Tuesday, August 9th 2011

ECS Intros Trio of AMD A-Series Ready Motherboards

ECS announced a trio of socket FM1 motherboards supporting AMD A-Series APUs. It includes an ATX motherboard targeting the home/gamer PC market, the A55F-A, a micro-ATX board targeting HTPCs, the A55F-M2, and another one targeting office desktops, the A55F-M3. Featuring in ECS Black Series, the A55F-A has just about all the goods to make up a budget gaming PC based on the A-Series APU. Budget gamers can start off with the integrated GPU (which is quite fast for 720p gaming), and then add discrete graphics cards. The extra room of standard ATX is wasted by three legacy PCI slots. There's plenty of connectivity, including USB 3.0, eSATA 6 Gb/s, five internal SATA 6 Gb/s, etc.

The A55F-M2 ticks all the checkboxes for an HTPC motherboard, one that doesn't rely on discrete graphics and yet has the resources for quality 1080p video playback. In this case, taking advantage of the powerful integrated GPU of AMD A-series, and HDMI 1.4a output (making it Blu-ray 3D ready). The HDMI port gives out 7.1 channel digital audio, or there's 6-channel analog audio to fall back on. All six SATA 6 Gb/s ports are internal, to run all the 3 TB hard drives you can afford to throw in. The A55F-M3 is a compact micro-ATX board with just about enough features to make for an office desktop based on the AMD A-Series APU platform. There's no fancy connectivity, there's SATA 6 Gb/s to support the latest hard drives and cheap SSDs in the future, analog D-Sub video output (not very future-proof), and bare essential connectivity.

Source: TechConnect Magazine
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6 Comments on ECS Intros Trio of AMD A-Series Ready Motherboards

If the A55F-A had switched the PCI-e x1 slots with the last two PCI slots and had 90º angled SATA ports (even though it's an odd-number of SATA ports), this last one request being a minor one, that board would have a great layout. Overall, those boards sound great.
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That is a sexy color scheme. Unfortunately, I've only had bad luck with ECS hardware...
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5 sata ports on the ATX one... oh please not again... damn!

I've owned an ECS GF8200A for 3 years now and can't complain.
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I sense one of these as a new HTPC in my future.
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Still waiting for some ITX motherboards. Whats up with the delay?
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Yukikaze said:
That is a sexy color scheme. Unfortunately, I've only had bad luck with ECS hardware...
An ECS employee posted on this site awhile back that they are trying to improve in the performance market. I have to say that the best performing AMD board I ever owned was an ECS.
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