ECS has announced a motherboard based on nVidia’s nForce 4 in the guise of the KN1 Extreme. This supports socket 939 Athlon64 processors and uses the nForce 4 Ultra variant of the chipset.
The chipset features PCI Express, Gigabit LAN, dual-channel memory and a new feature that nVidia has introduced – a hardware firewall. ECS has added to the package by adding a second LAN connector, making it possible to use a PC featuring the motherboard for Internet Connection Sharing.
Serial ATA RAID is present with four SATA2 channel via nVidia’s CK8-04 chipset and another two SATA ports via the SiS180 controller. The combination permits RAID 0, 1 and 0+1. The four SATA2 ports have the ability to run at 1.5GB/s SATA1 speed and 3GB/s SATA2 speeds independently.
Realtek provides the six-channel audio, with both optical and digital connections. The most notable feature on the board is the cooling duct that covers the capacitors and Mosfets, and directs the air over them and out of the case using a space that would normally be occupied by a parallel port. Sensibly, ECS has chosen to eschew that obsolete connector on this cutting-edge board to focus on overclocking stability.
The KN1 will be available from ECS at the end of November 2004.The price has yet to be confirmed but ECS is confident that it will be as competitive as its products normally are.