THE ECS P4VXAD's BIOS:
If you scroll through
these screenshots, you'll no doubt see some familiar
images. The ECS P4VXAD is equipped with an Award
BIOS, similar to most other boards currently
available. We did not see anything out of the
ordinary while scanning through the ECS board's BIOS.
Here is what you'll find
under the "Frequency and Voltage" control menu.
You're able to select Front Side Bus Frequencies (FSB)
between 100 and 145MHz. in 2 or 3MHz. increments, but
there were no voltage tweaks to be found. ECS will be
sending us an updated BIOS shortly, if there are any
more FSBs or options available, we'll update the
Layout and Quality
This Ain't Your Momma's Mobo...
ECS P4VXAD's LAYOUT:
We physically inspected
the ECS P4VXAD before installing it into our test bed...
Mounted on the Northbridge,
we found a simple passive heatsink. The heatsink was
mounted with thermal tape and was easily removed. The
P4X266 runs so "cool" passive cooling shouldn't be an
issue. We touched the Northbridge after a few hours
of testing and it was just slightly warm. There is
nothing extraordinary to report with the external
connectors, they are just like every other board that is
equipped with on-board sound! The slot configuration
is decent, but we would have like to have seen a sixth PCI
slot in place of that next to useless CNR slot.
Placement of the internal
audio connectors and ATX power connector isn't ideal. In
their current location we had to drape the power and audio
cables directly over the CPU. One good thing to
point out though, is that you won't need a new Power
Supply or case if you go with the ECS P4VXAD. The
board only requires a standard ATX case and Power Supply
connector. The 4-Pin, 12-Volt, and 6-Pin, 5-Volt
power cables needed for most other P4 motherboards are not
necessary. The power array is very clean, laid out
between the socket and external connectors.
All of the case headers are
placed in a good position at the corner of the board, but
they were not labeled very well. There were a few
extra headers for USB connectors placed right behind the
PCI slots. Unfortunately, ECS didn't provide the
hardware to take advantage of these extra USB headers
though. IDE connector placement was good, mounted at
the edge of the board behind the DIMM slots, but the
floppy connector was located towards the bottom of the board,
mounted perpendicular with the edge. We would have
preferred it be located parallel to the edge, grouped
with the IDE connectors. Another slight
disappointment was the lack of fan headers. There
are only two on the entire board.
And I'm sure you've all
noticed the pink PCB! I'll probably take some heat
for this, but I think it looks great! Let's move on
to Azza's offering...
Let's See What Azza is up to...