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ECS (EliteGroup) > 
Item#: N82E16813135350

4 out of 5 eggs Potentially a great basic motherboard 11/09/2013

This review is from: ECS NM70-I2(1.0) Intel Celeron 1037U 1.80GHz Intel NM70 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo

Pros:

Much improved CPU performance coming from Sandy Bridge Celeron 847 (1.1ghz) or even an 887 (1.5ghz)

Low power draw, about 15W at idle, up to 38W while running the windows experience index.

Unusually, much higher graphics performance than I expected coming from Sandy Bridge ULV celerons (could be the graphics drivers)

Very snappy performance in windows 7 with an SSD

Cons:

None of the other reviews mentioned problems with cooling, so I assume the unit that I received appears to be defective. and will treat for the purposes of this review as if the problem was fixed

There is a serious problem with the heat sink that ships with this motherboard. The rubber spacers around the mounting points and the hard, rubbery thermal interface material itself prevents it from properly mounting on the CPU. When I first turned it on, the CPU was hitting temps of up to 105C causing throttling and unusual OS and graphical glitches.

Luckily I happened to have an Ixtrema Silenx northbridge cooler on hand left over from a previous project. That and a dab of generic thermal paste brought my temps down to a more reasonable 40C at idle (59C at load). If this is a manufacturer error, I hope they get this fixed pronto as the motherboard as it ships is totally unacceptable. If you order this motherboard, get the northbridge cooler as well, just in case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835226019

Other Thoughts:

Test system:
ECS NM70-I2 (1.0) Intel Celeron 1037U (1.8ghz Ivy bridge)
case: Norco ITX7 with built in 60W DC - DC power supply, No name 12V, 72W laptop charger, unknown efficiency rating.
Memory: 2x2GB Kingston value ram DDR3 1333mhz, low profile. (runs at 1333mhz) Dual Channel
OS Drive: Mushkin Chronos 180GB SSD
OS: Windows 7 Pro x64
Chipset driver: 9.3.0.1029 7/25/2013 (From Intel)
Graphics driver: 9.18.10.3257 7/29/2013 (From Intel)

Windows Experience Index:
Processor: 5.8
Memory: 5.9
Graphics: 5.5
Gaming Graphics: 6.2
Hard Disk: 7.9

Performance Test 8.0
Average FPS on menu screen: 350
CPU Mark: 1953
2D Graphics Mark: 381
3D Graphics Mark: NA (crashes driver on last test)
Memory: 1311
HDD: 4010

Reference system 1:
Acer Veriton N2620G
Celeron 887 HM70 chipset (1.5ghz Sandy Bridge)
Memory: 2x2GB DDR 1600 CL11 (runs at 1333) Dual Channel
HDD: Crucial M4 128GB msata drive
Chipset driver: 9.3.0.10113 8/26//2011 (From Acer)
Graphics driver: 9.17.10.3223 6/27//2013 (From Intel)

Windows Experience Index:
Processor: 5.1
Memory: 5.9
Graphics: 4.8
Gaming Graphics: 5.7
Hard Disk: 7.8

Performance Test 8.0
Average FPS on menu screen: 210
CPU Mark: 1523
2D Graphics Mark: 279
3D Graphics Mark: NA (does not complete due to lack of DX11 compatibility)
Memory: 1174
HDD: 1784

Reference system 2:
Biostar NM70I-847
Celeron 847 NM70 chipset (1.1ghz Sandy Bridge)
Memory: 2x2GB crucial DDR3 1333mhz CL9 (runs at 1333) Dual Channel
HDD: Western Digital Scorpio 320GB 5400rpm HDD
Chipset driver: 9.3.0.1011 8/26//2011 (From Biostar)
Graphics driver: 9.17.10.3223 6/27//2013 (From Intel)

Windows Experience Index:
Processor: 3.9
Memory: 5.9
Graphics: 4.5
Gaming Graphics: 5.5
Hard Disk: 5.9

Performance Test 8.0
Average FPS on menu screen: 145
CPU Mark: 1128
2D Graphics Mark: 210
3D Graphics Mark: NA (does not complete due to lack of DX11 compatibility)
Memory: 938
HDD: 488

Aside from the the problem with the heat sink mounting, this motherboard would make an excellent basic use computer or htpc. If you want to build a NAS server or a basic 2-port pfsense firewall box, there are better choices out there.

Performance with an SSD is good enough to run my high bit rate 1080p videos even on VLC with less than 1% dropped frames. They run flawlessly on Media Player Classic. Running recent 3D accelerated games however is not recommended. The integrated GPU just doesn't have enough oomph. Some older games may run acceptably at the lowest setting.

How could this product be improved? If ECS had used the HM70 chipset, it would have natively brought USB 3.0 and a full 16 PCIE lanes rather than just the 8 from the NM70. Not a big issue if you want to install a discrete graphics card, but could be an issue with some of the more bandwidth sensitive PCIE 1x to 4x cards such as RAID or multiport network cards.

Overall, a very good deal for the money, assuming you don

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  • Nam Y.
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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Item#: N82E16813135350
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