When we take a closer look at the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme, the first thing that one notices about the board is it’s purple PCB.
Color is of course always subjective, in fact your favorite color may even be purple, but for me, I’d prefer to see a darker color, like what we’ve had with the ASUS and DFI offerings. Another thing you’ll notice with the KN1 SLI Extreme is that it’s PCB design is less cluttered than that of ASUS and DFI, the KN1 SLI Extreme having a considerable amount of open PCB.
Besides the board’s awkward color, another aspect that catches your eye is the KN1 SLI Extreme’s neon green 40mm fan duct, installed directly adjacent to the CPU socket. Unlike DFI and ASUS, ECS has added an active-cooling solution to cool the board’s MOSFETs. Using a temperature sensor, we’ve noticed that the MOSFETS on the DFI and ECS boards were roughly the same temperature, so using an active cooling solution (that can easily fail) may not be that necessary.
One of the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme’s best features is the fact that it does not have a SLI bridge. The board is capable of adjusting onboard PCIe lanes to accommodate a single or dual graphics card solution, saving you a lot of time and hassle, particularly if you switch out graphics cards on a regular basis.
ECS has the four pin PCIe molex power connector in the same location as the ASUS A8N SLI. As we move down the board, you can see that the KN1 Extreme SLI only features six SATA connectors, unlike the eight in both the DFI and ASUS offerings.
As you’ve probably noticed, the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme, like most of the other boards nForce4 boards on the market, includes color-coded front panel jumpers. These are a relatively new addition to retail enthusiast motherboards, but are nevertheless important as they help speed up motherboard installation.
When we look at the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme’s I/O panel, we see the standard I/O connectors, but only with one exception, the inclusion of a legacy COM port. Let’s be honest, who really uses COM ports in today’s computing environment?