ECS 945G-M3 and C19-A SLI Motherboards

Article Index

Our Thoughts & Conclusion

Benchmark Summary: When it comes to CPU, memory and disk performance, the entry-level ECS 945G-M3 and C19-A SLI essentially perform at the same level, matching the performance of the enthusiast-oriented Gigabyte GA-8I955X Royal. Although the 945G-M3 and C19-A SLI are geared towards different users, they offer equivalent performance in every aspect except gaming when they are equipped with the same components. The C19-A SLI was the top performer in our low quality gaming tests and is of course SLI capable.

ECS 945G-M3:
If you're looking for a solid, mainstream board with which to build a decent office machine or even an Intel Viiv-based media PC, then be sure to check out the 945G-M3. It offers a lot of value in a small and simple package, especially considering you should be able to find this board for less than $90 online. With its onboard GMA950 graphics, gigabit ethernet and high-definition audio, the 945G-M3 will easily meet most users needs as long as those users don't want to do any real gaming. 3D gaming will require the addition of a PCI Express x16 video card. For enthusiasts, one of the biggest downsides of this board is the lack of overclocking and voltage options in the BIOS.  Then again, this motherboard isn't targeted towards enthusiasts. Overall, the 945G-M3 is a simple yet competent board that has a lot of potential in the right environment. We award it a 7.5 on the Heat Meter.

  • Decent Layout
  • Competitive Performance
  • Good Price
  • Silent NB & SB Cooling
  • Onboard Graphics
  • Sparse Bundle
  • Very Limited BIOS

We were pleasantly surprised when SLI boards started aggressively competing price-wise in the mainstream segment. For a budget Intel-based SLI rig, the ECS C19-A SLI might be hard to beat at around $80. Many users won't even miss the extra features and bundled extras found in higher cost boards. When it comes to performance, the C19-A SLI should be able to keep up with any other Intel SLI board, even those that are twice its price. Although enthusiast-level boards do feature more BIOS options, the C19-A SLI has enough of the basics to help you get to the next level of performance if overclocking is your thing. The board proved to be stable and easy to work with. Additionally, it offers performance equivalent or better than that of 945G and 955X boards. The C19-A SLI's value is undeniable. We're giving it an 8 on the Heat Meter.

  • Inexpensive SLI!
  • Competitive Performance
  • Good Layout
  • Decent Overclocking Potential
  • Sparse Bundle

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