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ECS PF88 Extreme Hybrid Intel/AMD Motherboard Review

ECS PF88 Extreme Hybrid Intel/AMD Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The ECS PF88 Extreme Hybrid motherboard, in the configuration pictured, works with either a socket 775 Intel Pentium 4 or socket 939 AMD Athlon 64 processor.
 87% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ECS Sep 06 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ECS PF88 Extreme

Wireless 802.11G USB Adaptor

Wireless networking has exploded in terms of popularity and wireless networks are popping up everywhere. At the PCStats test labs I can detect eleven wireless networks (three of which have no security) and at home there are fourteen! It's nice that ECS recognizes this and include a wireless USB 802.11g network adapter along with the PF88 Extreme Hybrid motherboard.

Along with the small USB wireless network adapter is a docking port which is 182cm (six feet) in length, very handy since it allows users to place the wireless USB NIC in a higher position which should improve the network signal. Also considering how cluttered the back of the PC gets, it's nice to move the NIC elsewhere and not simply add to the confusion.

The USB NIC uses the ZyDAS ZD1211 USB chipset, and according to ZyDAS the chipset is 802.11a/b/g compatible although ECS and the accompanying utility only lists 802.11b/g. Installation of the ZD1211 USB wireless network card was very easy; simply plug it into the USB slot or docking port and the computer will detect a new piece of hardware. Install the driver and accompanying software via the driver CD and you're set.

By default the ZD1211 supports WEP64, WEP128, WEP256 as well as the more advanced WPA form of wireless encryption. If desired, a user could also use the wireless network card as an access point or bridge to extend the size and range of the network. Currently only Microsoft operating systems (XP, 2000, ME and 98) are officially supported, but there are open source driver projects for alternative operating systems.

You can choose to use the Microsoft built in utility or the software that installs with the network card. The Wireless LAN configuration tool gives users a lot of information; you can see the various wireless networks in your area as well as their signal strength and the strength of your current connection

When we click the 'More...' button on the first menu we get this window. From here we can set/change the WEP or WPA encryption settings as well as set wireless profiles which make things easy should you connect to many wireless LANs.

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Contents of Article: ECS PF88 Extreme
 Pg 1.  ECS PF88 Extreme Hybrid Intel/AMD Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Onboard Features and Options
 Pg 3.  The SIMA Daughtercard
 Pg 4.  — Wireless 802.11G USB Adaptor
 Pg 5.  The SIS 656 and SIS 756 chipsets
 Pg 6.  Overclocking both Intel and AMD
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: SYSmark2004 Intel
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: SYSmark 2004 AMD
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Winbench 99
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: PCMark04
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001
 Pg 14.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05
 Pg 15.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat
 Pg 16.  Benchmarks: UT2003
 Pg 17.  Benchmarks: UT2004
 Pg 18.  Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 19.  Versatility is the key to the ECS PF88 Extreme!

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