ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review :: The Board

01-14-2005 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
ECS 915P-A V1.0 Spec Sheet
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Part Number915P-A V1.0
ManufacturerECS
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetIntel 915P Express ICH6
North BridgeIntel 82915P MCH
SocketLGA775 Socket
Processor TypesPentium 4
Number of CPUs1
Hyper-Threading SupportYes
Front Side Bus800/533MHz
Memory TypeDDR, DDR2
Memory ChannelsDual, Single
Maximum Memory2GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGP None
South BridgeIntel 82801FB ICH6
Audio8-channel
IDE100/66/33
SCSINone
SATA1.5 GB/s
RAIDNone
LAN10/100/1000
FirewireNone
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
  • 1 x AGPe
  • 2 x PCI
  • 2 x PCI Express x1
  • 1 x PCI Express x16
BIOSAWARD
Form FactorATX
 

The 915P-A comes in a standard ATX form factor measuring 305x240mm. If you have a regular ATX case whether medium or full this board should fit easily. The 12V power connector is in a less than optimum position on the motherboard, positioned under the CPU Socket. The optimum position lies closer to the top of the board under the parallel port. The 5V ATX connector is a 24 pin power connector with 4 of the pins blocked off by default. To insert a 24-pin 5V ATX connector, simply remove the film covering the connector.


ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review 12V power connector

12V power connector

ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review 5V Power connector

5V Power connector


The 915P-A supports most of the current 800MHz FSB LGA-775 CPUs including the Pentium 4 3.8GHz Prescott that was recently released and the 3.4 Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. Unfortunately, this motherboard doesn't support the 1066MHz FSB 3.46 Extreme Editions, but as that is more of a high-end CPU costing over $1000, it probably would be best to buy a motherboard based upon the 925XE chipset instead.


ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review Capacitors

Capacitors

ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket


Memory support on this motherboard is for both DDR and DDR2. There are 4 DIMMs (Dual In-line Memory Module) on the board with 2 for DDR and 2 for DDR2 memory. Unfortunately you can't mix both DDR memory and DDR2 at the same time on the board. A DDR2 slot has 240 pins instead of the 184 pins on a DDR slot. The DDR slots are slightly longer than the DDR2 slots. Looking at memory prices on Pricewatch, DDR2 memory is much more expensive than DDR at the same speed without providing any extra memory bandwidth at the same speed.


ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review Memory

Memory


The North Bridge is cooled passively by a heat sink. The South Bridge chip is Intel's new ICH6R chip. This replaced the ICH5 from the 875 and 865 motherboards. Visually the board is a black color with 1 PCI Express X16 slot, 2 PCI Express X1 slots, an AGP Express slot, and 2 regular PCI slots making the expansion slot options for the board. The AGP Express slot is deserving of special mention. This is a PCI Express slot that emulates an AGP slot. ECS has a list of supported video cards on their manual including the major ATI NVIDIA and XGI video cards from about 1 or more years ago.


ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review North Bridge

North Bridge

ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review Expansion slots

Expansion slots

ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review PCI Express x16

PCI Express x16

ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review AGP Express

AGP Express

ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review PCI and AGP

PCI and AGP


Drive support on the ECS 915P-A consists of 4 SATA connectors, 1 PATA connector and one floppy connector. This is fairly pedestrian in the motherboard market today. The location of the PATA connector is fine, but the location of the floppy drive connector is on the far side of the board, which is ok, but I probably would have preferred it closer to the PATA connector. One nice touch about the board is a tab on the jumper to clear the CMOS.


ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review Floppy drive connector

Floppy drive connector

ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review Drive connectors

Drive connectors

ECS 915P-A Motherboard Review SATA connectors

SATA connectors


The input/output block on the rear of the motherboard is fairly common arrangement. The rear I/O consists of a PS/2 Mouse port, a PS/2 Keyboard port, a parallel port, 4 USB 2.0 ports, a RJ45 jack for the Gigabit Ethernet, and 6 jacks for the onboard sound of the motherboard. The onboard sound on the 915P-A is Azalea based, with support for 7.1 surround sound built in. This is the replacement for AC'97 and is sufficient for every user today. There are two headers on the board for 4 more USB ports, but they are not included with the motherboard bundle. The ICH6R supports Gigabit LAN natively.