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NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra Shootout : ECS KN1 Extreme
By Zachary Chan
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Thursday, 26th May, 2005

ECS KN1 Extreme (The Good)

The KN1 Extreme came in a purple PCB with its most distinguishable feature being a large green exhaust duct at the rear of the board. The duct covered most of the board's crucial power capacitors in an effort to help cool these components. A fan within the duct regulates hot air out of the casing and works along the same concept as ABIT's OTES cooling, which we just saw on the Fatal1ty AN8 featured before. One of the good things about the duct on the KN1 Extreme is that it wasn't intrusive and didn't hinder CPU cooler operation. While it is a removable component if you don't require it, a little extra cooling never hurt anyone. ECS has also slapped on a humongous cooler onto the nForce4 Ultra MCP which may seem overbearing, but luckily did not interfere with any other components at the moment.

The ECS KN1 Extreme features an active rear exhaust duct for additional cooling.

The KN1 Extreme was the first board in our shootout to feature an additional storage controller. The SiS 180 onboard provides users with two extra SATA ports and one dual channel Ultra ATA connector. The SiS 180 is also capable of setting up a RAID array but it is only a first generation SATA controller running on the PCI bus.

The SiS 180 ASIC seen here provides additional SATA and IDE channels. A large ECS Extreme plaque graces the board.

ECS has provided an interesting bundle with the board, which included a decent supply of IDE and SATA cables and brackets with both FireWire and USB ports. The package even included an RJ-45 CAT5 LAN cable. We also noticed the inclusion of a USB Wireless LAN dongle and loved how ECS provided an extra cradle, which extends the range and convenience of setting up a wireless antenna. Before, you get all excited though, we found out that both dongle and cradle were only optional components and it could likely be region specific (dependent whether these products get certified in the region of sale).

Portable USB IEEE 802.11g WLAN dongle.

Both USB Wireless LAN adapter and cradle are optional components and not bundled by default (region specific).

The ECS KN1 Extreme came with the following overclocking options:-

  • FSB Settings: 200MHz to 250MHz
  • RAM Frequency: DDR200, DDR266, DDR333, DDR400
  • CPU Voltage Settings: +25mV to +375mV (in 25mV steps)
  • Memory Voltage Settings: 2.55V to 3.11V (in 0.08V steps)
  • Multiplier Selection: Yes (unlocked CPUs only)

    ECS manages to cram quite a lot of components into the rear panel including the serial and digital audio ports. However, there is barely enough space for basic analog output.
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