NVIDIA's NForce 4 SLI chipset has been around for nearly a year now. Mid-range cards such as the GeForce 6600 GT and the recently launched GeForce 6800 GS now offer fantastic performance for their price, meaning that the demand for SLI-capable motherboards has never been higher.
ECS has provided us with another motherboard from its Extreme range in the form of the KN1 SLI Extreme, supporting AMD's Socket 939 Athlon 64 CPUs. It comes with gigabit ethernet, dual RAID, SATA II, IEEE 1394a Firewire, 10 USB2 ports and dual PCI-Express x16 interconnects for NVIDIA SLI. This board is packed with features for the hardcore user, but does it have the performance and reliability to match? We report our experiences over the next few pages.
- Support for all AMD Athlon 64 socket 939 processors;
- 4x 184-pin DDR memory slots supporting upto 4GB;
- 2x PCI-Express x16 slots;
- Silicon Image SATA II controller with RAID 0 or 1;
- 4x NVIDIA SATA II ports and 2x IDE ATA133 ports with RAID 0, 1, 0+1;
- 2x IEEE 1394a Firewire ports;
- 1x PCI-Express x1 slot;
- 3x PCI expansion slots, including yellow 'Extreme' PCI slot;
- Realtek ALC850 AC'97 audio;
- Top Hat Flash;
- Dual 10/100 Fast and Gigabit Ethernets;
- Anti burn LED and PCI LED indicators.
- KN1 SLI Extreme Motherboard;
- User Guide;
- Single molex to two SATA power cable;
- Top Hat Flash;
- I/O Shield;
- Black IDE and Floppy cables;
- ESATA PCI bracket;
- Crossover Ethernet Cable;
- SLI connector and retention bracket;
- Four orange SATA cables;
- Parallel port on PCI bracket;
- Two extra USB ports and both IEEE 1394a Firewire ports on a PCI bracket with front 3.5" bay plastic adapter.
The KN1 SLI Extreme incorporates a good compliment of extras, although not a complete compliment to use every single port, slot or socket on the motherboard. It misses out on a couple of SATA cables and a couple of additional USB2.0 ports on an expansion bracket. Apart from that you have everything you need to use the incorporated features of the motherboard.