ECS P43T Socket 775 Motherboard

overviewIf you take a budget chipset and mix it with a company like ECS you will get an incredible priced motherboard. In this case you will get the P43T-A2. The P43A is ECS�s first P43 motherboard on the market. Even with all its short comings compared to the P45 this board offers the everyday Joe with everything they would need to build a stable and very complete system.

overviewIf you take a budget chipset and mix it with a company like ECS you will get an incredible priced motherboard. In this case you will get the P43T-A2. The P43A is ECS�s first P43 motherboard on the market. Even with all its short comings compared to the P45 this board offers the everyday Joe with everything they would need to build a stable and very complete system.

Introduction

Many of us may not have the funds to fork out in order to get that new P45 motherboard that was released last week. And if that is the case then the chances of picking up an X48 chipset motherboard would be farther out the question. This is the reason for the P43 chipset from Intel. It�s considered the budget chipset. When we say budget we mean budget. There is no raid, crossfire or DDR3 support.

If you take a budget chipset and mix it with a company like ECS you will get an incredible priced motherboard. In this case you will get the P43T-A2. The P43A is ECS�s first P43 motherboard on the market. Even with all its short comings compared to the P45 this board offers the everyday Joe with everything they would need to build a stable and very complete system.

Word from ECS

P43T-A2, ECS Mainstream product 2008, features Intel P43 and ICH10 chipsets, by supporting FSB1333 and DDR2 800, providing great performance. P43T-A2 accentuates high quality CPU power design with ferrite core chokes. Moreover, P43T-A2 provides ultimate graphics performance with PCI-E Gen2.0 x16 interface, upgrades your visual experience. P43T-A2 is the best choice for your computing experience.

 

Specifications

CPU
 LGA775 socket for latest Intel Yorkfield/ Wolfdale/ Core 2 Quad/ Core 2 Duo/ Pentium Dual Core/ Celeron Dual Core/ Celeron 4xx processor
 FSB 1333/1066/800 MHz
 CHIPSET
 Intel� Eaglelake P43 & ICH10
 North Bridge: Intel� Eaglelake P43
 South Bridge: Intel� ICH10
 MEMORY
 Dual-channel DDR2 memory architecture
 4 x 240-pin DDR2 DIMM socket support up to 16GB
 Support DDR2 800/667 DDR2 SDRAM
 EXPANSION SLOT
 1 x PCI Express x16 slot
 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
 2 x PCI slots
 STORAGE
 Support by Intel� ICH10
  Logo6 x Serial ATAII 3.0Gb/s devices
 Support by JMB 361
 1 x IDE channel support 2 Ultra DMA133/100/66 devices
 AUDIO
 Realtek ALC662 6-channel HD audio CODEC
 LAN
 Gigabit LAN, Athlos L1 PCIe GigaLAN controller
 REAR PANEL I/O
 1 x PS/2 keyboard & PS/2 mouse connectors
 4 x USB ports
 1 x RJ45 LAN connector
 1 x Audio port
 1 x Serial port (COM1)
 INTERNAL I/O CONNECTORS & HEADERS
 1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
 CPU_FAN/SYS_FAN/PWR_FAN connectors
 1 x IDE connector
 1 x Speaker header
 1 x SPDIF out header
 6 x Serial ATA connectors
 1 x Front panel switch/LED header
 1 x Front panel audio header
 CD in header
 4 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 8 USB ports
 SYSTEM BIOS
 AMI BIOS with 8Mb SPI Flash ROM
 Supports Plug and Play, STR/STD, Hardware monitor, PCI interrupt selection, ACPI & DMI, CPU FSB adjustment (increase of 1MHz)
 Audio, LAN, can be disabled in BIOS
 F11 hot key for boot up devices option
 CPU voltage adjustable
 Memory voltage adjustable for DDR2 800
 PECI Supports
 FORM FACTOR
 ATX Size 305mm*244mm

