ECS Elitegroup is one of the oldest names in motherboards, with a history dating back to 1987. Over the years they have developed a strong reputation for producing quality boards at very affordable prices. While their budget conscience boards may have had mass appeal, they lacked the extra features and performance settings that enthusiasts and PC gamers demanded. All of this has changed in more recent times, as ECS has started producing boards with the features, performance, overclocking capabilities, and aesthetics that will help them gain greater exposure in the enthusiasts community.
Our first experience with one of the "new" flavor of ECS Elitegroup boards came with the review of the KN1 SLI Extreme, a socket 939 motherboard based on the nVidia nForce4 SLI chipset for enthusiasts looking to build a system around an AMD processor.
This time around we have another SLI capable motherboard, but this one is for those interested in using an Intel processor. The ECS Elitegroup C19-A SLI is an LGA 775 motherboard based on the nVidia C19XE chipset, and is one of very few boards to take SLI capabilities outside of the AMD camp.
Having performance features on an ECS motherboard doesn't mean you can't have a reasonable price, though. Currently the C19-A SLI sells for $78 (US), and a rebate valid through April 30th takes it down to $68! With enthusiasts boards costing $100, $200, or more, the price on this one definitely looks to have kept ECS' budget conscience tradition in mind.
Before getting too deep into features and specifications, let's take a quick look at what you get with the ECS C19-A SLI. The images below show the vibrant retail packaging that the board arrived in. You have a warrior's face and a few features on the front of the box, while the back of the box gets into much greater detail on the board to be found inside.
The images below provide an overview of the board. ECS' color of choice for motherboards is purple, and the C19-A SLI follows that theme. The coloring is fairly unique, and the combination of brightly colored slots and silver heatsinks all goes together nicely, in my opinion. Taking a look at some more serious features shows that among other things there are four DDR2 (667 MHZ) slots, four SATA 3 Gbps connectors, one IDE connection, and two x16 PCI Express slots. These are the key to SLI opration, although when used in SLI they do drop to x8 performance each.