I feel it's a great injustice to recommend that ECS Problem drone to someone over a pithy matter, which has little bearing on performance, and not even mention the fact that it is the most unstable kt266a board being built to date. It has more bugs than a week old pile of horsedung.
Sure, maybe 1 out of every 25 people gets a stable board, but in my book, that just doesn't cut it, regardless of the price.
I just laughed when I saw you recommending the K7S5A over the MSI board. hehe, still chuckling... [img]tongue.gif[/img]
Not only have I tested the board, and wasted a week of my time trying to get that pos to work, but it would seem the majority of people getting it are either RMA-ing it many times to try and get one that works, or plain ole returning it after fits for something a little more realistic. This not only comes from my own experience, as well as the many people searching desperately for help, but straight from a friend at newegg, who says he probably RMA's that 1 particular item 5-1, the 1 being any other item they sell in the joint.
In life, it's almost a 100% rule, you get what you pay for. Sometimes you an slip through the cracks, but your odds aren't very good.
I'd avoid the ECS like the plague, as well as the Shuttle, as it's voltage handling is worse than an 18-yr-old virgin [img]smile.gif[/img]
Between MSI and Epox, I'd say it's a toss-up, with Asus being the most stable(andyou bet you pay for it)
Simply put, the kt266a is a troubled chipset, almost regardless of the manufacturer. Some worked a lot harder than others to stablalize it as best they could, but it seems to have an inherent voltage problem on every model. Some folks can run an ECS on a 300W generic PS with crap everything,no problems. Others have Antec 400W and the best of the best, and still can't even get the stupid thing to clear it's BIOS without removing the chip physically from the board, only to have to do it again and again until they return it.
Pretty much the same on every board I've tested and researched. Buy a kt266a and you take a risk, regardless of who makes it. It seems you can only mitigate the chance of problems with the dough you're willing to toss out.
Best advice, buy from an AMD certified *local* dealer, who usually have prices equal to anything online, once you consider shipping. At least, then, you know you can go right back to the store for any problems. Online ordering is a great deal, until you have to start shipping crap back, then all of a sudden, you realize you could have just bought the top of the line rig for the same price ;) (especially after you factor in the time you waste waiting a week or more for RMA's to get back to you)
Wow, totally rambled, really sorry, and hope I didn't offend anyone. Very little sleep, off to resolve that now. 'nite