Features

 Core 2 Quad
The new Core2 Quad processor combines two dual-core chips in a single package that plugs into a single chip socket. It enables even more multitasking with greater performance. Bring users experience system .performance featuring faster speed.
 Core 2 Duo
The processor is manufactured on Intel’s 65nm fab process, regardless of L2 cache size, resides in an LGA775-style socket and runs on a 1333MHz front-side bus. Its power consumption is really much lower than previous Intel desktop chips.
 LGA775
Supports LGA775 Intel Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology.
 FSB1333
Supports the latest 1333MHz front side bus Intel�Processor
 Dual Channel DDR2 800
Doubles the bandwidth of your system memory up to 12.8GB/s and pumps up the system performance.
 SATAII 3.0Gb/s
Doubles the transfer speed of SATA, running at speed up to 3.0Gb/s, and fully compatible with the soon-to-be-released SATA HDD, CD-ROM and other cutting-edge devices with NCQ function support.
 Gigabit LAN
Gigabit LAN supporting a high transfer rate up to 1 Gb/s.
 6 Channel High Definition Audio
Integrated 6-channel HD Audio CODEC delivering advanced multi-channel audio and bringing you the experience of home theater-quality sound.
 PCI EXPRESS 2.0
The exceptionally increased interconnect bit rate from 2.5GT/s up to 5.0GT/s would effectively eliminates the bottle neck of the system performance and brings the most terrific computing experience from the present to the future.
 Windows Vista Ready
The latest generation Microsoft O.S., delivers better personal productivity and digital entertainment on your PC through its improved reliability, security, and performance.

 

Closer look

As we stated in the introduction the P43 is a somewhat stripped down P45 and the P43T is evidence of that. Looking at the board from an overhead view you can see there is a lot of open areas about the board. No large heatsinks to cool the bridges, no multi-slot PCIe slots and no firewire or eSATA ports. Yeah, there are a lot of have-nots with this board but what about the haves. Six SATA ports, DDR2 support up to DDR2 800, twelve USB ports via back plane and headers, and support for 45nm processors. This is the making for a legitimate workstation of some sort.

There is a lot of real estate around the CPU socket. Enough to support the largest of heat sinks. But chances are you will not be doing a lot of overclocking or benching with this motherboard so I don�t see anyone using a Thermalright Ultra-120 on this board. The P43T has full support for all the current Intel processors including the 45nm variations with 1333FSB. To the right ECS uses purple and orange to designate which slots are dual channel. The AUTO settings in the BIOS will only read up to 800MHz for DDR2 PC6400 support.

If you are looking for a motherboard to run dual AMD/ATI cards then you may want to look at the P45 chipset with its dual 8x lanes. In the case of the P43T there is only one PCIe slot for a GPU. At the price this board is being offered to the consumer chances are they don�t want Crossfire support anyways. Underneath the last standard PCI slot is a single IDE connector. It�s cool to see some companies still support the legacy devices.

The P43 chipset supports six total SATA ports and that�s exactly what the P43T has. But there is no support for raid of any sort. The plugs are aligned vertically on the edge of the board making for ideal cable managing. Lastly, we have the rear I/O area that looks about as spacious as the board. PS/2, serial, USB, gigabit LAN and six channel audio are the only connections to grace us with their presence.

 

Testing

Testing Hardware:
Intel Core2Duo E8400
DDR2 Crucial Ballistix PC6400 (4-4-4-12)
Maxtor 100GB SATAI
Leadtek 6800GT
Thermalright Ultra 120
Thermaltake TP1000

Testing Software:
Futuremark PCMark05
Futuremark 3DMark06
SiSoftware Sandra
Everest Ultimate
SuperPi 1.5 mod
Prey
F.E.A.R.

Competition:
Asrock 4Core1600P35-WiFi+ (DDR2)
Asrock 4Core1600P35-WiFi+ (DDR3)
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4
Gigabyte GA-EX38-DS4
Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6 + Leadtek 6800GT
Asrock X48TurboTwins-WiFi+ (DDR2) + Sapphire Ultimate 3870
Asrock X48TurboTwins-WiFi+ (DDR3) + Sapphire Ultimate 3870

Results

CPU results
Futuremark PCmark05 Build 1.1.0
PCMark�05 is everything you need to reliably and easily measure the performance of your PC and determine its strengths and weaknesses. With PCMark05, you will be able to select the optimal upgrades for your existing PC, or choose the right new PC that fits your specific needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses.

Super PI Modded 1.5
In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr. Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.

Ram results
Futuremark PCmark05 Build 1.1.0
PCMark�05 is everything you need to reliably and easily measure the performance of your PC and determine its strengths and weaknesses. With PCMark05, you will be able to select the optimal upgrades for your existing PC, or choose the right new PC that fits your specific needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses.

