The ECS P4VXAD Vs. The Azza P4X2AV - Page 2

The ECS P4VXAD -Vs.- The Azza P4X2-AV
Battle of the VIA P4X266s!

By, Marco Chiappetta
November 29, 2001





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 review accordingly.

Layout and Quality
This Ain't Your Momma's Mobo...


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...



Tags:  ECS, X2, AV, P4

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