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ECS KA1-MVP Extreme Xpress 1600 Motherboard Review

ECS KA1-MVP Extreme Xpress 1600 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Gaming knows no loyalties, and on paper ATI CrossFire looks quite solid. The technology ATi has developed is apparently pretty good if you can actually track down a Crossfire compatible motherboard and the elusive Crossfire master videocard.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ECS Apr 27 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ECS KA1-MVP Extreme

Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4, Conclusions

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
Albatron K8X890 Pro II (K8T890 200/400) 125.7
MSI RS480M2-IL (RS480 200/400) 110.4
Chaintech Zenith VNF4 Ultra (NF4 Ultra 200/400) 124.7
ABIT AN8 32X (NF4 SLI x16 200/400) 123.9
MSI K8N Diamond Plus (NF4 SLI x16 200/400) 127.5
DFI LANPartyUT NF4 SLI-DR Expert (NF4 SLI 200/400) 127
DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR (NF4 SLI 200/400) 126.9
ECS KA1-MVP Extreme (Rxpress 1600 200/400) 121.3

Overall the framerates are close enough that gamers wouldn't notice the difference between the various different platforms.

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
ABIT AN8 32X (NF4 SLI x16 200/400) 127
ECS KA1-MVP Extreme (Xpress 1600 200/400) 125.6

In the final benchmark of the day, the ECS KA1-MVP Extreme performs very well.

ATi vs nVIDIA All Over Again

ATi originally scoffed at the idea of running two high end videocards simultaneously, but nVIDIA certainly proved that users are willing to pay for it. To get a piece of that dual videocard pie ATi would first have to design its own motherboard chipset.

Its first dual videocard capable chipset is the CrossFire Xpress 1600, although you might also recognize it as the ATI Radeon Xpress 200.

After some growing pains, ATi now has a decent performing mainstream chipset and at an excellent price point too. With motherboards like the ECS KA1-MVP Extreme retailing for $131 CDN ($115 USD/£65 GBP), it's about half of what high end nForce4 SLI motherboards costs.

We've already outlined the ECS KA1-MVP Extreme's features in detail, so let's concentrate on what the benchmarks are telling us. The overall performance of the ECS KA1-MVP Extreme is quite comparable to nForce4 SLI offerings; it keeps up with motherboards like the DFI LANPartyUT NF4 SLI-DR Expert and ABIT AN8 32X in most of the benchmarks. The unit we tested was also a pretty good overclocker, reaching 305 MHz.

Still, on the whole we're left with the impression that the ATi CrossFire Xpress 1600 chipset is a good first attempt. I suspect ATi will build on this foundation and produce something that actually surpasses nVIDIA's solution eventually, but the company has some obvious work yet to complete on that front.

For the moment Crossfire is a bit of a pain to implement, and the utter lack of Crossfire master cards at reasonable prices is certainly not easing pressure. Left with the ECS KA1-MVP Extreme motherboard in the configuration we benchmarked it, ECS have a good board here that is remarkably affordable. The benchmark results tell you exactly what you're getting with the ECS KA1 MVP Extreme, so study them carefully.

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Motherboards News»

 

Contents of Article: ECS KA1-MVP Extreme
 Pg 1.  ECS KA1-MVP Extreme Xpress 1600 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Rear I/O Exhaust Fan / BIOS Backups
 Pg 3.  ATi CrossFire Xpress 1600 Chipset
 Pg 4.  It's a question of overclocking
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SYSMark2004
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: 3DMark06, FarCry, X3 Reunion, UT2004
 Pg 9.  — Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4, Conclusions

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