout

The over all quality of the CS60-EC is good.  All of the connectors are placed close to the edge of the board so when your cables are connected, there is little obstruction of air flow.  All connections and jumpers are clearly labeled so it isn?t necessary to have the manual handy when setting this board up.  All traces and solder joints are clean.   

With the CS60-EC, DFI has opted to provide 1 AGP, 1 CNR, & 5 PCI slots.  Unless your rig is jam packed with peripheral cards, 5 PCI slots should prove to be ample.  It also offers 3 fan headers, 1 for the CPU cooler, one for the AGP slot, and an additional one for a chassis fan.  We really liked the idea of powering the AGP fan off-board, which in theory should provide cleaner power to the video card, which is helpful when over-clocking.  The one thing that was disappointing though is that the AGP fan connector, as with all other manufacturers, is the same as the CPU and Chassis fan connector.  With all of the video cards that have moved through the labs at Hot Hardware, we have never seen a stock video cooler that uses this type of connector.  It would be nice to see video card manufacturers standardize their power plugs so we could take advantage of this feature.  Finding an adapter for this has proven difficult and we ultimately changed the plug using wire cutters and a soldering iron.  We would also like to see the position of the plug moved between the 1st PCI slot and the AGP slot.  Most fans included on AGP video-cards will not have ample length to reach a plug on the other side of the card. 

            

There are 15 capacitors located around the Socket 370 and 5 more near the RAM slots, this should provide a clean flow of current and prove to be stable.  Unlike many other boards we?ve seen in the past, the CS60-EC doesn?t place the capacitors close enough to the Socket 370 to interfere with mounting an oversized fan and heatsink.  We comfortably replaced our stock cooler with a larger unit from CoolMasters and had no difficulty with the capacitor placement.  Being the cooling fanatic that I am, it would?ve been nice to see an active cooler mounted to the chipset, however you can clearly see that there is plenty of room to add one later.

            

The CS60-EC has included extra USB connections on-board in case you wanted to add more ports to the system without sacrificing one of the rear ports for a hub.  We successfully used these connectors to add two more USB ports to the front of our test machine.  Unfortunately, DFI doesn?t include one of the necessary adapters with the CS60-EC. (We used one left over from a previous review) :)

All of the case connectors are clearly labeled and placed in a way that encourages the wires to lay clear of the board.  After making all of our connections, we easily bundled the slack in a neat and tidy package, keeping them from restricting any airflow from the chassis fan.

            

The same thinking was used with the placement of the drive connectors, allowing us to easily keep the data cables away from the board.

   

Setup and Installation
Easy as pie...

When it came to the installation of the DFI CS60-EC, everything went as smooth as could be.  We did have a problem when connecting a generic, powered 4-port hub though.  After installing the drivers and connecting a device, the entire system crashed requiring a complete reinstallation of Windows.  This wasn?t immediately clear at first but once the hub was determined to be the problem, we removed it and the installation went fine.  At this point we are unsure what incompatibility exists between the CS60-EC and this hub, we had no difficulty using this hub with a Tyan Trinity 400.

The BIOS, Over-clocking, and Performance

 
Tags:  Motherboard, S60, board, AR

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