SiSoftware Sandra Lite 2007 SP1
SiSoftware has announced the availability of Service Release 2 (SR2) for SiSoftware Sandra 2005, the latest version of its award-winning utility. The focus of this service release has been improved support, compatibility and reliability rather than new features. We have been working closely with more hardware vendors than before to be able to bring greater direct support of an increased market share of commodity and server technologies.

Lavalys Everest
Lavalys EVEREST Home Edition is freeware system information, system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for home PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. It offers the world’s most accurate system information and diagnostics capabilities, including online features, memory benchmarks, hardware monitoring, and low-level hardware information. EVEREST Home Edition is uniquely available for home users without any charges, based on the freeware license.

HDD results
Futuremark PCmark05 Build 1.1.0
PCMark�05 is everything you need to reliably and easily measure the performance of your PC and determine its strengths and weaknesses. With PCMark05, you will be able to select the optimal upgrades for your existing PC, or choose the right new PC that fits your specific needs. This easy-to-use product gives you the same tools and knowledge that virtually every professional tester in the industry uses.

Simpli Software HD Tach 3
HD Tach will test the sequential read, random access and interface burst speeds of your attached storage device (hard drive, flash drive, removable drive, etc). All drive technologies such as SCSI, IDE/ATA, 1394, USB, SATA and RAID are supported. Test results from HD Tach can be used to confirm manufacturer specs, analyze your system for proper performance, and compare your performance with others. HD Tach is very easy to use, quick, and presents data in easy to read graphs, including the ability to compare two storage devices on screen at the same time for easy analysis.

Video and Gaming results
Futuremark 3DMark06 Build 1.0.2
3DMark�06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests. 3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today. Futuremark’s exclusive Online ResultBrowser web service tracks and compares 3DMark06 scores.

Sierra F.E.A.R. Update 1.08
F.E.A.R. � (First Encounter Assault Recon) is an intense combat experience with rich atmosphere and a deeply intense paranormal storyline presented entirely in first person. Be the hero in your own spine-tingling epic of action, tension, and terror� and discover the true meaning of F.E.A.R.

3drealms Prey
PREY takes full advantage of the Sound Blaster� X-Fi� sound card. PREY supports OpenAL hardware acceleration, EAX� ADVANCED HD� 5.0 features of 4 reverberation effects at once, and uses Sound Blaster� X-Fi� XRAM feature to load audio samples on the cards with 64 megs of RAM.

Overclocking

Honestly would you think you would get massive amounts of overclocking from a budget motherboard? Chances are you will not; and we didn�t with this board. Granted ECS doesn�t market it as so. So any extra performance that is obtained from it is a bonus. The P43T has just a few options in the BIOS to help you get extra allowance of boost.

The first thing that I wanted to accomplish was the max the board would get on my Intel E8400. I have achieved as much as 4500MHz on this CPU with the Gigabyte X48. I didn�t think I would get this kind of overclock on this board but wanted to state what the processor was capable of. First thing I did was tackled the voltage setting maxing the CPU voltage at 328mV extra on top of its default. I Then raised the DIMM voltage to 2.00 volts. Adjusted the ram timings to 5-5-5-18. Results were no boot. Retried the above again, same result. So I just left the ram timing alone and adjusted the voltages. No boot. No combination of what I tried in the BIOS when it came to playing with the voltage and memory settings worked. So I just left everything at default and raised the FSB on the CPU. Amazingly Windows came up at 350MHz. This isn�t anything amazing but it did boot up and ran great. The amazement only lasted a short time as we maxed the board out at 400MHz and it wasn�t stable at that point.

Conclusion

The ECS P43T- A2 is a very decent budget motherboard that takes advantage of much of the improvements Intel made when converting over to the P43 chipset. The additional SATA and USB 2.0 ports were a few of the extra goodies that we noticed with the motherboard. And if you were in doubt of it performance all you have to do is go back to the testing pages of this review and see how it compared to more expensive boards. The P43T held its own in stock form against the competition.

If you are buying P43T for its overclocking ability I would think again. The board is okay at best for overclocking depending on your overclocking standards. The BIOS needs some work from ECS to get it even stable at 400MHz on the FSB. ECS never once stated this is an overclocking motherboard that is left up to the Black Series.

The P43T-A2 is a cool running and stable board that would be at home in a regular daily used workstation or built around someone that is not into overclocking that may do a little gaming but not a lot. Stability and stock performance is what this motherboard is about.

 


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