ECS X58B-A2 Black Series

A Core i7 board without the price sting

  1. Editor's Rating
  • E-Mail
ECS X58B-A2 Black Series
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  October 12, 2009

Ratings Breakdown

Editor's Rating:
  • Performance:
  • Features:
  • Value for money:
  • Overall:
Key Specs

Chipset: Intel X58
CPU socket: LGA 1366
DIMM slots: 6
Form factor: ATX
Integrated sound: Realtek 8-channel

Display complete specs ›

Building a rig around Intel's fully-fledged Core i7 ‘Bloomfield' CPUs is an expensive affair because of the high cost of the CPU and motherboard. With the X58B-A2 Black Series board however, ECS has made building a top notch Core i7 rig a little less expensive.

This is thanks to a retail price of just US $199 and, thankfully, what you get for your money is actually quite good. The board features the Intel X58 Northbridge and it is paired with the ICH10R Southbridge. This combination gives the board two PCI-E x16 slots (so you can build a multi-GPU system), six Serial ATA ports along with RAID capabilities as well as two e-SATA ports.

On the overclocking front the X58B-A2 Black Series is somewhat basic. In terms of what's on offer the board allows you to modify CPU, IOH, CPU VTT, DIMM and Southbridge voltages but doesn't allow you to modify the CPU's multiplier ratio or fine tune memory timings. The ranges offered are also somewhat limited; the maximum voltage you can apply to the CPU is 1.6-volts. Other boards offer broader ranges and this helps when it comes to high-frequency overclocks.

The board's layout gave us nothing major to complain about though we suggest ECS move the Serial ATA ports, as fitting a full-length, dual-slot PCI-E card to the first x16 slot covers four of the six SATA ports.

With regards to performance, the Black Series lagged behind all of the X58 boards we've tested to date but by very small margins.

Verdict: A great value board to build a fully-fledged Core i7 system around but it’s not going to win you any overclocking competitions.

Your Review

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Performance Features Value for money

Tell us what you like about this product. This field is optional

Tell us what you don't like about this product. This field is optional

Explain to us in detail why you like or dislike the product, focusing your comments on the product's features and functionality. This field is optional

Security code