iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ECS L4S8A2 (SiS648) Mainboard

The name of Elitegroup itself means the budget sector (the company takes the first place in the world as far as volumes of boards sold on OEM contracts are concerned). 


  • Package of a standard design; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English; 
  • Cables: ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • CD containing:
    • drivers; 
    • DirectX 8.0a; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • CD Ghost 21st 3.6; 
    • Language Genius 21st; 
    • MediaRing Talk; 
    • Page ABC; 
    • PC-Cillin 2002; 
    • Recovery Genius; 
    • Super Voice; 
    • Award WinFlash. 

The layout has several typical flaws: the audio-ins are in front of the PCI, and the FDD is pressed to the left edge, and when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle the memory modules. But it's not difficult to reach the only jumper when the board is already installed. Its function is shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 6 capacitors of 3300 uF and 3 of 1500 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated:

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and C-Media CMI9738 AC'97 codec supporting 4.1 audio systems and having an output for front audio connectors and SPDIF; 
  • network controller based on the chipset's capabilities, supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX; 
  • IEEE 1394 bus controller based on the chipset's capabilities. 
+5 V supplied in the StandBy mode is indicated with the red LED. 

The back side of the board houses a special plate that protects the textolite when massive coolers are put on it. 

The system monitoring is supported by the ITE IT8705F chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, 1.8, +3.3, +5 and +12 V, VBAT, +3.3 and +5 V StandBy; 
  • speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor), and the board (a built-in sensor). 
There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 1 for unadjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI/ CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 2 IEEE 1394/ 6 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x190 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switchesJumper to clear up the CMOS 
BIOS based on the AwardBIOS 6.00PG from PhoenixSetup of memory timings+CAS Latency, RAS Active Time, RAS Precharge Time, RAS to CAS Delay, Addr/Cmd Rate
Setup of memory frequency+by SPD, CPU:DRAM = 1:1, 3:4, 3:5, 1:2
Setup of AGP bus- 
Setup of PCI bus- 
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses- 
Manual assignment of interrupts+ 
Changeable FSB frequency+100-165 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier+x8-x50
Changeable core voltage+Normal, +1%, +3%, +5%
Changeable memory voltage+Normal, +1.6%, +3.6%, +4.8%
Changeable chipset voltage- 
Changeable AGP bus voltage- 

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - 1.0. 

This board looks captivating against the background of its contestants (from the brand-name companies as well). It can be a perfect solution for an office or home computer providing decent functionality at the minimal price; it will not fill the bill only if you are "addicted" to extreme overclocking. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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