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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [07.18.05]
Manufactured by: ECS


To the EXTREME, I rock the mic like a vandal

What happens when a company that is known for mostly making OEM and budget products gets a major infusion of cash, and wants to show big growth? They try to refresh their look, and go crazy with marketing!

In this case, it's ECS who wants to go EXTREME with their motherboards. Or should I say PC Chips? The two companies announced their merger last month, and are looking to make a splash with some highly visible retail products.

The first entry is the KN1 Extreme, a full-featured NFORCE4 Ultra motherboard.

Whether the KN1 lives up to its "EXTREME" name, we'll get to later on. For now, let's take a quick look at the features of the board.

CPU Support AMD Athlon64 Socket 939
Chipset NFORCE4 Ultra
Storage Support DMA/ATA-133 (Ultra) x 3, Serial ATA x 6
Expansion Ports USB 2.0 x 9
RJ45 Lan Port x 2
FireWire (IEEE1394a) x 2
Serial Port x 1
PS/2 Mouse x 1
PS/2 Keyboard x 1
Parallel Port (ECP/EPP/SPP) x 1
Floppy Port x 1
Expansion Slots PCI Express x16 x 1
PCI x 3
PCI Express x1 x 2
Audio Realtek ALC655 • AC'97 Audio Codec
Output: SPDIF Out • 5.1 Channels • Line Out • Coaxial Out • Optical Out
Input: Microphone Jack • 1 x Line In
Networking Realtek 8100C 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet controller
NF4 Ultra 1000 Mbps Ethernet Controller (Marvell 88E1111 PHY)

Certainly the KN1 is more full-featured than we'd ever expect to see from either ECS or PC Chips. Now we need to find out if it is well designed, and most of all, how it performs.

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