ECS Releases LIVA Z3 Plus & Z3E Plus Mini PCs: Intuitively Compelling Machine

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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  2. bobblunderton

    bobblunderton Master Guru

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    My experience with system boards, from many different brands in 25 years...
    About 10 years ago, I needed to put together a bunch of computers to use up old parts... so I did a little test as I had a bunch of old-stock new-in-box boards from all different brands left over unused, pretty much near identical specs for both AMD and intel processors/chip sets. Whatever site had a case or less of mainboards that met spec for what I was building, I sent a quote or bought off the website as-is without issue.
    *spends a week checking mail for mainboards arriving by the case* *gets them all* *starts building* *next day about 40 cheapo Biostar/Jetway boards show up, forgot about ordering those, Oh man now what* Let's just say the school at the local church got a lot of computers for cost (or free if they had used parts).
    The Abit board (had one of) that people cursed and said had all kinds of problems and wasn't reliable, lived 10 years until the pc was stolen.
    The ECS iCafe boards most died in a few years to random BSOD death. Sometimes it would work days just fine and then crash out, sometimes wouldn't turn on randomly, etc. One was found to be distinctively unappreciative of being bathed by a poorly placed drink on top the tower, very hard to figure that out until I removed it from the case and noticed liquid marks going down by the ram slots. BKAC* error! The Asus boards all shut off and refused to boot if that happened.
    FOXCONN, normally their boards are really top-dog for reliability along with Asus and the rest, and often sometimes you'd find old ASUS boards with FOXCONN branding on them. Never had an issue, even with the one p48/x48 (?) 775 board I had in 2009, which reviewers could not overclock on due to finicky BIOS, easily took a pentium dual-core (45nm Wolfdale down-brand) chip past 4ghz from it's stock 2.4~2.5ghz operation without an issue. Hard to find then, and harder now.
    Biostar/Jetway/etc brand boards (all comes off usually the same factory, sometimes different color) were okay for a basic machine, BIOS gets very angry if you use a chip that is not officially listed on the box, but otherwise will usually work without a hitch. If you buy the cheap ones, do yourself a favor and buy in bulk as there's usually a dead one for every 6~15 boards (it varied). You didn't know what color you'd get, what bios you get, etc. To fix a Dell with a dead board these were great.
    The intel branded boards (they no longer manufacture motherboards to sell mass-market) were usually reliable but not as reliable as the Asus, but solid built.
    The Asus boards, one died but it was a cheap L-series one, still technically worked but super-duper slow and I mean SLOW. Another refused to post after a good 7 years or so, but it also was a cheap L-series board, and I can't rule out surge damage here though none is visible. The BIOS could be bricked by the surge, too.
    The ASRock boards all lived fine, even the ones with non-solid caps from 12 years ago are still alive, that one is in a mostly non-gaming PC though. No issues. Even in this PC I type from now with it's cheapo ASRock x570 board (cheapest one!) with now a 3950x (stock!), still lives after a year (just put 3950x on it, was a stock 3700x with stock cooler for about a year), no issues. Updating BIOS reduced Windows 10 boot time significantly, though.
    The Gigabyte boards sometimes had quirky BIOS peculiarities or things of that nature, but provided good reliable service if the user stayed out of said BIOS.
    Nothing to complain about with MSI's product, not once they got their act together and figured out how to not make their VRM's catch fire under normal operation. If you spend within 20~30$ on an MSI product that you'd have spent on Asus or Gigabyte, you'll generally get just about 95% as good of a product.
    SuperMicro / TYAN - while two different companies, I don't think I've ever found a single complaint about their boards in the last 20~25 years. Not one that I can remember, period. Absolutely, positively rock-solid boards made of awesome. For those who have to have the best (I am looking at you, Mr. Professional!), and don't care about OC (they do make those) that much, SuperMicro and Tyan can both best Asus if they want to put their mind to it.
    Pegatron. Where Asus is named from Pegasus, Pegatron is the other half, now spun-off into it's own entity as Asrock was for almost 10 years now. Pegatron makes the generic OEM boards for the likes of HP and others, to spec provided by the manufacturer. There are no fancy Asus luxuries here, it's only just a cheap OEM board. I wouldn't call it junk, but I wouldn't recommend to run it in the middle of your factory for 10 years straight under harsh conditions.
    DFI - don't know where they went, but they had solid boards. I had one in a Pentium II or Pentium III machine and I can't tell you how many times I kicked the computer but darn if that thing didn't still work the day I gave it away.
    BKAC Error - Between Keyboard And Chair error... self explanatory.
    So to sum it up, when I see ECS, I tend to shy away a bit. They need to bring quality up a bit from what I have seen for anything outside of 'light internet' use. Even BIOSTAR has made much strides in quality.
    I hope this helped someone, somewhere.
     
  3. Biffo

    Biffo Active Member

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    I need a 12-volt mini...
     

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