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ECS A85F2-A Golden Review

By on November 27, 2012
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A flashy motherboard that’s got performance to match the style.

Good: Decent performance; Loads of premium components; Interesting styling; Easy overclocking from UEFI BIOS.
Bad: Gold plating maybe a bit too flashy for some; No onboard buttons.
Price: AED 400
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

ECS’ Black Series motherboards have been quite popular in the overclocking arena, but their recent offshoot of ‘Golden’ edition motherboards is pretty much as premium as you can get.

The ECS A85F2-A Golden I’m looking at today is a great example of what the engineers at ECS can do for a relatively low-cost platform and sprinkle it with bells and whistles you expect on premium boards, while still keeping your budget in check.

Features

Understandably then the ECS A85F2-A Golden doesn’t pack in a lot of goodies, with only a backplate (gold plated, of course) and 7x SATA cables, one for each port. The instruction manuals and drivers disc are the other extras, the latter being superseded by more updated versions on ECS’ website.

The name for the ECS A85F2-A Golden comes not only from the bling factor on the black PCB board, but also to highlight the quality of the components used. Most of the connectors, or at least the important ones like the CPU and memory slot pins and VGA ports, have gold plating. The solid capacitors and ferrite chokes are also plated in gold; more to show their quality in high life expectancy and stability under extreme temperatures and voltage, rather than the gold plating actually making any physical difference. Still, each Black Series motherboard comes in with a 72-hour stability test to ensure that your unit is capable of handling whatever you throw at it.

Beyond that the heatsinks on the motherboard are also gold plated, although their ability to dissipate heat faster than copper or aluminum is moot. The ECS A85F2-A Golden is also one of the first motherboards to support AMD Memory Profile, giving you the chance to really exploit AMD branded memory modules.

Testbed

With all that out of the way, let’s see our test system.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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