ECS KA3MVP Extreme AM2 Motherboard Reiew

ecs-elitegroup-ka3mvp

Hardware installation

Hardware installation was a breeze, graphics cards, RAM, cables, CPU, etc., all fit well without cramping or other issues. Initial boot up and BIOS had some issues though. Here’s the hardware used to test the machine:

  • AMD Athlon 64 3800+ socket AM2 – nominally runs at 2 GHz
  • Ultra X-Finity 500W PSU
  • ATI Radeon X1800XL PCI-E
  • OCZ XTC DDR2 PC4200 DDR2-553MHz
  • 2x SATA Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 160 GB – connected to ATI-based SATA
  • 1x PATA Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 120 GB – connected to JMicron JMB363
  • 1x PATA Samsung SpinPoint 7200 160GB – connected to JMicron JMB363
  • Lite-On SHOW-1693S DVD-RW – connected to ATI-based PATA
  • AGI generic 52X CD-ROM – connected to JMicron JMB363 SATA via adapter
  • Foxconn 802.11g wireless card


Upon installing everything, I pressed the power button and nothing happened. I quickly turned off the switch on the back of the PSU to prevent any burnout or other horrible events. I checked multiple times to be sure all connections were secure, turned the PSU back on, hit the poser button again, but still nothing. I went through this about 4 or 5 times with zero success.

Then, when I had just about given up, I pushed the power button, and just sat back, and – I kid you not – after about two minutes of just sitting there doing nothing, the crazy thing starts to boot up like a computer possessed. Well, this is just not right. After a lot of testing, and swapping out drives from different SATA or PATA connectors, it turns out that it makes a huge difference what drive is connected where on the motherboard – I cannot explain why, nor does the manual.

Which brings me to the next point: the manual. It looks good, you can tell effort went into it, and for the hardware setup section it is spectacular! Every connector has the pin-out diagrams included, everything is well-labeled, and it is even written well. But once you get to the BIOS section it is woefully deficient.