Approx Price: $160 CDN ($95
||Intel Pentium4 |
|Shared Video Memory
||2 Ultra/100, 2 Ultra/133|
||4x AGP, 1.5V Lock|
||6 32bit PCI's|
||10/100 Realtek 8100B|
||CMI 9738 5.1 AC'97|
||6 USB 2.0|
||2 Serial, 1 Parallel, IEEE
honestly unsure of what to expect from ECS's entry into this roundup. ECS have a
reputation of producing inexpensive, moderate performance motherboards that are
usually aimed at larger OEM manufacturers than consumers directly.
The L4IBAE is most definitely a consumer oriented
motherboard, and one with an impressive roster of features as well. In fact, it
managed to change our opinion of ECS quite a bit, and hopefully we'll be seeing
more examples along these lines in the near future. Anyway, getting back to the
L4IBAE, the board is one of the best equipped motherboards in the bunch;
supporting on board 10/100 LAN, on board 5.1 audio (software codec), IDE RAID and
even on board IEEE 1394 (Firewire)!
things off, it's also very expandable with six PCI's, three DIMM slots and a 4x AGP slot. Oh,
did I mention the cool looking purple PCB?
Overclockers are aware that ECS has never really geared
their products towards them, but it looks like this situation might be changing.
While the L4IBAE is hardly an "overclocking board" it at least has some options.
FSB adjustments are a little more difficult then that of other motherboards in
this roundup; going up in 2-10 MHz intervals from 100-199 MHz.
Amazingly enough, CPU voltage is adjustable all the way
up to 1.85V on a Northwood P4. There are no memory voltage tweaks, so hitting
high FSB's is pretty hard.
Testing the L4IBAE was interesting to say the least. The
board was very stable and didn't give us any problems, however we found that
with the CPU set to a 133 MHz FSB and the memory frequency set to Auto, the
memory would be running at 178 MHz!
Thanks to this, the L4IBAE was the best performing
motherboard of the whole roundup since it offered the most bandwidth to the
With all the on board features you'd expect the manufacturer
to include all the necessary cables to use those devices; but none came with the
L4IBAE. Since the extra USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 use headers, it's pretty hard to
track down those brackets in a local mom and pop computer store. In the end we
were able to find the USB 2.0 brackets but not the IEEE 1394.
don't plan on wasting your time with the endless persuit of more MHz, the ECS
L4IBAE is an excellent choice. At stock speeds, it's the fastest motherboard of
the bunch (thanks to the memory running at 178 MHz), and it's fully loaded to