ECS A85F2-A Golden Software

With the BIOS, being a lower tier manufacturer can cause concern for users in terms of aesthetics and usability.  For software, it does not matter how high up the manufacturing rostrum you are, some of the top manufacturers have bad software and some of the lower-tier have good software.  This is primarily due to the fact that the lower tier manufacturers can often license other software as part of the package, meaning that internally work hours are put to something else.  Some manufacturers do both, by shipping in software from Realtek or cFos then giving it a vendor-specific skin.  As long as it covers all the bases, has all the features and is easy to use, usually everyone is very happy.  Having no software at all (or a few individual programs that do nothing much) does not help anyone.

On our ECS install CD, we get several options.  The first installs all the drivers, and the second installs the utilities.  As there are many non-ECS utilities, most of which are trail versions, we went along and installed ECS branded software only.

e-Driver Live Update (eDLU)

I am always a big fan of keeping my drivers updated, though in the grand scheme of things most of us will only update drivers if (a) we are told to do so, (b) we hear about some performance benefit from the latest version, or (c) there is an error.  On at least one manufacturer’s software solution, there is additional software which contacts their servers and keeps all the drivers up to date.  eDLU from ECS tries to do something similar, although it is a little simpler.  By clicking start, it opens up the ECS webpage of your motherboard and shows the download links to all the drivers for the board.  This would be the easy way out of doing a full blown search and destroy type of software, if it worked.  As with the last couple of ECS boards I have reviewed, clicking start took me to a blank ECS webpage.

e-BIOS Live Update (eBLU)

Updating the BIOS usually occurs due to new options, new functionality, overclocking capabilities, or compatibility (CPU or memory), and for most enthusiasts I know, we like to do it in the BIOS with a copy on the USB stick.  Alas the ECS range does not enable an update via the BIOS itself, and it must be done through the OS or a DOS-bootable USB stick.  For users who want to leave it up to the system to update, the eBLU software is designed to check the ECS servers for the latest BIOS online and download accordingly.  However when I used it, it could not find the latest 11/14 BIOS.  I even updated the eBLU software to the latest version online through the ‘Check Update’ button in eBLU, but it still could not find it.

e-Overclocking (eOC)

Over the past couple of years, the software for ECS overclocking has not been through any major change.  It still had the same spelling mistake in the options, and the options themselves were limited and restricted.  For FM2 though, ECS have provided a small but welcome facelift.  Gone are the white-on-green styling to be replaced which black on white/light-blue.

Despite most overclocking of late being mostly multiplier driven, ECS continues to provide only BCLK/FSB levels of adjustment.  We do get voltage control in terms of absolute numbers, but we have to deal with sliders rather than anywhere to put numbers in. We also get a monitor tab for details of fan speeds and voltages (again).

e-Smart Fan (eSF)

Over the past few ECS reviews, one of the constant areas of praise has been the fan controls.  Not because of their wide ranging functionality or plentiful level of options, but they have always allowed hysteresis – whereby a fan continues to run at a higher speed until the lower speed is reached, thereby cooling the components down quicker.  It has always been a feature of the ECS Intel boards, and I was expecting to see it here on AMD.  No such luck, unfortunately.  We can control the single CPU fan header with a standard two-point fan gradient or by the reset options at the top.

VIA Audio

For completeness, we also installed the standard VIA audio software.  Here we get options regarding which device in the system is default, and audio level options.

ECS A85F2-A Golden BIOS ECS A85F2-A Golden In The Box, Overclocking
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  • santeana - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Actually, I was surprised to see they did as well as they even did. Hasn't ECS always been sort of a no-name class board? I've seen them a lot over the years in OEM systems but I would never think to look for an ECS board if I were building a custom PC. Then again, with all the new gadgets I've had my hands on lately, maybe I'm just out of the PC-loop lol Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Maybe ECS is bigger is Asian countries ? Reply
  • RyanLochte - Thursday, January 17, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
    http://goo.gl/FTmpQ

    Happy New Year!
    Reply
  • Flunk - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    I think they build a lot of boards for large system integrators. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link


    I think the gaming results page is a forced sham since we don't see any Intel based systems spanking the crap out of this amd junk.
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    When reviewing motherboards, the board itself should be compared among competing products which would mean using as much common hardware as possible to eliminate the differences introducted by parts that are not subject to review. In the case of the AMD platform in question, using similar equipment (processor, GPU, memory, storage, etc.) allows a reader to see where among other motherboards this particular product fits because it becomes the only variable between each review.

    Numbers obtained from Intel parts wouldn't add any comparative value to the review since more than just the motherboard would become a factor in quantification of total system performance. In the case of this review, the deviation in system memory was disclaimed and could not be prevented because of problems with the BIOS failing to recognize DIMMs that were common to previous reviews. Ian pointed that variation out before, during, and after presenting benchmark results so readers would be aware something changed that impacted performance AND that the new variable was a necessity due to apparent manufacturer design flaws.

    If you want to compare this board's results with Intel products (probably to make yourself feel better for having blind brand loyalty if you're not simply attempting to troll), then you can check out the results in the benchmark database. Just click the "BENCH" link at the top of the page for instant brand-loyalist gratification.
    Reply
  • JohnMayer - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
    http://goo.gl/RZjhv

    Happy New Year!
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - link

    All you're doing is claiming ONLY A FRIKKING BRAND LOYALIST WHO WILL ONLY CONSIDER THIS AMD SOCKET TYPE MOTHERBOARD NEED BE INFORMED.

    YOU STUPID IDIOT !

    We know the prices of amd boards and amd cpu, an Intel equivalent is VERY EASY to come up with.

    you're the ******* brand loyalist you dummy.
    Reply
  • cabonsx3 - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - link

    LOL, Cerise... what are you 14?

    Seems legit to me. Was this article a comparison of Intel and AMD platforms? Didn't seem to be... looked like an ECS FM2 motherboard review and comparison to other FM2 offerings. You know, competitive products, ones that use the same technologies?

    BrokenCrayons hit the nail on the head.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - link

    You're a lying idiot too. Reply

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