View Full Version : ECS K7S5A boot issues

28th October 2002, 16:26
Picked up one of these boards recently to build a cheap rig into using my old Duron 800, and I'm getting a very odd problem.

I've got no AGP card in the box, using a Mystique based RRS instead, plus a Compaq 3121 10/100nic and Adaptec 39160.

When I have more than 2 of these cards in the box, it will POST but wont boot.
Doesnt seem to care where the cards go or what they are, any more than 2 of them and it simply hangs at the 'Hooking boostrap interrupt 18h' stage.

Is there a hidden BIOS switch somewhere that says "Turn this board into a pile of crap' or have I just got a duff mobo?

28th October 2002, 16:54
Very odd.
I seem to have a mobo thats incompatible with Compaq 3121Nic cards.
Tried two of them, sme results.
Currently have Mystique RR, Adaptec 39160, 2xVoodoo 2s and an Intel 10/100pro nic and its booting fine.

I hate computers, I really do. :rolleyes:

28th October 2002, 16:59
K7S5A aren't the most compatible mobos around.

I've seen a lot of issues with those boards in combination with certain SDRAM DIMMs (no video output nor beeps on startup) and a lot of problems with certain CDROM/CDRW combos.

It's cheap for a reason.. I bet they've skimped a lot on compatibility testing of the BIOS. It works ok with most 'normal/common' hardware however, and when it works it's a good board for the price. Just keep in mind that ECS is closely related to PCChips :D

28th October 2002, 17:06
Oh boy, now I'm really looking forward to trying to install NT4 into that lot :)

Once more unto the bios dear feinds....

28th October 2002, 19:49
It's cheap for a reason? Reason being that they only have to mount 1 chip instead of two - less expensive to design, build, and package. It's only $10 less than my MSI 745Ultra.

28th October 2002, 20:06
All boards based on the SIS735/745 are very inexpensive, but yeilds were low for SIS, so they went back to dual chip.....

28th October 2002, 21:45
and your source for that info is?

28th October 2002, 23:23
Yes, really. Yield info is generally a very well kept secret. What's more - low yield on one chip can still be <B>much</B> cheaper than average yield on two. Even if your reason were true, it doesn't make much sense.

29th October 2002, 11:34
What is better:
Dual or single chip?

Dr Mordrid
29th October 2002, 12:30
Tossup. The single chip is a tad faster because the nb/sb interlink is self contained while the separate nb/sb is more configurable in terms of board makers being able to select what southbridge they want to use (new/expensive vs. old/cheaper).

In 2001 ECS overtook ASUS as the #1 Taiwan mainboard producter.

Who owns who:

ECS owns Hsing Tech, which is a very small part of their operations.

Hsing Tech's chairman was at one time the chairman of PC-Chips, but since PC-Chips is out of business....

Dr. Mordrid

29th October 2002, 12:58
Originally posted by Greebe
and your source for that info is?

I got this directly from SIS when visiting their Sunnyale, CA offices....

Another reason that they decided to go to a 2 chip design is that they can add new features more easily, simply by updating the SB or NB indipendently...

29th October 2002, 17:09
PCChips isn't out of business, it's part of ECS.
Anyway, ECS uses a lot of different brand names/aliases, as found on this link:
(and probably even more).

I'm not saying ECS boards are crap, just that their BIOS isn't up to par to for example the MSI 745 (though even that one has it's own share of problems).

I assumed that this was partly due to the difference in manufacturing costs between these boards, but there's no way to verify without knowing the profit margin of either (as Wombat implied).

But if you compare the layout/components/pcb/manual quality of both the ECS and MSI 745 boards, you will definately see a difference :) (and if you actually build a LOT of different configurations containing either of these boards you will notice the difference in compatibility as well)

29th October 2002, 17:12
I use an ECS K7AMA. It's OK. Cheap, does its job, reasonably stable, not o/c-able (although I have found a hacked BIOS so I can change the FSB to something other than 100 or 133). Net result: I don't really have much of a problem with ECS. But nor would I go out of my way to recommend them.

30th October 2002, 01:52
I have had several of these boards and all of them were a complete waste of space. I gave a friend a brand new replacement that I received for one that had *died* and he is having problems as well. Sorry but I cant recommend this board to anyone.

Regards MD

30th October 2002, 02:00
I've had mine for quite a while now, most stable board I ever used, no bells and whistles, but it just works.

30th October 2002, 12:06
Some work, some don't (also picky with other components)....

I've had best luck with Epox boards to date....so I'll stick to them if I can...

Dr Mordrid
30th October 2002, 12:35
I now have 3 K7S5A's running in editing systems with no problems at all. Don't need lots of fancy bios settings, but they all run solid so.....

Dr. Mordrid