ECS KN1 SLI Extreme: SLI on a Budget

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Performance Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary:  When assessing overall performance, the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme proved to be quite competitive.  In the majority of tests, the KN1 SLI Extreme was on the same level as the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum SLI, a high-end enthusiast class motherboard.

The ECS KN1 SLI Extreme motherboard picks up where the original KN1 Extreme left off, adding SLI to the mix as well as fine tuning board design and several features along the way.  We were impressed to see that ECS took feedback on the original KN1 to heart and implemented changes to improve on an already good design.  Granted, not all issues were addressed, but keep in mind, this board is marketed as an affordable enthusiast board, so some options will need to be scaled back.  Case in point, the Top Hat BIOS recovery is not as elegant as integrating a second BIOS to the motherboard, but that would add to manufacturing costs.  Nonetheless, as a whole, ECS performed a good balancing act, offering a feature rich board with competitive performance and an affordable price.

Currently, the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme motherboard retails in the ballpark of $125, a mere $30 more than its non-SLI capable counterpart, the KN1 Extreme.  That's an attractive price for a motherboard with SLI, RAID, 8 channel integrated audio and Dual LAN.  Factor in that performance is on par with a high-end enthusiast motherboard such as the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI which retails closer to $160 and the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme should appeal to those on a budget.  The bottom line is, if you are looking for a solid board with decent overclocking and competitive performance at an attractive price point, the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme will not disappoint.  We give the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme a Hot Hardware Heat Meter rating of an 8.5.

_Overall Performance
_Affordable SLI
_Overall Features
_Improved RAID, AUDIO and BIOS options over KN1
_PEG Slot too close to DIMM hinge


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Tags:  ECS, sli, Xtreme, extreme, budget, XT, eme, BU, K, N1

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