The K7S5A falls in line with our past experience with Elitegroup products. That is, itís a fairly simple board. Nothing huge, nothing expensive, nothing flashy. But a reasonable set of features, a pretty reliable product, and a very fair price. And, as ECSí sales will tell you, thatís exactly what a lot of users want.
The K7S5A is certainly not for the extremists or power users in our community. However, for someone perhaps just getting a start on a DIY system, and looking for a reasonable board, the K7S5Aís affordable price, competitive performance, and wide availability make it a compelling option. Less than $70 for a DDR board (a top performing DDR board, at that) in some places is a pretty reasonable offer.
Support for SDR and DDR is an interesting feature as well, since currently, the only Athlon boards to offer this feature are those based on the ALi MAGiK1 chipset (the KT266 also supports both DDR and SDR, but frankly, the jury seems to still be out on that one). At first glance, the SiS735 appears to be the higher performing of the two, which makes it an interesting option for upgraders, particularly those on a budget. In fact, unless the performance and compatibility of the MAGiK can improve, there really is no reason to choose it over the SiS735.
Itís not a board for everyone. But then again, no board ever is. If youíre considering building a simple, low- to mid-range, reliable Athlon system, or particularly if youíre upgrading a system that currently uses PC100 or PC133 SDRAM, and are tight on cash, the ECS K7S5A is definitely worth a look. Not for the power user, but very affordable, without sacrificing stability and quality. It's pretty tough to go wrong for $70.
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