PC Chips Any Good??

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Postby Mr T » Sat Nov 30, 2002 8:03 am

:D lol, it never tested me but your right :lol: I just find it odd that I have returned more boards from the 'premier' companies, esp ASUS, Iwill and MSI :evil: :!: :!:
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Postby Pette Broad » Sat Nov 30, 2002 3:12 pm

Have had several PCChips boards and the problems I've had are too numerous to be listed here. However, I still have an ancient M729 which I bought in August 98 that has run for an average of 12 hours a day since I got it. Hasn't given me any problems at all. The only thing about this board, and all PCChips boards in general is that the floppy drive controller is so slow that it doesn't support Travan tape drives.

Cheers,

Pete.
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Postby evasive » Sun Dec 01, 2002 12:25 am

Asus, Iwill and MSI seem to be cutting corners lately. It is not doing any good to the quality of their boards.

Soltek as an alternative...
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Postby Mr T » Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:33 pm

Soltek - I must be unlucky, got 6(cannot remember board type, but was socketA) RMA'd 5 straight away due to bad BIOS chips, 6th one in a mates computer, constantly locking up (tried everything I know to no avail).... tends to put you off a brand....I did notice GIGABYTE were cutting corners until some of the newer GA-7 series boards appeared , much improved!
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Postby Hockeyfan6781 » Sat Dec 21, 2002 1:13 am

I thought most "oem" manufacters use either a custom intel or FIC board, am i wrong???
Abit IS7 Motherboard
Pentium 4 3.0Ghz 800mhz FSB
Creative labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2zs gamer
ATI X800 Pro 256
300GB Maxtor HD 7200rpm
NEC 16x DVDRW
16X Liteon DVD-Rom
Antec 1035B Case
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Postby Broken Helix » Wed Dec 25, 2002 9:53 am

Well, saw this thread and had to register! :D

There's been some debate/confusion on ECS & PC-Chips being the same company. I believe that they are NOT the same company, but do have a working relationship with each other to a degree. That relationship pretty much boils down to "What? PC-Chips is going to give us THIS much money to design boards with THESE specs?!? No problem!!"

I had the unfortunate experiance with a PC-Chips board a LONG time ago. It was one of their "VxPro" monstrosities. As a result of this bitter experiance, I made damned sure to investigate PC-Chips as thoroughly as possible in order to lessen the likelihood of being suckered again.

So what was so bad about my old "VxPro"?

Oh, nothing big...just 512KBs of Pipe-Lined Burst PLASTIC broke off the board after a small screwdriver slippage whilst installing a Monster3D. Yes, I thought it was actual CACHE...but no. It was a FAKE CHIP. Just painted plastic to look like an actual computer chip! How do I know? Well I know plastic when I see it. Plus, a little visit here (yes, the computer worked fine) clued me in how I wasn't the only one suckered with the "fake cache chip" fiasco and PC-Chips's reputation was forever tarnished.

Also, that VxPro board...about as flimsy as five Pringle's potato chips stacked atop one another! Really, really thin board (as opposed to many Intel DX100 and AMD 386DX board I've worked on). Worst board I've ever had and ever since then, I lived by the belief that if it "smells like PC-Chips...it probably is PC-Chips" and stayed clear of them.

Ever since then, I've had to service quite a number of machines and, like one poster here, I would immediately charge a extra $25 as an "anquish fee" if the board in the prodigal rig happened to be a PC-Chips board. I still charge this "anguish fee", but only if I know for certain that ECS actually manufacturered it for PC-Chips according to their bottom-feeding, cost-cutting criteria.

On the flip side of the coin, my experiances with ECS boards are pretty good as their quality for being low-cost isn't bad at all. The PCB is thick and sturdy, the capacitors are stright, the socket arm doesn't creak, etc. This leads me to believe that if ECS ever refuses to make boards for PC-Chips...PC-Chips will just turn around and make their own forgeries based losely on a popular design by either ECS or another board maker. Their forgeries look really close to a board made by another company but there are subtle differences, mainly being the thickness and durability of the PCB (that's one way to cut corners - shed some layers off that sucker). Any other differences are so subtle that you need a decent magnifying glass to spot them.

Plus, I'm currently typing this post on a rig using an ECS K7S5A 3.x board. It originally replaced my old MSI K7T Pro 2A which has a dark history of having flaky voltage regulators that overheat and die. It also had that godawful VIA 686b southbridge (I am personally DONE with VIA as their chipsets have arbitration, bus latency, and AGP compatibility issues consistantly). The ECS K7S5A overall, it's a much better board and at least AGP4x works which is something I couldn't get to work right at all on my MSI K7T Pro 2A. The SiS chipset might not be the fastest car on the road, but at least their PCI arbitration is top notch and they are actually licensed by Intel to properly implement the AGP spec. (none of that "AGP Driving value" garbage in the BIOS - it works right the first time all the time).

Another reason why I don't think ECS and PC-Chips are the same is their respective websites. Over the years, ECS's website has gone through decent changes and updates. It looks really well done and eye catching to the customers. The last time I visited PC-Chips's website (which was over the past summer), it looked the same as it did back in 1997 complete with the same broken down "engrish" as well as to the "best viewed with Netscape 3x" disclaimer!! 8O You would think that with the economic boom and fall of the ".com" industry over the past few years, they could've at least afford to hire SOMEBODY to spruce that website up a bit!

Their respective corporate addresses don't match up.
Tracing their registered domains (so far) don't match up.
Oh, and I believe ECS is actually publically traded in America, unlike PC-Chips.

Bottom line is PC-Chips seems to function more as cheapskate middle men but aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and make knockoff boards themselves if they absolutely have to.

Lastly, someone mentioned Shuttle and how much they've improved over the past year or two. The reason for that simple - Shuttle outsources to ECS. The last I checked, 100% of Shuttle's entire mainboard offerings are manufactured by ECS. Over this past summer, ECS got another contract from Asus - about 40% of Asus's budget line of boards are now made by ECS.

In closing, my personal reccomendation for best mainboard makers are (in no particular order):

MSI
Gigabyte
ECS
Chaintech (their new Zenith nForce2 is outstanding)
Asus

Soyo isn't bad but their Dragon line is disappointing. They are slow to POST, which can be scary and makes troubleshooting a pain. Their chipset fans burn up really fast, too. Their improving, nonetheless.

Currently, I'd avoid Abit as they are in bad shape and haven't really delivered anything decent since the BH6(?) that was all the rage with Celeron overclocking fiends. :D
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Postby evasive » Thu Dec 26, 2002 5:35 am

ECS, Amptron, PC Chips boards all come from the same factory, bioses are interchangeable, many if not all boards of them have a sister board at one of the other companies, the only difference is probably the ECS quality control is a bit more stringent than the other's.

Have a look at the alias list here:
http://www.stud.fernuni-hagen.de/q39981 ... s/aka.html

The PC Chips lottery, ever wondered why it is called that:
http://www.stud.fernuni-hagen.de/q3998142/pcchips/

Downloads:
http://go.to/ajz/

Posting with everything there is to know about the Hsin Tech morass:
http://www.netseller1.com/tech//messages/37523.html
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Postby orion9727 » Mon Mar 03, 2003 8:48 pm

yea the 815e!
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