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Old 07-09-2008, 04:15 PM   #1
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Default ECS GF8200A Black Series Motherboard Review

There has been a new article posted.

Title: ECS GF8200A Black Series Motherboard Review
URL: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/580

Here is a snippet:
"GF8200A Black Series is an entry-level socket AM2+ motherboard with on-board video from ECS based on GeForce 8200 (MCP78M-A) chipset from nVidia. Since it features an HDMI output, this board is clearl..."

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Old 08-02-2008, 09:04 AM   #2
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Default ECS GF8200A Motherboard

I read the reviews and they all seem to indicate a good but not great motherboard. I bought 4 of them to upgrade 3 systems - one was returned because I thought it was defective. But it turns out that the on-board graphis (my opinion) does not work on any of them. The displays are choppy and will not follow a cursor and the video seems to make the audio dull and break-up. I was running with 4GB (2x2) of PC6400 DDR2 memory, an AMD Athlon X2 64 6000+ CPU (dual-core 3.0 GHz) and a PCI modem card. Nothing else added on.

When I added a minimal PCIe (cheap GeForce 7300LE) video card the problems all went away - in all three systems. I have been corresponding with ECS support for a month to identify the problem. They said they did reproduce the problem in their lab but their conclusion was that I should run with updated BIOS (I tried that) and a completely unmodified Windows XP (no Service Packs or Fixes) and the drivers on the CD (I got drivers from NVidea) and then it should work. I thought that that was impractical because it eliminates security fixes and service packs to fix problems. One of the three system (very low usage) seemed to work for a couple of weeks and then went bad.

If ECS knows what the problem is they are not sharing it with me. Four failures in-a-row seems like real high odds of happening unless there is some basic hardware or configuration problem. Maybe it is the processor but, even though it is 125W instead of the 95W version, I was told by ECS that that may shorten the lifespan of the motherboard but it should work. The lifespan of these is only a few years anyway with the technology changes.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:28 AM   #3
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Motherboards with on-board graphics aren't really made for gaming. All motherboards with integrated videos will have choppy images in games due to the low framerate.

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Old 11-27-2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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Default ECS GF8200A Motherboard Video Problem

We use mostly MBs with integrated video because we don't need them for gaming and have never experienced performance problems - even for watching full screen videos. I just purchased on of these ECS motherboards and experienced a similar problem with the video. The performance was so bad that even moving an file explorer window around the screen would seriously lag behind the curser. Watching an mpeg clip was impossible. Did all the normal stuff like upgrading the bios, video drivers but nothing helped. I was tearing my hair out! We have used another brand of MB using the exact same chipset and it didn't perfom like this so I knew there had to be a fix.

Then I carefully looked through every part of the bios settings and noticed that in the advanced setup page, the HT frequency was set to 200Mhz by default. Changed it to AUTO and restarted the system and pesto - problem was solved. Video now runs as expected.

Hope this helps others that may have experienced this problem
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:10 PM   #6
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This is the third or forth review of the Motherboard that claims that it has no
SPDIF output. I don't understand why. Did the first reviewer not find the SPDIF
connector above the floppy connector and the other reviewers copied it?
Look at image 2, find the SPDIF connector between the cd-audio connector
and the pci slot and explain me why this get ignored by all reviewers.

Gerald
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:44 PM   #7
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Hello,

Maybe you missed the point. We said that this motherboard doesn't have an on-board SPDIF connector, i.e. a coaxial or optical connector soldered to the motherboard. Most motherboards will have a header like the one you mention, but then you need to buy an adapter.

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Old 07-01-2009, 03:47 PM   #8
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Hey, i have this motherboard with an AMD Processor (Sempron), but i want another processor, it's the AMD Phenom™ X3 8650.
My question is: Will this motherboard be able to support the new AMD?

Please be sure when you answer this question, this processor is not cheap!!

Thank you
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:30 AM   #9
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Yes, you might want to make a BIOS upgrade before swapping the CPU.

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Gabriel.
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