ECS KN3-SLI2 Extreme AM2 Motherboard Review :: ECS KN3-SLI2 Extreme (V1.0) Bundle

11-26-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • 4 SATA cables
  • 1 SATA Power cable
  • 2 80-wire IDE cables
  • 1 FDD cable
  • e-SATA bracket
  • 2 USB 2.0 port/1 Firewire port bracket
  • Parallel port bracket
  • e-SATA bracket
  • LAN Cable
  • SLI connector
  • Top Hat Flash
  • Driver CD
  • Software CD

The ECS board comes with an extensive hardware bundle, almost allowing the user to fully use the board they buy right out of the box without purchasing extra cables. There are four SATA cables included, which falls short of the 7 SATA ports on the board, but is more than enough to get you started with RAID or SATA CD-ROMs. Most PSUs come with SATA power cables, but ECS includes a SATA power cable supporting two devices. Two 80-wire IDE cables are included for the IDE devices, and a FDD cable is included as well.

ECS KN3-SLI2 Extreme AM2 Motherboard Review Hardware bundle

Hardware bundle

The brackets included in the bundle are impressive. A 2nd eSATA port is provided by a bracket. Note if you have two e-SATA ports installed, one of the onboard ports will be unusable as the cable connects to one of the ports on the board. 2 USB 2.0 ports and a Firewire port are provided by another bracket. Six USB 2.0 ports are a decent number to include. A Parallel port bracket, a cable for the e-SATA port on the back Panel IO and a LAN cable round out the package that is included with the KN3-SLI2 motherboard.

ECS KN3-SLI2 Extreme AM2 Motherboard Review ECS Sticker

ECS Sticker

ECS KN3-SLI2 Extreme AM2 Motherboard Review Software CDs and manuals

Software CDs and manuals

The Driver CD comes with the driver's necessary to get the system up and running. One quibble I have with ECS is that they don't include a SATA driver floppy, requiring the user to make one if they want to install Windows XP on RAID disks. The software CD comes with a variety of applications including Adobe Reader, DPU, I'm Intouch, Media Ring, Pro Magic Plus, WinCinema, and ShowShifter.

ECS KN3-SLI2 Extreme AM2 Motherboard Review Driver CD

Driver CD

ECS KN3-SLI2 Extreme AM2 Motherboard Review Utilities CD

Utilities CD

The Top Hat Flash is an interesting addition to the bundle. If you have ever wrongly flashed BIOS, you know that there could be problems with ever getting the board to work properly without sending it back to the manufacturer or ordering a new BIOS chip. Some manufacturers choose to include Dual BIOSes so if one fails, the other can take over, but ECS uses the Top Hat Flash. To use it simply position the Top Hat over the BIOS chip making sure the corner is aligned properly (while the system is off of course) and firmly mounts it. Boot the computer up and the BIOS on the Top Hat will take over for the regular BIOS and remove the Top Hat. From there you can flash the BIOS.