What you get with the GF8200A Black Series motherboard is about the same as what you get with the A780GM-A. ECS
provides a user's guide, support CD, hardware installation guide, case badge, IDE ribbon, two yellow SATA cables with right angle connectors on one end, and a rear I/O plate. The SATA cables are nice, but overall there isn't much to get excited about. The bundle is rather spartan, which is one way to keep the cost down on a board intended to bridge the gap between enthusiast grade and budget conscious.
The ECS GF8200A Black Series GeForce 8200 motherboard was configured with the following components for this review:
» AMD 5400+ X2 2.8GHz dual core processor
» Noctua NHU-12P CPU cooler with 120mm AcoustiFan
» Maxtor MaxLine III 250GB SATA 3Gbps hard drive
» Tuniq MiniPlant 950W ATX power supply
» Aeneon XTune 2GB DDR2-1142 dual channel memory kit
» 512MB Sapphire Toxic HD3870 PCI Express graphics card (only for some tests)
» Windows Vista Home Premium
The physical installation was quite easy, especially if you don't use a PCI Express x16 graphics card. There is plenty of room around the CPU socket, and as the images below detail, a rather large aftermarket cooler like the Noctua NHU-12P fits with ease. There were no issues with interference with any of the motherboard's features, and the socket is located far enough from the edge of the board that the cooler does not hang over. This comes in handy when trying to install the motherboard into a case with a power supply right up against that edge of the board.
The image below shows that the two memory slots closest to the CPU socket might not be usable with a combination of a larger cooler and taller memory modules. Even though slots one and two are technically still usable, I chose to use slots three and four since it made getting the memory in and out much easier.
I mentioned that the installation was made much easier without a PCI Express x16 graphics card. While there is plenty of room for some of the largest cards, and you wind up only blocking a PCI Express x1 slot if you have a card with a two slot cooler, the problem is in the release mechanism. The latch on the x16 slot is difficult to actuate since the lever is hidden under the card. This seems to be a common issue on ECS motherboards that could be solved easily and without extra cost.