ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review :: Layout and Bundle

07-31-2005 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

The Layout of the board is excellent in most respects. ECS placed a green fan to route air away from the CPU area more effectively than most boards. Abit does something similar with their OTES cooling. The clearance around the CPU area of the board is excellent, allowing for the use of many after-market cooling devices. The memory slots are below the CPU area, well clear of the graphics card slot. Most motherboard manufacturers block one or even two slots with the positioning of the memory slots, but ECS does not.


ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Cooling

Cooling

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Cooling

Cooling


The 24-pin ATX power connector is in an excellent position, right below the memory slots. Some motherboards have the connector under an IDE or floppy connector on the board, requiring cables to be moved when removing the power cable. On the ECS board, this is not a problem. The 4-pin power connector is on the top right hand corner of the board, a great placement. ECS includes a chipset fan over the nForce4 chipset.


ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review 24-pin ATX

24-pin ATX

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review 4-pin Power

4-pin Power

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Chipset Fan

Chipset Fan


One problematic issue I have with the layout of the board is the floppy drive connector location. The floppy drive connector is located on the far left side of the board under the PCI slots. This is problematic in that you have to route the floppy drive cable over all of the PCI Express and PCI cards in the computer. Secondly, it requires an extra-length floppy cable, which, luckily for ECS is included in the bundled cabling.


ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Fan Header

Fan Header

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Logo

Logo

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review USB and Firewire

USB and Firewire

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review FD Connector

FD Connector

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Anti-Burn LED

Anti-Burn LED


ECS outfitted the KN1 Extreme with 3 USB connectors for an additional 6 USB ports, bringing the maximum number of USB ports on the board to 10. The nForce4 Ultra chipset supports 10 ports, but the board comes with 6 ports total. ECS chose to use two of the fan headers, one for the extra green fan and one for the chipset fan, leaving a single fan header for the CPU cooler. One interesting addition to the board is an Anti-Burn LED.

Bundle

  • KN1 Extreme motherboard
  • SATA Power connector
  • 6 SATA cables
  • Network crossover cable
  • USB 2-port/Firewire bracket
  • 1 80-pin IDE cables
  • 1 40-pin IDE cable
  • 1 Floppy cable
  • Front panel for bracket
  • DPU
  • Pro Magic
  • Showhifter
  • WinCinema
  • I'm InTouch
  • Media Ring

The bundle on the ECS KN1 Extreme is very interesting to say the least. ECS decided to include a 40-pin/40 conductor IDE cable for CD-ROM drives, instead of 2 80-pin IDE cables. Further, with 3 IDE connectors on the board, I would have preferred ECS to include 3 80-pin IDE cables. The rest of the bundle includes a 2-port USB/1 port Firewire bracket, making the maximum on the board with 6 USB 2.0 ports and a single Firewire port. The front panel bracket included means you either have usage of the bracket or the front panel.


ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review IDE Cables

IDE Cables

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review USB/Firewire

USB/Firewire

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Front panel

Front panel

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Crossover Cable

Crossover Cable

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review SATA Cables

SATA Cables

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review SATA Power

SATA Power

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Parallel Port

Parallel Port


ECS includes a LAN cable, which is a very interesting addition to a motherboard bundle. I've seen literally hundreds of motherboards with differing bundles. A LAN cable is useful if you want to connect two computers. Another nice touch is ECS's inclusion of 2 manuals, a Motherboard User's Guide and a Top Hat user's guide (more on this a little later). The Drivers CD and Software Application CD round out the package quite nicely.


ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Mobo Manual

Mobo Manual

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review Top Hat Manual

Top Hat Manual

ECS KN1 Extreme Motherboard Review CD

CD


Software-wise the ECS KN1 Extreme comes with an extremely comprehensive bundle. ProMagic is system backup and restore software package similar in effect to Windows System Restore, ShowShifter is a video recording program that allows you to pause television, record shows, have a Extended Program Guide (assuming you have a compatible graphics card or TV tuner like an AIW RADEON or Hauppauge WinTV). WinCinema brings together InterVideo's WinDVD 5.0, WinRip 2, and WinDVD Creator.