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ECS 945G-M3 Motherboard Review

ECS 945G-M3 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The brand spanking new ECS 945G-M3 motherboard is one of the first generation Intel VIIV compatible boards to be touted as such.
 77% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ECS Apr 12 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ECS 945G-M3

Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4

Doom 3 Source: id Software

Doom 3 is the most advanced game to date. it takes advantage of the latest videocard technology and pushes the processing power of the CPU to its absolute limit. At its highest setting, Ultra quality, texture sizes pass the 500MB mark which means even tomorrow's videocards will have a hard time running everything. The frame rates in the game itself are locked at 60 fps so anything above that point is wasted. Each test is run three times with the third run being recorded.

Doom3
LQ 640x480: FPS Ranking
Foxconn 955X7AA-8EKRS2 (955X 200/667) 96.9
Foxconn 945P7AA-8EKRS2 (945P 200/667) 94.3
MSI P4N Diamond (NF4 SLI 200/800) 97.3
Epox 5NVA+ SLI (NF4 SLI 200/800) 96.2
Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 (NF4 SLI 200/800) 95.9
ECS C19-A SLI (NF4 SLI XE 200/800) 97.8
ECS 945G-M3 (945G 200/667 GMA950) 13.2
ECS 945G-M3 (945G 200/667 7800GTX) 97.6

Doom 3 framerates with a GeForce 7800GTX-class PCI Express videocard installed are just as good as the rest of the reference platforms. Just because a motherboard comes with onboard graphics, doesn't necessarily mean you're stuck using it if you desire a small, fast, gaming machine.

Quake 4

Source: id Software

Quake 4 is the latest shooter from ID and is based on the Doom 3 engine. Tweaked to for more eye candy, Quake 4 promises to be tougher on videocards and systems than its predecessor was. Quake 4 also does not have a 60 fps limiter like Doom 3, with the Ultra setting, graphic textures can surpass the 500MB mark! Each test is run three times and with the third run being recorded.

Quake 4
LQ 640x480 FPS Ranking
ECS C19-A SLI (NF4 SLI XE 200/800) 116.4
ECS 945G-M3 (945G 200/667 GMA950) 23
ECS 945G-M3 (945G 200/667 7800GTX) 115.4

Quake 4 results with the onboard Intel GMA950 videocard are pretty poor... but then again it's onboard video right? With the GeForce 7800GTX installed framerates are very high and sweet.

Experts Tip: Socket 775 Pins And Fingers

If you haven't heard, the latest generation of socket 775 Pentium 4/D/XE processors are pinless. The 775 contact pins are now found on the motherboard. While the pins are very pretty to look at, it is vital that they never be touched with anything other than the Intel processor itself. The slightest force from a foreign object can damage the fragile pins, effectively making the motherboard useless. If you are not sure how to install a Socket 775 processor, take the time and check page 14 of the ECS 945G-M3 manual or consult your local computer expert.


Resist the urge to touch..

Comments and Feedback? Suggest a Tweak.

Conclusions: MicroATX sweetness?

Computers and the way people use them are evolving. Probably the thing that makes a computer entertainment system so appealing is the flexibility it offers. Should your needs evolve in the future, there is no need to buy another component, rather just change the software. And viola that HTPC is now an audio station, or workstation PC rather than one used to watch movies.

There are a lot of complete Intel VIIV systems on the market but nuts to that, the enthusiast wants to put together their own machine right? The Micro-ATX ECS 945G-M3 motherboard would be an excellent choice and it packs plenty of power in that small package.

With a retail price of $106 CDN ($93 USD/£53 GBP) the motherboard will not break the bank and allows money to be invested in other areas. This Intel 945G based motherboard performs well in office oriented benchmarks, which really highlights how little videocard you need in an office PC, contrary to what employees will tell you! The overall performance of the ECS 945G-M3 motherboard was very good in benchmarks. That means a system using this board is not only a good entertainment machine, it can also be used in more conventional circumstances. It keeps up with boards like the MSI P4N Diamond and Foxconn 955X7AA-8EKRS2 which is pretty impressive considering those motherboards are twice the price. The Intel GMA950 graphics card is not cut out for 3D graphics and gamers need to make use of that PCI Express x16 slot and quick.

Ultimately, the ECS 945G-M3 is a good mainstream microATX motherboard on the whole. As a workstation PC or the basis for a home theatre PC, the 945G-M3 has a lot of potential; so long as the right components are paired with it. Intel GMA950 integrated graphics will cut it for 2D web and office work, but if you're serious about graphics-oriented video outputs or basic gaming, invest in a PCI Express graphics card.

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Motherboards News»

 

Contents of Article: ECS 945G-M3
 Pg 1.  ECS 945G-M3 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  BIOS and Overclocking Options
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: SYSMark 2004
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: 3DMark06, FarCry, X3 Reunion, UT2004
 Pg 7.  — Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4

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